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Thread: BEST MOVIES OF 2022 (lists)

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    BEST MOVIES OF 2022 (lists)

    BEST MOVIES OF 2022 (lists)

    Oct. 21, 2022.
    So far we might focus more on interesting movies still to come. Metacritic has a list of these. Some are already in early limited release such as TÁR (which I reviewed this week) and TILL. Some others are AFTERSUN, ARMAGEDDON TIME, THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN, TRIANGLE OF SADNESS, DECISION TO LEAVE, THE GOOD NURSE, HOLY SPIDER, THE NOVELIST'S STORY, SLASH/BACK, STARS AT NOON, TO LESLIE, WENDELL & WILD, EO.
    Chris Knipp favorites so far:

    TÁR (Todd Field) (newest addition)
    THE HAPPENING/L'EVENEMENT (Audrey Diwan)
    MEMORIA (Apichatpong Weersethekul)
    THE TERRITORY (Alex Pritz)
    HIT THE ROAD (Panah Panahi)
    THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD (Joachim Trier)
    COMPARTMENT NO. 6 (Juho Kuosmanen)
    A HERO (Asghar Farhadi)
    PARIS 13th DISTRICT (Jacques Audiard)
    ONE FINE MORNING/UN BEAU JOUR (Mia Hansen-Love) - not yet released
    EMILY THE CRIMINAL (John Patton Ford)
    THE NORTHMAN (Robert Eggers)
    A couple of these may be 2021. Not on my list: EVERYTHING, EVERYWHERE, ALL AT ONCE - I have an aversion to multiverse movies and still haven't seen it. TOP GUN: MAVERICK, PARALLEL MOTHERS, LICORICE PIZZA. They left too little impression. RRR, COW, BOILING POINT, BENEDICTION, THE WOMAN KING, BRIAN AND CHARLES, - I havenn't seen them yet. I might add; honorable mentions: ELVIS, COSTA BRAVA, LEBANON. A favorite unreleased foreign film (NYAFF): THE SALES GIRL (Mongolia, Anchivdorj Sengedorj) . A notable recent reissue: SEPA: NUESTRO SENOR DE LOS MILAGROS (1986). The doc FIRE OF LOVE (Dosa) is getting a lot of attention lately.

    What have I forgotten?
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 12-07-2022 at 12:08 PM.

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    MY 2022 BEST MOVIES DRAFT LISTS AS OF 11/27

    (Not in any order yet)

    Best Movies of 2022:
    TÁR (Todd Field)
    THE FABELMANS( Steven Spielberg)
    ARMAGEDDON TIME (James Gray)
    AFTERSUN (Charlotte Wells)
    EMILY THE CRIMINAL (John Patton Ford)
    THE NORTHMAN (Robert Eggers)

    Also Liked:
    BONES AND ALL (Luca Guadagnino)
    ELVIS (Baz Luhrmann)
    TILL (Chinonye Chukwu)

    Best Foreign:
    HIT THE ROAD (Panah Panahi)
    THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD (Joachim Trier)
    A HERO (Asghar Farhadi)
    LOST ILLUSIONS Xavier Giannoli) 6/22 US limited release
    PARIS 13th DISTRICT (Jacques Audiard)
    COMPARTMENT NO. 6 (Juho Kuosmanen 2021) Two release dates, Nov. 2021 & Jan. 2022
    THE HAPPENING/L'EVENEMENT (Audrey Diwan 2022)
    THE BOX/LA CAJA (Lorenzo Vigas)
    TRIANGLE OF SADNESS (Ruben Östlund)
    IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE (Hong Sang-soo) - late addition to this list

    Also liked:
    COSTA BRAVA, LEBANON (5/15/22 Quad Cinema)
    CASABLANCA BEATS (9/16/22 IFC center)

