|All the Beauty and the Bloodshed
Whereas most people rush to get their best films of the year lists out before the end of the year in question, I decided to take my time, catch up on as much from 2022 as I could, carefully weigh their strengths and weaknesses, and then forgot to write my list for another eleven months. Oops.
Despite this list being comically late, I do think that it was worth taking the extra time to make sure it was as complete as possible, since there are films on here that absolutely would not be if I had got my shit together and written it at the appropriate time. Something like Andrew Semans' Resurrection, for example, wasn't on my radar much last year at all. But I heard good things about it from people whose opinions I respect, I jumped at the chance to see it once it hit streaming, and I haven't stopped thinking about it since. Sometimes truly impressive procrastination is the right move.
2022 felt like the first year since the pandemic started where cinema was truly back. I had been going back to see movies in theatres since early 2021, but generally theatres were still pretty empty, and even when there were busy they tended to lack the thrum of excitement that has always made going to the movies such a thrill for me. In 2022, however, my memories of seeing movies tended to be more about communal enjoyment of big spectacles, whether it was returning to Pandora, seeing Tom Cruise try to kill himself for our amusement but in a plane this time, or seeing Johnny Knoxville get absolutely obliterated by a bull. While there's no one thing that links the films on this list - other than that I really liked them - a recurring motif is maximalism, of people really swinging for the fences, which felt like turning the page on a few quiet, sad years.