I’ll have my regular end of the year list up at The End of Cinema in a couple of days (because the year isn’t over until the year is actually over, and there’s always hope I’ll be able to watch another movie). But deadlines being what they are, I’m putting up a Seattle-specific Top Ten list here and now. These are my favorites of the films eligible for the Seattle Film Critics Society’s end of the year awards.
1. The Novelist’s Film and In Front of Your Face (Hong Sangsoo)
Cheating right off the top with a tie. Hong’s third eligible film, Introduction, makes my Top 30 as well.
2. The Fabelmans (Steven Spielberg)
As packed with sublime moments (funny and terrifying and weird) as anything Spielberg’s ever made.
3. Ponniyin Selvan: Part 1 (Mani Ratnam)
In a terrific year for large-scale action film, Ratnam’s epic stands out for its commitment to swashbuckling and to beautiful people hatching complicated schemes.
4. Three Thousand Years of Longing (George Miller)
Like The Fabelmans, a film about telling stories. Like Ponniyin Selvan, a film that tells stories.
5. Detective vs. Sleuths (Wai Ka-fai)
Wai Ka-fai returns with another detective who has an unstable relationship to reality. But this time he’s the sane one while reality itself (ie Hong Kong in the post-protest era) has gone crazy!
6. Decision to Leave (Park Chan-wook)
Tang Wei gives one of the finest performances of her storied career as the most fascinating femme fatale we’ve seen in years.
7. A New Old Play (Qiu Jiongjiong)
The missing link between Hou’s The Puppetmaster and Jia’s Platform.
8. Avatar: The Way of Water (James Cameron)
Look I’m as surprised as anyone, given how much I have, in the past, not liked digital 3D, high frame rate filmmaking, and the first Avatar movie. But I loved pretty much everything about this. Maybe we’ve all been trapped inside too long, by COVID and/or the dire state of 2010s blockbuster filmmaking.
9. Baby Assassins (Sakamoto Yugo)
The year’s most surprising great film, a slacker comedy about two hired killers who find themselves needing to find jobs in the real world. Bookended by the two best fights scenes of the year.
10. RRR (SS Rajamouli)
Rajamouli finally breaks through in the West with what is an undeniably rousing epic of anti-imperialist spectacle, featuring two larger than life stars, wildly imaginative action sequences, and a politics that can charitably be described as “complicated”.
One thought on “Top Ten Movies of 2022”
Comments are closed.