The 2012 MAJOR Awards: The Best Picture Nominees

Best Picture Nominees

Alright, people. Here we go. The crème de la crème. The year’s best movies. The top ten movies of 2012.

2012 was an incredible year for movies, with an abundance of huge blockbusters that delivered on their promises, and your typical mix of Oscar worthy material in the mix as well. This list could have turned in to a top 20 with ease.

But I made the tough calls, and whittled it down to just ten.

Click through to see what made the final cut – the best movies of 2012!

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Argo“Argo”

Ben Affleck takes a thirty year old true story and turns it into one of the most suspenseful movies of the year. He also manages to work in a fair amount of humor, in spite of continually ratcheting up the tension. The hostile political environment he manages to create is practically smothering, and will keep you on the edge of your seat with worry for the escaped embassy staff. Thrilling and funny, “Argo” stands out as one of the year’s best, and keeps Affleck’s short directorial filmography pristine.

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Avengers“The Avengers”

Superhero films have become a sub-genre unto themselves, and “The Avengers” typifies the reasons for their popularity. Fun, exciting, full of humor and camaraderie… this movie is popcorn entertainment at its absolute best. Pulling together a team of heroes from previously established films, “The Avengers” focuses every bit as much on getting along as it does getting together. Let’s hope they stay together and keep putting movies out for a long, long time!

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Beasts_of_the_Southern_Wild“Beasts of the Southern Wild”

“Southern Wild” is an extremely evocative film. As you watch its six-year-old protagonist, Hushpuppy, battle the elements, her father and the world, it’s hard not to see her struggle as a metaphor for our struggle. Her victory comes across as a victory of the human will and spirit. A triumphant film, especially considering so many key people involved were new to the trade.
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Django“Django Unchained”

Quentin Tarantino does what he does best – putting colorful characters into dangerous situations, then making us watch the wick burn towards the charge via loaded conversations, before treating us to an explosive finale. Jamie Foxx is bad ass as Django, the ex-slave turned bounty hunter who delivers vengeance with the help of Christoph Waltz. Leonardo DiCaprio plays a slimy slave owner you’ll love to hate. Bloody, pulpy entertainment at its best.
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The_Impossible“The Impossible”

“The Impossible” may just be the most realistic disaster film ever made. What that means for the audience is that they will experience the frightening horror of the tsunami as it strikes, and then the immense devastation and sorrow of the aftermath. McGregor and Watts give amazing performances as separated husband and wife. It’s an engrossing, gut wrenching film that will remind you of what’s really important in life.
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Lincoln“Lincoln”

Featuring one of the greatest biopic performances ever put on film, “Lincoln” portrays the congressional action revolving around the passage of the slavery abolishing 13th Amendment. What you would imagine would be an easy to agree on piece of legislation was apparently a contentious, hard-fought battle, and Steven Spielberg brings it to the screen with a surprising mix of humor and drama. Daniel Day-Lewis brings Abraham Lincoln to life.
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Life of Pi“Life of Pi”

“Life of Pi” is the story of a young boy forced to share a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger after a shipwreck. His first order of business is survival, but he’s also forced to redefine his faith. Gorgeous to look at, exciting, and thought-provoking, “Life of Pi” challenges the viewer to assess the events and put them into a spiritual context. It doesn’t make things easy for the audience, opting instead to bring faith, belief, and personal interpretation into play. Astonishing.
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looper“Looper”

Sharp and stylish, “Looper” is a time travel, sci-fi thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat with its complex plot and character driven action. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis play two different temporal incarnations of the same assassin character who come into contact via time travel. Of course, one time period isn’t big enough for the two of them. Conflicts arise as the present needs to assassinate the future, and the future wants to rewrite the past.
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Skyfall“Skyfall”

Bond’s 50th Anniversary gift to his fans was one of the best films in his illustrious history. It was also part of a rare breed – the thinking person’s action movie. “Skyfall” features great action set pieces, a great theme song, and a fantastic villain, but it also featured well-rounded characters, era appropriate themes, phenomenal direction and gorgeous cinematography. “Skyfall” isn’t just a great Bond film, it’s a great film, period.
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zero_dark_thirty“Zero Dark Thirty”

Taut, engrossing and intense, “Zero Dark Thirty” is the story of one of the most intensive, important manhunts in history: the search for Osama Bin Laden. Jessica Chastain stars as the obsessed CIA officer who will not give up on the lead that eventually brings about his execution. Featuring disturbing torture sequences, terrorist attacks, and extensive intelligence gathering efforts, “Zero Dark Thirty” will grab you and will not let you go.

