Kenneth Turan picks the Best Films of 2012

1. Amour

And then in alphabetical order:

Argo
The Dark Knight Rises
Footnote
The Gatekeepers + The Law In These Parts
Lincoln
Rust and Bone
Silver Linings Playbook
Middle of Nowhere + Robot & Frank + Safety Not Guaranteed
Zero Dark Thirty
–Special pick – The Deep Blue SeaD

Details at the LATimes

(thanks Marshall)

19 Comments on this Post

  1. Thanks, Ken. We who still think TDKR was all that, thank you lots. Even if 3 of your choices were LA-only gigs, perhaps…

  2. Yeah, if a film only shows in LA, it must be shit.

  3. His last few number 1s have been The Artist, The Social Network, The Hurt Locker and Slumbdog…

    So Amour has a 75% chance of winning BP at the Oscars, and 100% chance of PaulH spontaneously combusting.

  4. more and more top ten lists with no Les Miz

  5. Ah, more ties. I know it sounds like nit-picking, but go with your gut and make a top ten, not a top thirteen.

  6. Danemychal

    Sasha pointed out on Twitter that Turan has had the BP winner in his list since 2007.

  7. Incremental Jones

    It will be Argo for Best Picture. Why? Because the Best Picture rarely doesn’t align with Best Director and it is most likely Affleck to win Best Director. Why? Because he is an actor and there are more actors in the academy than any other branch and they love to vote for one their own who are nominated for something other than acting, like directing, writing (Good Will Hunting, Sense and Sensibility) or songwriting (Streisand “Evergreen,” – Carradine, “I’m easy.”)

    Only four times in the past 35 years has an actor nominated for Best Director not won, Warren Beatty (Heaven Can Wait), George Clooney (Goodnight and Good Luck), Roberto Benigni (Life is Beautiful), and Tim Robbins (Dead Man Walking), but there were extenuating circumstances in each case.

    Beatty only Co-Directed with Buck Henry and the film was completely snubbed.
    Robbins lost to another actor! Mel Gibson.
    Clooney and Benigni won acting Oscars in their respective years.

    So, in the past 35 years we’re talking winners like Woody Allen, Robert Redford, Richard Attenborough, Warren Beatty, Kevin Costner, Clint Eastwood, Mel Gibson, and Ron Howard. And all those Directing wins also won Best Picture. We can even stretch it and throw in Directors who have done acting like Sydney Pollack (Out of Africa) and Roman Polanski (The Pianist).

    Once an actor wins they may get nominated again (Woody Allen) but not win a second directing Oscar, with the exception of Eastwood who has two. It’s possible the voters will count Affleck’s writing Oscar against him, but if not, Oscar History and actors’ prejudice are on his side.

  8. Danemychal

    You can use special arguments to make a case for or against any of the contenders though. You had me hooked for a little bit but then you tossed in too many rules and qualifiers that the Academy members wouldn’t bother to consider (like directors who have acted and number of times they’ve won — both factors are a stretch). The bottom line is: do they like the movie and the people they are voting for? Argo has a decent case; it has hit all the marks it needs to so far. But it’s Lincoln out in front now. I really can’t wait for the first awards shows to actually start!

  9. Incremental Jones

    @Danemychal You can dismiss the qualifiers to dismiss my argument but even without them, Actors who direct have won 2/3 of the time.

  10. Danemychal

    Again, that was the main point in your argument and I find it compelling. But it has the 1/3 exception just like anything else we can make a case for also has exceptions.

    Personally, I would love a Lincoln/Argo split but it never pays off to try to predict or expect those.

  11. I think we’ve just stumbled onto something the Academy should do.

    Okay when they have to pick their 5 for their ballot, they should list their top 20 movies of the year. If they can’t think of 20, they can fill in with Warner Bros. titles. Then take that list and put it in alphabetical order. I think that’s really the best way to handle it.

  12. Bball_Jake

    The Dark Knight Rises is showing up on quite a few top ten list. It makes me feel like im not the only one who loves the movie. TDKR all the way!

  13. Sound good, Antoinette, but let’s add one more rule:

    If they can’t name 20, their ballot goes in the dumper.

  14. mileshigh

    What an interesting combination: Middle of Nowhere + Robot & Frank + Safety Not Guaranteed

    Safety is underrepresented on critics list. Glad its getting love here!

  15. i am sol glad TDKR is still up there…..

  16. Betsy Sharkey top 10 (LA Times):

    Life of Pi
    Django Unchained/Lincoln
    Zero Dark Thirty
    Argo
    Beasts of the Southern Wild / Moonrise Kingdom
    Skyfall
    Silver Linings Playbook
    Detropia
    The Impossible
    Frankenweenie

  17. Thanks mecid — but it’s damned hard to find anything like an organized list in Bestsy Sharkey’s year-end wrap-up.

    The headline says The Master “makes the cut” — but it’s not among the 12 films featured in the accompanying slide-show. Lincoln ties with Django for #2 in the slide-show but she mentions neither of them in writing anywhere in her piece. (wtf?)

    I do think you’re right about the list, but that’s the messiest way to name the year’s best we’ve seen from any critic so far this year.

  18. It’s a terrific year for movies, ten isn’t enough or thirteen. Kenneth should’ve made a top 25 at least, cut out the ties. I’ve not seen a majority of the potential Oscar nominees yet and could still make a good top 50 of 2012 list. The more I see that I think are excellent, the more I will change my list into a great top 50.

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