Film and Television Features

The Films Of 2012

Just when you thought it was safe to read a pop culture website again, it's another one of those features that attempts to sum-up the past year in list-based form. For the first time ever, the No Ripcord film section has decided to follow its music-focused sibling in putting together a look back over the past year.

Admittedly, the fact that our fairly modest, yet passionate, group of writers have very diverse tastes, and are spread out on both sides of the Atlantic, meant that attempting to put together a single, authoritative group list wasn't really practical, so instead each contributor has submitted a list of their top 5 films of the year, and explanations as to why, along with several other personal highlights - or lowlights - of the year.

That's about enough of the preamble, on with the lists! 



Angel Aguilar


1. Lincoln

This is Steven Spielberg’s best since Saving Private Ryan. He leaves aside his patterned directorial flourishes to focus on the personal aspects of Lincoln’s life and the broader political context of Civil War times. He relies here on an elegant, rigorously sourced screenplay written by Tony Kushner that brims with great lines and in-depth characterizations. Daniel Day-Lewis gives a well-rounded, nuanced portrait of a president besieged by the strains of war. He is both a wily politician and a man of vision that sees the urgency of settling the issue of slavery before the war ends and the Southern states return to the Union. With so much at stake, the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment becomes a nail-biting climax. 


2. Life Of Pi

Director Ang Lee succeeded were others failed. The novel’s loose trajectory was a tough nut crack for other filmmakers, which involved animals, children, and tough logistics. The gist of the story is the spiritual search of its main character, and Lee never loses this thread. CGI effects are used extensively and the shipwreck is a masterful set piece, but they aren’t there just to dazzle us. Pi is a storyteller, and we are privy to his thoughts, dreams, and visions, all intrinsic to his tale. Like Pi, Lee is not interested in telling a straight story, trusting that storytelling trickery will reveal an emotional truth.


3. The Kid With A Bike

This movie won the 2011 Grand Prix at Cannes but had its North American debut in March 2012, a long wait for fans of Jan-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. In a world where cinemas are packed with superheroes, they remain loyal to the Neo-realist style of De Sica. Thus, there’s a clear avoidance of hokey sentimentality in this tale of a boy abandoned by his father. They don’t sweeten the troubled character of Cyril (Thomas Doret), nor they make a saint of Samantha (Cécile de France), the hairdresser who fosters for him. What they make evident is the need to save children from the clutches of a violent world. 


4. Moonrise Kingdom

This diorama of a movie has originality and heart. By now, the elements of Wes Anderson’s style are easily recognized: the painstaking set designs, the strict proscenium framing, the odd, unhinged characters. This time the story suits the style, and Anderson has a charmer in this tale of Suzy and Sam, two preteens who fall in love and make a pact to look for adventure in the wilderness. Their disappearance disrupts the peaceful existence of their island community, but there’s an irony there. The adults live dour, unfulfilled lives, but the children have already found what they’re looking for in each other.


5. Argo

Ben Affleck’s third stab at directing takes him out the comfort zone of Boston.His sure-footed direction finds suspense and humor in this true tale of unremarkable folks caught in a life-or-death situation. In 1979, as militants storm the U.S. Embassy in Iran, six American diplomats escape and find refuge in the home of the Canadian ambassador. Tony Mendez, a CIA officer played by Affleck, is in charge of the covert operation to help them escape, but the only way to pull this off is having them pose as a Canadian film crew scouting for locations. The ruse is far from perfect, and the story takes some hair-raising turns that will have you on the edge of your seat. 


Worst film: Ghost Rider Spirit Of Vengeance. Nicolas Cage continues his downward spiral.


Biggest disappointment: Prometheus. Not a bad movie, but those looking for Alien thrills won’t find them here.


Most noble failure: Cloud Atlas. The multiple plots never quite mesh into a coherent vision, and the actors’ make up looks theatrical.


Most overrated film: Breaking Dawn 2 and the whole Twilight saga. Wooden plots and wooden performances, a lifeless production that seems to have been helmed by vampire victims.


Best scene: Found in Lincoln. After the Thirteenth Amendment is passed, Thaddeus Stevens (Tommy Lee Jones) returns home. 



Forrest Cardamenis

1. Amour

2. Holy Motors

3. Zero Dark Thirty

4. Once Upon A Time In Anatolia

5. Take This Waltz


Biggest disappointment: Hard to pick between The Dark Knight Rises and Les Misérables.


