Well, this is awkward.
As much as I’ll joke that I am terrible at blogging (just look at how rocky things have been here since May) I don’t think I’m usually that egregious in my incompetence. And, yet, here we are It was only an incidental look through my blog landing me on this page which made me realise that I hadn’t completed my 2012 in review shenanigans.
Should I bother posting my final two pieces on 2012 when people are already writing about 2014 films they’re anticipating? After cajoling from Amir, I guess I should bother. So, here goes.
All previous citations HERE (traditional Osary-y awards and made-up ones).
My final category before my top ten is usually my ballot of best endings. Looking back over the past few years my favourite endings would go like this:
2011: Take Shelter (Runner-Up: Certified Copy)
2010: The Ghost Writer (Runner-Up: Rabbit Hole)
2009: Cheri (Runner-Up: Nine)
2008: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Runner-Up: Revolutionary Road)
What am I looking for in an ending? Something that moves, sticks with me or sums up the film in its own way. This year's ending was marked with much sadness, which makes for an especially melancholy year, which 2012 was anyhow.
"Spoilers" ahead, I guess. Probably.
Clicking images take you to reviews where available.
Damsels in Distress directed by Greta Gerwig, Adam BrodyAnaleigh TiptonMegalyn Echikunwoke
The Deep Blue Sea directed by Terence Davies with Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston, Simon Russell Beale, Ann Mitchell
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia: directed Nuri Bilge Ceylan with Muhammet Uzuner, Cemal Yılmaz Erdoğan, Taner Birsel, Ahmet Mümtaz Taylan
Who suffers the most in these situations, the film asked earlier? It’s the children. Does that bit of earth in the lungs mean something, it must have. I’d suggest maybe someone else killed him, the sobbing murderer who can’t reveal the paternity of his child might be covering for someone. And, yet, the who is not as important as the sad truth that sometimes the truth is secondary to other things. Life goes on either way…
Oslo, August 31st: directed by Joachim Trier with Anders Danielsen Lie, Hans Olav Brenner
From my review: “Chalk it up to my mood during the film, general naiveté and or an investment in the character but even as Anders entire disposition is marked by an ennui developing into despair I gasped when he takes out that syringe at the close. Because, solemnity and all, the film is not dour. The photography is more bright than dull, the feeling of life in the city spills over and I was so caught up in the possibility of going home again, I was not quite ready to realise that....sometimes you cannot.[….] At its end when Anders journey is complete we return to those shots of various parts of the city, it’s still the same even without Anders. And Trier’s point seems clear: even as Anders journey is one of (relative) significance there is a world that continues without him.”
The Turin Horse: directed by Béla Tarr with János Derzsi, Erika Bók
Three cheers for bleakness. I did not love The Turin Horse as much as the other four films here, but I don’t think it cares that I don’t. Its effects is felt either way. It’s the prototypical example of the futility of human existence to the point that I’d be surprised if you didn’t spend some time after it musing on your mortality. All the aspects of the film, that photography with the A+ use of darkness the howling winds and the terrifying mood even though it’s just a shot of two people in a room. What does it all boil down to? Raging even in the realisation that raging against our fate is pointless? “Light the lamps,” the man instructs his daughter. And then even he loses his purpose. “Fuck it.” How’s that for bleakness.
FINALISTS: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, by the time we’d reached the end I’d been so headily distracted by the splendour around I’d forgotten Smaug. And then he opened his eyes; Holy Motors, for its completely zany and yet elucidating ending conversation; Killing Them Softly, for much but specifically Pitt’s gameness in delivering that monologue and Dominik’s trust in the audience for ending it just there; Tabu, for the goodbye letter and the end of the affair in the saddest way
HONOURABLE MENTIONS: Anna Karenina; The Impossible; Looper; The Paperboy; Take This Waltz; Zero Dark Thirty
So, tomorrow, I'll give you a list of my top ten films. But, for now, let's talk about 2012 endings. Which were your favourite?