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The best of 2012: film
The Time Out film team reflect on the movies of the past 12 months
As 2012 draws to a close, Time Out’s film critics offer up their five favourite films of the year, plus their least favourite movie, a film hero, a favourite scene and a quick look ahead to 2013.
It’s been a very strong year for international cinema, and our critics’ lists reflect that, with the French-Austrian co-production ‘Amour’, Turkish cop drama ‘Once Upon a Time in Anatolia’, American indie ‘The Master’, Portuguese oddity ‘Tabu’ and homegrown Olympic tie-in documentary ‘London: The Modern Babylon’ proving the most popular overall.
Click on the thumbnails below to see each critic’s top five films – and one stinker.
Dave Calhoun's best films of 2012
Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s long, dark night of the soul buries deep into what it means to be alive – and dead – as a group of policemen, soldiers, a doctor and others search for a buried body in rural Turkey.
Michael Haneke’s portrait of an elderly married couple dealing with illness and mortality is both devastating and wise. The performances from Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva are for the ages.
Right place, right time: Julien Temple released this moving, energetic portrait of London just as the Olympic spirit took over. It reminds us what a beautiful, chaotic, ever-changing, always-renewing, glorious mess this city is.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s film has some fascinating things to say about early Scientology, but its strange heart is the coming together of two extraordinary characters, played by Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Long, bleak and repetitive – but also utterly mesmerising: Hungarian filmmaker Bela Tarr gives us six days in the life of a father and daughter living in rural drudgery in late nineteenth-century Hungary. It feels like the end of the world – and the end of cinema – when the light finally goes out.
Dave Calhoun's worst film of 2012
Madonna’s film about 1930s celeb divorcee Wallis Simpson and a modern woman obsessed with her was utter nonsense born of another planet.