Wednesday, 13 February 2013
Encore Awards (2012 in Review): Openings
As usual, I’m like the white rabbit with the habitual lateness. From all different directions all the film lovers seem ready to be rid of 2012 cinema, but potentially annoying Oscar season and all I’m not ready to turn my back on the last year in film as yet. The best things about year-end citations is remembering the moments that thrilled you most, and through the disappointments and the surprises 2012 had a lot of things to love.
So, I’m officially beginning my personal and sometimes weird Encore Awards taking a look back at the year in film, trudging through about 30 or so traditional (read Oscar-y) and untraditional categories. Hopefully, I’m finished before March.
As usual I get started with the openings.
The image to the right is one of the most evocative film openings of the nineties. Old Mrs. Wilcox makes her way through the garden of the eponymous Howards End. Right there Ivory gives us tone and mood which the rest of the film makes good on. This year, there were fourteen openings which would have made Ivory proud. The top 9 were so good I had much difficulty settling on a ballot, but eventually I managed to settle on five.
(Click on the images for reviews…where available.)
Anna Karenina: directed by Joe Wright with Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Kelly MacDonald, Matthew Macfadyen
The Deep Blue Sea directed by Terence Davies with Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston, Simon Russell Beale, Ann Mitchell
Killing Them Softly: directed by Andrew Dominik with Brad Pitt, Scoot McNairy, Ray Liotta, Ben Mendelsohn, Richard Jenkins
Moonrise Kingdom directed by Wes Anderson with Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Frances McDormand
Oslo, August 31st: directed by Joachim Trier with Anders Danielsen Lie, Hans Olav Brenner
FINALISTS: Cloud Atlas, like many films in 2012, has been about stories being told and Cloud Atlas manages it better than most. The palpable “story” nature of the many tales does not make their humaneness less nuanced but in a subtle type of defamiliarisation recalls its literary roots AND endorses the adaptation’s cinematic-ness; Holy Motors opens just as ambiguously as the rest of the film continues – but, it’s completely disarming. The man waking from his dream, the key which is a finer, the faceless audience, the projected images, all so very beguiling; Once Upon a Time in Anatolia is unsettling and moody right from that first shot, that image of the clouded window is such a perfect encapsulation of the film’s interest in excise the truth from the prevarication shrouding it; Rust and Bone’s opening of a father and a son is the perfect example of how Audiard counteracts the melodrama of his script and with his direction steps back and allows the audience to observe from a distance – still intrigued, but not *forced* to feel; Tabu’s opening immediately shows its love for humour amidst the unsettling, from the droll narrator to the evocative images of the plantation. Also, gorgeous.
HONOURABLE MENTIONS: Argo; The Paperboy; The Turin Horse
Now, your turn. Favourite 2012 openings. Go.