Top 10 Best & Worst Dramas Of 201219.12.12 # Top Ten # 10 Comments
Imagine a movie NOT based on a comic book and NOT starring Adam Sandler. This is my personal list of the worst and best dramas of 2012 (movies, not TV). Five of each. That makes ten. Here they are…
5. WORST: Lawless
John Hillcoat’s The Road was a movie over which to argue the merits of, but there were no such worries for the same director’s follow-up, prohibition-era saga Lawless: it sucked like an aardvark toking on a doobie.
Tom Hardy ambled round like a fat bear, Guy Pearce sneered it up like an animated Disney rat, and Shia LaBeouf played it stupid as only the big ball-dropper knows how. Their heroic cooks versus horrible cops shtick was stale enough, although in truth the really criminal aspect of the whole endeavour was Nick Cave’s dog-wagging tail of a script, which had events happening because the film needed them to – not because they made any sense in the context of story and characters.
5. BEST: Ruby Sparks
Oh, Paul… oh, Zoe… we’re SO the indie acting golden couple, aren’t we?… Yes, my own personal private squirrel girl, we surely are… do you think the world acknowledges our gilded indie credentials?… well, me maybe. After all I was in a movie with Indie Empress, Zooey Des… DON’T MENTION THAT NAME! YOU SAID YOU WOULDN’T MENTION THAT NAME!…
Sorry! But you know what? If she’s the Indie Empress, you’re the indie movie Princess Leia… I am?… you are… hey, I know! Why don’t I write a movie about what an indie dream girl I am, and you can play the guy who dreams me up… er, sure why not? As it turns out, I don’t think I’m going to be needed for that Cowboys & Aliens sequel…
4. WORST: On the Road
If the belated movie adaptation of On the Road was a car, it’d be a Volvo. Steady enough. Solidly efficient. And about as exciting as a post-Christmas dinner game of charades with Grandma.
Is it a book? A book, petal. A bo.. never mind. Go back to sleep…
Aside from Viggo Mortensen as Old Bull Lee/William Burroughs, the acting company were all so adorable and cute as to resemble a Kerouac-themed Vogue photoshoot, while the double whammy of this and Snow White and the Huntsman left the notion of Kristen Stewart as serious actress in her own right looking as misguided as that ‘Congratulations!’ cake I sent Mitt Romney.
4. BEST: Le Havre
A shoe-shiner named Marx, living in a French port that, like him, has perhaps seen better days. His angel of a wife lies on death’s doorstep, the bony finger of the Reaper tapping evermore forcibly on her shoulder with each passing hour. And into the grizzled ol’ geezer’s crumbling life comes a young immigrant boy, scampering round the backstreets of the eponymous city in a bid to evade the searching gaze of a black-clad cop.
Ingredients of human drama that would be mixed into a sentimental tear-jerker of a cack-handed stew by most mere mortals, but which in the iron hands of Finnish film maestro Aki Kaurismäki are melded into something funny, touching and entirely individual.
3. WORST: Cosmopolis
Remember K-Stew? Well, in contrast to Li’l Miss Woodentop, her Twilight playmate Captain Jawbone actually acquitted himself in David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis; Robert Pattinson’s performance as tumbling Wall Street wunderkind Eric Packer serving to inject a soupçon of interest into a truly tedious talkathon.
Though Don DeLillo’s slender picaresque novel was penned pre the current crisis of capitalism, Cronenberg’s slog round a sterile and an oft-shoddily recreated Manhattan offered a hearty pat on the back for halfwits seeking pretend profundity from their cinematic fix. However for everyone with their brains not located in the anal area, it was all as immense a waste of time as trying to convince a dog of the merits of wearing trousers.
3. BEST: Rust and Bone
Okay, yes, after the gangster epic that was A Prophet, it was a little disappointing that Jacques Audiard’s follow-up feature was essentially superior soap opera. Yes, Matthias Schoenaerts was basically playing Joey from Friends. And yes, Marion Cotillard was practically begging us all to gasp in awe at the lack of ego in her performance. Look, she’s on the bog!
Yet somehow the collected faults didn’t scuttle the whole. Far from it in fact, as Audiard delivered another affecting, aesthetically splendid piece of cinema. Plus, it’s probably the best whale movie since Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
Worst / Best Dramas 2012
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