It’s possible I took this list a bit too seriously this year.
I may balk at the constant ranking and award-giving that seems to occupy so much of the discussion that surrounds film, but it’s at this time of the year that I remember that the film lovers who don’t see practically every new release are likely overwhelmed by the increasing number of new titles that appear in multiplexes, arthouse palaces, film festivals, video stores (remember those?) and online. If a ‘best of the year’ film list has any use to anyone, it’s pointing them towards the gems worth seeking out.
Before we get started, I’m going to confess that my approach to release dates is somewhat inconsistent. Because you are reading this on the World Wide Web, this list is, where possible, made up of films that were originally, internationally released in 2012. This was not always possible; I was unable to view some 2012 films that are being released in Australia in 2013 (Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook, for instance), although I made a bigger dent in them than I ever have before. Some 2011 films made it into here by sheer necessity; others did not. Hugo, Shame and some others which were released in Australia in January made it onto my Best of 2011. It’s really best not to think too hard about it.