Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Making a List, Checking It Obsessively

When last we checked in, more or less, I still had the whole Fall and Holiday season ahead of me on a viewing itinerary. And this after a crazy year in which almost all of my moviegoing was backloaded into the last five months, and in pretty concentrated binges at that. Now my lists of prioritized titles—before I call in the limos and publish year-end favorites—can almost fit on an index card or two.

A Dozen in Theaters: The Hobbit (already landed in Chicago), The Impossible, Rust and Bone, and This Is 40 (all arriving Friday), Django Unchained and Les Misérables (Christmas gifts, or "gifts"), Searching for Sugar Man (back by popular demand on the 28th), Promised Land, Sister, and Zero Dark Thirty (all hitting the first weekend in January), and Amour and On the Road (no publicly announced Chicago dates, at least as far as I know). I'm sure I'll chase other stuff, to include the gay-themed drama Any Day Now and the gayish-frattish-grannyish gene-splice The Guilt Trip, but these twelve feel like the big stories to me.

A Decalogue on DVD: the Joe Reid-endorsed January sci-fi Chronicle, the Frederick Wiseman documentary Crazy Horse, the Binoche vehicle Elles, the prize-collecting Israeli hit Footnote, the Criterion-stamped Forgiveness of Blood, Mia Hansen-Løve's well-received Goodbye, First Love, the Dardennes' widely loved Kid with a Bike, Maïwenn's Cannes trophy collector Polisse, Pablo Larraín's two-year-old Venice entry Post Mortem, and Michael Winterbottom's flop spin on Hardy, Trishna.

Those are my scheduled pit-stops. Anything I didn't list poses a problem either of availability or enthusiasm.  If the former, you're welcome to hook me up with some fabulous screener.  If the latter, make your pitch in the comments!  What's the best movie released in the U.S. in 2012 that you liked more than most people did, and which you're pretty sure I didn't see but should have?

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Blogger Arun said...

No Tabu? What gives?

3:09 AM, December 19, 2012  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

Never docked here! Chicago will grab it eventually, but probably not until February or March at the earliest.

3:18 AM, December 19, 2012  
Anonymous Liz said...

Heh, "gifts." And everything that the quote marks imply.

My suggestion: ParaNorman. Clever, beautifully designed, and now available on DVD and Blu-ray!

8:23 AM, December 19, 2012  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

A perfect recommendation! Katey Rich has been vehemently behind that one, too. I'll try to get to it. Thanks, Liz!

9:08 AM, December 19, 2012  
Blogger Ivan said...

Consuming Spirits is the one, opening January 25 at the Film Center. This is the most mordantly funny film in ages, dense with 14 years of Chris Sullivan's most inspired ideas. It far surpasses nearly every other animated film in visual and vocal expressiveness. I was so pleased to see the NY Times rave, among others.

I also recommend Whores' Glory, Girl Model, Gerhard Richter Painting, Green, Let the Bullets Fly, Monsieur Lazhar, Headhunters, Dark Horse, and Premium Rush. The first two in particular seem up your alley.

Mimi said she booked Tabu at Block on January 25.

10:37 AM, December 19, 2012  
Blogger Arun said...

Aah.. that's a shame. For me Gomes's work is unparalleled this year. The only way I can think to get your hands on is an import of the UK DVD which just landed. Long-winded way, but I'd love to hear your take on it.

1:52 PM, December 19, 2012  
Blogger Amir said...

I have to agree with Arun here. Hands down the best film of the year, and the only one I'm willing to use the M word for.

3:48 PM, December 19, 2012  
Blogger Lev Lewis said...

10 Years & Premium Rush are tons of fun. Detention takes parodying to a pretty wild level. The Unspeakable Act is a really impressive microbudgeter, though I'm not sure if you'll find easy access to it. Bestiare's one of the better films to come from Canada this year, again not sure if you have access. The Comedy is fascinating in a lacerating sorta way, though many found it just the opposite. Trouble With the Curve has as many shortcomings as it does virtues but I had a much better than expected time and it features a great Amy Adams performance.

I wouldn't cite any of these as top tier-ers but each has a lot to recommend.

4:38 PM, December 19, 2012  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

@Arun and @Amir: I've used the UK-DVD workaround before, as I'll wind up doing for Kid with a Bike, but I really want to see Tabu on a big screen. Great news from Ivan (see above) that I won't have to wait as long as I thought I would.

@Ivan: I heard buzz like this back during CIFF but couldn't check it out. Reeeally not my medium, but I'm willing to try. Whores' Glory docks on DVD on January 6, apparently, and I'm really eager to see it, but I don't know how quickly I'll be able to. Hopefully Amazon Instant, etc. Thanks for these other titles!

@Lev: I'm intrigued by Bestiaire, which I missed during its one week in Chicago. I'm especially hoping to catch it somehow on the way to writing this paper on Zoo. Waffling on Rush and Curve, both of which have warning signs attached, but these nudges are helpful to both causes.

5:58 PM, December 20, 2012  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you seen Ursula Meier's "Sister?" It played at the Chicago Film Festival and is exceptional.

9:19 PM, December 20, 2012  
Blogger CCW said...

Nick, I know this is off-topic but I'm dying to know your opinion of Nicole's work in The Paperboy and your thoughts on her much-talked about (and well deserved, I think) Golden Globe and SAG nominations.

4:48 PM, December 21, 2012  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

@Anon: I haven't—and worse, I had tickets at CIFF and at Block Cinema and had to miss it both times! But I'll be at the Music Box on January 4. Note that it's already listed here in the entry!

@CCW: I'm always so glad to hear from you, you can pull me off topic as much as you want! I thought Kidman was, as so often, extremely compelling in The Paperboy. She certainly got to me more than a lot of her competitors who keep coming on the same lists. And I think some of the most interesting aspects of the performance (such as the huge shifts she discloses in Charlotte when the character she's been pining for is suddenly available to her) have unfortunately been outshone by the more salacious and outrageous scenes. Though many of those are rightful corkers! Don't know that she's my favorite of the year, but she's high up there. I actually appreciated the impression the movie made all around, even if it's rarely in full control of itself, wittingly or not. Thanks for coming back!

12:43 AM, December 22, 2012  
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