2012: The Best Movies of September

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Every thirty days, I like to post a list of my favorite films I’ve recently seen. Here are the best films I’ve seen throughout the month of September. This list is based on movies theatrically released here in Canada, and I do not include what I have seen at film festivals.

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1: Tabu
Directed by Miguel Gomes
Written by Miguel Gomes
Portugal, 2012

With his third feature, Portuguese critic-turned-auteur Miguel Gomes has proven himself to be a director in complete control of his craft. Tabu is a film of artistic cool – breaking classic genre conventions in the most crafty and affectionate way by consistently subverting the narrative in a beautiful dreamlike style. Gomez has directed a film that channels the look and feel of classic Hollywood, and one that will transport you back to the golden age of cinema. Tabu is a universal tale about love, passion, friendship and betrayal – an exquisitely-cut gem, a rarity for our time, and perhaps the best film of the year.

2: The Master

Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

Written by Paul Thomas Anderson

2012, USA

Much like Paul Thomas Anderson’s previous movie There Will Be Blood, The Master is a portrait of megalomaniac. It is about character interaction, not character development – a study of two souls searching for answers and for belonging. It is also one of the most technically impressive films of the year and on that satisfies on many levels. This is the work of a true artist and quite possibly the best American filmmaker working today. The Master is smart, incredibly well acted, exquisitely shot and assembled with meticulous artistry. While it might be the least accessible film from the director’s cannon, it is nevertheless is a film that demands to be seen by any true hardcore cinephile.

3: Wuthering Heights

Directed by Andrea Arnold

Screenplay by Olivia Hetreed

2011, UK

Based on Emily Brontë’s gothic novel from over 160 years ago, Wuthering Heights is a surprising choice for Andrea Arnold’s third feature. Fans of previous film adaptations are most likely to be disappointed in the new big screen version as this radical new take is refreshingly different: dark and twisted. Wuthering Heights has been adapted numerous times, with both Luis Buñuel and Jacques Rivette filtering the story through their own individual personalities and surroundings. Arnold’s work can be placed on the same level as it is her most mature yet, making Cary Fukunaga’s Charlotte Brontë adaptation, Jane Eyre, pale in comparison. Like it or not, give credit to Arnold for adapting the original source material to her very own distinct vision, a visual poem that almost doesn’t feel like a period film at all.

4: Looper

Directed by Rian Johnson

Written by Rian Johnson

2012, USA

With his third film, director Rian johnson (Brick, Brother’s Bloom) has expanded his scope as a filmmaker. Looper is a unique, smart, original futuristic sci-fi/fantasy with a dose of hard-hitting drama and crafted with great loving care and attention to detail. Looper has well-developed characters, plenty of action, a ton of suspense and the most creative torture scene you’ll ever see. Think The Terminator with a twist and mixed with a variety of genres and influences including, film noir, dark comedy, romance and even westerns. If you are a fan of time-travel movies, you’ll love it.

Best of August

Best of July

Best of June

Best of May

Best of April

Best of March

Best of February

Best of January

 

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