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There are still a couple of movies scheduled for release this year, but I don’t hold very high expectations. However, one can’t close his/her mind.

Thus far – these have been my favorite films of 2012:

Lee Daniels’ transgressive The Paper Boy

THE PAPER BOY/Lee Daniels

Rian Johnson’s brilliant puzzle of a movie: LOOPER

LOOPER/Rian Johnson

Todd Solondz’s surreal DARK HORSE

Dark Horse/Todd Solondz

Haneke’s gut puncher: AMOUR

Amour/Michael Haneke

Paolo Sorrentino’s unexpected THIS MUST BE THE PLACE

This Must Be The Place/Paolo Sorrentino

Ridley Scott’s beautifully flawed and thought provoking PROMETHEUS

Prometheus/Ridley Scott

The Queen of Versailles/Lauren Greenfield

Timur Bekmambetov’s Lincoln: Vampire Hunter so earnestly silly that I loved every over-the-top moment.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter/Timur Bekmambetov*

Colin Trevorrow’s SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED seemed to come out from nowhere and managed to work on all levels.

Safety Not Guaranteed/Colin Trevorrow

*(I know it was incredibly stupid, but the absurdity of it all made me love it!)

Moonrise Kingdom by Wes Anderson almost made my list, but it somehow just felt too slight for me. However, it was worth the price of admission.

Wes Anderson’s MOONRISE KINGDOM almost grabbed me, but all those great cinematic moments just didn’t add up to much more than a trifle.

Thus far, the two performances by actors that totally blew me away were:

Michelle Williams in Take This Waltz

Michelle Williams fills the screen with heartbreaking power in Take This Waltz

and

Joaquin Phoenix in The Master

Joaquin Phoenix delivers an unforgettable and transformative performance in The Master.

(tho, I didn’t really care for either of those movie — those two actors wereAMAZING in them!)

Looking back, 2012 was one of the worst years I can recall at the cinema. However, there were a few gems. Thus far, these are the ones that most glowed for me. 

WHITE MATERIAL

Claire Denis/2009

Isabelle Huppert, Christophe Lambert and Nicolas Duvauchell

Isabelle searing the screen with strength against all logic in Claire Denis’ quietly powerful WHITE MATERIAL

Destined to go down as one of the best films of the early 21st Century. I think it just takes time for great art to be understood and viewed from the correct perspective. 

The threat of death is ignored for the struggle for what is perceived as hers… Isabelle Huppert in WHITE MATERIAL

As the white woman holds on to the bus filled with hostile Africans, she is determined to claim her rights as a fellow native. …Lost and out of place, but refusing to let go.  She simply cannot fathom that “her” country is no longer – nor has it ever really been – hers.

Nicolas Duvauchelle as the lost son in WHITE MATERIAL

…or that of her family.