by Laurie Coker
I always find this a daunting task. As a member of the Austin Film Critics Association, I get so many screeners, and so little time to watch, but I try! So here we have it – my top picks for best of and worst of for 2012. I can’t even count how many times the list has changed and morphed, and it still feels transitional and incomplete. Even order within the categories shifted over and over.
1. Silver Linings Playbook – Cooper’s best work, Lawrence shines and FINALLY – a fresh film!
2. Argo – Ben Affleck does it all and does it well!
3. Zero Dark Thrity – Bigalow does it again and WOW!
4. Sessions – passionate, moving, hopeful and inspirational
5. The Avengers – I love a well cast, intelligent comic driven action film!
6. Safety Not Guaranteed – a rich character driven delight
7. Perks of Bring a Wallflower – the little film that could and should get more attention
8. Cabin in the Woods – Goddard directs a multi-faceted horror film that captivated me
9. Lincoln – should be titled The 13th Amendment, but Day-Lewis and crew – WOW!
10. The Impossible – possibly the most stunning disaster film in a long time
* Others that deserve a mention:
The Intouchables is by far one that moved around my list and probably should be there.
Anna Karenina – Mainly because of the unique choices made by the director and the exceptional cast, costuming and creativity
Amour – Many are raving about Amour, but I don’t see why – sorry.
Flight – Quite disturbing and Washington’s performance so exceptional that I must give it a little mention, even if I wouldn’t place in to the top ten.
Best Director (I oft’ wonder if this category should line up with the above, but the more I think about it, the more I think not.)
1. David O Russell – Silver Linings Playbook
2. Ben Affleck – Argo
3. Ang Lee – Life of Pi
4. Steven Spielberg – Lincoln
5. Drew Goddard – Cabin in the Woods
1. Bradley Cooper
2. Hugh Jackman
3. John Hawkes
4. Daniel Day-Lewis
5. Joaquin Phoenix
1. Jennifer Lawrence
2. Quvenzhane Wallis
3. Naomi Watts
4. Maggie Smith – Quartet
5. Jessica Chastain
Best Supporting Actor
1. Chistoph Waltz
2. Jude Law
3. Robert DeNiro
4. Javier Bardem
5. Ezra Miller
Best Supporting Actress
1. Anne Hathaway
2. Maggie Smith – Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
3. Helen Mirren
4. Judi Dench
5. Samantha Barks
1. Rise of the Guardians
2. Wreck It Ralph
5. Madagascar 3
1. Danny Cohen – Les Misérables
2. Claudio Miranda – Life of Pi
3. Janusz Kaminski – Lincoln
4. Mihai Malaimare Jr. – The Master
5. Roger Deakins – Skyfall
1. Silver Linings Playbook – David O. Russell
2. Argo – Chris Terrio
3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
4. The Sessions – Ben Lewin
5. Les Miserables – William Nicholson
1. Moonrise Kingdom – Wes Anderson & Toman Coppola
2. The Intouchables – Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano
3. Django Unchained – Quentin Tarantino
4. Looper – Rian Johnson
5. The Intouchables – Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano
Best Original Soundtrack
1. Skyfall – Thomas Newman
2.Lincoln – John Williams
3. Anna Karenina – Dario Marianeiil – Anna Karenina
4. Argo – Alexandre Desplat
5. Moonrise Kingsom – Benjamin Brittan
Austin Film Award
2. Man on a Mission
3. Sushi A Global Catch
4. Saturday Morning Massacre
5. Trash Dance
WORST Films of 2012
1. The Watch – watch out – a real stinker of stupidity
2. Alex Cross – a good mystery novel series turns out not-so mysteriously bad
3. Battleship – Oh NO, they sunk this battleship
4. That’s My Boy – that’s so stupid
5. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 – didn’t like the others either
6. Wrath of the Titans – feel the wrath of this bomb
7. Taken 2 – should never have been given
8. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter – seriously – who thought this was a good idea?!
9. The Campaign – I vote to burn all prints
10. The Dictator – nothing good here – stupidly idiotic!
—I apparently dodged the bullet – missing several real stinkers this year, like ATM, Act of Valor, A Thousand Words, Gone and Paranormal Activity 4 – lucky me! But I still saw plenty as far as I am concerned!