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Honorable mentions:

.

Best_ExoticTDKR“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”

Elderly awakening story with heart to spare.

“The Dark Knight Rises”

Honestly? Just cause I don’t want to hear it.Extxxxx.empor

The GreyThe Hobbit“The Grey”

Liam fights more than wolves, he fights mortality.

“The Hobbit”

P. Jackson’s fun, flawed return to Middle Earth..Extxxxxempor

Hunger GamesThe Master“The Hunger Games”

Highly entertaining start to next big franchise.

“The Master”

Just slightly too smart for its own good.

Moonrise KingdomSeven Psychopaths“Moonrise Kingdom”

Charming and quirky.

“Seven Psychopaths”

Batshit crazy in the best of ways.

.

Silver Linings PlaybookThe Raid“Silver Linings Playbook”

Love, love, love, love, crazy love.

“The Raid: Redemption”

Jaw dropping action.

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There you have it folks, the best films of the year.

Alright, let’s have it. What did I miss? What shouldn’t be included here? TDKR fans, happy enough now not to turn this into a referendum on Nolan’s final chapter let down? Who’s surprised “Silver Linings” only got Honorable Mention? Or “Moonrise Kingdom” for that matter?

Let’s hear it!!

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Daniel Fogarty

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73 thoughts on “The 2012 MAJOR Awards: The Best Picture Nominees

  1. Can’t BELIEVE the Hobbit was not included. I refuse to participate now…hmph.

    Joke!!!!! :D

    It’s a toss up between Django and Skyfall. They both achieve what they set out to do, whether or not you’re into spies or er, certain interactions. I guess it would be Django. It contained a wider range of emotions than Skyfall did, and that’s always what attracts me to a film.

    • It was a tough, tough year to make this list. I remember last year, I was scratching my head for worthy titles to round out ten… not this year, that’s for sure! At the end of the day, The Hobbit’s flaws sent ti to the Honorable Mention area. I couldnt bump any of the others over it. :(

      Hm. I thought Skyfall had a bunch of emotional impact, although I guess with the Slavery aspect and the separated husband and wife angle, I can see what you’re saying. ;)

  2. Nice list Fogs. I’m starting to catch up now. As you know, I’ve seen Life of Pi and Beasts which it’s still between for me. Saw The Impossible last night and also caught up with Lawless and Killing Them Softly. Django is next on the cards. As Beasts is a first time effort, I’d give it to that by a narrow margin.

    • Thats still shocking to me… that that was his first feature film. And that the two primaries were both rookies, Incredible, :o

      Meanwhile, as much as I gripe about the release schedules over here, I have to remember you guys have it worse! :(

  3. Glad you included Looper and Skyfall. Everything else seems solid also. I still have Beasts and Pi to catch up with. AMC has the Best Picture Showcase coming up, I’ m going to wait for Zero until then also. I had the Grey up there. I don’ t see any animated love on your list. Frankenweenie was terrific as was Wreck it Ralph. Still it is a matter of preference, and I see nothing to cause me to try and diss you.

    • Yeah, this was a really really good year for “Blockbusters” between The Avengers, Skyfall, Looper and The Hobbit, we really got some big budget productions that delivered the goods!

      The Grey was great (thus the Honorable Mention) but I couldnt bump any of those in the field for it.

      As for the animated, I have a lot of resepct for the genre, but none of the offerings this year were high quality enough to break into the live action arena. Last year I gave Rango honorable mention though… just to show Im not opposed to the idea. LOL

  4. Well, ZDT for me! Glad you got “Skyfall”, I knew you would. Too bad the academy is to lame to see its worth. Would put “Silver Linings..” higher. The device of mental illness allowed for greater character depth of field!
    Role for role, “Best Exotic..” had the best cast but just felt flat to me.
    Didn’t care for “Beasts..” its’ allegorical metaphor,or whatever you want to call it didn’t move me. The kid was cute but needs more. Wonder how Katrina victims felt about the film.

    • I still can’t believe the Academy snubbed Skyfall. I know its a collection of individuals, but still you’d think enough of them would be smart enough to recognize it would be good for the ceremony at least! Duh!

      It was really really tough not to include “Silver Linings”. In all candor, it was in there until I saw “The Impossible”, and then something had to go in order to make room!

      The phrase “Didn’t care for Beasts” still doesnt compute for me, LOL.

  5. ” ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

    Honestly? Just cause I don’t want to hear it.”

