'The Master' Tops Sight & Sound's Top Ten of 2012 While 'Holy Motors' is #1 with Cahiers Du Cinema

Sight & Sound and Cahiers Du Cinema Top Ten of 2012The first top ten lists of 2012 have arrived by way of Sight & Sound and the distinguished French magazine Cahiers Du Cinema, and to no surprise we are looking at a pair of lists that largely target festival features rather than anything mainstream. Sight & Sound's is compiled through contributions of approximately 100 critics and does contain a few more "well known" features, but for the most part you're looking at a pair of cinephile lists that will probably include a few titles you haven't heard of... no problem with that.

Three films crossover between each list with Leos Carax's Holy Motors landing at #4 on the Sight & Sound list while coming in as the #1 film on Cahiers' list. Then, David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis starring Robert Pattinson, which wasn't necessarily well received everywhere it landed, comes in at #2 on the Cahiers list and ties for the eighth spot on Sight and Sound's. Finally, Miguel Gomes' Portuguese feature Tabu comes in at #2 on the Sight & Sound list and tied for the eighth spot on Cahiers.

The #1 film on Sight & Sound's list is Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master, which is currently hanging on by the fingernails in my Best Picture Oscar predictions, but I'm sure this won't be the last list it tops as year-end top tens rarely mirror the Academy's Best Picture nominees.

Looking over the two lists only one inclusion surprises me, that being Francis Ford Coppola's truly awful Twixt, which I saw in Toronto in 2011 and couldn't even bring myself to review it. Coppola, however, is probably unaffected as he has taken to making more personal films in his latter years as a director and while I didn't like Twixt I still applaud him on maintaining some level of directorial integrity... I guess Godfather residuals and a massive wine business makes such a prospect a little easier.

I have included both lists directly below, along with links to my reviews of each where available.

Sight & Sound Top 10 Of 2012

  1. The Master (dir. Paul Thomas Anderson) [my review]
  2. Tabu (dir. Miguel Gomes)
  3. Amour (dir. Michael Haneke) [my review]
  4. Holy Motors (dir. Leos Carax) [my review]
  5. Beasts of the Southern Wild (dir. Benh Zeitlin) [my review]
  6. Berberian Sound Studio (dir. Peter Strickland)
  7. Moonrise Kingdom (dir. Wes Anderson) [my review]
  8. Beyond the Hills (dir. Christian Mungiu)
  9. Cosmopolis (dir. David Cronenberg) [my review]
  10. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (dir. Nuri Bilge Ceylan)
  11. This is Not A Film (dir. Jafar Pahani and Mojtaba Mirtahmaseb)

Cahiers Du Cinema Top 10 Of 2012

  1. Holy Motors (dir. Leos Carax) [my review]
  2. Cosmopolis (dir. David Cronenberg) [my review]
  3. Twixt (dir. Francis Ford Coppola)
  4. 4:44 Last Day On Earth (dir. Abel Ferrara)
  5. In Another Country (dir. Hong Sang-Soo)
  6. Take Shelter (dir. Jeff Nichols) [my review]
  7. Go Go Tales (dir. Abel Ferrara)
  8. Tabu (dir. Miguel Gomes)
  9. Faust (dir. Alexadre Sokourov)
  10. Keep The Lights On (dir. Ira Sachs)

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  • CJohn

    Tabu!!! Amazing portuguese movie!!!

  • Nick

    Good to see Tabu in both lists. Pretty wonderful film.

  • http://timeforafilm.com Alex Thomas

    At least I know Sight & Sound isn't my taste, I didn't enjoy The Master, Beasts, Holy Motors or Amour. Need to check out Tabu! (By the way Brad, seems Tabu crosses over both lists as well at #2 and #7)

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      Oops, thanks... fixed.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/HarryFuertes/ Harry Fuertes

    Just more pretentious movies in my opinion. Sight and Sound is a respectable list maker, but I can't stand the film snobs who vote for these yearly lists. At least 6 of these won't be remembered in 5 years let alone 20 or 30! Why not nominate the ones who will be such as Cloud Atlas, Killing Them Softly, Les Miserables, etc. I could name like 10 more who deserve to be on this list. And it's not even December and these people are voting without seeing Les Mis, Zero Dark, and Django. It kind of makes me upset.

    • Nick

      How many movies on both lists have you seen? How do you know they're not up to par?

