Hello there dear listeners and readers! My name is Kevin Sutorius, one of the guest hosts of our Nerds on Film podcast.
When it comes to my favorites of 2012, I could talk all day about all the movies in the top twenty, but I will try to keep it them brief. They are mostly based on personal preference (obviously), but I also added in some consideration from the critics as well, so hopefully, this list can provide some great or entertaining choices for you to see in theaters or at home. You may notice some glaring omissions in this list and that is because either a) they didn’t personally resonate with me or b) I didn’t get to see them. With my brief explanations, I will do my best not to spoil the story for each film, since there may be some of you out there that still haven’t seen them.
As of now, the Oscar nominations have already been released and apart from the Best Short Film (Live Action), Best Short Film (Animation), Best Documentary, Best Documentary (Short Subject), and Best Foreign Film categories, the only three movies I haven’t seen (that have been or someone from the film have been nominated for one of the major awards) are ‘Amour’ ‘The Impossible’ and ‘The Sessions’.
*Footnote: Here are a few key words that helped me narrow my focus on why certain movies were chosen: risk, originality, genuine, geeky, beauty, closure, intensity.
Today will consist of numbers 20 to 11:
20 – Safety Not Guaranteed – A charming and surprisingly delightful sci-fi comedy. With intriguing characters and a smooth-running plot, the story flows easily with an ending that satisfies the build-up.
19 – Moonrise Kingdom – As a fellow Wes Andersen fan, this coming-of-age comedy has charm, wit and humor to spare, while telling a story that never feels forced.
18 – Prometheus – Sure, some people find this movie riddled with confusing character choices and plot holes, but as a huge fan of the Alien franchise, (NOT those god-awful AVP movies), I found myself completely immersed with it’s incredible design and cinematography along with a fascinating, but haunting story, that has potential for a new Alien saga.
P.S. This movie, contrary to popular rumors and misunderstanding, is NOT the prequel to Alien.
17 – Avengers – An epic and long-overdue mega-amalgamation of Marvels comic movie universe that pays off perfectly. Joss Whedon, thank you.
16 – Ruby Sparks – This film came out of nowhere and really wowed me with an original story that completely follows its own rules and does not shy away from potential consequences.
15 – Sound of My Voice – This exceptional indie drama, which includes a hint of sci-fi, knocked me flat with a gripping tale of journalists trying to expose a cult by becoming members, only to find themselves in the middle of a conspiracy that can’t possibly be true. Or can it? (Hint: you’ll get the poster once you’ve seen the movie)
14 – Beasts of a Southern Wild – After a devastating storm that destroys their home in a shanty town, young Hushpuppy and her father try to find a new way to live, traveling down river in a makeshift raft. It’s a fascinating story with such an imagination and a strong performance from the Oscar-worthy Quvenzhane Wallis.
13 – Django Unchained – The Nerds on Film crew are big fans of the masterful story-teller Quentin Tarantino and make no mistake, this movie, controversy aside, is an epic tale of revenge and love. Although not his best, Tarantino finds multiple classic genres and manages to cleverly mash them together for a nearly 3-hour epic. Christoph Waltz does it again portraying, arguably, his best character. *Like Quentin’s other works, definitely not for the squeamish or easily offended.
12 – Brave – Pixar tries the fairy tale genre for the first time and tells a compelling and heart-warming story of love, honor and family. Set in the land of Scotland, Pixar never fails with incredible, life-like visuals in the landscape and animals that inhabit the country. Princess Merida wants freedom from the kingdom that she is in line to inherit, but her strong-willed, yet loving mother tries to mold her to become a Queen. After Merida tries to find a way from her duties as Princess, she gets more than what she bargains for and may have to learn the costs of her actions.
11 – Silver Linings Playbook – This film almost made my top 10, but that does not mean this is a lack-luster film; far from it. A touching tale of strength, recovery, love and compassion for those different from you made me fall in love with these characters. Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Jackie Weaver, Robert DeNiro and surprisingly, Chris Tucker all give top-notch performances that not only impressed me, but they all felt genuine, not phony or fake. All their choices and mannerisms felt real, and as the story progressed, I found myself wanting to learn more about who these people are and what’s going to happen next.
COMING UP NEXT: The Top 10 list begins!
Kevin Sutorius is a regular guest of the podcast Nerds on Film and has been recently heard on a couple Nerds on History podcasts too! Very honorably, the Nerds have considered Kevin an official member of the Nerdonomy family.