EYES WIDE OPEN 2012: The Year’s 25 Greatest Movies (and Worst)
As Oscar draws near....a fresh approach!, February 10, 2013
Grady Harp (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)
This review is from: Eyes Wide Open 2012: The Year's 25 Greatest Movies (and 5 Worst) (Kindle Edition)
Chris Barsanti can always be depended upon to be controversial - and that is exactly what Hollywood loves...free publicity, or talk, or opinion, even if that means the biggies up for Oscars are clobbered and the neglected films are praised. In this fun book Barsnati begins his survey of all the films worth mentioning in an Introduction that states, `Everybody Has an Audience: From the point-of-view shots of End of Watch to the overt theatricality of Anna Karenina, 2012 was a year for self-conscious spectacle at the movies. In The Hunger Games, the life-and-death struggle of its teen protagonists is all for the benefit of home television audiences. In Leos Carax's eye-popping Holy Motors, the whole point of life appears to be watching. Or acting. Or both. ` He then proceeds with a discussion about the status of audiences today - both in film and on television and his observations are cogent if at times a bit acerbic.
The book contains the following `chapters':
The Top 25 Films of 2012
The 5 Worst Films of 2012
Yet More Lists
Endnote: The Harsh World: Films Facing Reality in 2012
Just to give a taste of what is to follow, Bersanti lists No1 film as Detropia (followed in order by Zero Dark Thirty, The Master...) but that would prevent the reader from buying this entertaining and opinionated and fascinating book to list them all. Barsanti's reasons for his choices are sound if at times surprising. At the end of his Honorable Mention list he does reveal the Worst 5 films of 2012 and it is doubtful he would mind sharing that in this review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, 2016: Obama's America, The Intouchables, Rock of Ages, and The Five Year Engagement - and yes, he gives his reasons for his selection of the losers.
We also get Barsanti's lists for the best five (or so) nominations for each category of the Oscar race - and many people will agree with these. Barsanti is kind enough to share his own biographical data at book's end just so we know (if we didn't already) who wrote this tome. And he does share some philosophy in several well-considered essays and a final summation about the world as reflected in the films of 2012. Barsanti is smart and well informed and yes, opinionated, and that is what makes this book so readable and fun. Get it before Oscar night! Grady Harp, February 13
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)