30 December 2017; Best of 2012 Films Throwback

Audiences were surprised to see what films made cinema still great 5 years ago. Welcome to MMM and today I’m counting down the best of 2012 films based on my own enjoyment of them.

Before I begin, this is part of a list of film countdowns spanning over a 5 year radius from 1967 to 2017 from today to the 31st December. If you don’t see a film that you think should have made the list, please comment.

#10: Silver Linings Playbook (Romantic dramedy)
After spending time at a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano (Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper) forms a friendship with the equally troubled Tiffany (Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence), and tries to prove to his ex-wife (Brea Bee) that he is a changed man.

Oscar wins and/or nominations: 1 win (Best Actress in a Leading Role – Jennifer Lawrence), and 7 nominations (Best Picture, Actor in a Leading Role – Bradley Cooper, Actor in a Supporting Role – Robert De Niro, Actress in a Supporting Role – Jacki Weaver, Director – David O. Russell, Adapted Screenplay – David O. Russell, and Film Editing).

Highlights: Story, dialogue, cast, performances, humor, and quirky charm.

#9: To Rome with Love (Romantic dramedy)
Directed by Oscar winner Woody Allen, the film follows the lives of visitors and locals and the romance and adventures they get into.

Oscar wins and/or nominations: None.

Highlights: Cast, performances, dialogue, and humor.

#8: Pitch Perfect (Music dramedy)
Based on Mickey Rapkin’s non-fiction novel “Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate a Cappella Glory”, the film centers on a freshman college student named Beca (Oscar nominee Anna Kendrick), who is persuaded to join the Barden Bellas; a group of female Acapella singers. The girls then compete in a campus competition that also includes their male rivals; the Treblemakers.

Oscar wins and/or nominations: None.

Highlights: Story, cast, performances, humor, musical numbers, soundtrack, and charm.

#7: The Dark Knight Rises (Superhero)
The 3rd and final outing of Oscar-nominated director Christopher Nolan’s epic and already classic “Dark Knight” Trilogy (2005-2012), 8 years have passed after the occurrences of its predecessor “The Dark Knight” (2008), and Bruce Wayne aka Batman (Oscar winner Christian Bale), must save Gotham City once again from the brutal and dangerous guerrilla terrorist Bane (Oscar nominee Tom Hardy).

Oscar wins and/or nominations: None but 1 BAFTA nomination (Best Visual Effects).

Highlights: Story, themes, cast, characters, performances, direction, action sequences, thrills, and music score by Oscar winner Hans Zimmer.

#6: Stuck in Love (Romantic dramedy)
The film centers on 3 love stories; an author (Oscar nominee Greg Kinnear) trying to get back with his ex-wife (Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly), his teenage daughter (Golden Globe nominee Lily Collins) experiencing true love with a kind college student (Logan Lerman), and her teenage brother (Nat Wolff) also experiencing love with his crush (Liana Liberato).

Oscar wins and/or nominations: None.

Highlights: Story, cast, performances, and charm.

#5: The Hunger Games (Sci-fi drama action adventure)
Based on the first eponymous novel of Suzanne Collins’ bestselling trilogy (2008-2010), young archer Katniss Everdeen (Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers as a tribute in the Hunger Games to save her younger sister Primrose’s life. The televised Games involves 2 teen tributes from 12 districts of Panem in which they have to fight to the death.

Oscar wins and/or nominations: None but 1 Golden Globe nomination (Best Original Song – Motion Picture; “Safe and Sound”).

Highlights: Story, action sequences, cast, characters, performances, faithful to its source material, direction, and visual effects.

#4: Skyfall (Action adventure drama thriller)
This being the 23rd film in the James Bond film franchise, as well as based on one of Ian Fleming’s 1953-1966 well-known book series, Agent 007 aka James Bond’s (Primetime Emmy nominee Daniel Craig) loyalty to M (Oscar winner Judi Dench) is tested when a villain (Oscar winner Javier Bardem) from M’s past is out to seek her death.

Oscar wins and/or nominations: 2 wins (Best Original Song – “Skyfall”, and Sound Editing), and 3 nominations (Best Cinematography, Original Score – Thomas Newman, and Sound Mixing).

Highlights: Story, themes, cast, characters, performances, action sequences, direction, thrills, theme song, and music score by Newman.

#3: The Avengers (Superhero)
Unsurprisingly and undeniably one heck of a blockbuster at the time, this being the 6th film in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), Earth’s heroes such as Iron Man (Oscar nominee Robert Downey Jr.) are gathered by upcoming events and have to learn to work together as a super-team in order to defeat Thor’s brother Loki (Golden Globe winner Tom Hiddleston) before he enslaves humanity.

Oscar wins and/or nominations: 1 nomination (Best Visual Effects).

Highlights: Action sequences, cast, characters, performances, direction, occasional moments of humor, and thrills.

#2: Brave (Animated fantasy dramedy adventure)
After defying a tradition, a feisty and determined Scottish princess (voiced by Golden Globe nominee Kelly Macdonald) must rely on her bravery and archery skills in order to undo a curse.

Oscar wins and/or nominations: 1 win (Best Animated Feature).

Highlights: Story, themes, animation, cast including Oscar winner Emma Thompson, characters, vocal performances, humor, and charm.

Before I unveil my top pick, here are some honourable mentions:
Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Les Misérables
The Amazing Spider-Man
Dark Shadows

#1: Wreck-It Ralph (Animated action dramedy adventure)
What do you get when you mix “Toy Story” with arcade games? You get this delightful Disney flick. Tired of being ostracized by the Nicelanders because of his job as the villain in his game; Fix-It Felix Jr., the eponymous protagonist (voiced by Oscar nominee John C. Reilly) ventures out to become a hero, but his dream soon brings havoc in the whole arcade and it is up to him to fix everything.

Oscar wins and/or nominations: 1 nomination (Best Animated Feature).

Highlights: Story, themes, animation, characters, cast, vocal performances, charm, humor, music score by Henry Jackman, and message.