"A brief note on my poll.... There are quite a few well-received films from 2012 that I have not been able to see yet, including Les Miserables, How to Survive a Plague, Django Unchained, Amour, Promised Land, This is Not a Film and A Foreign Affair, to name but a few. I also took a few liberties with my lists. For example, Jiro Dreams of Sushi is on my overall top 10 but The Invisible War is listed as Best Documentary. Part of that is because I am a pain in the ass but also because it's my way of getting 11 films into a top ten list (which is suppose is the same as being a pain in the ass, but no matter). Ditto for Best First Feature. Were I to apply logic to my responses, since Beasts of the Southern Wild is in my top ten, then it ought to be my Best First Feature but...no. I wanted to find a place for Colin Trevorrow's wonderful little crowd pleaser, so into that slot it went.
As for trends, I am thrilled to see the success of some films with a certain 1970s style of filmmaking. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Ides of March had it last year and Argo had it this year. Thinking person's thrillers? This year also produced two of the most exciting, original and profoundly cinematic films in recent memory and they're on complete opposite ends of the spectrum in many ways. Beasts of the Southern Wild and Cloud Atlas are both incredible works of art from groups of gifted filmmakers and performers and both cause great debate among critics and moviegoers. That's the best kind of art, in my opinion.
A further note on Cloud Atlas - I can't help but marvel at this film. it probably affected my sense of wonder at going to the cinema more than any other picture this year. The courage it took to make (and fund) it and the skill with which so much of it was rendered are awe-inspiring. Yes, the false nose on Susan Sarandon was laughable and needless and the overall conceit of the film required some insensitive (Jim Sturgess in New Seoul) and awful (Doona Bae as Tilda Ewing) ethnic makeup, but as a whole, it struck me as being exactly what the inventors of movies intended. A boundary-pushing, awe-inspiring spectacle. I very much hope it becomes the classic it deserves. " -- Mark Rabinowitzfrom Paste Magazine, CNN, The Rabbi Report