Top 31 of 2022

The following list is formed from the reds, oranges, greens, and blues that I have seen at time of writing that were commercially released in 2022.

1. The Novelist’s Film (Hong Sang-soo)

2. EO (Jerzy Skolimowski)

3. The Fabelmans (Steven Spielberg)

4. Il buco (Michelangelo Frammartino)

5. A New Old Play (Qiu Jiongjiong)

6. One Fine Morning (Mia Hansen-Løve)

7. Crimes of the Future (David Cronenberg)

8. RRR (S. S. Rajamouli)

9. Decision to Leave (Park Chan-wook)

10. The Girl and the Spider (Ramon and Silvan Zürcher)

11. In Front of Your Face (Hong Sang-soo)

12. TÁR (Todd Field)

13. Introduction (Hong Sang-soo)

14. White Noise (Noah Baumbach)

15. El Gran Movimiento (Kiro Russo)

16. Saint Omer (Alice Diop)

17. Avatar: The Way of Water (James Cameron)

18. The Cathedral (Ricky D’Ambrose)

19. Nope (Jordan Peele)

20. Fabian, or Going to the Dogs (Dominik Graf)

21. Benediction (Terence Davies)

22. Armageddon Time (James Gray)

23. Los Conductos (Camilo Restrepo)

24. Wood and Water (Jonas Bak)

25. Onoda (Arthur Harari)

26. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (Laura Poitras)

27. Ahed’s Knee (Nadav Lapid)

28. Riotsville, U.S.A. (Sierra Pettengill)

29. Return to Seoul (Davy Chou)

30. Expedition Content (Ernst Karel & Veronika Kusumaryati)

31. A Night of Knowing Nothing (Payal Kapadia)

2022 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards Ballot

Career Achievement
(3) Paul Vecchiali
(2) Jean-Marie Straub
(1) Claire Denis

Best Cinematography
(3) Il buco
(2) EO
(1) The Fabelmans

Best Supporting Performance
(5) Rayan Sarlak, Hit the Road
(4) Kwon Hae-hyo, In Front of Your Face
(3) David Lynch, The Fabelmans
(2) Anne Hathaway, Armageddon Time
(1) Steven Yeun, Nope

Best Music/Score
(3) EO
(2) RRR
(1) Crimes of the Future

Best Production Design
(3) A New Old Play
(2) White Noise
(1) Avatar: The Way of Water

Best Editing
(3) El Gran Movimiento
(2) TÁR
(1) Decision to Leave

Best Animation
(3) Avatar: The Way of Water
(2) Jujutsu Kaisen 0

Best Screenplay
(3) The Novelist’s Film
(2) The Fabelmans
(1) In Front of Your Face

Best Lead Performance
(5) Tang Wei, Decision to Leave
(4) Léa Seydoux, One Fine Morning
(3) Kim Min-hee, The Novelist’s Film
(2) Lee Hye-young, In Front of Your Face
(1) Jack Lowden, Benediction

Best Documentary/Non-Fiction Film
(3) All the Beauty and the Bloodshed
(2) Riotsville, U.S.A.
(1) Expedition Content

Best Director
(3) Jerzy Skolimowski, EO
(2) Park Chan-wook, Decision to Leave
(1) Ramon and Silvan Zürcher, The Girl and the Spider

Best Picture
(3) The Novelist’s Film
(2) EO
(1) Decision to Leave

Best Film Not in the English Language
(3) The Novelist’s Film
(2) EO
(1) Decision to Leave

New Generation
(3) Alice Diop, Saint Omer
(2) Davy Chou and Park Ji-min, Return to Seoul
(1) Ricky D’Ambrose, The Cathedral

December 2022 Capsules

Yi Yi [rewatch]
This has never not been among the heights of cinema for me, but something that always puzzled me before this viewing was the focus on the father, sister, and brother, with the mother whisked unceremoniously away for most of the film. But apart from the absence it creates, the room allowed for all members of the family to flirt with the unknown (even the mother, trying out overt spirituality), it also removes the closest familial connection to the grandmother. Everyone else is at a slight remove from the old, comatose woman they express their thoughts to, whether by blood or by a generation gap; even the uncle has to overcome the grandmother’s apprehensiveness. If Yi Yi is the most incisive of films about family, it’s also crucial that the family is forced into unconventional circumstances for so long, that the final reunion is as bittersweet as possible, with chances for new life lost and the passing of a loved one. But they are together in the end, still fundamentally themselves, and that’s what matters.