January 3, 2013

Best pictures of 2012: Not just motion. Emotion.

The best movies of the year – and what a year it was – have the power to move us and stay with us.

By ROGER MOORE McClatchy-Tribune News Service

(Continued from page 1)

(QuvenzhaneÃÅ Wallis)
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Quvenzhane Wallis is a force of nature in “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” Benh Zeitlin’s great new Southern Gothic novella of a film set in the post-Katrina bayou.

Courtesy photos

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Samuel Joslin, Tom Holland, Oaklee Pendergast (foreground), Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts in “The Impossible.”

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• "Smashed" -- It doesn't reinvent the alcoholism drama, it just gives it youth and heartbreak. Mary Elizabeth Winstead gives the performance of her career as a young teacher who struggles to grow up, get sober and start over. Standing in her way? Her adoring husband (Aaron Paul), the love of her life, but her co-dependent enabler. This is what the downward spiral is like and how rough recovery can be.

• "Skyfall" -- Yes, it was fun, thrilling and entertaining, but so was "Argo." Yes, it's a throwback, a worthy entry in the series that stands with the best Bond films. But you can count on one finger the preceding James Bond movies that gave us a hint of pathos -- "On Her Majesty's Secret Service." This one had high stakes, loss and consequences.

• "Lincoln" -- I still don't think this is one of Steven Spielberg's very best. But the tone he set here sticks with you long after Daniel Day-Lewis has cracked his last Lincoln joke. It's an elegy, a funeral poem of images, of a kind man coping with the darkest hours in the nation's history with humor, forgiveness and steely resolve.

Other "bests":

• Best animated film -- "Frankenweenie." This is why we love stop-motion animation, wiener dogs and Tim Burton.

• Best foreign film -- "Amour," but despite the end-of-life subject matter, not as moving as you might think.

• Best documentary -- "The Imposter," because even con artists can have a conscience. Eventually.

Distributed by MCT Information Services


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Film Title: Les MisÈrables
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Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman in “Les Miserables.”


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