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Top Ten Season: Time Targets 'Amour' & 'Cloud Atlas' as Best & Worst of 2012

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood December 11, 2012 at 3:04PM

Time magazine's 10 Best and 10 Worst Movies of the Year lists are a varied bunch. Among them there's one documentary, one animated film and hoards of A-listers...
1
Tom Hanks and Halle Berry in "Cloud Atlas."
Tom Hanks and Halle Berry in "Cloud Atlas."

Time magazine's 10 Best and 10 Worst Movies of the Year lists are a varied bunch. Among them there's one documentary, one animated film, three foreign films and hoards of A- and B- list actors (the majority fall in the Worst category--lead by "Cloud Atlas"). We at TOH! will reveal our top tens the end of this week.

BEST

10. The Invisible War
9. Frankenweenie
8. Dragon
7. Dark Horse
6. Zero Dark Thirty
5. The Dark Knight Rises
4. Anna Karenina
3. Life of Pi
2. Beasts of the Southern Wild
1. Amour

"Amour":

Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) are wiry 80-something retired music teachers who have been together for more than half a century. When Anne suffers two serious strokes and loses her powers of speech and movement, Georges cares for her with the stern ardor of a teen attending to his first love. Austrian writer-director Michael Haneke is renowned for his forbidding parables of families beset by a malefic outside force: Funny Games, Caché, The White Ribbon. The villain here is the decay to which we are all heirs; granted, in the filmmaker’s oeuvre, there is no happy Haneke. But this is his most intimate, positive, human drama. The two great actors, icons of French films since the 1950s, are at the peak of their art in a story of devotion pushed to the limit. The body may wilt and perish, but love — and Amour — will never die. [Richard Corliss]

WORST

10. One for the Money
9. The Odd Life of Timothy Green
8. What to Expect When You're Expecting
7. Alex Cross
6. The Lorax
5.This Means War
4. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
3. Hyde Park on Hudson
2. John Carter
1. Cloud Atlas

"Cloud Atlas":

We’re all connected. Human beings repeat the same mistakes, generation after generation. And — man, this part is heavy, so maybe, like, sit down for 172 minutes to think about it — even though bad people try to enslave other people, someone awesome will always try to throw off the shackles. Cloud Atlas is so much like the bong-fueled conversations I had in college that I almost ordered a Domino’s pizza afterward. The problem is there’s no emotional hook in this bloated fantasia of special effects and makeup wizardry; the passion is all in the brute labor of adapting David Mitchell’s novel for the screen. Co-directors Andy and Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer flit across centuries and genres in a whirlwind of bloody violence and cross-dressing, ethnicity-shifting performances, but there’s as much opportunity to get attached to characters as there would be watching people go by on a roller coaster. [Mary Pols]

This article is related to: Lists, Awards, Cloud Atlas, Amour


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.