With the first part of 2012 in the past, it’s time to sit down and reflect on what this year has left us cinematographically and what better way to do it than reviewing the surprises and disappointments that our list of the most anticipated films has given us for this year. Most of the films we are going to review are remnants of 2011 that we had not seen at the time of making our original list. In addition to reviewing the films we have already seen, we decided to add some more, of which we did not know at the beginning of 2012, but which during these months have become our most anticipated productions of 2012.
Arrietty: Based on the novel “The Borrowers” this film tells the story of a small borrower (tiny creatures that live in the houses and take things borrowed) that befriends a human child. Despite the very good script by Hayao Miyazaki, “The Secret World of Arriety” is far from being one of the best productions of the Ghibli studios and lacks the magic that has made these studios famous. 7/10
The Artist: What could be considered the most important movie of 2011, “The Artist” ended up winning much of the awards of the season of American awards including the Oscar for Best Picture. Despite the awards received, the greatest achievement of this film is to bring back to the general public the magic of silent cinema, which captivated the first audiences and marked the course of what we see today, but its history confuses simplicity with the lack of depth. 6.5 / 10
The Hidden Face: The director of “Satan” does not disappoint in his second feature film, a Colombian-Spanish coproduction about the disappearance of a woman in strange circumstances in which he continues to explore the terrain of thriller and suspense, surpassing with accurate and appropriate choices directors the difficulties that the script and the characters present in several moments. 7.5 / 10
The Dark Knight Rises: The third part of the Batman trilogy directed by Christopher Nolan successfully closes the saga without overcoming its predecessor, partly due to the desire to make everything epic and titanic, but it is appreciated that the film, in which Batman must return eight years after having disappeared to Gotham to face the threat of a new villain who intends to destroy it, be so ambitious and different from other blockbusters. 7.5 / 10
Le Havre: A shoeshine resident in the French city of Le Havre is in the right situation and time to help an African immigrant child to hide from the law and return home after his family is captured. A small harmless and sweet Finnish film that feels sincere and has a great style. 7/10
Hugo: Great authors of world cinema such as Werner Herzog and Wim Wenders have used 3D as a tool to tell their stories. This year, it was the turn of Martin Scorsese, who used it in a masterful way to make an adventure film about an orphan boy in the Paris station who accidentally discovers the magic of cinema. Scorsese managed to create an impeccable film from the technical and aesthetic point of view, and with a moving story for any film lover that becomes a great lesson about the seventh art. 10/10
In The Land of Blood and Honey: The directorial debut of Angelina Jolie is a look at the Bosnian war that in the early 90s impacted the world for its horrors through the story of a woman and a man of social groups different that are known before the conflict and that, when exploding this, are in opposite sides. Although Jolie’s goal was to make the conflict visible, she does it in a cold and calculated way in which a drama follows another drama in such a sequential way that it seems like she’s going through a list of the atrocities of the war so that none of them will stay on the outside, and this prevents empathy with the characters and their history, and their motives are confusing. 6/10
To Rome With Love: When we made our original list, “To Rome with Love” was called “Nero Fiddled”. After being titled “Bop Decameron”, shortly before its premiere it was named as we know it now. The successor film of “Midnight in Paris” continued to prove its director Woody Allen as an erratic filmmaker with more flaws than hits, with four stories that at one time were good ideas but during the development of the script and the film fell short. 3/10
Shame: One of the most controversial films of 2011, “Shame” by director Steve McQueen ended up fulfilling much of the expectations generated about his controversial story. The good performances of its protagonists Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan, and especially the slow but very telling script of McQueen made “Shame” become a deep look at the mind.