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Sight & Sound Critics Poll Picks 'The Master'

Criticwire By Matt Singer | Criticwire December 3, 2012 at 11:31AM

Approximately 100 critics polled by the British Film Institute named Paul Thomas Anderson's film the best of 2012.
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"The Master."
"The Master."

Get ready: in the next few days, many of the major critics groups around the country and the world will cast their votes for their annual awards. We'll be doing our best to chronicle as many of their results as we can on Criticwire, and we're going to get things started with Sight & Sound, the fine British periodical that's home to the most prestigious "best of all-time film poll" on the planet. They haven't posted their best of 2012 poll online yet, but Film Detail transcribed the winners from a print copy. Here's the top ten -- or rather the top eleven, with a few ties:

1. "The Master," directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
2. "Tabu," directed by Miguel Gomes
3. "Amour," directed by Michael Haneke
4. "Holy Motors," directed by Leos Carax
5. "Beasts of the Southern Wild," directed by Benh Zeitlin
5. "Berberian Sound Studio," directed by Peter Strickland
7. "Moonrise Kingdom," directed by Wes Anderson
8. "Beyond the Hills," directed by Cristian Mungiu
8. "Cosmopolis," directed by David Cronenberg
8. "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia," directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan
8. "This is Not A Film," directed by Jafar Pahani & Mojtaba Mirtahmaseb

That list skews heavily toward auteurs and festival-vetted titles; "Beasts of the Southern Wild" is Benh Zeitlin's first feature -- but it won the Best First Feature award at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. "Berberian Sound Studio" is Peter Strickland's first big splash on the world cinema landscape  -- but it played the Edinburgh, Toronto, and New York Film Festivals. There's basically nothing from Hollywood besides "Moonrise Kingdom," which is also directed by a bonafide auteur (and distributed by boutique label Focus Features to boot). It'll be interesting to see if that trend continues across more critics' lists. We'll find out very soon.

Read more of "Sight & Sound" and "Sight & Sound's Top Films of 2012."

This article is related to: Sight & Sound Film Poll, 2012 Critics Polls


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