The very best films of 2012 accurately depicted the fragility of mankind and of its spirit. These are not new topics meant to provoke awe. Every year, cinema depicts the most inconceivable of situations and pits characters in them to fend for their lives. In 2012, the best of cinema took an intense foray into pain and suffering but with an unerring intent to discern what it was that permitted or encouraged particular characters to endure certain tragedies.
What was discovered in these elite films was the profoundest reverence for togetherness and dependability. The police, being dragged around the uninhabited fields of Anatolia searching for a dead body, still managed to cooperate with two murderers in Once Upon a Time in Anatolia. If it was not for a fast-thinking scout master who gathered Camp Ivanhoe’s finest boy scouts to search for two young lovers who fled the coop in Moonrise Kingdom, they would forever be stranded on their own magical island (is that really a bad thing?). Instead of two souls aimlessly suffering existence alone in The Master, they endure together and astonishingly discover what each one so desperately needs in the other: a sense of worth. The father and daughter in Beasts of the Southern Wild would not survive the aftermath of the storm if it were not for their true, illustrious relationship. And the octogenarian couple in Amour is the only proof we need to know that it takes two people, solidified in an unbreakable relationship, to stand firm, face life and to stare the inevitable square in the eyes.
The following are my picks for the 30 best films of 2012.
Moonrise Kingdom Directed by Wes Anderson
Starring Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Bob Balaban and Harvey Keitel
Release Date: May 16, 2012
French New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard, a powerful influence in cinema and pop culture from the 1960s onward thanks to his radical films, depicted in some of his films the need for the adolescent or youth to maintain their autonomy in the process of society attempting to crush it and mold it for their own purposes. This is pure literary, but in cinema the right director can demonstrate explicitly the harsh tendencies of society.
In his newest film, Moonrise Kingdom, director Wes Anderson, with a script he co-wrote with Roman Coppola, is approaching that topic Godard had always wrestled with, and still is today. It is not easy to do, but with Anderson’s whimsy and vigorous style of direction, unerring in its constant infatuation with capturing perfection, we are able to witness two adolescents restlessly in love in a perfectly concocted world endure an environment that is stifling and stunting their growth.