2. The Master
4. The Kid With A Bike
5. The Turin Horse
6. Once Upon A Time In Anatolia
7. The Muppets
8. The Raid
9. Silver Linings Playbook
10. Martha, Marcy, May, Marlene
What a wonderful year 2012 has been for cinema, something certainly proven when putting together a top ten list has been as difficult as this. Many films haven't made the list yet were thoroughly enjoyed such as Killer Joe and Magic Mike, two rather contrasting films featuring standout performances from Matthew McConaughey, films I long believed would make the list after saving my sanity during the summer season. Pixar's Brave and Andrew Dominik's second Brad Pitt vehicle Killing Them Softly were also both hugely impressive but fell short by their own standards and the year's offerings as a whole. The deeply moving Chilean documentary Nostalgia For The Light was just left off the list, another highlight of the year for sure.
Those left in the top 10 have been the ones that have affected me the most such as Michael Haneke's unflinching story of elderly couple Georges and Anne in Amour, or The Dardenne Brother's raw depiction of childhood neglect, The Kid With A Bike. Some films left me amazed in their ambition; The Master saw Paul Thomas Anderson further disband with narrative and his collaboration with Jonny Greenwood proving once again to be a uniquely visceral experience. Other equally inspired uses of music were Bela Tarr's final film The Turin Horse in which a single motif was used throughout to break up a despairing apocalyptic silence. The surreal use of Phil Spector's 'Be My Baby' in Tabu, Miguel Gomes' lamenting tale of love in which our relationship with memory and the cinema we digest is beautifully explored. Then of course there's the films that have been enjoyed in the purest sense of the word; the ironically removed humour and infectious songs of The Muppets, or The Raid with its still unmatched level of inspired intensity, proving there's still life left in the action genre.
Here's to 2013!