    Best Documentaries:
    DESCENDANT (Margaret Brown)
    MY IMAGINARY COUNTRY (Patricio Guzmán)
    THE TERRITORY (Alex Pritz)
    ALL THAT BREATHES (Shaunak Sem)
    RETROGRADE (Matthew Heineman)
    ALL THE BEAUTY AND THE BLOODSHED (Laura Poitras)
    Also liked:
    MR. BACHMAN AND HIS CLASS (Maria Speth)
    Notable re-release:
    SEPA: EL NUESTRO SEÑOR DE LOS MILAGROS (Sacher)

    Need to See:
    ALL THE BEAUTY AND THE BLOODSHED (Laura Poitras) - now seen
    NITRAM (Justin Kurzel) 3/2022 US rel. Metacr. 81% -done
    COW (Andrea Arnold) 4/22 US limited release -done
    ALL THAT BREATHES (Shaunak Sen) will watch soon
    NO BEARS (Jafar Panahi) - NYFF - not available to me yet

    Best performances:
    AUSTIN BUTLER, ELVIS
    GABRIEL LABELLE, THE FABELMANS
    CATE BLANCHETT, TÁR
    AUDREY PLAZA, EMILY THE CRIMINAL
    DANIELLE DEADWYLER, TILL
    MICHELLE WILLIAMS, THE FABELMANS

    Best Unreleased in the US:
    THE SALES GIRL (Janchivdorj Sengedor - NYAFF)
    BRUNO REIDAL: CONFESSIONS OF A MURDERER (Vincent Le Port)- RENDEZ-VOUS WITH FRENCH CINEMA (FLC)
    Coming soon:
    ONE FINE MORNING/UN BEAU JOUR (Mia Hansen-Love)- 1/27/2023 release

    Admired But Did Not Like:
    THE BANSHEES OF INISHIRIN (Martin McDonagh) - now a major awards contender
    DECISION TO LEAVE (Park Chan-wook)
    FIRE OF LOVE (Sara Dosa)
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 01-17-2023 at 11:41 PM.

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    NY Times 2022 Best Movies Lists

    Found HERE (with A.O. Scott's or Manohla Dargis' explanations and descriptions of each item).
    Manohla Dargis' list:
    1. ‘EO’ (Jerzy Skolimowski)
    2. ‘Petite Maman’ (Céline Sciamma)
    3. ‘Nope’ (Jordan Peele)
    4. ‘No Bears’ (Jafar Panahi)
    5. ‘Kimi’ (Steven Soderbergh)
    6. ‘The Eternal Daughter’ (Joanna Hogg)
    7. ‘Happening’ (Audrey Diwan)
    8. ‘Decision to Leave’ (Park Chan-wook)
    9. ‘Expedition Content’ (Ernst Karel and Veronika Kusumaryati)
    10. ‘All the Beauty and the Bloodshed’ (Laura Poitras)
    Note to myself: should see KIMI*, which came out in February, explaining why I forgot about it. I have just seen THE ETERNAL DAUGHTER and it is great. I don't want to see NOPE. EXPEDITION CONTENT sounds like a weird stunt. I know that I need to see EO, NO BEARS and ALL THE BEAUTY AND THE BLOODSHED. I did not like PETITE MAMAN and was disappointed with DECISION TO LEAVE. I agree about HAPPENING. Not much of an overlap with my list(s). That can be seen as good or bad; it reflects the number and variety of new movies out there.
    A.O. Scott's list:
    1. ‘Nope’ (Jordan Peele)
    2. ‘Neptune Frost’ (Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman)
    3. ‘Mr. Bachmann and His Class’ (Maria Speth)
    4. ‘Aftersun’ (Charlotte Wells)
    5. ‘No Bears’ (Jafar Panahi)
    6. ‘Tár’ (Todd Field)
    7. ‘Lost Illusions’ (Xavier Giannoli)
    8. ‘Flux Gourmet’ (Peter Strickland)
    9. ‘All the Beauty and the Bloodshed’ (Laura Poitras)
    10. ‘Down With the King’ (Diego Ongaro)
    Then he lists 20 more sort of runners-up, as does Dargis. Note to myself: Have not seen NEPTUNE FROST. Do I need to see FLUX GOURMET?
    *Saw KIMI (Netflix) and liked it, but it seems rather forgettable.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 12-16-2022 at 11:25 AM.

