Meanwhile, when most people were focusing on the holidays, one could see that Hollywood would make this run into the record books. As we did here.
But, now comes award season, which takes over the box office talk, with good reason. Heavy tracking takes a back seat, but goes on. As January rolls along, we are hit with an array of awards, that frankly, do not need the extended coverage, so restaint is often needed. It is not easy to do when one has covered this beat for more than 20 years.
Over the years, those exhaustive, plot-laden reviews have given way to those box office reports. After all, I have learned that most people love the idea of being the critic, but the reviews are often just an exercise in creative writing, and less about the movie itself. Sure, the movie is discussed, but the use of superlative adjectives and over analysis often make the reader wince. Not to mention, they leave after the third or fourth paragraph. And never follow the story to the jump page.
So, in the course of seeing roughly 200 films a year, the business side has taken over and will continue to do so. For the reason stated, but also the gossip and the politics involved in Hollywood could drive the average person insane.
Now, as we ready ourselves for the major awards to commence, here are my top films of 2012.
1. "Silver Linings Playbook" - Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence deserve the accolades they are getting for their fine performances in the this drama. With no clear-cut favorite for Oscar's top prize at this point, there is no reason for this David O. Russell drama not to be in the discussion.
2. "Zero Dark Thirty" - As critics rejoiced and awarded Kathryn Bigelow's latest, controversy has arisen. That is no reason not to like this film, on either side of the political isle. If one takes Hollywood and its accuracy to task, why bellow over this one film? Plus, did her win for "The Hurt Locker" ruin her chances? It being oo soon, perhaps, for another win, may play in the voter's minds. Yes, that does happen.
3. "Lincoln" - Another film that takes in some American history and no outcry here. In a film that sometimes seems more like a play, it should win everything, if things were easy. Plus, is it time once again, for Steven Speilberg to win? On that note, it may hurt Daniel Day-Lewis for the same reason as Bigelow.
4. "Argo" - It turns out Ben Affleck is a better director than actor and that is fine. Another films that plays on history, which also proves, those who watch movies may not be entirely worried about their lack of historical oversight. Another look at American history is "Django Unchained," which does not make this list, but should figure in the award talk.
5. "The Dark Knight Rises" - Take away the tragic events at the Colorado movie theater and this would be on more end of the year lists. It was a solid film that wrapped up Christopher Nolan's take on the dark side of Batman beautifully.
6. "Les Miserables" - Like it or not, the way this was filmed and the live singing (as opposed to soundtrack style) has affected many. Still, the story, the performances and the power of this film cannot be denied. Oh, the way it was filmed is the in-your-face camera angles.
7. "Moonrise Kingdom" - Competing with the blockbusters and the headline grabbers isn't easy, but through all of that, there are gems. This is one of them. And only one of the fine performances turned in by Bill Murray this year. The other is his take on FDR in "Hyde Park on the Hudson."
8. "Beasts of the Southern Wild" - This is yet another gem to seek out and enjoy. The performance of Quvenzhané Wallis wows, for lack of a better word.
9. "Rust and Bone" - While the foreign film category is being dominated by "Amour," this one cannot be overlooked. Some films are not always easy to watch and very depressing, but that can also be a rich movie-going experience. It is often these films that stand the test of time more than the blockbuster.
10. "Looper" - Hands down, this is the most inventive screenplay of the year. A thrill ride through time and assassins, Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt shine and make this one work.
Others: "The Hunger Games," "Skyfall," "Amour" and "Life of Pi."
There they are, without making this a thesis in film critique. Now, to get that indepth plot, that is simple. Seek out and enjoy these films.
Note: The Golden Globes are Sunday, Jan. 13. Oscar nominations will be handed out Thursday, Jan. 10. That means the winners of the Golden Globes will have no impact on those nominations. For Globe nominations, head here.