Most noble failure: Cloud Atlas, but Cosmopolis would win this category any other year.


Most overrated: Looper. There is not enough room here to express my hate for Looper.


Worst film: The Paperboy or Looper


Most underrated: Hitchcock isn’t a great movie, but the hate for it is vaguely hagiographic.


Most underseen/overlooked: Starlet just missed my top 5. It grossed around $70,000.


Deserves a mention but isn’t technically 2012: Sally Potter’s Ginger And Rosa would rank as my #3 this year, but is not receiving a release until 2013 (it played at several festivals). Something In The Air, Like Someone In Love, and the shockingly experimental documentary Leviathan were also great festival 2012 films that will be released in 2013.



Andrew Ciraulo


1.The Master

Faith is an extremely powerful force to reckon with. People with an intense, overwhelming sense of faith will seemingly do just about anything to protect and substantiate their beliefs. Faith can turn a logical human-being into a raving fanatic. Likewise, it can transform a temperamental, unreasonable man into a docile, obedient servant of “God.” Typically, this absence of reason makes the dynamic between religious leaders and followers not at all dissimilar from a master and his slave. Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master is precisely about this; the dynamic between leaders and followers, people with questions and people with answers. With compelling performances from Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman, fantastic directing, and a compelling script, The Master is easily the best film I’ve seen this year.



Lincoln is a tough cookie to crack. No, it’s not a traditional biopic, nor is it at all a gritty civil war movie. What is it? I’m still not quite sure, but I like it. If you’re a history buff like myself, there is plenty here to love -- mostly accurate portrayals of some key figures of the Civil War (namely Mr. Lincoln himself), some visceral moments that capture the brutality of the war, and an honest take on congress’s struggle with the 13th Amendment. While the film does seem a bit overlong, it never really inhibited my overall enjoyment. This is mostly attributed to some stellar performances from Daniel Day-Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones, and Sally Field -- who take what is at times a cheesy script, and turn it into something truly compelling. Overall, was Lincoln the best film this year? No. But did I enjoy the hell out of it? I’d say so.


3.Moonrise Kingdom

Moonrise Kingdom oozes every element that comprises a typical Wes Anderson movie. 1960s’ back drop? Check. A quirky, yet charming main character? You got it. A set of clueless supporting characters? Oh yeah. Meticulously sequenced soundtrack? You bet! While the presence of these elements does create a sense of familiarity, it does not at all make the film predictable. Moonrise Kingdom is equal parts childlike wonder and depressing adult realism, offering snippets of young love and kid-conflict along with depressing adult issues like failed marriages, middle-aged loneliness, and isolation. While it’s definitely not Anderson’s best, it’s still a damn good film.


4.Wreck-It Ralph

Ok, I know what you’re thinking, “A list with The Master next to Wreck-It Ralph? You gotta be kidding?” Well, believe it. Wreck-It Ralph was honestly one of the best films to come out this year. It’s essentially a love letter to nerdy, video game-loving dweebs like myself -- kids who at one time (and still do) spent more time indoors, behind a game console, than playing outside and socializing with other children. I mean seriously, what could possibly be better than seeing Bowser, Zangief, and M. Bison sitting together at what is fundamentally the video game equivalent of “Alcoholics Anonymous?” But what’s even better than any niche gamer reference is the film’s ability to communicate to multiple generations of video game fans. Upon exiting the theater, I saw the exact same expression of childlike joy on forty year-old men, as were on seven year-old girls. Now if that isn’t something special, I don’t know what is. 


5.The Hobbit

As many have pointed out, this movie is not Lord Of The Rings. My response: Did you really expect it to be? However, while I do agree that there is an immense tonal shift between this movie and the original trilogy, I don’t think there is a whole lot different or “lesser” here than in any of the previous films. Like the originals, The Hobbit has a stellar cast of supporting actors -- many being the same people who made the first three great! Ian McKellan, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, and Cate Blanchett return to the series with performances that are just as unique and nuanced as ever. Even newcomers Martin Freeman (Bilbo) and Richard Armitage (Thorin) manage to hold their own and, in Freeman’s case, provide a truly refreshing and masterful rendition of a familiar character. The only department that this movie was truly lacking in were the CGI effects. Honestly, I really missed the practical, make-up based effects of the original trilogy. It provided a level of grit and realism that was sorely missed in this film. Overall, The Hobbit is a nice add-on to the original movies that I’m sure I’ll grow to love with each subsequent viewing.


