So you’ve seen how we ranked the year in Irish cinema and what we picked as our favourite documentaries, but we’ll bet you’re dying to see what ended up on our overall best of 2012 list, right? Maybe? We’ll take a maybe. Keep reading!
Our site list of 20 favourites from 2011 was one of the most popular posts on our old site, so feel free to revisit that list here. What we’ve done this year is slightly different. Last week we sat down over a bowl of pasta and worked out five films that we both loved and feel best represent us as a site which are now outlined below. Don’t worry you can work out who the cool one really is as we’ll be uploading our individual top ten lists later today (edit: they are now here, Nigel & Páraic). To make things a little easier we stuck to narrative-based features and kept documentaries out of the equation.
We calculated that between us we saw around 140 new films this year which isn’t too bad for two guys doing this part time. There may be some omissions and slight quirks due to festivals and international release schedules but such is life.
Before all that though we’ll draw your attention to our first ever podcast/show recording. It’s a 38 minute recording of us rambling away about our favourite films of the year (engineering and intro music by beautiful Colin Boylan), it won’t be for everyone but hey we had some laughs doing it which was most important. Listen using the soundcloud player below and be nice, we’re only new to all this programmable gramophone technology.
So once again this is a combined list for our favourites films from 2012, individual top tens to follow.
5. What Richard Did
What Richard Did is a compelling, tough film about modern Ireland that perhaps leaves one too many stones unturned, yet still makes such a strong impression that it will stay on in your mind long after the credits roll. It also makes a strong argument for Abrahamson as arguably Ireland’s most important living director and cultural agitator. Highly recommended.
– Original Review for What Richard Did: Those Celtic cubs – ★★★★½
4. Moonrise Kingdom
Bruce Willis is fantastic as the down trodden island police officer. Resigned to his post on the island and in life. He seems to be shuffling through in search of some validation and this may have finally come across with the missing children. Bruce and Ed become very concerned with the outcome of the boy’s fate, it’s as if his troubles and strifes remind them of their own childhood and they want to make sure his life doesn’t turn out like their own.
– Original Review for Moonrise Kingdom – Two star-crossed lovers – ★★★★
The relationship between the pair is ever changing and so too our understanding of their roles within it. Lesser films would have left this element undeveloped focusing on the smoke and mirrors but here the director Morten Tyldum puts it front and centre culminating in a beautifully emotional scene where Rodger bares his soul to Lotte warts and all.
– Original Review for Headhunters: Headscratcher – ★★★★
2. Silver Lining Playbook
The new front runner for next February’s Best Actress Oscar is impossible to take your eyes off. It’s become a cliché to discuss actors “doing crazy” in order to snatch a few awards, but Lawrence’s performance here is so subtly detailed, derailed and natural that you find yourself wondering how the 22-year-old can top this and her work in Winter’s Bone. The fact she seems to have found a balance between smaller pictures like this and being a centre-piece of two huge Hollywood franchises (The Hungry Hippo Games and X-Men) is to be seriously admired.
– Original Review for Silver Linings Playbook: Crazy Love – ★★★★½
1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Perks is a film full of teen angst, awkward interactions and the fragility of life-defining relationships which we’ve all gone through but can try to cast off in later years with a superior sniffy attitude. You can see I loved the film and if you’re of the same ilk hopefully you can go in with an open mind and embrace it wholeheartedly. I can imagine teens coming across this and feeling that they aren’t alone and recognising that someone has gone and made a film about their life, as all great films should.
– Original Review for The Perks of Being a Wallflower: Holden the high school years – ★★★★★