    If it ain’t that piece of paper, there’s some other choice they’re gonna try and make for you. You gotta do what Daniel Pink Fogs wants to do, man.

    Let me tell you this, the older you do get the more rules they’re gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin’ man, L-I-V-I-N.

    • Hahahahaaaaa!!!
      :D

      It’s probably pretty close to earning it anyways. Cause now you’d be talking top twenty… And I didn’t really leave anything that broke my heart not to include in the honorable mentions. ;)

      But seriously, over the last couple of weeks I knew I’d be in for a ton of grief if I didn’t at least make it an honorable mention, so… As I said, I just don’t wanna hear it. :D

  6. Well, I’ve seen the superhero movies. :P

    Hazard of a limited movie-going budget, I guess. Anyway, I’m glad The Avengers got the nod, though I think I’d be very surprised if it got the award.

  7. In the OtE Dearfilm year end podcast I picked Seven Psychopaths, but given the films listed, its Django Unchained for sure. The reason Tarantino gets the nod is because his film reminds me of Dark Knight in that Nolan pulled off Bale, Eckhart and Ledger and similarly Quentin pulled off Foxx, DiCaprio and Shultz! One of the best ensemble films of the year, right up with Seven Psychopaths and Les Miserables.

    • Yeah, I mean, I liked Psychopaths, but I cant see that as movie of the year (obviously). I did enjoy the hell out of it though. Very very entertaining, and had a neat little commentary on the movie biz as well! LOL

  8. Good picks. This year has been pretty solid. For some reason I still haven’t seen Django or Zero Dark Thirty yet, but there’s been plenty of great films coming out the past month.

  9. Good list. Glad to see the Avengers made it, LIfe of Pi is a strong favorite of mine this year, it was just so amazing. What did you call it? “This year’s Hugo”? I kind of agree (I loved Hugo too).

    But realistically, its a toss up between Zero dark Thirty and Lincoln, isn’t it? At least for Oscars, if not necessarily for the Majors. I cant honestly argue against either, except ZD30 was much more of a surprise to me, how anti-hollywood it was, and so effective.

    My vote: ZD30.

    • Tank called “Pi” that first. LOL. Gotta give credit where credit is due. Very insightful though, I thought. Same timeframe, same high quality, similar visually stunning impact, similar limited mass appeal ;) LOL

      For the Oscars, I actually see it as Lincoln’s to lose. The fact that Bigelow didnt get nominated doesnt speak well to ZDT’s chances (not that it rules it out of course) and I think “Beasts” and “Pi” might split the artistic vote. I doubt “Silver Linings” will pull off a “Shakespeare in Love” style upset, so… honestly, I think we’re looking at “Lincoln”. Thats how I read it right now at least.

      For here though, I wouldnt boil it down to a horse race between those two. LOL. Lets just say that. ;)

  10. Just for sheer enjoyment and a movie theater experience… I’ll vote for the Avengers. Clearly lived up to the hype of THE best superhero movie to date. Don’t see it being topped unless they do A2.

    Skyfall also gave us Bond fans so many reasons to rejoice. A close 2nd in my favorite movie experiences of 2012.

  11. My film of 2012:Argo
    Wow!!! What a FNATASIC FIL!!! I certainly hope to buy this on Blu-Ray one day!!!
    The Hunger Games, The Avengers, The Impossible are all great picks!!
    Silver Linings Playbook-Jennifer Lawrence SHOULD, and for, me, WILL WIN Best Actress at the Oscars, either her, or Naomi Watts, although, COME ON!! Jennifer Lawrence is, like I said, before, LITERALLY, THE GIRL ON FIRE!!!!!!!!!
    Django looks good, but it’s probably too graphic for me!!!!
    Daniel Day-Lewis WIL GET A BEST ACOTR WIN AT THE OSCARS!!! Lincoln was a little slow and little bit dry, but it was truly a great piece of filmmaking!!!
    Pi was very dissapointing for me!!! Amazing CISUALS and cinematography will likely win for those categories and the acting and narration from the adult Pi and the Writer is quite good, but it was just too slow for me as it also felt REALLY and almost dredfully long and boring!!
    Nice Picks!!
    My Top 3 Choices(in order):
    Argo
    Silver Linings Playbook
    The Impossible
    Ok..maybe 4 choices..
    The Avengers

    • Alright Brian. Glad to see you’re so… exicted over all of this. LOL

      Got some typos going on though up in there, maybe next time slow it down a bit and do a little double check. ;)

      Sorry to hear you didnt connect with “Life of Pi”, I thought it was quite a profound film. Glad to see it get a couple of academy award noms… sort of validated my feelings on it.

