DAILY | Yet More of the Best of 2012

Holy Motors

Nicole Brenez, Adrian Martin, David Phelps, Bill Mousoulis, and the staff at desistfilm have contributed lists of “what we’ve seen and what we loved this 2012.” Formats and categories vary (“Greatest Film of the Year I Haven’t Seen At All Yet”; “Films I should have seen a long time ago, but only just saw this year, and am better for it”), but once they’re tallied, Leos Carax’s Holy Motors comes out on top.

Holy Motors is #1, too, at Screen Machine. Sam Smith presents an “hour-long continuous mix of some of the best film music of 2012.”

At Independencia, the editorial staff and readers from around the world each name a film of 2012 to remember. Staff at the Film/Video Department of the Walker Art Center are looking back as well.

“Asleep in a balcony seat at the top of some golden-age movie palace, Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) is brought a telephone… Fireflies: the compound at Abbottabad aswarm with night-vision dots… ‘A lady from days gone by and a sad and melancholic crocodile,’ keeping ghostly company in a moonlit jungle…” Just a few “Moments out of time 2012” from Richard T. Jameson and Kat Murphy at MSN.

The Los Angeles TimesMark Olsen writes up the “independent film breakout stars of 2012”: Emayatzy Corinealdi, Ezra Miller, Mark Duplass, Zoe Kazan, Rashida Jones, Brit Marling, Greta Gerwig, Bart Layton, Craig Zobel, Chilean filmmakers, and a gaggle of child actors.

Hammer to Nail awards its Golden Hammer to Factory 25 founder Matt Grady and its Silver Hammer to Rick Alverson, the writer/director by their #1 film of 2012, The Comedy. The H2N list, which goes to 15, is comprised of “American narrative features produced for one million dollars or less.” Also, Robert Greene lists the “Top 25 Cinematic Nonfiction Films of 2012.”

Holy Motors is #1 at the Austin Chronicle. At the Boston Globe, Ty Burr goes for Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild, while Wesley Morris picks Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master.

Reverse Shot takes aim at the “11 Offenses of 2012.”

Nashville Scene film writers Lance Conzett, Craig D. Lindsey, Jim Ridley, Jason Shawhan and Sam Smith discuss the year that was. Twitch editors and contributors are looking back as well—before turning to their final choices for the tip of the top. The Playlist adds two more: Jessica Kiang (#1: Holy Motors) and Rodrigo Perez (#1: Jacques Audiard’s Rust and Bone).

The Loneliest Planet

Julia’s Loktev’s latest is more than the film of the year for Darren Hughes: “The Loneliest Planet might be my favorite film about marriage ever because it stages the potential destruction of Alex and Nica’s relationship as a tragedy of the highest order. How many other films can make that claim? A Woman Under the Influence? Don’t Look Now? Sunrise? But the genius of Loktev’s film is that the drama is so quietly self-contained and so rich in gestures. I don’t know much about much, but I’ve now spent exactly half of my life with the same person, and if I was overwhelmed by The Loneliest Planet it’s because I recognized in it so many of the intimate struggles of marriage—the stupid shame, petty fantasies, and fumbling reconciliations. And also, of course, the joy and pleasure. The Loneliest Planet is so good because so much—everything, really—is at stake.”

Patrick Z. McGavin on Once Upon a Time in Anatolia: Nuri Bilge Ceylan‘s “inquiry into the nature of man, structured around the search for a corpse, has a mournful, devastating cumulative power.”

Shelly Kraicer posts two lists: “The first list includes a few more than ten (it was a good year). The second list picks out the best Chinese language films I saw this year.”

Jesse Cataldo lists 50. His #1: Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb’s This Is Not a Film. Michael Hawley‘s #1 is Cristian Mungiu’s Beyond the Hills. Lisa K. Broad‘s is Holy Motors.

“Cinema is dead, my arse!” All of Roderick Heath‘s lists are alphabetical. It’s Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom for Bob Turnbull.

At GreenCine Daily, Steve Dollar highlights the year’s “Underrated Supporting Performances.”

Yesterday, the National Society of Film Critics named Amour Best Picture of the Year 2012, Michael Haneke Best Director, and Emmanuelle Riva Best Actress. The Houston Film Critics Society is going for Ben Affleck and Argo. Meantime, the Producers and Writers Guilds have both announced the nominees for their annual awards.

Lists and Awards 2012: Index. For news and tips throughout the day every day, follow @KeyframeDaily on Twitter and/or the RSS feed. Get Keyframe Daily in your inbox by signing in at

Did you like this article?
Give it a vote for a Golden Bowtie


Keyframe is always looking for contributors.

"Writer? Video Essayist? Movie Fan Extraordinaire?

Fandor is streaming on Amazon Prime

Love to discover new films? Browse our exceptional library of hand-picked cinema on the Fandor Amazon Prime Channel.