January 2013- Best & Worst

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During the first 21 days of January I was supposed to watch at least two films per day, since those were the numbers of days before I had to go back to school. But like most New Year’s resolutions, it didn’t pan out. I mean, I had said that in anticipation of Amour I was going to watch at least a couple of Michael Haneke films since I had only seen The White Ribbon, but that didn’t happen because for reasons beyond my control, I just wasn’t in the mood for challenging cinema during this month. Oh well.

However, I did manage to catch up on some relatively lighter films that I had been meaning to watch for a long time. I started out with Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners, therefore completing his post-Heavenly Creatures Hollywood output. Now I just need to watch his early films, but I’m afraid. That same day I caught up with The Adventures of Mark Twain, which was supposed to be one of the most bizarre animated films of all time, and it definitely lived up to its reputation.

Towards the end of the month I also watched Francis Ford Coppola’s One from the Heart. I didn’t know anything about it, and I had only seen a couple of stills from it, and it completely won me over. I don’t know why it never comes up in the discussions on its director’s best films. I also went into Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion with the same lack of knowledge on it, and it filled me with glee.

The rest of the month, was dedicated to catching up on 2012 films.

Finally, I closed the month by watching one of the most acclaimed films of all time. It was a film that I had attempted to see when I first got interested in cinema, but found dreadfully boring and didn’t even make it past the first act. Eight years later, I watched it all the way through, and I finally know what the fuzz is about.

Anyways, here are the best films I saw in January. This month, I’m finally doing something that I wanted to do since I started writing the monthly wrap-ups and I’m including some “awards” for directing, performances, and some of my favorite technical aspects.

The Best

1. Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942)

2. Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion (David Mirkin, 1997)

3. One From the Heart (Francis Ford Coppola, 1982)

4. Jackie Brown (Quentin Tarantino, 1997)

5. Cloud Atlas (Lana Wachoski, Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, 2012)

6. The Frighteners (Peter Jackson, 1996)

7. Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell, 2012)

8. Your Sister’s Sister (Lynne Shelton, 2012)

9. Rust & Bone (Jaques Audiard, 2012)

10. Premium Rush (David Koepp, 2012)

Worth Mentioning: Fight Club, The Adventures of Mark Twain

Honorable Mention: The last episodes of “30 Rock:” “Game Over,” “Florida,” “A Goon’s Deed in a Weary World,” “Hogcock!” “Last Lunch”

Best Rewatch: Zodiac

Worst: Taken 2, Hitchcock

Superlatives

Best Director: Michael Curtiz, Casablanca

Best Actor: Humphrey Bogart, Casablanca

Best Actress: Mira Sorvino & Lisa Kudrow, Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion

Best Supporting Actor: Michael Shannon, Premium Rush

Best Supporting Actress: Ingrid Bergman, Casablanca & Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy

Best Screenplay: Casablanca

Best Cinematography: One from the Heart

Best Costume Design: Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion

Best Music: One from the Heart

Oh, and I have to sneak this in because it’s one of the best things I watched all month. Thanks Lee Daniels.

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