Pharos-Tribune

Online only

December 25, 2012

Slate: The 10 best movies of 2012

NEW YORK — For the second year in a row, there weren't that many movies jostling behind the velvet rope to get onto my 10-best list. Maybe that's because I felt ambivalent to negative about several films this year that seemed to resonate powerfully with other viewers. "Looper," "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and "Django Unchained" are three examples of movies I tried to feel passion for and finally couldn't — much as I may have admired, respectively, Rian Johnson's imagination, Benh Zeitlin's community spirit, and Quentin Tarantino's adamantine cojones. Still, when it came down to distilling a whole year's worth of viewing into just 10 titles, I found with relief that it was impossible to remain stingy with my accolades: There were enough films that genuinely thrilled me this year to fill up a list, and then some. Forthwith, in alphabetical order, my 10 favorites of the year, plus five runners-up:

"Amour."

I've sometimes felt queasy about the Austrian director Michael Haneke's relationship to his audience: In movies like "The Piano Teacher" or "Funny Games," his merciless commitment to showing us the worst human beings are capable of can feel manipulative and sadistic. But in the admittedly hard-to-watch "Amour" — which bears agonizing witness to the decline of a Parisian octogenarian (the astonishing Emmanuelle Riva) before the eyes of her devoted but ultimately powerless husband (the equally great Jean-Louis Trintignant) — Haneke goes beyond facile nihilism to create a soul-wrenching portrait of love at the extreme edge of life.

"How to Survive a Plague."

If its essence could be bottled, David France's fierce, heartbreaking documentary about the very early days of AIDS activism could serve as a tonic for demoralized political organizers, a bracing reminder that change is possible when a group of committed people come together to fight injustice, indifference and prejudice. Even if you think you've seen every documentary you need to about the early days of the AIDS crisis (last year's "We Were Here," which focused on a small group of San Francisco activists, was exceptional as well), don't miss this cathartic, inspiring film.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Online only
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

The Pence administration continues to cut Indiana agency budgets despite a state surplus of $2 billion. Is this wise management of state funds?

Yes
No
Not sure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.