The last of the best and not best



We must be at the end, because Harlan Jacobson could only come up with eight. Here's his and Brett Michel's.

Harlan Jacobson's Eight Best Films of 2012

1. Lincoln

D: Steven Spielberg, W: Tony Kushner based on DK Goodwin's Team of Rivals

With: Daniel Day Lewis, Sally Fields, David Strathairn (Secretary of State Seward), TL Jones  (Thaddeus Stevens, R of PA, Chairman of the House Ways and  Means Committee)

About: Lincoln balancing the politics of his day, the war, his wife, the future of democracy.

Loved by some, dismissed as civics lesson by many, pretty great piece of work.

2.Beasts of the Southern Wild

D: Benh Zeitlin, W: Lucy Alibar and Azitlin,

With : Quvenzhane Wallis (Hushpuppy) and Dwight Henry (Wink, her dad)

Debut feature at Sundance, not about nature vs corrupt civilization  as often described but about parental responsibility to child, astonishing perfs by QW and DH

3.Zero Dark Thirty

D: Kathryn Bigelow; W: Mark Boal

With: Jessica Chastain and a whole lotta ofguys

Hunt for Osama Bin Laden... restores intelligence to action films.

4. The Ambassador

Doc, D: Mads Brugger

 Prod Lars Von Trier (Melancholia, Antichrist, Idiots)

An "ambassador" (Brugger) obtains fake diplomatic credentials from Liberia to buy and carry blood diamonds. Borat territory, wildest ride of the year. Sundance. Made only $27k and died.

5. The Master

W&D: Paul Thomas Anderson

With: Joaquin Phoenix (Freddie Quill), Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Lancaster Dodd), Amy Adams (Peggy Dodd)

Astonishing performances, Elmer Gantry territory  Mormonism & Joseph Smith and Mormonism & Joseph Smith as much as Scientology;- the seer, the embattled prophet, wandering, getting the word in the wilderness the "A-Roving" number at a Philly socialite's house is one of best scenes of 2012. Continually slighted by critics, yet one of most ambitious pics of 2012

6. Starlet

W&D: Sean Baker (TV Greg the Bunny), 4th film (Prince of Broadway)

With: Dree Hemingway, Besedka Johnson.

 About: a  20-something and 85 year old in LA experience what's missing in American  life. No big surprises, all small reveals, expertly crafted. American art film and a surprise.

7. 2 Days in New York

Writer and Director: Julie Delpy

With: Albert Delpy, Chris Rock (who talks to a cardboard cutout of Barack Obama).

8. Silver Linings Playbook

W&D: David O Russell, loosely based on the Matthew Quick book.

With: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, DeNiro, Jackie Weaver

Helps to be from Philly for this dark horse comedy, an update on Italian-Americans.






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