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    The IndieWire and Screen Daily lists

    This is compiled by their three critics and incudes 25 films with longer and more informative comments on each. It's HERE. More movies I'd like to see from the 11-25 part of the list:

    20. “Return to Seoul” (dir. Davy Chou) - Already on my wish list (NYFF)
    17. “Funny Pages” (dir. Owen Kline)
    16. “Saint Omer” (dir. Alice Diop) Already on a tentative wish list, but depressing material: trial of a woman who killed her own child.
    13. “Benediction” (dir. Terence Davies) - This biopic of Catholic/Jewish gay WWi era Brit literary icon Siegfried Sassoon is probably very much up my alley [P.s.: I watched it and was not so happy with it.]
    12. “All that Breathes” (dir. Shaunak Sen) - Already on my wish list (NYFF)
    11. “RRR” (dir. S.S. Rajamouli) - Didn't quite know what this is (they explain that), but it sounds significant
    The main list has more bows to mainstream taste, and makes more sense to me than the Tony & Manohla show:
    1. “Aftersun” (dir. Charlotte Wells)
    2. “TÁR” (dir. Todd Field)
    3. “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (dirs. Daniels)
    4. “The Banshees of Inisherin” (dir. Martin McDonagh)
    5. “Decision to Leave” (dir. Park Chan-wook)
    6. “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” (dir. Laura Poitras)
    7. “Top Gun: Maverick” (dir. Joseph Kosinski)
    8. “Nope” (dir. Jordan Peele)
    9. “The Fabelmans” (dir. Steven Spielberg)
    10. “After Yang” (dir. Kogonada)
    [/SIZE]
    Comment: Maybe I should stop avoiding EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE? (Maybe not.) Maybe I should go back and figure out why I disliked AFTER YANG. And again consider watching NOPE. I've already considered rewatching DECISION TO LEAVE to see if I can understand it better and thereby come to appreciation. I do love TÁR, THE FABELMANS, and AFTERSUN.

    SCREENDAILY:

    Top Films (in alphabetical order):
    Aftersun
    Avatar: The Way Of Water
    The Banshees Of Inisherin
    Everything Everywhere All At Once
    The Fabelmans
    Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
    RRR
    Till
    The Woman King
    Women Talking

    Top five International Films (in alphabetical order):
    All Quiet On The Western Front
    Argentina, 1985
    Decision To Leave
    EO
    Saint Omer

    Top 5 Documentaries (in alphabetical order):
    All the Beauty And tTe Bloodshed
    All That Breathes
    Descendant
    Turn Every Page - The Adventures Of Robert Caro And Robert Gottlieb
    Wildcat

    Top 10 Independent Films (in alphabetical order):
    Armageddon Time
    Emily The Criminal
    The Eternal Daughter
    Funny Pages
    The Inspection
    Living
    A Love Song
    Nanny
    The Wonder
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 12-16-2022 at 11:27 AM.

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    Film Comment's "Best Films of 2022"

    Film Comment is the "magazine" of Film at Lincoln Center, now no longer on paper, only electronic. They say this is the result of a poll of their contributors, it doesn't say how many or who. Their list (I've erased the comments; for them go to their website). Films on this list NOT reviewed on Filmleaf: Crimes of the Future, Saint Omer In Front of Your face, Nope, The Cathedral, A Night of Knowing Nothing (never heard of that one), Il Buco. I have not seen these except The Cathedral, which I chose not to review. I'm planning to see Saint Omer (coming to theaters, on many lists) and Nope (also on many lists and awards nominations). Probably would watch Crimes of the Future since it's Cronenberg, but reports have not been glowing. There are other movies to catch up on that maybe "sophisticates" like these aren't interested in, like Babylon (not coming till Dec. 23) and RRR (the Indian spectacular on Netflix people are into), and of course Avatar: the Way of Water.

