We saw a lot of great films in 2012, but we didn’t have time to review them all. Here are some of the movies we didn’t write about this year. You can still catch some in theaters, others are definitely worth checking out when they hit blu-ray and VOD. Enjoy these bite sized reviews for six films that deserve a mention.
Beast Of The Southern Wild
This fantasy drama takes place in a resilient, poor, Louisiana Bayou community. The story revolves around an ill tempered father raising his child to be self-sufficient and survive all that life will dish out. The film is beautifully shot and the Louisiana locals give this film power and genuine heart. Young Quvenzhané Wallis does a phenomenal job and certainly has a bright future ahead of her.
This film, starring Helen Hunt and John Hawkes, not just a unique story about a paralyzed poet and his sex therapy sessions, but rather a look at the human spirit, friendship, love, humor and religion. All these topics are handled in a very pure and humanistic way, thanks to the great cast and writing.
Beautifully shot in France, this film, based on the true story, of a handicapped millionaire names Phillippe (Francois Cluzet) and his thuggish, wrong-side-of-the-tracks caretaker, Driss (Omar Sy), will win you over as soon as the two of them meet. Their friendship is brilliantly developed and the cast delivers on all points. Much like a glass of expensive, French wine, this film needs to be enjoyed to the last drop.
Hyde Park on Hudson
FDR was known for many great accomplishments and historic events. Hyde Park on Hudson, lets us attend a historic weekend picnic he throws for the King and Queen of England. It also focuses on his long time love affair with his distant cousin, Margaret Suckley (Laura Linney), nicknamed Daisy. Bill Murray does a fantastic job as FDR and serves up charm and charisma that women and kings cannot ignore. The best scene takes place after a formal dinner when the King and FDR throw back drinks, smoke cigarets, and share a lot of truths about each other. These two great men, each with their blaring handicaps (the king stutters badly, and FDR can’t use his legs), seem to bond beautifully as friends and great leaders. Historians may not love this, but for me it is a period piece I can not only sit through, but I can enjoy.
Denzel Washington brings great intensity to his character, as usual. It was a realistic look at a very high-functioning alcoholic who quickly spirals in to a non-functioning alcoholic. You are rooting for him, because in many ways he is a hero, but at the same time, like so many substance users, he is destined to repeat his same bad behavior. His characters is given more than a second chance and it would seem he can never right himself. A good film to me is when I genuinely care about the characters and their outcome. I was rooting for our extremely flawed captain all the way to the end.
This is 40
This is 40 is a spin-off of Knocked Up, which wasn’t one of my favorite Judd Apatow movie. Pete and Debbie, (Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann), are the focus of the spin-off and we drop in on them several years later as a married couple celebrating their 40th birthdays. The pacing stalls now and then, but it is loaded with some quote-worthy jokes that make it worth while. The standouts are Apatow and Mann’s real life daughters, Maude and Iris Apatow, who steal the film for me. If you have ever raised a teenage girl, known one, or lived with one, some of the classic meltdowns and sibling relationships will feel very familiar. Rentable for sure if for only some good laughs.