'Holy Motors' tops Film Comment's list of the year's best

Posted by · 12:23 pm · December 14th, 2012

It really feels petty and pointless in light of this morning’s events to forge ahead with stuff like this. Anne Thompson and I dropped our top 10 lists to start the day and, quite clearly, more important things are dominating our hearts and minds at the moment. Nevertheless, diversion and the distraction has always been the identity of the magic of the movies, so Film Comment’s announcement of the year’s best comes at as appreciated a time as any.

The FIlm Society of Lincoln Center’s annual survey of film critics, journalists and editors left Leos Carax’s “Holy Motors” at the top of an auteur heavy list of films from fimmakers such as Paul Thomas Anderson, Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Wes Anderson, among others. Falling just outside the list included Benh Zeitlin’s “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” David Cronenberg’s “Cosmopolis” and David O. Russell’s ‘Silver Linings Playbook.”

Separate to the list is another collective of the best films yet to be released in 2012. Joachim Lafosse’s “Our Children” topped that tally, with festival players such as Alan Berliner’s “First Cousin Once Removed” and Jun Robles Lana’s “Bwakaw” not far behind.

Explained Film Comment editor Gavin Smith via press release, “Film Comment”s annual Best Films lists offer a comprehensive look at the year in film by combining the viewpoints of most of the magazine”s staff and contributors as well as many of America”s most influential film critics, writers and minds – with a specific emphasis this year on soliciting votes both in print and online.”

The Film Society’s “The Conversation starts here…” event on December 18 will feature a discussion of the list between Smith and Film Society’s new programming team: Kent Jones and Robert Koehler.

Check out the top 10 lists below. The full lists can be found at FilmComment.com.


1. “Holy Motors” (Leos Carax)

2. “The Master” (Paul Thomas Anderson)

3. “Moonrise Kingdom” (Wes Anderson)

4. “This is Not a Film” (Jafar Panahi & Moitaba Mirtahmasb)

5. “Amour” (Michael Haneke)

6. “The Turin Horse” (Béla Tarr)

7. “The Kid with a Bike” (Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne)

8. “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia” (Nuri Bilge Ceylan)

9. “Lincoln” (Steven Spielberg)

10. “Zero Dark Thirty” (Kathryn Bigelow)


1. “Our Children” (Joachim Lafosse)

2. “Memories Look at Me” (Song Fang)

3. “First Cousin Once Removed” (Alan Berliner)

4. “When Night Falls” (Ying Liang)

5. “Bwakaw” (Jun Robles Lana)

6. “Gebo and the Shadow” (Manoel de Oliveira)

7. “differently, Molussia” (Nicolas Rey)

8. “Perret in France and Algeria” (Heinz Emigholz)

9. “The Extravagant Shadows” (David Gitten)

10. “Three Sisters” (Wang Bing)

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