Top 10 Films of 2012
Jacques Audiard's would-be romantic melodrama demands more alert viewing than perhaps any other more-or-less traditional narrative film this year. Yes, this is a movie featuring multiple, artfully lit amputee sex scenes and one that uses a Katy Perry song -- twice -- for not-quite-ironic effect. It's also incredibly complex in the way it sketches its characters, their relationship to one another and their constantly shifting points on the hero/villain/victim continuum.
Julia Loktev's devastating journey into the darkness of the heart requires more alert viewing than any not-quite-traditional narrative film of the year. In a cultural moment in which American indie film has become overly reliant upon muddying the notion of "real," Loktev's minimalistic impressionism is more vital than ever.
When I try to imagine which 2012 release I'd show the 16-year-old version of me, it would be Athina Rachel Tsangari's spunkily touching tale of a young woman coming of age in a Greece that's falling apart.