Another year has come to a close, and after making resolutions ahead of the upcoming big film awards season, it’s time for our annual roundup of the films that thrilled audiences in 2022. Below is a selection of 14 films who in this other lap around the sun have left their mark by making people cry, reflect, laugh and even leave the room feeling nauseous.
The Banshees of Inisherin – The Spirits of the Island
On the small Irish island of Inisherin, Colm (Brendan Gleeson) suddenly decides he wants to end his historic friendship with Padraic (Colin Farrell). However, the latter does not accept his friend’s decision and does not rest, causing an extreme reaction in Colm. The Banshees of Inisherin, presented at the 79th Venice Film Festival is a film that could initially deceive the viewer by pretending to have a simple plot, which however slowly turns into a tale of the absurd with strong references to Celtic legends. The film also has a pleasant theatrical imprint perceptible in the intense exchanges between the protagonists. It is no coincidence that the film is directed by director Martin McDonagh, who has been active for years in the productions of the best theaters in London.
Tar, directed by Todd Field, is not what we could properly define a traditional film. If we wanted to explain it, it would be like buying a ticket to watch the spectacle of a life being destroyed before our eyes. The life in question is that of Lydia Tár, conductor as charismatic as she is detestable, both villain and victim, played by a Cate Blanchett who still incredibly manages to outdo himself and who will undoubtedly hoard prizes at the next awards season. To his extraordinary interpretation and to the direction of Field, who manages with great skill to infuse dark and sinister tones to the story, is then added a script full of musical and philosophical quotations that will seriously question the cultural level of even the most cultured spectators. Presented at the last Venice Film Festival, Tár will be released in Italy on February 9, 2023.
Crimes of the Future
2022 was also the year that reported David Cronenberg on the scene with Crimes of the Future. The film, which features protagonists Léa Seydoux, Kristen Stewart And Viggo Mortensen, is centered on the story of Saul Tenser, famous artist and performer, who with his partner Caprice publicly shows the metamorphosis of his organs in avant-garde performances. The film, in Cronenberg’s unique style, addresses several critical issues of the present such as excessive body modifications and plastic pollution. The director himself has in fact declared that Crimes of the Future is in fact “a meditation on human evolution [..] a continuity of my understanding of technology as connected to the human body. Technology is always an extension of the human body, even when it appears to be very mechanical and non-human.’
Little Sophie (Frances Corio) is vacationing at a Mediterranean resort with his father Calum (Paul Mescal) where the days go by slowly. Twenty years later Sophie’s memories resurface creating a harrowing portrait of the girl’s father-daughter relationship. The director’s film Charlotte Wells is a contemplative work that without revealing too much reflects on the power of the memories we build in childhood, a moving film that will deeply move even the most rigid viewers. Aftersun will be available on the Mubi platform from January 6th.
Sick of Myself
Little Norwegian jewel presented at the Cannes Film Festival, Sick of Myself tells the story of Signe and Thomas, a young narcissistic couple in an unhealthy and competitive relationship. When Thomas suddenly makes it big as a contemporary artist, Signe hatches a crazy plan to gain attention, creating a new version of herself. Sick of Myself is a hilarious and cynical comedy that mimics the attention-hungry modern world suffers from.
Triangle of Sadness
Carl and Yaya, respectively a model and an influencer, are invited on a luxury yacht in exchange for the social promotion of the cruise. There is a strong social hierarchy on the boat that clearly divides the employees and the guests, almost all of whom are millionaires. However, these dynamics will reverse when the sinking yacht will end up on an island where money will have no value. Triangle of Sadness, winner of the Palme d’Or at the last Cannes Film Festival, is a disruptive satire that bluntly makes fun of the often absurd world of the rich, intelligently reflecting on social inequalities. Despite the brilliant script and the excellent performances of the cast, the film is destined to remain in history for a famous scene in which the rough sea will cause unexpected intestinal shocks in the guests.
In the not too distant future, Kyra (Jodie Turner-Smith) and Jake (Colin Farrell) buy an android with Asian features to help their daughter Mika deepen their Chinese origins. When the automaton has a technical problem and is sent for assistance, the family will have to deal with the possible loss of what had by now become part of the family to all intents and purposes.
Bones and All
If in 2013 Only Lovers Left Alive by Jim Jarmusch had made us realize that vampires can be romantic too, with Bones and All director Luca Guadagnino it will also make you think again about the sentimentality of cannibals. A love story between two teenagers thirsty for blood, bowels, but also love, which fortunately has nothing of the cloying style of teen dramas. Not recommended for those with a weak stomach.
She Saiddirected by the director of Unhortodox, Maria Schradertells the true story of how two New York Times reporters, played by Carey Mulligan And Zoe Kazanwe have brought to light the abuses inflicted for years by the manufacturer Harvey Weinstein to many women. The film, without falling into easy rhetoric, clearly and strongly reconstructs the investigation that contributed to the creation of the #MeToo movement, which has broken decades of silence. Lei she Said is a tribute to stubborn journalism that reminds us how brave women can be.
Corsage – The Corset of the Empress
Since the 1950s Elisabeth of Bavaria, known as Sissi, has been the protagonist of great successes for the big screen that have depicted her as a carefree and naïve empress. Who does not remember the unforgettable Romy Schneider, who in pompous clothes fell madly in love with Franz. Too bad the reality was quite different. With Corsagesthe director Marie Kreutzer finally demolishes the sweetened version packaged for the romantic audience and tells us another story in which Sissi, played by Vicky Kriepsis instead a highly disturbed woman, a heavy smoker and addicted to drugs.
Cha Cha Real Smooth
Andrew (Cooper Raiff) is a young man with no particular ambitions who occasionally works as an entertainer for Bar Mitzvah parties. During one of the celebrations, the 22-year-old gets to know the young mother (Dakota Johnson) of an autistic girl, with whom a strong friendship will be born. The film, available on Apple TV, does not want to make great claims or set itself up as a master of great truths, but gives its own gentle and sweet version of growth that other modern audiovisual products have perhaps too often distorted.
A young couple (Anya Taylor-Joy And Nicholas Hoult) visit an exclusive restaurant on a remote island where renowned chef Julian Slowik (Ralph Finnes) has prepared a sumptuous menu in which each course will be a twist. In a world where chefs are now celebrities and there are those who are willing to spend a fortune to try the most eccentric dishes, The Menu looks like horror comedy all taste.
The Fabelmans are an Arizona-based Jewish family consisting of a mother, father, and four children. Among these is Sammy, a boy with a great passion for cameras, who never misses an opportunity to film any moment of his daily life. After the discovery of a sad family secret, it will be the saving power of cinema that will give the boy the strength not to lose heart. Sammy is nothing more than an alter ego of Steven Spielberg, director of the film, who genuinely tells us a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story inspired by his childhood and adolescence. The Fabelmans is probably the American director’s testament, a long love letter to cinema and his magic.
Good Luck to You, Leo Grande – The Pleasure is All Mine
Retired professor Nancy Stokes, played by Emma Thompson, now a widow decides to hire a young escort in hopes of enjoying a night of pleasure and self-discovery following an unsatisfying married life. The film is a continuous exchange of dialogues between Nancy and Leo Grande (Daryl McCormack), with which the various taboos related to the female figure and in particular to middle-aged women, often depicted as having no sexuality, are cleared through customs. To give added value to the film is then the interpretation of Emma Thompson, an actress capable of passing naturally from funnier moments to more dramatic moments.