Friday, July 6, 2012

dan braun's favorite films of 2012... so far

Dark HorseTodd Solondz’ most heartfelt film since Welcome to the Dollhouse. A thirty-something man (Jordan Gelber), who is still living at home with his parents (Christopher Walken and Mia Farrow) and a portrait of arrested development, attempts to come to grips with the grown-up world around him.

Elena – The latest film by famed Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev (The Return, The Banishment). A powerful look at life in contemporary Moscow, a character study of a mother and wife (Nadezhda Markina), and the omnipotence of familial bonds.

Footnote – Father-and-son academic scholars Eliezer and Uriel Shkolnik (Schlomo Bar-Aba and Lior Ashkenazi), the former headstrong and curmudgeonly and the latter outgoing and populist, find their enigmatic professional and personal relationships complicated even further when Eliezer is mistakenly awarded the Israel Prize intended for his son.

The GreyLiam Neeson leads a group of men fighting for their survival, post-plane crash within a barren stretch of Alaskan wilderness, while trying to remain a step ahead of a particularly ruthless pack of wolves.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi – A feast for the eyes and the palate, chronicling Jiro Ono, the 85-year-old master and owner of Tokyo-based Sukiyabashi Jiro (widely considered the best sushi restaurant in the world), and his ongoing quest for perfection.

Miss Bala – A woman (Stephanie Sigman) with ambitions of becoming a beauty pageant winner is suddenly and unexpectedly thrust into the world of Mexican organized crime.

Monsieur Lazhar – An Albanian immigrant (Mohamed Fellag) adjusts to a new life and culture as a school teacher in Montréal.

Moonrise KingdomWes Anderson’s elegiac chronicle of a young boy and girl in love, who flee their small New England town and turn a search party (Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Bruce Willis and Edward Norton, among others) hot on their trail.

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia – The director Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Distant, Climates, Three Monkeys) and his latest, a meditative, multi-layered crime story and character study. Defies rote categorization and a uniquely epic experience.

Oslo, August 31st – Reflective of Antonioni in its composition, a wrenching examination of the heartache and vise-like grip drug addiction causes and represents, with a brilliant lead performance by Anders Danielsen Lie.

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