My Films of 2012

I’ve never really had a best movies of the year list before, because I’ve never really felt that into film – but now winds have changed. You lucky people! I can’t imagine the baited breath that’s been building up.

I am not judging on artistic expertise or anything – just the films I’ve enjoyed the most this year – and those I recommend you check out if you’ve not seen them. The Imposter is an absolute must (and don’t read up on it before hand – the less you know the better.

21 Jump Street
Who’d have thought Channing Tatum could lead a good movie


The Imposter


The Muppets

Amy Adams, Jason Segal, Kermit – what could go wrong? (Gervais)

In Darkness

Intense Polish holocaust gaspathon


Four people arguing in a room

The Perks of Being A Wallflower

Cutting yourself while listening to The Rocky Horror Picture Show


Awesome trailer


I’m not a Bond-y but this was big screen wowza


Nose of Brody, tears of Kraines


I possibly enjoyed the trailer more than the film.

And the best non 2012 films I watched this year

Midnight Cowboy

The Departed

Bicycle Thieves

We Need to Talk About Kevin



You can keep track of my film watching skills here at Listal.

Chico and Rita

I’ll happily admit I’m truly rubbish when it comes to watching foreign language films. They’re not boring, I’m not lacking in the intelligence to understand them, and I’m sure given a bit of practise I would get used to the whole being able to read the subtitles without getting distracted. I don’t have time to watch everything I guess, and this, as far as my brain goes, is my blind spot. My friend Naomi doesn’t like animated films. I think she finds them creepy. I need to lock her in a room and make her watch ‘Up.’

So it’s a big thumbs up to myself (well done me) for heading down to see new Spanish animated film ‘Chico and Rita’. I probably wouldn’t have noticed it had it not had a gorgeous animated poster on the tube which featured the words ‘COLE PORTER’ in large letters. Set in pre-revolution Havana, the story centres around a relationship between two musicians and the pivotal point in jazz music where it exploded into an international scene. At times it’s really beautiful and listening to jazz in the context of this film makes the music make more sense than it ordinarily would.


Much recommended.


At A-Level I studied The Tempest and Othello as our Shakespeare works. I found Othello dark and bewitching, and probably as a teenager, more exciting with its ideas of deception, torment and revenge. How emo. On the otherhand The Tempest felt wet and dull. In fact so much so that I barely remember anything about it. The trailer then, for the new film interpretation out in December is something of a revelation as it looks completely extreme and mental. I never thought I’d be excited by The Tempest, but this adaption (starring Helen Mirren as Sir Ian McKellen and Russell Brand as Russell Brand) looks wild and feels very Baz Luhrmann does Romeo and Juliet. Bring it.



Love and Other Drugs


I rarely talk about films here. There was once a time where I probably went through a couple of years without going to the cinema much. Then in the last year thanks to a combination of a housemate who works at the BFI and the excellent purchasing of a Cineworld Unlimited card I’ve been banging my way through old and new films non-stop.

Things I have learnt through recent cinema going include
(i) Everything at the BFI starts late. If you enter after a film has started, OAPs shout at you.
(ii) ‘The Town’ is very good
(iii) The Trocadero is even worse than you remember
(iv) ‘A Woman of No Importance’ is the most intense weepie ever. I cried so hard I nearly threw up.
(v) I can give very detailed reviews of every Cineworld in North London.

In forthcoming cinema news I’m looking forward to Gyllenhaal / Hathaway double-header ‘Love and Other Drugs’. It looks good or nauseating, depending on if you’re a girl or a boy.

Whatever You Like

This gorgeous, breathy cover of TI’s gently epicĀ  ‘Whatever You Like’ was featured on this week’s ‘controversial’ US episode of Gossip Girl.

Sung by San Diego singer-songwriter Anya Marina, it’s almost like a goofier version of something you might expect from Nouvelle Vague. She’s also got a song on the new Twilight soundtrack. Zeitgeist her face off.

Wednesday Afternoon at the Movies


I might know a lot of random music trivia but ask me anything about film and I’m generally have a blank face. I’m a bit rubbish at going to the cinema and have never seen ‘cold stone classics’ like ET, The Godfather, Star Wars etc. This complete lack of knowledge was further compounded this week when The Times released their list of 100 Best Movies of the Noughties and I had seen precisely 25. It could be worse I guess.

I’ve been making a bit more of an effort in the last month taking in a few at the London Film Festival (‘Cold Souls’ – 4/10; ‘Cracks’ – 7/10; ‘Kicks’ 6/10; ‘Capitalism a love affair’ 6/10; ‘Scouting Book for Boys’ 8/10) and forcing myself to go and see the delightfully silly ‘Julie & Julia’, the weepy ‘Up’, the disappointing ‘An Education, and the truly awful ‘The Boys Are Back’. To add to this, after many years of wanting one, I’ve just bought myself a Cineworld Unlimited card. Next up, Jennifer’s Body.

Anyway all this is leading up to me being delighted to find out that my very local independent cinema Rio, Dalston today showed my favourite film slightly inappropriately in their monthly golden oldies matinee slot. The film is 2004’s (slightly romanticised) Cole Porter biopic ‘De-Lovely’. I originally saw it in the cinema in Whitely’s where I bawled my eyes out, and have since played the soundtrack endlessly – Sheryl Crow’s ‘Begin The Beguine’, Vivien Green’s ‘Love For Sale’ and Lara Fabian’s contribution to the intense ‘So In Love’ are particularly special. Anyway I say inappropriately because I’m not sure a film with quite a substantial gay plot was the best thing to show the 70+. The actual ‘gay action’ is very tame – there are two kisses, but it was enough for the whole crowd to react in a shocked, loud jeering way. It was quite odd. The other noticeable moment was during John Barrowman’s scene where the ladies behind me shouted really loudly ‘THAT’S THAT BARRYMAN’. Amazing.

The film screening was absolutely full and free, even for me. Not only that but they provided everyone with free cakes and tea in the interval & it’s all done without a sponsor – they just asked for donations at the end. I hardly see anyone who isn’t 24 with a wonky fringe in Dalston but this is a great little get together for the older generation. Hurrah for the Rio.

So yes, see De-Lovely. Even if you don’t really dig the film, you’ll be introduced to Cole Porter’s music and snork at the various pop star cameos. Mick Hucknall even gets to say a line.

This is my favourite scene. My tears started three minutes into the film today but this is the time when I absolutely cry so hard I could vomit. It’s up there with Billie being sucked into the vortex.



An Education

I’m a bit rubbish at seeing films. I always think ‘oooh, I’ll see that’ but more often than not come up with something more fun (i.e. sitting at home on the internet) to do than go to the cinema. Anyway the last film I got giddy about seeing was Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day with the gorgeous Amy Adams and knee trembling Lee Pace. Swoon your way through tearjerker ‘If I Didn’t Care. Ned! Pies!

Now only a year later, there’s another film I’m quite into seeing. Well done me. I obviously have something for posh accents and London in bygone ages, as this time it’s ‘An Education’.


The story is based around a relationship British journalist Lynn Barber had as a teenager with an older man. It’s detailed in her new memoirs of the same name, but only takes up one chapter of the fascinating book. I had to read it very quickly last week at work to prepare an interview for her (an interview for the queen of interviewing!) and can hugely recommend as both an insight into the world of journalism and the very real tale of a girl growing up. The trailer seems to romanticise the relationship much more than the book does, but perhaps that’s a trailer impression.

There are also two proper SCREAM (if you’re a geek) castings in that trailer. I stared at Jenny (Lynn) for a while before realising she was modern day Doctor Who idol Sally Sparrow from ‘Blink’. And who is that familiar voice saying ‘Go to Oxford, no matter what – you’ll break my heart’? It’s a far from glamorous looking Adelle from Dollhouse. Plus how gorgeous does Beth Rowley look?

‘An Education’ is out in October. Make way for me, Mr Cinema