    1 Crimes of the Future
    David Cronenberg, Canada/France/Greece/U.K.

    2 EO
    Jerzy Skolimowski, Poland/Italy

    3 Aftersun
    Charlotte Wells, U.K./U.S.

    4 Saint Omer
    Alice Diop, France

    5 The Eternal Daughter
    Joanna Hogg, U.K./U.S.

    6 All the Beauty and the Bloodshed
    Laura Poitras, U.S.

    7 In Front of Your Face
    Hong Sangsoo, South Korea

    8 Nope
    Jordan Peele, U.S.

    9 The Novelist’s Film
    Hong Sangsoo, South Korea

    10 The Cathedral
    Ricky D’Ambrose, U.S.

    11 TÁR
    Todd Field, U.S.

    12 Decision to Leave
    Park Chan-wook, South Korea

    13 The Girl and the Spider
    Ramon Zürcher and Silvan Zürcher, Switzerland

    14 The Fabelmans
    Steven Spielberg, U.S.

    15 One Fine Morning
    Mia Hansen-Løve, France/GermanI1

    16 A Night of Knowing Nothing
    Payal Kapadia, India/France

    17 Stars at Noon
    Claire Denis, France/Panama/U.S.

    18 Il buco
    Michelangelo Frammartino, Italy/France/Germany

    19 Armageddon Time
    James Gray, U.S.

    20 Benediction
    Terence Davies, U.K./U.S.

    Tied for 20th place with:

    20 We're All Going to the World’s Fair
    Jane Schoenbrun, U.S.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 12-16-2022 at 08:31 PM.

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    John Waters' 2022 Best Movies List from Artforum

    John Waters stays true to his humorous perversity for a list guaranteed to be unlike any other. Titles I never heard of: Sick of Myself, Detainee, Dinner in America, Will o' the Wisp. Also Everything Went Fine and Smoking Causes Coughing were not reviewed on Filmleaf. In his case, you really need to read his reasons for the choices. Not films you will find at your local cinema, or even in the US.

    1
    PETER VON KANT (François Ozon)

    By far the best movie of the year. Fassbinder’s classic lesbian melodrama is appropriated and remade as a gay Frenchman’s love letter to the original version. Hilariously stilted, often overwrought, but always highly entertaining, this cock-eyed tribute will make you swoon when Hanna Schygulla finally makes an appearance and Isabelle Adjani soon follows. My God, it’s just plain Douglas Sirk perfect.

    2
    EO (Jerzy Skolimowski)

    Another tribute film, this time Bresson’s Au Hasard Balthazar meets Old Yeller. Can a donkey remember? Just ask Isabelle Huppert, who pops up in this movie for no apparent reason except that she’s the best actress in the world.
    Jerzy Skolimowski, EO, 2022, 4K video, color, sound, 88 minutes.

    3
    EVERYTHING WENT FINE (François Ozon—AGAIN!)

    Assisted suicide for the elderly has never been so madcap. So I Love Lucy. So feel-so-bad-you’ll-feel-good. With a cast to die for—literally. Hanna Schygulla (AGAIN!), Jacques Nolot (my hero), and Charlotte Rampling as the nastiest ex-wife in the world.

    4
    SICK OF MYSELF (Kristoffer Borgli)
    A pair of narcissistic Norwegian lovers can’t stop competing for the public’s attention. He’s a sculptor who uses furniture he steals as material, and she takes recalled poison medication on purpose to make her skin break out in rashes and boils so she can become a model with disabilities. No, it’s not Female Trouble, but it’s just as nuts. Pretty? Pretty? Pretty fucked up!
    Kristoffer Borgli, Syk pike (Sick of Myself), 2022, 2K video, color, sound, 97 minutes. Signe (Kristine Kujath Thorp).
    .
    5
    BRUNO REIDAL, CONFESSIONS OF A MURDERER (Vincent Le Port)

    The boy can’t help it. Killing people. Jerking off. More jerking off. And the sight of meat made him do it! Yep, it’s true crime, Gallic style. One critic wrote, “If ever there was a movie tailor-made to appear on the annual list of the year’s best films that John Waters compiles for Artforum, it’s this one.” Boy, was he right.