      Daniel Day Lewis looks pretty much like a safe bet for Best Actor this year. If I had to bet on it, he would be the one.

      • Sorry about that!! I will try to type a little slower and pre-read my discussions/thoughts!! Maybe I am just too excited with your picks and with the OscarNoms too!!! What other 2012 MAJOR Award nominations can we all expect from you?!?!? Who do you think will win best picture!! I am going for: Argo Silver Linings Playbook Or mostly likely.. Zero Dark Thirty Your thoughts? Your movie fan, Brian

        Sent from my iPad Mini(A Mini Version of an iPad)

  12. Awww… The Master didn’t make it in :( If I gave out awards, best picture would go to The Master…. I’m almost wondering if I’m over-glorifying it in my memory and maybe when I rewatch it I won’t be as super impressed as I was the first time but as of right now I think it’s the best film from 2012. Of course, I haven’t seen Zero Dark Thirty, Looper, Beasts of the Southern Wild, or The Impossible yet. I also didn’t realize Looper was that good. Looked interesting, but I didn’t get to it when it came out.
    From your list, I guess it would be a toss up between Argo and Skyfall for me… probably Argo would win though. Well, there is Django too…
    Nice to see The Hunger Games as an honorable mention though! I was pleasantly surprised with that film.

    • Yeah, the Hunger Games was pretty good. No doubt about it. I definitely enjoyed it. “Pleasantly Surprised” sums it up quite nicely. :D

      As for the Master, it’s just wayyyy to cerebral. That’s a hell of a film to try to figure out and it’s going to alienate a LOT of people. I’m all for a thought provoking movie, and for giving people something to think about when they see a film, but that movie is going to perplex twice as many people as it entertains. LOL While I appreciated it, I had to recognize that it has next to no broad appeal.

      Sounds like you have a lot of really good movies to check out when they come out at home, Hunter :)

  13. A very good list here Fogs! There’s a few that I haven’t seen due to release dates, but those that I do know all deserve to be here.
    The Bond fan in me makes me want Skyfall to win, there are better films here but you know… I Ioved that flick :)

  14. You’ve come out with a great list. I’d have to include Les Mis, but am not sure which one on your list I’d replace it with right now.

    • Yeah, I wasn’t as high on Les Mis as all of that, but I may just be in the minority. Apparently Oscar likes it, as it received a number of nominations… including Best Picture.

      I just couldnt bring myself to include it here. I was impressed with certain portions, but not as a whole. :(

      Meanwhile, GREAT year for movies, but a TOUGH year to narrow it to just ten!

    • Yeah, well, Silver Linings was a tough exclusion (and then of course, Oscar goes nuts over it, LOL).

      I liked the Master, but that film is way way to exclusionary for me to put it here. The Academy didnt, either, and that says something with a film like that I think.

      I liked Moonrise Kingdom but it was too much low key quirk and not enough meaning for me on first viewing…

  15. TDKR is my clear #1!!! But since it was snubbed by the FOG Academy I’m going with Beasts of the Southern Wild. Zero Dark Thirty and Argo are right on its heels.

  16. I am very surprised that Silver Linings Playlist didn’t make this list! I completely wrote it off as some hokey rom-com when I saw the commercials and was shocked when it started getting such attention and amazing reviews. But now I know why!

    I would have to go with Argo, although I’m pretty sure that I might stand alone with this one. And there are still a couple that I have seen, so I should really get on that!

    Also, am I the only person who really didn’t like Skyfall?? I mean, I liked it and I was entertained, but I would by know means call it one of the best movies of the year or even a really great movie. It was just alright. What I expected and nothing more. A movie needs to take me on an emotional roller coaster or at least give me some emotion. And I need to want to watch the movie again afterwards. I just couldn’t get into this.

    But other than me being strange, this list is great! Excited to see how the Oscars are distributed.

    • “Also, am I the only person who really didn’t like Skyfall??”

      Yes. :D

      As to Silver Linings, it was just a tough year for movies, for me. That list definitely wasn’t easy. I would have loved to include The Hobbit, The Master, Seven Psychopaths, and of course, Silver Linings. At the end of the day, I just liked the films that got included a little better. :(

      Glad you enjoyed anyways though!

  17. I’ve not seen all of these but for pure fun in the cinema I’d probably say The Avengers. I think i’d have to go for Life of Pi, purely because how much it surprised me. I wasn’t expecting a huge amount going into it but it really impressed me.

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