Best superhero movie: The Avengers- While there were plenty of great comic book movies to come out this year, The Avengers was the only one that truly felt like an all-out comic book nerd-gasm. Being predominantly raised on comics since I was a young boy, this is really all I ever wanted from a film adaptation. While many will argue in favor of nitty-gritty realism or faithful recreations of time-tested story arcs, I honestly prefer The Avengers’ no-holds-bar, kitchen sink approach. There was even a brief instance during the climactic final battle where I could feel myself transporting back to my childhood regiment of ‘90s Saturday-morning marvel cartoons. That sort of experience is truly priceless.


Best horror movie: The Cabin In The Woods- ‘Horror’ is not always the most respected or artistically revered film genre -- sometimes rightfully so. But often times critics and fans alike seem to forget what horror movies are really all about -- fun! Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard are one of the few writing teams that have an acute understanding of what elements make horror movies fun and enjoyable. The Cabin In The Woods exploits typical horror mythos, but with a truly inspired and nuanced twist. The film touches upon just about every great horror film, pulling familiar elements from classics like The Evil Dead, Friday The 13th, and Dawn Of The Dead, but never feels redundant or completely derivative. It’s a wonderful exercise in metafiction, acknowledging all of its cliches and repetition, but doing so out of respect and admiration for the genre itself. And while there are plenty of laughs to be had, the film never completely enters into the realm of parody, rather opting to situate itself right on the dividing line between black comedy and twisted fantasy.



Mark Davison


1. Berberian Sound Studio

While I saw plenty of good films in 2012, unlike other recent years I didn’t see a film that I fell completely head-over-heels in love with; even the best films had their flaws. In Berberian Sound Studio’s case it was the fact that the Lynchian games of the last third, although fun, suggested that Peter Strickland had struggled to come up with a proper ending. But as the rest of the film was pretty much immaculate – stylish, witty, creepy, genuinely original and boasting both a great performance from the ever-reliable Toby Jones and some beautiful sound design work (including a great score from Broadcast; it’s a worthy send-off if it does sadly prove to be their final work) it was still the best hour and a half I spent in a cinema this year.

2. Prometheus

I’m very much used to my opinions of the Alien franchise being fairly unpopular – the original sits firmly in my ‘top ten films of all time’ list, and yet, for me, the sequel ignores everything that made Scott’s film successful in favour of a bloatedness that soon gets boring (I’m fairly indifferent to the other two, and refuse to acknowledge the …Versus Predator debacles) – however, I was still taken aback by the sheer amount of outrage Prometheus invoked, when I had a fantastic time on the multiple occasions that I saw it. Of course it isn’t flawless, but then what horror film or blockbuster doesn’t resort to having their characters occasionally make poor decisions or spout the occasional bit of exposition to hurry things along (I was far more bothered by the plot-holes in the more widely-praised The Dark Knight Rises, personally), and none of these took away from the film’s beautiful design, intriguing ideas or palpable atmosphere. And, considering it was so clearly a warning against the arrogance of searching for answers that we’re unable to handle, the complaints that it left too much unexplained seemed somewhat redundant.


3. Damsels In Distress

I went into Damsels In Distress with fairly low expectations; while I’m familiar with Whit Stillman’s work, I wasn’t that bothered about the lengthy gap in his career (plus I’d seen some of the vitriolic write-ups the film had received after its surprise screening at last year’s London Film Festival). Really, I only went to see this as it was the only thing on at the time, and yet I came out with a definite smile on my face and spring in my step (I might have even attempted a sneaky Sambola on the way home). Yes, the over-privileged and under-informed protagonists could have been a bit annoying, if you took them at face value, but if viewed with a bemused benevolence, which surely Stillman was intending, then their naivety was genuinely charming. It’s a rare sort of comedy that can take repeated satirical digs at its targets and still be filled with warmth and good grace.


4. Magic Mike

While I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t enjoy looking at the assortment of physiques on display, what really endeared me to Magic Mike was that, behind all the ‘girls-night-out’ marketing, was a small, sensitively played, very funny and emotionally affecting indie film that presented a bunch of characters who all seemed realistic, and more crucially, interesting.


5. Holy Motors

I have absolutely no idea what Holy Motors was about, but then I’d be surprised if anyone did – and it’s not like such trivialities like ‘a discernable plot’ were necessary when the end result was so inventively entertaining. My best theory is that it’s a reaction to the rise of digital cinema, which if true (and I accept that it probably isn’t) makes it all the more admirable that Leos Carax managed to get so many people (not least a few genuine international stars) involved in its making. Plus it was the first film since Amelie to make playing the accordion seem genuinely cool.


Worst Film: While Mike Newell’s ham-fisted take on Great Expectations marked the first time that I’ve ever walked out of a film before the end (I think), Friends With Kids was truly the most loathsome film I saw this year. At the risk of contradicting my Damsels In Distress defence, I found it impossible to sympathise with any of its incredibly spoilt and whiny characters (if they can really be referred to as such) and – SORT OF SPOILER ALERT, BUT NOT REALLY AS THERE WAS NOTHING MUCH TO SPOIL – ending a rom-com with the line ‘I want to fuck the shit out of you’ (or something along those lines) isn’t clever, or witty, or honest, but just really quite crass. 


Biggest Disappointment: That the digital revolution hasn’t delivered the more reliable or diverse cinema experience that we were promised; I’ve seen more faulty digital projections this year than I ever remember having with 35mm, and art, foreign language and indie film screenings remain as thin on the ground as ever, unfortunately (which might explain the slightly populist bent to my top 5).


Best Scene: As a whole Sightseers was a bit too uncomfortable for me to love (which, to be fair, was the point), but taken in isolation many of its scenes were absolute comic masterpieces. My particular favourite being the trip to the Cumberland Pencil Museum, as I do love a good sight-gag.



Joe Gastineau


1. Searching For Sugar Man

An absorbing account of the mystery surrounding forgotten 70s folk singer Rodriguez. Massive in South Africa, but not even a nobody in his native US. Two South African fans attempt to solve rock's most intriguing 'whatever happened to' - with truly unbelievable results.


2. 21 Jump Street

It was supposed to be the year of Taylor Kitsch. It turned out to be the year of Channing Tatum, kick-started by this - without doubt the funniest film of the year.


3. Moonrise Kingdom

I'd grown pretty tired of Wes Anderson's live action films to be honest, so I was relieved to have my faith restored by this impossible-to-hate slice of dib dib dob dobbery. Made me pine for a coonskin cap of my very own.


4. The Imposter

A startling documentary, framed like a slick Hollywood thriller. Taut as all hell.


5. Looper

Rian Johnson's time-traveling hitman caper was a welcome return to form after the glorious mess that was The Brothers Bloom. Spent most of the film distracted by Joseph Gordon Levitt's new nose, which should get a best support actor nod if there's any justice.


6. The Master

Because I have to pick this, right?


Worst film: Either Seth MacFarlane's truly horrible Ted or the well-intentioned, but utterly shit Red Tails.


Still can't make up my mind about: Beasts Of The Southern Wild. It's either a beautiful, truly unique piece of art, or aimless, pretentious wank. I'm on the fence.



Grant Phipps


1. Jiro Dreams of Sushi

"What defines deliciousness?" asks eighty-five-year-old Jiro Ono, owner and executive sushi chef at Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo, Japan. The film's imagery, restaurant staff, and foodies answer this enticing question many times over with low-angled close-ups of freshly prepared sushi and step-by-step selection of the finest ingredients available at Tsukiji Fish Market and beyond. Jiro Dreams of Sushi director David Gelb's tantalizing, eloquent, and sincere Ozu-like documentary tours the inner and outer lives of those responsible for the most well-reviewed sushi restaurant in the world, where reservations can be required months in advance. Delicately featuring the art of sushi preparation, the film asserts its legitimacy to skeptics or those who have previously avoided uncooked foods. In fact, to achieve the near-mythic status of 'shokunin' (or artisan), those who train under Jiro must perfect a routine and respond well to criticism. Eldest son Yoshikazu is most heavily scrutinized under his father's eyes, as he is heir to the restaurant after Jiro's passing. The predominant score by Philip Glass may seem unusual for a film on native Japanese cuisine, but Glass' music, like Jiro's meals, "culminates in effect from a series of repetitions," writes Gelb.


