Due to the holiday, the past week has been lacking in movie news and light on posting in general compared to normal. So, if you were worried that all your family time and present opening cut into the hours you could have been reading FSR, don’t be. But that doesn’t mean we’ve been slacking on the features, either. You do have a lot to catch up with if you’ve been away from the site the past seven days, but it’s an organized pile of reading material for you, because most of the necessary content from the week is part of our Year in Review. And hopefully you got an iPad for whichever holiday you celebrate, so you can very easily read all the goods in our special tablet format (and check out the best downloads and apps for movie lovers).
Before you get to the lists, take a look at our reviews of the movies that opened this week, including Django Unchained, Promised Land and West of Memphis (we also posted a late take on The Guilt Trip) and our interview with Promised Land director Gus Van Sant.
Now, check out our biggest and best stories and original content from the past week after the break.
We have more clever lists, but the obvious headliners of any site this time of year are the rundowns of the best and worst films. Rob H. took care of the former in alphabetical fashion, though named Oslo, August 31st as his number one. He wrote: “Director Joachim Trier has crafted an incredibly heartbreaking yet undeniably beautiful film about one man’s battle with an overwhelming sadness, and Anders Danielsen Lie delivers a performance filled with pain and angst. His genius though is in the brief glimpses of hope and happiness fighting to reach the surface. It will leave you broken.”
The FSR team collectively listed the worst, which included Kate’s choice of The Lucky One. She called it: “Sloppy, boring, unromantic, and frequently laughable, The Lucky One is perhaps the worst Sparks film yet, and that is saying something (moment of silence for Dear John).”
More Year in Review posts:
Year in Review: The Best of Criterion in 2012
Year in Review: A Look Back at the Cinematic Facial Hair of 2012
Year in Review: The 12 Best Action Movies of 2012
Year in Review: Our 12 Best Features of 2012
Year in Review: The 12 Best Movie Mashups of 2012
Year In Review: The 12 Best Movie Soundtracks and Scores of 2012
Year in Review: The 12 Best Short Films of 2012
Performer of the Year: Matthew McConaughey
Movie Scene of the Year: The ‘Holy Motors’ Accordion Intermission
None of our Year in Review lists focus on editing or costumes, but Daniel covered these areas in his latest Oscar column, which spotlights five dream nominations in below-the-line categories. For Best Editing, he picks the doc How to Survive the Plague (now on Netflix Instant): “Documentaries should be in the mix for Best Editing every single year, and it almost never happens. A project like How to Survive a Plague, compiled from countless hours of archive footage from a wide range of sources, depends on a great deal of structural technique and creativity. Crowded, hectic ACT UP demonstrations are presented with clarity and a sense of purpose. Editors Todd Woody Richman and Tyler H. Walk know exactly how to pace this film, a blend of boisterous, righteous anger and quiet, lingering grief.”
It’s nice to see a list of great performances that isn’t really about 2012. This week’s list from David Christopher Bell looks at supporting performances in biopics, which is only relevant to this year if you try to tie it to Lincoln or Hitchcock or Hyde Park on Hudson (props to the Olivias!). Okay, he does actually include Tommy Lee Jones‘s portrayal of Thaddeus Stevens from Lincoln and James D’Arcy as Anthony Perkins in Hitchcock, but just because they fit. As for number one, it’s Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood: “This film could not have been cast better than it did; this entire list could have just been from this film. And yet from it all, Landau stands triumphantly above it all, conquering the conquerors like some kind of acting He-Man.”