In alphabetical order, these are the moments in film in 2012 that moved me greatly. Here are a few words about them.
There are SPOILERS — fair warning.
I can’t really remember a more powerful or memorable moment in a film than Jean-Louis Trintignant finding a pigeon in his apartment. With his beloved, dying wife all but gone, the pigeon signifies letting go. It is the thing about life we can’t keep to ourselves because it is always meant for another place. A pigeon must fly and people, sad to say, must eventually die. What Amour means to me is nothing less than the true meaning of life. It is all in who we cling to and what we get out of our time here. Maybe that in itself is selfish. Maybe we owe it to everyone else in our lives and to life itself to hang on to the bitter end, no matter how miserable we may become. Those aren’t easy questions to answer and Amour doesn’t try to answer them. It simply shows the story of a life in decay. All good things must, sooner or later, fly away.
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Hushpuppy has seen a lot such a short time but not everything she sees is meant to be taken literally, as so many critics decided to do. The film is full of breathtaking dazzlers, like when we see the mother for the first time and just walking by the stove sets the burners aflame. But the strongest moment of the film the one that literally took the breath out of my chest when I saw it in Cannes was the end, when the beasts bowed down to Hushpuppy and declared her queen. This was the true spirit of Where the Wild Things Are, the true spirit of a child’s imagination, the freedom of storytelling, the glorious, heart-stopping beauty of artistic courage. How do you color the magic of a place? How to capture who people are? How do you make a movie that really wants to be poetry? You do it by letting go of what other people might think. And so we bow down to Hushpuppy and to all other things that command the spirit of the wild.