The year started with a whole lot of stellar performers but slowed down later on since I did things other than watch movies. Regardless, that early period represented some of the best movie years in recent memory.
My favorite performances are a tie and all go to one movie, Watchmen: Jeffrey Dean Morgan as The Comedian and Jackie Earle Haley when face is unmasked. Runner-up is Raffaëla Anderson as a crazed rape victim in Baise-moi.
There was quite a number of superb male performances, the best being Daniel-Day Lewis' near-flawless performances as oil miner in There Will Be Blood. Here's the runner-ups:
- John Malkovich as activist in Changeling
- Jack Nicholson as grumpy tycoon in Bucket List
- Woody Harrelson as blind man in Seven Pounds
Compared to last year, this year is lacklustre, except for desirable gals where Golshifteh Farahani (Body of Lies) and husky voice (likely Brenda Vaccaro) in Midnight Cowboy take the crown. 1st runner-up is leading lady, Zhao Tao, in Still Life followed by (cheat) the warrior girl in Avatar, who/which also happens to be year's best creature.
Character design goes to the talking toys of Small Soldiers.
2012 has some seriously explosive visual effects, among the best ever. The runner-ups:
The best visual effects artefact is the robo-bikes in Terminator Salvation.
There Will Be Blood has the year's best direction. Changeling has best production design, and its runner-up is Shoot 'Em Up, which however gets best cinematography. Changeling also has best costume design and best cast.
The year's greatest spectacles are 2012 and Avatar; best thriller is Law-Abiding Citizen; best comedy is You Don't Mess With the Zohan; the most enchanting/delightful is Wall-E, followed up by Sponge Bob.
The most touching movie (overall) is Yellow Earth, a sad exploration of a hopeless yearning for freedom, which presents itself in a form of Communist soldier with a weird mission. The most touching moments is the relationship between the Chinese and Russian lady in The World, followed by a childish romance between silly tent constructor and sweet servant in Monsoon Wedding.
For a complete list of the movies I reviewed for the year, visit this tag.