I am not a big moviegoer. I only see a handful of films a year, so I wasn’t going to write a post about my favorite films of the year. I couldn’t think of many to write about. Then I had one of the best movie experiences of the year this afternoon and found inspiration.
I saw “Les Miserables”. The source material (the novel and the musical) are so well-done it makes you believe that art can’t get any better. Every emotion- every grand theme was in this film. Love and loss; death and life; pain and redemption. This is why I go to a movie. It is one of the few movies I have seen that the crowd applauded at the end. This was more than entertainment; this was art. A few film adaptations have come before this one (and I have not seen them), but I find it hard to think how any of them could top this one.
The second film that stood out to me this year is “Skyfall”, the latest James Bond movie. I’ve loved the books since I was a kid. Then I started watching the movies. None of them had the right feel to me of the character in the books. Bond on screen was mostly a ladies’ man with a quick wit and a smirk. Then came “Casino Royale” in 2006.
Here was the Bond from the books: tough; unfeeling; smart; focused; but still a ladies man. This was the 007 who could outsmart you and kill you (with bare hands or a gun). My brother and I were talking one time about what film character we would be if we had the chance. I wouldn’t be a superhero. I would be James Bond. All the women love him. He has all the best things money can buy: clothes, watches, weapons, exotic places. What man would not want all this?
As for “Skyfall” itself, I love how overtly British it is. I love everything about British culture and history. And “Skyfall” proudly displays its Britishness to the benefit of the movie. And we get a little peek behind the curtain of Bond’s life and see a part of his childhood- a unique thing for a Bond movie.
These are two of my favorite films of 2012. What did you think of them? What others would you pick for your list?