    6
    DETAINEE 001 (Greg Barker)

    John Walker Lindh, the American Taliban. This doc examines the hysteria of this case and asks the question I’ve been wondering about for years—was he an overhyped traitor or just a well-traveled kid caught in the wrong place at the wrong time? Oh, yeah, he’s really cute, in a grunge kind of way.

    7
    DINNER IN AMERICA (Adam Rehmeier)

    A wonderfully nasty, politically incorrect punk-rock romantic comedy with great performances that somehow got canceled when it was screened at Sundance in 2020. Finally it was released this year, and nobody in the US seemed to notice except director Sean Baker, who sent me a screener, for which I’m eternally grateful.

    8
    WILL-O’-THE-WISP (João Pedro Rodrigues)

    A racially risky, raunchy Portuguese musical about class and pyromania that will light you on fire. Facials! Fake dicks! A real arty head-scratcher of a film that makes Titane seem tame.
    João Pedro Rodrigues, Fogo-Fátuo (Will-o’-the-Wisp), 2022, 4K video, color, sound, 67 minutes. From left: Fireman (Miguel De), Alfredo (Mauro Costa), Afonso (André Cabral).

    9
    SMOKING CAUSES COUGHING (Quentin Dupieux)

    Can a movie be both stupid and effete yet unironic? Only the French can pull that off, and this moronic auteur of ignoramuses does it again. Brilliant performances and dumbbell dialogue equal a superhero movie for idiots that surpasses all the tedium of Hollywood blockbusters.
    Quentin Dupieux, Fumer fait tousser (Smoking Causes Coughing), 2022, HD video, color, sound, 80 minutes. Production still.

    10
    BONES AND ALL (Luca Guadagnino)

    Is there such a thing as a butch twink? Yes, there is, and Timothée Chalamet goes all Larry Clark on us here, a soft-trade hetero cannibal who kills an evil closeted gay trick so he and his flesh-eating girlfriend can feed. Is that gay-bashing or cannibally correct love? Just asking.
    Luca Guadagnino, Bones and All, 2022, 35 mm transferred to 4K video, color, sound, 130 minutes. Lee (Timothée Chalamet) and Maren Yearly (Taylor Russell).
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 12-21-2022 at 08:35 PM.

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    MIKE D'ANGELO'S Best List ("Favorites") for 2022

    MIKE D'ANGELO'S YEAR IN REVIEW "TOP TEN" (on Patreon)


    The Year in Review
    MIKE D'ANGELO


    Never thought to post a top 10 list here previously—partly because I maintain a running list (albeit organized by year of premiere rather than year of U.S. release) throughout the entire year, which folks can consult whenever they like, but mostly because my semi-official list used to appear on the A.V. Club in mid-December. Often it wasn't yet final, and that's likewise potentially true of the list below, as I'll be catching up with a handful of titles in January (though I'm skeptical that any of those, including and especially Avatar: The Way of Computer-Generated Wonder, will prove to be my thing). But since I no longer have a professional forum for this endeavor, might as well make it an annual New Year's Eve tradition. I'll go ahead and use the A.V. Club format, except that Alex Dowd, my editor there, always asked for our top 15 and I'm gonna stick to the traditional 10, 'cause yeesh what a bum year in my opinion. Jury's still out on whether the recent paucity of movies that genuinely excite me—there are only three this year, really, three and a half if you want to count most of White Noise—reflects pandemic tribulations or just a general shift away from the sort of fearsomely complex, arguably "problematic" character study I tend to favor. The latter, more likely, even if 2022's most celebrated film (which you'll find on my list, despite my being a bit cooler on it than most) fits that description snugly.

