THE VERDICT – Best Motion Picture: 2012

I was actually planning of allotting this whole month of May for this year, but since my time was enough and my enthusiasm in writing unusually pumped me to produce the best picture profiles of all the nominees in a short period of time, after less than a week of journeying this year, here are the results.

# 9 to # 6 is really confusing, and any of the four might go ahead of the other if I had posted the results on a different day. They are entirely diverse films, and I hope I will be able to revisit them to give them another chance (Maybe, they will end up having a rating of 5 as well! Who could say?).

# 5 is actually more of a 4.5, but I give it that rating because between 4 and 5, that film leans towards the latter. # 4 also sits comfortably in that position.

The top 3 were so hard to rank because seriously, any of the three could have been my choices and I will be pleased. With those three, I used the denominator of what film stayed with me the most. Of course, all of them did, but more on the severity of the staying power.

And with that, I give you THE VERDICT!

You can click on the titles for their profiles.
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9. Lincoln

This film strongly starts this group of nominees. The execution is flawless, the performances are terrific, and the whole environment feels very authentic. That is really admirable for a period film. I cannot imagine the amount of work put into every bit of detail, and the final product shows it.

4Best Performance: Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln

Best Scene: Humiliation of Thaddeus Stevens at the party

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8. Amour

Shockingly realistic performances fulfil the film’s heartbreaking but surprisingly distant observation of a couple’s agony in trying to survive amidst the challenges in their relationship caused by the woman’s illness. Its bone-deep examination of the characters is haunting and unforgettable.

4

Best Performance: Emmanuelle Riva as Anne Laurent

Best Scene: Georges forcing Anne to drink water

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7. Django Unchained

Explosively entertaining though somewhat uneven, the film is held up by the strong cast who supply flawless work in this entirely amusing Western saga from its ever exciting director. It is a brutal but undeniably engaging to watch and the material definitely top caliber. Watch out for the amount of blood – ‘explosive’ really defines that!

4

Best Performance: Christoph Waltz as Dr. King Schultz

Best Scene: Dinner before the stand-off

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6. Argo

The more I think about the film, the more I realize how good it is. There are actually few flaws in terms of the actual execution, just lots of ‘could-have-been-better’ moments, especially in the film’s final act. Still, the film is extremely effective in conveying the ever-lingering sense of threat that makes the experience more gripping.

4

Best Performance: Bryan Cranston as Jack O’ Donnell

Best Scene: Afternoon visit at the bazaar

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5. Life of Pi

The priority given to the question whether God exists is the same as to the answer given by showing the spectacle of everything that happened to the lead character. The visuals are breathtaking, and what goes with that is a really cathartic experience for the eyes, for the heart, and ultimately, for the soul.

5Best Performance: Suraj Sharma at Piscine “Pi” Patel

Best Scene: Afternoon storm in the sea

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4. Silver Linings Playbook

This is an intelligent romantic-comedy that is not afraid to go darker at times. The handling of the mental illness in the story is sensitive, and the development of the romance is absorbing to watch. And to see Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence do a duet of acting flair is just as mesmerizing as their onscreen romance.

5

Best Performance: Jennifer Lawrence as Tiffany Maxwell

Best Scene: Tiffany and Pat’s Halloween date

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3. Beasts of the Southern Wild

Unlike any other film this year or in any other year, here is a vibrant and completely original story of a child’s viewpoint as she faces the entire magnificence of the universe. Told with an energetic eagerness and urgency, this film has its own pulse and its own soul: this is a lively tribute to childhood and to life.

5

Best Performance: Quvenzhané Wallis as Hushpuppy

Best Scene: Wink’s reminder to Hushpuppy – “No crying”

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2. Zero Dark Thirty

If I am complaining the lack of courage in Argo, then this film takes every bit of risk along the way, giving a dauntingly immediate chronicling of a woman’s efforts to capture an icon of terrorism. The relevance to today’s society is present, making the film a more captivating one. The last thirty minutes of the film are sheer breathtaking filmmaking.

5

Best Performance: Jessica Chastain as Maya

Best Scene: Night raid at the bin Laden’s compound

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1. Les Miserables

Victorious in every single way in utilizing every cinematic component to bring to life this classic epic, Les Miserables totally brings every possible fragment of human emotion to the screen to create a certainty of mastery not only in the knowledge of the craft and the artistry of making films, but the deep understanding of the material and of its soul. This film will endure the test of time, I tell you.

5

Best Peformance: Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean

Best Scene: “One Day More”

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Well, that escalated quickly.

I admit I was a bit too enthusiastic these past days that I was able to finish this year in less than a week, considering that this year have nine nominees! I am happy with my choice, and though not all of them earned 5 Meryls, all are strong films that could have all been worthy choices. The Academy went with the surprisingly conventional Argo, but it is a really finely made thriller.

And for a short tribute to my choice for this year, here is a terrific video from Youtube, “One Man Les Miserables” by Nick Pitera. Such an amazing video!

Next year to be discussed will be announced next week. I hope that I will be able to slow down a bit (mygosh, that adrenaline rush!).

For the next year, here are the clues:

  • Yes or No?
  • Silence or Sound?
  • Nature or Grace?

What’s you pick? Do you agree with the Academy, or with me, or you have a different choice?

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3 thoughts on “THE VERDICT – Best Motion Picture: 2012

  1. Wow so fast, I didn’t even have a chance to comment! But nicely done, as usual. I’m not as high on this year as others are, and Lincoln’s the only film I truly love, though I do have affection for Les Mis, Argo, and SLP in varying degrees. Many, many people will hate on your #1 choice but screw ‘em

    My ranking:
    1. Lincoln
    2. Argo
    3. Silver Linings Playbook
    4. Les Miserables
    5. Django Unchained
    6. Life of Pi
    7. Amour
    8. Zero Dark Thirty
    9. Beasts of the Southern Wild

    Like

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