For the fifth year in a row, my top film — Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel — was screened well ahead of the traditional late-year awards rush of prestige pictures, holding off challenges from studio and specialty releases and the normal spate of New York Film Festival screenings (the two NYFF films to take top spots in 2011 and 2012 screened the year prior). This resiliency was further shown in strong showing across other awards, including top awards for Best Director, Original Screenplay, Production Design, and Costume Design and appearances in the top five for nearly every other category (with Ralph Fiennes missing out only because I refuse to combine multiple performances from a single actor in a given year).
This is by far the best showing for a Wes Anderson film, with (the albeit superior) Rushmore’s showing in 1998 held back by the behemoth that was The Thin Red Line. The top ten, in general, was a welcome split between old masters who seem always make my year-end lists (Anderson, Dardennes, Ceylan, Fincher, Breillat, and Nolan) and a gaggle of revelatory works from new and emerging talents.
Unfortunately, I have not had a chance to write any recent reviews, but here is a sampling of reviews from films from these last few (dormant) years. Links below are for an old Blogspot website that is slowly being transitioned over to this site.
Tree of Life (Terence Malick, 2011)
Click the year below for a full listing of year-end awards: