The ten films that marked the year 2022 (in our opinion)

For this year placed under the sign of the great return to cinemas, Sissi’s beautiful dresses, Iranian cinema in majesty, a trashy Palme d’Or, Tom Cruise’s fighter planes or even a real-fake zombie invasion have made an appointment. Something to please all sensitivities. Here are our ten favorite films!

1. Licorice Pizza, by Paul Thomas Anderson

He is Gary Valentine, a very self-confident and arrogant child actor. She is Alana Kane, a jaded and vaguely clueless young adult. In the San Fernando Valley of the early 1970s – on the other side of the hill where the letters “Hollywood” are enthroned -, they will live together a love story, made of “I love you neither” to repetition.

Paul Thomas Anderson makes both a real family and friends film and a romantic chronicle of his birthplace, characterized by the many encounters between the two heroes – a freewheeling star hairdresser (Bradley Cooper), an old Hollywood glory (Sean Penn) who reenacts the key scene of his career in real life…

Behind its apparent simplicity (guaranteed by the stunning naturalness of its duo of actors), Licorice Pizza is the sunny account of an era undermined by war and the oil crisis, but seen through the prism of youthful carelessness, the most beautiful form of poetry.

2. Nope, by Jordan Peele

Boop could it be a future classic of sci-fi cinema, in the style of get-out (2017) by the same Jordan Peele, unanimously designated as embodying the revival of the horror film? It’s all the harm we wish for one of the most important American filmmakers of the moment.

Here, he uses the sets of the quintessential American film genre – the western – to unfold a story of extraterrestrials, which a brother and sister have sworn to capture on camera to become rich and save their ranch. Always animated by a certain playful spirit, Jordan Peele reappropriates the codes of both the western and the alien film, and takes the history of American cinema backwards by offering a stunning spectacle… which itself hides a reflection on our condition as a spectator, in a time when everything is an event.

Less immediate than get-outdeeper and more complex than Us (2019), this is a film that is likely to haunt the memories of cinephiles for a long time.

3. Bodice, by Marie Kreutzer

In the guise of Vicky Krieps, Sissi smokes (often), feigns fainting to escape the painful songs to her glory, lets her emperor husband marinate behind her bedroom door while she receives her supposed lovers, and leaves a meal by giving his unkind hosts the middle finger.

True feminist rant, Bodice tries to free the famous Empress of Austria from her cage, which she wears ever tighter at the waist. The empire, like her husband, demands of her that at 40 she is still young and beautiful; Faced with this, Sissi shatters conventions and decides to live by her own rules.

Austrian filmmaker Marie Kreutzer reinvents her country’s most famous historical figure as a punk icon, who rebels against her objectification. A tragicomic and gently anachronistic fresco carried at arm’s length by an imperial Vicky Krieps.

4. Triangle of Sadness, by Ruben Ostlund

Second Cannes hold-up for Ruben Östlund after The Square (2017), analysis of contemporary behavior coupled with fierce satire of the art world. With Triangle of Sadnesshe pushes the cork further, taking a couple of models on a luxury liner, where the trip will not go exactly as planned.

Sensitive souls abstain… His target: the ultra-rich – a Russian oligarch, a couple of arms dealers, in short, only beautiful people… – and dissects without taboo the strings of capitalism. Between fable and grotesque farce, as a good heir to Bunuel and Ferreri, the film sails on the waters of a cheerful perversion of the balance of power between rich and poor.

Stroke of genius or dirty trick, this is the limit on which the filmmaker likes to walk, doubly webbed, which doubles in darkness in the finale. The feeling that we are dealing, with him, with one of the great satirists of the 21ste century.

5. The Night of the 12th, by Dominik Moll

Captain at the Grenoble PJ, Yohan does not wear the uniform, of which he says he is not a big fan. An austere and obsessed cop, he is trapped in a dead end investigation to elucidate the murder of Clara, a teenager burned alive. From interrogations to intuitions, the paths follow each other and are not alike.