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/HarryFuertes/ Harry Fuertes

        From past experience with these yearly lists, most of them are pretty much the same to me. I do see several of them though just in case. Someone said it right below, but sometimes these lists bring up movies that are hidden gems and are quite good.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

      These "lists" are meaningless and you shouldn't let them affect your mood.

    • Disco Paco

      And Cloud Atlas will be remembered in 30 years?

      Also, shouldn't a top ten list reflect the ten best movies in their opinion instead of the most memorable? That's why it's called a top ten and not memorable ten.

      • http://thefilmgoersproject.com filmgoermatt

        The original post was silly, but Cloud Atlas is only going to be more appreciate over the years. It often takes such epic, visionary films a while to become highly acclaimed.

  • Chris

    I still think The Master will get a nom.

    I'm thinking

    Les Miserables
    Zero Dark Thirty
    Django Unchained
    Silver Linings Playbook
    Moonrise Kingdom
    The Master

    Have no idea who will win. Heard Les Mis is good but has a lot of problems from a couple sources. I really did not like Lincoln so I hope that doesn't win. But I keep hearing great things about Zero Dark Thirty.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/RandallPMcMurphy/ Randall P McMurphy

    Both those lists seem like a joke to me. 4:44 is maybe the worst film I've seen this year.
    Here's my top ten up to now
    4.Moonrise Kingdom
    6.The Raid: Redemption
    7.Rust and Bone
    8.End of Watch
    9.Love Is All You Need

    Just behind them are: Perks of Being a Wall.., Bullhead, and Magic Mike

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AndrewJ.S./ Andrew J.S.

      Detachment is my #2 at this point as well. Definitely the most underrated movie I've seen this year.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/RandallPMcMurphy/ Randall P McMurphy

        I agree, I think its oscar-worthy.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/kevinblumeyer/ Kevin Blumeyer

      Nice to see some love for Detachment. That one has definitely stuck with me more than most of the movies I've seen this year.

      It's streaming on Netflix, so check it out people!

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

    It must be nice for these people to be so sure of what the best films of the year are when they haven't even seen some of the years biggest films. Interesting. But I guess there's nothing like being 1st.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Andrew13/ Andrew13

      True, but you have to remember this is a British magazine. In England Django, Les Miserables, Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty and Cloud Atlas are all 2013 releases, so I have to assume they would qualify for next years Top 10. The only big films still scheduled to be released in the UK this year are Life of Pi and The Hobbit.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

        Valid point, but The Hobbit & Life of Pi are still 2 major films.

  • The Moth

    "Twixt"? Really?
    I am wondering what Cahiers Du Cinema sees in it because I am not able to see it as something else than an unfortunate experiment in digital filmmaking. Coppola is still able to make a very good movie but his last films were all destroyed by his own incoherent writing.

    "Tetro" could have been great as well as "Youth Without Youth" but "Twixt" is a true mess. I am still wondering how he was able to be satisfied with that "ending" which felt like a slap in the face of the audience.

    On the other hand it is great to see, that he is able to do what he likes and is not in the financial situation he was 10 or 20 years ago...

  • Kyle

    Maybe I'm missing something here, but why is 'Take Shelter' on the list? Wasn't that released last year, including when it screened at Cannes 2011?

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Andrew13/ Andrew13

      It's because Chaiers Du Cinema is a French magazine, and Take Shelter wasn't released in France until January 2012.

  • http://hypethemovies.wordpress.com Jordan B.

    I think Sight & Sound is the only publication still giving love to The Master right now. Anyways, glad to see that Moonrise Kingdom made the list.

  • The Jackal

    I'm actually thankful for lists like this, as it helps cinephiles (such as myself) discover films they may have missed or didn't have the opportunity to see in theaters. I love popular films such as The Avengers, Argo and Moonrise Kingdom; however, what a joy it is to discover Beasts of The Southern Wild and Amour. I have such vivid memories of experiencing Titanic & Jurassic Park or Avatar in theaters and being blown away by the amazing spectacle I was witnessing, but on the same note, I can remember how amazed I was after discovering Gus Van Sant's Elephant, or the phenomenal Pan's Labyrinth, or the stellar German flick Downfall (2004).

    I can't wait to check out some of the films on this list, such as Holy Motors, Take Shelter, The Master and Tabu.

    Thems the facts

  • Badge

    I'm glad Twixt made it to this list, it seems to have dropped into obscurity. But #1 and #2 both about guys taking epic journeys in limousines? Something there obviously hits a chord with the Cahiers crowd.