2. Indie Game: The Movie

Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky's well-made and personal film about three teams of independent game developers is engrossing and, dare I say, highly replayable. Its stars - Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes, who created the breakout platformer hit Super Meat Boy in 2010; Phil Fish, who, at time of filming, was in developmental stages of 2012's two-dimensionally clever puzzle/platformer sensation Fez; and guru Jonathan Blow, creator of 2008's Braid, another highly regarded puzzle/platformer with time-manipulation mechanics - may have different approaches, but the documentary weaves a sense of community. For those unfamiliar with indie game origins, Indie Game: The Movie is first introduced with a six-minute trailer-type sequence that leads into McMillen's life in Santa Cruz, California. His history of making Flash games is interesting as a standalone segment, but the directors explore the inspirations behind them, particularly with Aether. Tension escalates when Phil Fish returns to the screen for a preliminary showing of Fez at Penny Arcade Expo in Boston, Massachusetts. If one thing is clear by its end, the documentary inspires prospective developers and secures the status of digital game distribution through channels like Xbox Live Arcade.


3. The Waiting Room

This cinéma vérité documentary from Peter Nicks, tackled as an ambitious storytelling project, effectively relays the hectic twenty-four-hour trials at Highland Hospital's strained ER in Oakland, California. For maximum urgency and attention to the detail of the moment, Nicks devised the film without talking heads, titles, narration, or statistical intertitles. Even the music and political diversions are minimal. Collectively, The Waiting Room serves to provide a natural voice for those who have been lost in the social policy conversation in the United States, the only industrialized nation currently without universal healthcare (though this is soon to change). The devoted but burdened doctors and nursing assistants tend to the overstuffed waiting area with a 'take a number' system, which peaks with the film's potent dichotomy- several of those anticipating treatment are not in the ER for traumatic emergencies but rather primary care that a standard physician would normally administer. While this immense anxiety persists, a civility remains and poignant stories linger, creating the perfect statement for reform without any intrusive dictation.


4. The Dark Knight Rises

In the final act of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, Christian Bale plays Howard Hughes... I mean, an aged and reclusive Bruce Wayne holed up in his mansion before coming out of retirement as Batman to confront new but familiar masked nemesis Bane (a brutal Tom Hardy) and the seemingly endless mounting terror in his beloved Gotham City. The film is perpetually tense but not particularly taut with an overbearing Hans Zimmer score and two films worth of characters, including voluptuous vigilante/femme fatale Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), but it rarely matters in Nolan's intelligent, brooding vision. The Dark Knight Rises is shadowed by themes of pain, loss, and idolatry, as the director suggests the dangers of totalitarianism and effectively manipulates the established Batman lore between man and myth. Whether mano-a-mano or a citywide skirmish, scenes involving the clash between Batman and Bane are persuasively momentous.


5. Bernie

Carthage, Texas, is painted as "life behind the pine curtain... where the South begins" within the first ten minutes of Bernie. Based on the true story of Hawthorn assistant funeral director Bernie Tiede (played by Jack Black) in the mid-1990s, the film portrays a man capable of both altruistic good in his closely knit community and committing the ultimate mortal, Christian sin of murder. Director Richard Linklater, who attended Tiede's actual trial, brings a unique comical eye to the film's scenario by fusing documentary elements with those of larger-than-life satire. Like many films before it, especially Errol Morris' Tabloid (2010), the film's sociological commentary examines versions of the truth and perception. Bernie's beloved reputation in the town won him so much favor that no jury was believed to convict him, which is convincingly argued, punctuated, and hyperbolized by the film's rotating cast of gossips, who are both residents of Carthage or small-town Texas non-actors.


Most Noble Failure: Prometheus - Ridley Scott's secret but not-so-secret prequel to Alien is essentially one long teaser-trailer or a set up to a more engaging film. While it often competently ruminates on humankind, evolution, morality, and mythology, it relies upon far too many clear-cut conventionalities and structural similarities to former films in the same universe. Unfortunately, this is further exacerbated by the stereotypical villain bent on immortality, which distracts audiences from the film's natural philosophical intrigue. Alien masterfully achieved psychological dread through confinement and silence in the sci-fi/horror genre; instead, Prometheus often feels scattered and restless, punctuated by a hopelessly bland orchestral score and resplendent light shows. (Admittedly, the descent of fiery wreckage in the final action sequence is impressive). Protagonist Doctor Elizabeth Shaw tries to hold it all together, torn between her faith in a supreme being and progressive scientific discoveries; but, like the film itself, she is caught on the cusp in a frustratingly irresolute state.



