There are some familiar and unfamiliar titles on this list. Despite the chosen order, I could easily rearrange these films. The fact is, there wasn’t one film that stood out from the rest. Instead, the commonality between all these pictures is a certain 'boldness', often telling familiar stories in unconventional ways, or in the case of Goon and The Hobbit executing its genre to perfection.
I’ve kept the list only dramatic features as I could have populated this list with a number of superlative documentaries – see my top docs at the end of this list.
I should also say that this list did take into consideration other lauded ventures such as Holy Motors, The Master, Les Miserables, Django Unchained, Lincoln, Life of Pi etc. Unfortunately I have not yet seen Zero Dark Thirty or Amour, so in a couple weeks this top ten list might become a top twelve list. But for now, here’s the most memorable films of 2012 from Daily Film Dose:
RUST AND BONEJacques Audiard’s unclassifiable crowd-pleaser is a masterpiece of pulp melodrama. Audiard executes the mostly preposterous story of a female whale trainer who finds a bond with a roughneck bouncer who then goes into partnership as an underground MMA streetfighter/manager team with the utmost authenticity, believablility and sincerity.
BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD
THE DEEP BLUE SEA
TAKE THIS WALTZ
KILLING THEM SOFTLY
Top Five Documentaries:
THE OTHER DREAM TEAM - Unbelievably inspiring story of freedom and liberation from repression told through the triumph of the Lithuanian basketball team which toiled under the Soviet regime before their bronze medal victory as a sovereign nation in the 1992 Olympics. With the added gravitas of the political upheaval of the Iron Curtain and the deeply emotional human story at its heart this picture becomes a truly epic and powerful piece of cinema.
THE IMPOSTOR – Bart Layton’s true crime story of a man who poses as the identity of a missing child is stranger than fiction. Layton’s style reminiscent of Errol Morris and James Marsh makes this film as thrilling as suspense as any dramatic film this year.
SEARCHING FOR SUGARMAN - Malik Bendjelloul's fascinating story of the myth and aura of a strange but immensely talented folk artist Rodriguez, who, according to the producers he worked with, was as talented and poetic as Bob Dylan. But one who disappeared into obscurity in the 70’s only to be unlikely resurrected by its South African fans.
ROOM 237 - A fun look into the detailed obsessions of devoted fans of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, the now legendary, much discussed and debated horror film, which at a glance appears to be a simple story about the breakdown of a psychologically damaged writer from the effects of isolation. Yet, with microscopic frame-by-frame analysis there emerges some equally deranged but sometimes irrefutable dramatic subtext that deepens this already beguiling film.
JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI – First, a story of the long-standing world master of sushi, but also an equally intriguing story of father and son, and the burden of success across generations. Don’t be fooled by the film’s simplicity, David Gelb’s pristine cinematography matches Jiro Ono’s one-of-a-kind works of art of fish and rice.