To be considered for an Oscar 2013 nomination, every film must play both New York and Los Angeles theaters before year’s end. Well Pittsburgh doesn’t get that luxury due to us being a much smaller market than those two giant cities.
That also means this Pittsburgh Indie Movie Examiner’s list may not have every critical darling like “Zero Dark Thirty” or “Amour”. But what it does have is still an exemplary list that has played here theatrically in the last six months or is available to watch at home on DVD. Either way you see these films you too will know after viewing why these are my ten picks for “Best Indie Movies of 2012”.
2012’s Best Indies:
“Compliance“- Based on fact, this slow-burning Drama spreads out as a prank caller (Pat Healy from “The Innkeepers”) pretends to be a Cop and convinces a restaurant manager (look for an Indie Spirit award Supporting Actress nomination for Ann Dowd) to interrogate her teenage employee (Dreama Walker) about a supposed theft from a customer — a situation that soon spins out of control. Compelling, full of wicked fun. Arrives on DVD in the second week of January ’13.
“Django Unchained“- Quentin Tarantino’s unapologetic, unbridled and certainly unchained homage to both Spaghetti Westerns and Blaxploitation movies. Amazing, with great acting, a rousing soundtrack and sumptuous cinematography that highlight this revenge for love story. My pick for Best Action flick, now in Theaters. Click here for the Trailer.
“Doomsday Book”- Read a full review, see a slideshow or watch the Trailer for this Best Sci-Fi feature of 2012.
“Elena”- Read a full review, see a slideshow or watch the Trailer for this Best Suspense film of 2012.
“The Invisible War”- Read a full review, see a slideshow or watch the Trailer for this Best Documentary of 2012.
“The Kid with a Bike“- The Dardenne Brothers return with their latest, a revolving story about a marginalized kid being abandoned by his deadbeat dad, 11-year-old Cyril (Thomas Doret), is virtually adopted by a goodhearted hairdresser (Cecile De France) who tries to help him. But despite her kindness, the disillusioned boy soon falls in with a young drug peddler. Utterly realistic and honest. A natural winner for Best Foreign Drama. Available to stream exclusively through Netflix with a membership. Click here for the Trailer.
“Klown”- Read a full review, see a slideshow or watch the Trailer for Best Comedy of 2012.
“Pieta“- This year’s winner of the prestigious Golden Bear award at the Venice Film Festival achieves a searing saga about a despicable loan shark who somehow finds redemption (or does he?) when a woman comes forward to say she is his long, lost mother. Kim Ki-Duk, the most provocative of Korean directors, delivers his most powerful work that touches on man’s ugly nature of greed. A moving, emotional film that hits even harder than it’s onscreen ultra-violence. Exclusively available to own on Import DVD with English subtitles, months before a stateside edition arrives in Spring ’13. Click here for the Trailer.
“Rust And Bone“- A heartbreaking love story starring former Best Actress Oscar winner Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenarts (“Bullhead”) as an animal trainer and a bouncer who get close after a horrific event brings them together. French Director Jacques Audiard (“A Prophet”) is sure to receive another Indie Spirit nod in the Best Foreign Film category for this stirring Romance and maybe a nomination (or two) for his lead actors. Simply outstanding, click here for the Trailer. It only showed once during a sold-out premiere at this year’s 3 Rivers Film Fest, it returns on Import DVD in February ’13.
“The Turin Horse“- Hungarian master filmmaker Bela Tarr delivers his final picture, a galvanizing exposition on the existential relationship between a farmer and his beast of burden. The beast being the sole financial asset of a farmer, his lone daughter and a barren plot of land. Utterly transfixing black and white work that tragically dramatizes the hardship scrabble of the common man. This year’s Best Experimental film, now available on DVD. Click here for the Trailer.
Honorable Mention: “Argo“, “The Master” and “Turn Me On, Dammit!”