Alan Shulman


1. The Master

There’s so much to take away from this, yet another destined to be classic film by Paul Thomas Anderson, that it’s hard to sum up what makes it so special. It will leave the thoughtful viewer pondering whether we sad little humans have a primal need to be told what to do and when to do it, whether we created our gods to impose order on ourselves, or whether we can successfully live with the freedom we claim is our, ironically, God-given right. But the thing that stays with me more than anything is Joaquin Phoenix’s astounding performance, which deserves the over-used characterization “brave”. Anyone who can steal the viewer’s attention from Phillip Seymour Hoffman needs a place in the pantheon of great actors.


2. Lincoln

We are prepared for so much to go wrong in this profile of the man who fought a war to end all wars in North America (hopefully) that we are filled with a glorious sense of relief as we leave the theater, when nearly everything has gone so wonderfully right. Again, the film is anchored by a remarkable performance by Daniel Day-Lewis, who breathes life into our most mythic of Presidents. The supporting cast is uniformly delightful and Tony Kushner’s words are a feast for the ears. Sure, I’m writing in old school clichés, but this is one of those great films in the traditional vein that makes it all seem appropriate.


3. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

This is a mysterious, hypnotic trip through the long dark night of the soul, ostensibly to seek a buried body in a remote landscape. But ultimately the search reveals more about the searchers, who peer into the darkness and see themselves reflected back. It is a meditation on the strangeness of human nature, and while its deliberate pace and lack of forward momentum won’t be for everyone, those with hardier attention spans will be rewarded with a thought provoking experience.


4. Moonrise Kingdom

There are certain movies in the history of film that capture the spirit of adolescence so perfectly that, watching them, we are transported back to that most exciting, and troubled time in our lives. Wes Anderson’s latest, following two teenagers running away from it all, stands alongside 400 Blows, Stand By Me and other classics of the genre. He doubles down on his formalist approach, which evokes pathos in a way similar to the irony of the neo classicists from the early 20th century. Haters hate Wes, keep up the good work.


5. Oslo, August 31

The saddest thing about this film, a story about a recovering drug addict who leaves a drug treatment center to interview for a job and meet old friends in Oslo, is watching the desperate Anders as he tries to enjoy all the things that life gives him, but proving himself incapable at every turn. We want to reach out, as one character does, and tell him that life is good, you have friends that love you despite your past, you have a chance at a new life, others take comfort in your warmth and decency. But Anders can’t listen, as his depression colors everything. The tragedy is he realizes this, can’t help it, and so our hearts break along with his.


Best performance: The obvious choice is probably Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln, and while I found that everything I’d hoped it would be, a sure-fire winner in any other year, I can’t shake the fearless, all-consuming horror-show of Joaquin Phoenix’s Freddie Quell in The Master. While some may have found it too mannered, relying on tics and limps, those folks weren’t paying attention. Phoenix became Quell from the inside out and never made you doubt you were seeing a wholly different person. I frankly didn’t know he had it in him, but I’m a true believer – even if he’s the same schmuck that made that I’m Still Here disaster.


Best scene: While I could easily go with a dozen scenes from The Master, such as the final meeting between Dodd and Quell in London, which pulled handily at my guts, I’ll give some love to Lincoln, in the scene where he visits his aides in the middle of the night and decides to pardon a 16 year old condemned to hang. He says if every 16 year old was hanged for animal cruelty there’d be none left, then pauses for a long beat, ruminating on the son he lost. Only at 3am, in the dark, can the leader of a country at war afford a moment of vulnerability.


Biggest surprise: Bobcat Goldthwait’s God Bless America really knocked me for a loop when I accidentally stumbled upon it in a hotel, somewhere in this fading republic. It’s disconcerting when you find yourself agreeing with every word out of the mouth of a serial killer, but goddamnit he’s right! People should be more polite and considerate, and the rampant narcissism of our reality/social-network culture has got to stop! It was sadly inevitable that the real world would shit on Goldthwait’s point with a tragedy in Connecticut, but his targets are worthy of disdain, even if his methods are a little unsavory.



So, that's your lot. But before we draw a line under 2012 completely, how was your year in film? Were your best (or worst) of the year mentioned, or did they escape our attention completely? Let us know in the Disqus box below. Or, why not have a go at filling out our Film Writer Application Form? As we're planning to expand the section in the New Year we'd love to hear from you. 

Thanks for reading, and here's to a happy, film-filled 2013!