The Ooh Tray’s Review of the Year in Film and Inaugural Whitfield Awards!

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Five 2012 Dynamos (click on titles for the TOT review)

  1. The Master – Paul Thomas Anderson’s excellent mesmerist drama (all allusions to scientology are purely coincidental) offered a serious study of anomie and the need for new certainties in post-war America.
  2. Young Adult – Charlize Theron’s best role to date; a spoilt beauty whose life has prematurely tanked seeks out her ex in Hicktown, USA. Better than aspirational: anthropological.
  3. Martha Marcy May Marlene – Elizabeth Olsen is excellent as the girl who makes her escape from a cult and takes refuge at her sister’s lakeside retreat. Are the old gang in pursuit? You’re kept guessing to the end and perhaps beyond.
  4. Killer Joe – William Friedkin’s southern burlesque shows he’s lost none of his sense of humour. Vegetarians and Rich Hall will be horrified but don’t let that put you off: it’s hilarious.
  5. Berberian Sound Studio – The ultimate existential crisis from Peter Strickland and also the best movie about movies you’ll have seen this year.


Five 2012 Shithouses

  1. W.E – Madonna’s odd and consistently idiotic biopic of Wallace Simpson is great entertainment if you’re in the right mood but anyone interested in history may want to look elsewhere.
  2. Storage 24 – Everything wrong with the cottage industry sometimes called “British Film” and the aspirations of its young filmmakers is checked in this Alien 3 fanfilm that inexplicably gained a cinema release.
  3. That’s My Boy – Comedy’s bête noir, Adam Sandler, weakened us with Jack and Jill but finished us off with this odyssey into paedophilia and the funny side of statutory rape. We must say never again.
  4. Red Tails – Lucas reluctantly funded this vanity project about African American WW2 airmen when it became obvious no one else would stump up. He called his industry peers racist but it’s likely they just read the runes.
  5. The Hunter – Willem Defoe is the eponymous dullard who flies to Tasmania to kill a rare tiger. Once there he gets to know a family, goes trekking in the woods and stays there, for an hour. Nothing else happens. Insomnia has a new enemy.
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