Yohan may dedicate himself entirely to the case, to the point of chaining sleepless nights, he goes around in circles. Or rather, gets lost in a maze. The director, Dominik Moll, gets rid of the classic construction of thrillers to explore the detective genre at 360 degrees, in its most realistic vein: it is also the daily life of this brigade that is told, with the sum of all things, big and small, that cause some to snap.

In these mountain landscapes that shroud an unresolved mystery, we also witness a very great film on violence against women, a Twin Peaks in the Alps, and who has no time to dream.

6. Top Gun: Maverick, by Joseph Kosinski

The year 2022 was to be that of the great return of the big American “blockbuster”, embodied in particular by the sequels toAvatar and of Top Gun. To the technological advances of James Cameron, we prefer the aerial somersaults (without digital effects) of Tom Cruise, for whom the big show is above all a matter of thrills.

The hothead is back in the ‘Maverick’ costume, 36 years later, on a mission to the heart of a ‘rogue’ state he leads with his students from the Top Gun school, among them the son of his ex-partner “Goose”, who died in the first film. In addition to the pleasure of finding our heroes playing a game of bare-chested football in the square, we love finding this cinema with great spectacle, clever and honest, which constantly surpasses itself to give each aerial scene a good reason to find its way back to the theaters .

These, breathtaking, show a Tom Cruise who, decidedly, never goes wrong. After all, the important thing is not the machine, it’s the pilot…

7. Athena, by Romain Gavras

Unity of place, time and action for the new film by Romain Gavras, which films the anger of the cities in the style of ancient tragedy, with lyrical choirs in support. A vertiginous shock, both screenplay and aesthetic, with breathtaking sequence shots and impossible camera movements.

The war as a backdrop to a remarkable exercise in style which captures, implicitly, the essence of a France incapable of reconciling with itself – as proof, the CRS are like a Roman legion at the entrance to the village of the Gauls .

In the midst of the chaos, Gavras’ camera follows the descent into hell of a sibling and traces a map of the city as a battlefield.

8. Leila’s Brothers, by Saeed Roustaee

At only 33 years old, Saeed Roustaee has established himself as the new sensation of Iranian cinema. Who returns with a monumental family saga, in the line of Coppola or the American series Successionbut where the money struggles are not among those who have it at will, but among those who are sorely lacking.

Faced with a destitute father, ready to sacrifice everything to take on the honor of leading the clan, and brothers living in precarious conditions, it’s up to Leila to find a plan that can save them.

With a finesse of writing that links the intimate, the social and the political, Leila’s Brothers also and above all recounts the sacrificial fight of a woman determined to undermine the patriarchy, for the benefit of the family union.

9. Boiling Point, by Philip Barantini

We will have had enough, this year, of the works that tell us the back of the kitchen trades. And, given their quality, we want more! To start with Boiling Pointan immersive experience that follows the busiest night of the year at chef Andy’s fine dining London restaurant (a very good Stephen Graham).

In the midst of the incessant agitation and tension, in the dining room as in the kitchen, he feels the burnout and alcohol in full nose (in which he also slips generous lines of coke). For this ultra-realistic plunge into a just-in-time universe, the director, Philip Barantini, opts for a film shot in a single sequence shot, virtuoso, and which never lets up.

10. Investigation into a State Scandal, by Thierry de Peretti

In the heart of Paris, seven tons of cannabis are seized by customs. Hubert Antoine, an ex-infiltrator of “stups” stashed in Marbella, reveals to a journalist of Release have evidence that Jacques Billard, a high-ranking French police officer, organized a major drug trafficking network.

Then begins a dangerous investigation behind the scenes of the Republic… Unfairly shunned by cinemas (the film was released on VOD in Luxembourg), State Scandal Investigation blends crime thriller and investigative journalism in a film based on a true story and captivating from start to finish. With, at the head of an excellent cast, a simply immense Roschdy Zem.

And you, what were your highlights this year?

Tell us in the comments!

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The ten films that marked the year 2022 (in our opinion)