    Anyway, here's where things stand as the calendar turns. It's my "polls" list, including some films that premiered at festivals last year but are Skandie-eligible this year. Oh, and I'm starting at the bottom, even though there's zero suspense for many of you, because dammit that's how this should work when the list is meant to be read rather than merely browsed.
    10. RRR (S S Rajamouli, India)

    Even my dad saw this. My 77-year-old dad! (No assist from me; Netflix algorithm showed him the trailer and he got intrigued.) I made a token effort to resist, not being generally keen on over-the-top action, but Rajamouli pushes so far into absurdism, with such monumental panache, that he breaks down your defenses. Would be ranked higher if he'd calm down with the slo-mo-speed-up gimmick.

    9. Paris, 13th District (Jacques Audiard, France)

    Feels like this one's been largely forgotten, and it's possible that I'm overvaluing it because so few films nowadays tackle sexuality with any frankness or candor. But the second tale that emerges, in particular—a portrait of the evolving relationship between Noémie Merlant's college student and the cam-girl for whom she's mistaken by others—has stuck with me for more than a year now.

    8. TÁR (Todd Field, USA)

    Been putting off a second viewing, just because I prefer spacing them out more whenever possible, but there's a decent chance that my rating may go up when I take another look. My only significant reservation is that a female sexual predator feels gimmicky, and I've already kinda talked myself into believing that maybe it's a necessary means of defamiliarizing this rather blunt subject.

    7. Hit the Road (Panah Panahi, Iran)

    Also dug his dad's No Bears, which is definitely more interesting than this fairly straightforward family drama. But Panahi Jr.'s commitment to emotional restraint, combined with his penchant for leavening heavy material with random encounters (the cheating cyclist) and goofy comedy (dog tied to flimsy plastic chair) suggests that we might have a legit filmmaking dynasty here.

    6. Ahed's Knee (Nadav Lapid, France/Germany/Israel)

    This one dropped a bit on second viewing but remains the most demented formal exercise I've witnessed in ages—a movie that often looks as if it's having a nervous breakdown. Lapid's obsessions tend to irritate me in conventional dramatic form, and it was exhilarating to see him throw caution to the wind and just channel everything into a prolonged fit of barely coherent rage.

    5. White Noise (Noah Baumbach, USA)

    Secretly my film of the year, in the sense that it's the one I'd most like to revisit at any given moment, even as I acknowledge that its entire third section doesn't really work. The existence of people who were not tickled and enthralled by everything involving the Airborne Toxic Event is a grotesque rumor to which I refuse to give any credence. Blatantly the finest direction of Baumbach's career.

    4. Benediction (Terence Davies, UK)

    The rare biopic that didn't leave me in a Wiki-stupor. Davies himself couldn't manage that trick with A Quiet Passion (though I need to watch it again), and pulls it off here mostly by virtue of tackling a figure whose fame is relatively circumscribed—I'd never heard of Sassoon, myself—and providing him with a fictively rich environment. Didn't love Capaldi's bitter incarnation, but oh well.

    (Here's where we finally reach films that would have made my list in virtually any year. The preceding seven would have been honorable mentions in, say, 2018.)

    3. Decision to Leave (Park Chan-wook, South Korea)

    Hey, wanna gape at one arresting composition after another for well over two hours? Care for a reminder that Tang Wei can be one of the most charismatic actors alive when afforded the opportunity? Do you like Vertigo, and would you be interested in a gloss on same that gradually shifts into Madeleine/Judy's perspective, revealing her as perhaps even more fucked up than Scotty? Those who love Park tend to find this second-tier; it's the first of his films I've adored.

