CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

Community News Network

December 25, 2012

Slate: The 10 best movies of 2012

(Continued)

NEW YORK —

"Lincoln."

Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner's warm, literate portrait of the 16th president in the last few months of the Civil War (and of his life) is like a treacle sandwich with the bread in the middle. But that bread is so substantial and so delicious that it's easy to forgive the movie its sentimental opening and tacked-on, reverential coda. And while the cast as a whole is superb, Daniel Day-Lewis' quiet, meditative, deeply lived performance as Lincoln catapults him into the acting stratosphere.

"The Master."

Paul Thomas Anderson's sixth film, a kind of twisted homosocial romance between a nascent cult leader and a damaged Navy vet who comes into his orbit in the first years after WWII, was the only movie this year so nice I reviewed it twice. OK, maybe "nice" isn't the best descriptor for a film that plumbs the darker recesses of both masculine psychology and mid-20th-century American culture. But "The Master" is original, startling and bold, from the glorious 65mm cinematography by Mihai Malaimare Jr. to the unsettling soundtrack by Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix give performances that are somehow at once mythically impenetrable and alive with earthy detail. I also love that, even after three viewings, there are parts of "The Master" whose final "meaning" continues to elude me: that nude sort-of-dream-sequence around the piano, for example, or Hoffman's mysterious valedictory "Slow Boat to China" serenade.

"Once Upon a Time in Anatolia."

With its gradually unfolding murder-investigation storyline, starkly music-free soundtrack, and nightscapes straight out of a Rembrandt painting, Nuri Bilge Ceylan's bleak Turkish procedural makes for a demanding but lavishly rewarding two-and-a-half-hour watch. In terms of sheer visual and narrative sophistication, this may be the most accomplished film I've seen all year — there isn't an aesthetic detail it doesn't get right. If it doesn't get a best foreign-language film Oscar nomination, "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia" could easily disappear from sight for American audiences. Don't let it.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • 20140727-AMX-GUNS271.jpg Beretta, other gun makers heading to friendlier states

    In moving south and taking 160 jobs with it, Beretta joins several other prominent gunmakers abandoning liberal states that passed tough gun laws after the Newtown shooting.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 2.21.22 PM.png VIDEO: Dog 'faints' from excitement of seeing owner

    A reunion between a Pennsylvania woman who had been living overseas for two years and her pet schnauzer has gone viral, garnering nearly 20 million views on YouTube.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Why a see-through mouse is a big deal for scientists

    A group of Caltech researchers announced in Cell Thursday their success in making an entire organism transparent. Unfortunately, this isn't any kind of "Invisible Man" scenario: The organism in question is a mouse, and the mouse in question is quite dead.

    July 31, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 2.12.55 PM.png VIDEO: Five-year-old doesn't want her brother to grow up

    Sadie, an adorable 5-year-old from Phoenix, wants her brother to stay young forever, so much so that her emotional reaction to the thought of him getting older has drawn more than 10 million views on YouTube.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • lockport-police.jpg Police department turns to Facebook for guidance on use of 'negro'

    What seems to be a data entry mistake by a small town police department in western New York has turned into a social media firestorm centered around the word "negro" and whether it's acceptable to use in modern society.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • The virtues of lying

    Two computational scientists set out recently to simulate the effects of lying in a virtual human population. Their results, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, show that lying is essential for the growth of a cohesive social network.

    July 31, 2014

  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 30, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo