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young adult

2012 Wellington Cinema Year in Review

By Cinema

This Must Be the Place posterAs usu­al, the vagar­ies of hol­i­day dead­lines mean that, just as you are arriv­ing back at work to glee­fully greet the New Year, here I am to tell you all about 2012. The best way to use this page is to clip it out, fold it up and put it in your pock­et ready for your next vis­it to the video shop – that way you won’t go wrong with your rent­ing. Trust me – I’m a professional.

But this year I have a prob­lem. Usually I man­age to restrict my annu­al picks to films that were com­mer­cially released to cinemas. I’ve always felt that it wasn’t fair to men­tion films that only screened in fest­ivals – it’s frus­trat­ing to be told about films that aren’t easy to see and it makes it dif­fi­cult for you to join in and share the love. This year, though, if I take out the festival-only films the great­ness is hard to spot among the only “good”.

As usu­al, I have eschewed a top ten in favour of my pat­en­ted cat­egor­ies: Keepers, Watch Again, Mentioned in Dispatches and Shun At All Costs. In 2012, only two of my nine Keepers (films I wish to have close to me forever) made it into com­mer­cial cinemas and one of them isn’t even really a film.

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Review: The Descendants, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Young Adult

By Cinema and Reviews

The Descendants posterI really enjoyed Alexander Payne’s The Descendants – at least while I was watch­ing it. Some films will do that to you, though. They push all sorts of groovy but­tons while you are in the room but they dimin­ish as you re-examine them. Connections that you thought were there turn out to be illus­ory, a series of sat­is­fy­ing emo­tion­al moments don’t cohere into some­thing com­plete and you real­ise that you were enjoy­ing it so much you wished it into some­thing profound.

I blame Clooney. He’s such a watch­able pres­ence, always com­bin­ing that Cary Grant movie star-ness with an under­ly­ing emo­tion­al frailty. His char­ac­ters carry that square-jawed aspir­a­tion­al male solid­ity but rarely do they actu­ally know what is going on or what to do. He spe­cial­ises in people who are mak­ing it up as they go along and that has tre­mend­ous appeal – if George Clooney doesn’t know what he’s doing then none of us do.

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