    2. In Front of Your Face (Hong Sangsoo, South Korea)

    Strong year for Korean cinema (but ain't they all?). As with Decision to Leave, I'm diverging from the true heads, who don't love this atypical, more emotionally direct, let's-actually-drop-an-honest-to-god-narrative-revelation side of Hong. Whereas I, convinced that he's beaten his standard approach into the dirt, was pleasantly sideswiped by an injection of quietly wistful delicacy. Simply lovely.

    1. The Banshees of Inisherin (Martin McDonagh, Ireland/UK/USA)

    As always during the Christmas season, numerous relatives asked me for movie recommendations, and my efforts to accurately describe Banshees invariably concluded with a feeble, desperate "I know that sounds horrific but I swear it's mostly hilarious." Would've secured a spot here for its magnificently combative dialogue alone; that it also raises genuinely thorny questions about ambition vs. decency, in cases where the two are hard to reconcile (or are they?), merits awe. Memo to Theo: Colm punishing Pádraic via self-mutilation that defeats the ostensible purpose of pushing him away is the whole damn point (which McDonagh over-emphasizes by repeatedly calling attention to the civil war).
    Now for the A.V. Club bonus categories, excepting Outlier (a film on your list but nobody else's), which I can't know. Probably would've been White Noise.

    Most overrated: Aftersun

    Got nothing against Wells' debut, save for its familiarity. The little girl's terrific (Mescal considerably less so—there's one notable divergence from consensus), and I do appreciate the indirect means by which the film slowly reveals itself as an adult's reminiscence. But whatever's reducing others to blubbering wrecks failed to penetrate my armor, for whatever reason. It seemed resolutely ordinary to me. No doubt I'll watch it again at some point, and maybe the whole if-only-I'd-understood-Dad's-pain aspect will wallop me more. Or, y'know, at all.

    Most underrated: Onoda

    Really it's White Noise, but I generally tried to pick films not in my top 10/15 for both this category and Most Pleasant Surprise, just to avoid repetition. Still might be the wrong choice, though, because this "biopic" about one of the Japanese soldiers who continued fighting World War II into the 1970s wasn't so much underappreciated as it was little-seen. Would've been high on my list had it leaned more into parallels between Onoda's increasingly preposterous rationalizations and modern-day conspiracy theories, well worth seeing as is.

    Biggest disappointment: Nope

    Despite my mixed feelings about both Get Out and Us, I was ridiculously stoked for this. Made a point of avoiding all marketing materials and reviews, and managed to enter the theater with only a vague sense that it's science fiction, possibly involving a UFO. Was almost quivering as I sat down. And then Gordy happened. And then Michael Wincott showed up. And then somehow it became a non-ironic (as far as I can tell) story about trying to snap an Oprah-worthy photograph that might vault our heroes into well-deserved notoriety. And then I remembered that Peele has yet to sustain a great idea at feature length.

    Most pleasant surprise: EO

    So many options here, and I nearly went with Top Gun: Maverick, simply because I'd spent more than 30 years feeling naught but disdain for the original (which still mostly stinks, as it turns out). Could even have cited Glass Onion, since it's a sequel—to a movie I love—that ditches everything except the one thing that I didn't really love, viz. Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc. But I'd have bet serious cash money against the prospect of my enjoying a contemporary rethinking of Au hasard Balthazar, one of the canonical classics that I kinda can't stand due to its propensity for heaping abuse upon an innocent victim. Not that Skolimowski entirely refrains from doing that, mind you. But the awfulness isn't so relentlessly donkey-directed here, and—crucially—it's counterbalanced with some truly dazzling images. I have reservations, but did not feel pummeled.

    Finally, here's the complete list of films I saw this year, a great many of them selected by many of you via the weekly poll. (I've included one title that I haven't actually watched yet, as I post this, but plan to watch later tonight.)

    [My comment: D'Angelo is the ultimate well-informed, nerdy film completist and his lists are worth consulting, though I'm not particularly excited about these choices. I have a lot of time for TAR, the Audiard, and HIT THE ROAD, but the other items seem conventional or lackluster. (Of course he says this was a mediocre year in his opinion.) It's his colloquial style (though sometimes sounding jarringly "youthful" now that he's pushing 55) and his clarity about reasons for choices that set him apart for me and have made him a sort of role model. I have most liked D'Angelo's Cannes or Toronto bulletins for AV Club and his brilliant haiku-like Twitter reviews. both of which sadly have been discontinued. The trouble with his Patreon emails is they're not reviews and seem to assume a knowledge of movies we haven't seen. I omit his list of 108 new films seen this year. Though he appears to be in exile, he still seems to attend big festivals and see everything I don't. You can find his lists on his website 'The Man Who Viewed Too Much' https://www.panix.com/~dangelo/ P.s.: I'd been thinking of rewatching DECISION TO LEAVE, which I didn't quite follow (though I just read Armand White's moralizing pan of it, which is thought-provoking). ]
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 01-01-2023 at 08:10 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    SF Bay Area
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    To catch up on. Maybe...

    These have been on best lists, several with raves, might be worth watching, certainly NEPTUNE FROST. Most are on streaming. But maybe I'd just rather read a good book. As I am doing.

    ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (Edward Berger)
    CRIMES OF THE FUTURE. (David Cronenberg)
    EVERYTHING WENT FINE (François Ozon)
    EXHIBITION CONTENT’ (Ernst Karel and Veronika Kusumaryati)
    FLUX GOURMET (Strickland)
    IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE (Hong Sang-soo)
    KIMI (Steven Soderbergh)
    NEPTUNE FROST (Anisia Uzeyman, Saul Williams)
    SAINT OMER (Alice Diop)
    KIMI actually I did watch a while back, and it is good, but a bit lightweight, I thought, not essential. People rave about NEPTUNE FROST, I generally love Hong Sang-soo, and EXHIBITION CONTENT, a sound film of the lost Rockefeller's recordings of New Guinea people in 1961, sounds really haunting and interesting, but is not available streaming now. Have seen IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE now and it's beautifully done. (On his website D'Angelo calls it "Near Great" and gives it an 81; only THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN gets a higher number, 83. ) So is EVERYTHING WENT FINE (in its way, less for artistry than for interesting content). Couldn't get into NEPTUNE FROST so far. Doubtful about the others, but still mean to watch them. I'm thinking of watching ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT too, but it sounds like 1917 with no style, or some thing so. FLUX GOURMET is choice for those who like very eccentric stuff; like Strickland's BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO it will leave most viewers by the wayside.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 01-10-2023 at 01:45 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    15,206

    Lobby of a Northern California cineplex [CK photo]

    Liked WHITE NOISE so much, and, given my loyalty to Noah Baumbach (especially since MARRIAGE STORY) I have to revise my Best List putting it, for now, in fifth place:


    CK's Best Movies of 2022:

    TÁR (Todd Field)
    THE FABELMANS( Steven Spielberg)
    ARMAGEDDON TIME (James Gray)
    AFTERSUN (Charlotte Wells)
    WHITE NOISE (Noah Baumbach)
    EMILY THE CRIMINAL (John Patton Ford)
    THE NORTHMAN (Robert Eggers)
    BONES AND ALL (Luca Guadagnino)
    ELVIS (Baz Luhrmann)
    TILL (Chinonye Chukwu)


    I've also seen AVATAR 2 now, but while it's beautiful at least in parts, I don't quite consider it a film. It's something else. What? You tell me.

    My Best Foreign and Best Documentary lists remain unchanged - at the moment.

    THE FABLEMANS is a leader in the awards now - along with EVERYTHING, EVERYWHERE, ALL AT ONCE, which is way, way off my list.

    I will review this list before the Oscars. May have to rewatch BANCHEES, since it is so high on so many lists I'm beginning to think I misread it somehow.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 01-16-2023 at 03:30 PM.

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