Best of 2022
- C'mon C'mon Reminiscent of Wim Wender’s debut Alice in the Cities, Joaquin Phoenix travels across America in this Mike Mills movie with his strange 10 year old nephew while interviewing kids and teenagers in America about their ideas of the future. A beautiful story about movement, bonding and filled with ideas that make us question our ideas about the world.
- The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent Nicholas Cage kissing Nicholas Cage in a movie about Nicholas Cage played by Nicholas Cage. Fun, reinventing the pop humor imagery of Nic Cage while getting in some meta-film narrative that’s both exhilarating and funny.
- Bones and All Or how to make cannibalism sexy. Luca Guadagnino’s makes a better American horror film than his earlier reimagining of Dario Argento’s Suspiria. Rural and weird America thrives in this cannibalistic love story with a brilliant performances from Taylor Russell, Mark Rylance and Timothée Chalamet.
- Holy Spider This Iranian serial killer film by Ali Abbasi about a real life serial killer Saeed from Mashhad, Iran. Saeed preys on prostitutes as a way becoming a martyr and living cause of God. The narration of the real life events is embellished with the arc of an investigative journalist played by Zar Amir-Ebrahimi who is on the fight against the serial killer. Though having its plot conveniences, the movie brings everything together in a stark serial killer tale wrapped in relevant social commentary about Iranian society post the Mahisa Amini protests.
- Moonage Daydream Brett Morgen’s tripping take on David Bowie’s life and music is an out of body experience. Having known very little about Bowie before, I left in awe at the expanse in Bowie’s work and in extension, in Morgen’s work. A psychedelic experience.
- Triangle of Sadness I HATE CAPITALISM activism through a movie about the ultra rich on a yacht who later get stranded on an island. Class struggle, the gluttony of the rich, glorious puke projectiles and a drunken Marxist Woody Harrelson are the highlights in Ruben Östlund’s follow-up to the art-house epic The Square.
- Top Gun: Maverick A movie with fighter planes and a Tom Cruise who is not afraid to really fly them? One of those large screen spectacles from this year that bring great writing and apex filming techniques blended to a perfect Hollywood blockbuster. Having not watched the original, the sequel still stands tall and Tom Cruise, the Man, balances off the edge of madness while still keeping his head.
- Everything Everywhere All at Once The cultural zeitgeist of this era will be defined by this movie, a true successor to the spirit of The Matrix. Bizarre, breathtaking, featuring a bagel and the best dramatic scene between two rocks (not Dwayne Johnson, sorry). Sitting through this time travel tale is the equivalent of forgetting one’s brain in the washing machine, and getting dunked into an absolute creative craziness that lingers long after the movie is finished. An instant classic, this movie has the highest probability for being in the lists of future generations that look back at the 2020s as the heyday for great movies.
- The White Lotus: Season 2 Mike White (forever the Ned Schneebly from School of Rock, which he also wrote) ups the stakes at the “uglies of the rich” TV show continuing the success from the first season from 2021. Analyzing the sexual ambiguities of the characters who are all casted to perfection and a whodunit at the core of the story became a favorite past-time in the last months of 2022, bringing up an online fan base just as funny as the series. Funny and sexy at every turn of a frame, a great show to start the New Year with, if you’ve missed it.
- The Rehearsal Nathan Fielder’s follow-up to the nerd fun, cringe comedy show Nathan for You is a bizzaro reality TV-show that pays a 6 hour homage to Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York. Taking the synecdoche trope to the extreme, Nathan Fielder manages to find the boundary between the real self and the actors self when faced with a camera, generating a lot of absurdity in the process. The Rehearsal asks a lot of questions about the philosophy of film and pulls us the audience to meditate on the fakeness of a world that we almost take granted to be real. Nathan Fielder is one of those rare artists who create magic out of nonsense, a true jester-philosopher of our times.
This list is in no particular order. Happy New Year and thank you for reading.