Les Misérables. The 1862 classic Victor Hugo novel turned legendary Broadway play was finally adapted to film and released to rave reviews this holiday season. The film not only boasts a box office opening weekend of $81,038,000 but something else most films do not have; that is perfect casting. The epic musical is comprised of an all-star cast lead by Huge Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Russell Crowe. Prior to this film’s release Jackman and Hathaway each were nominated for Golden Globe Awards. Look for it to be a juggernaut come this awards season.
Lincoln. Steven Spielberg’s historical drama about the 16th President of the United States has not only been a commercial success for the legendary director/producer ($124 million at the box office) but it has also garnered critical acclaim. The film about The Great Emancipator has received seven Golden Globe Award nominations; most notably in the Best Actor (Drama) category for Daniel Day-Lewis for his portrayal of Lincoln. By the look of things, this film is set to give Les Miz some stiff competition during the upcoming awards season.
The Central Park Five. If you thought 2012 was going to be a dud when it came to documentaries then you were sorely mistaken. This year had some documentaries that were bold, emotionally stirring and ripe with controversy. And if you were looking for the latter then you didn’t have to go much further than this one. The Central Park Five chronicles the lives of the five then teenagers who were arrested and wrongfully convicted in the Central Park Jogger case of 1989 for viciously beating and gang raping Trisha Meili. The film is directed by legendary documentary filmmaker Ken Burns (Baseball and Jazz) along with Sara Burns and David McMahon. The film already has an Independent Spirit Award nomination to its credit and may create some noise come Oscar time.
How To Survive A Plague. Another documentary which filled the bill of being bold, emotionally stirring and controversial was David France’s chronicling of the beginnings of the AIDS epidemic which includes the organizing of the groups ACT UP and TAG. The film was co-written along with Tyler H. Walk and T. Woody Richman (Bowling For Columbine and Trouble the Water) and has also earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination and has been buzz worthy with regard to other awards.
Skyfall. The 23rd installment of the iconic series about Britain’s most decorated and sophisticated sleuth proved to be a smashing success at the box office grossing $980 million worldwide. Audiences were treated to stellar performances by Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Dame Judy Dench and Albert Finney. It’s being said by most Bond enthusiasts that Craig’s run as Agent 007 may place him in the class of Connery and Moore in the annals of MI6 lore after his latest performance.
The Avengers. It’s starting to look as if Joss Whedon is having the last laugh after his early career misfortunes after he assembled “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” along the way to box office success to the tune of a worldwide total of $1,511,757,910. Marvel’s The Avengers not only became the third highest-grossing film worldwide but the highest of this year. The film virtually hit DC’s The Dark Knight Rises with a haymaker before it was even released at the end of July.
The Amazing Spider-Man. As if DC needed further proof that this would be another summer of Marvel, the film company released a reboot of Stan Lee’s iconic web slinger. The Amazing Spider-Man depicts the story of how Peter Parker comes to be Spiderman and one of comic book’s forgotten classic romances as he woo’s Gwen Stacy. The film, which stars Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, raked in a worldwide box office total of $752,216,557 that put Marvel well over the top and guaranteed an ear to ear grin for its 90 year old Chairman Emeritus.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Peter Jackson was back in 2012 with his latest adaptation of a J.R.R. Tolkien classic with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The film is set sixty years before The Lord of The Rings trilogy and it proved to be precious gold in terms of box office success. Bilbo Baggins and company have so far grossed $600,508,000 but are poised to earn more in the coming weeks.
Filly Brown. If you were looking for a film with heart, grit and passion then you found it at the 2012 New York International Latino Film Festival when you say Filly Brown. The film tells the tale of “Majo” Tonorio who makes her way the rap world of Los Angeles under the moniker Filly Brown. Along the way “Majo” must deal with her rough home life and compromising business situations that play hand in her aspiring rap career. Filly Brown is comprised of a solid cast which includes Edward James Olmos, Lou Diamond Phillips, the late Jenni Rivera and, one of Cosmo For Latinas Faces to Watch, Gina Rodriguez as the title character.
Ted. When it came to comedy no one managed to outdo Seth MacFarlane’s loveable yet boorish Ted. With a bevy of jokes and humorous soundtrack, the movie left audiences laughing uncontrollably. The film took in $501,790,547 at the box office worldwide which made it Universal’s highest grossing film of 2012 beating out Snow White and the Huntsman and Battleship. Ted went on to receive positive reviews from critics for the performances of MacFarlane and Mark Wahlberg as John Bennett.
The Dark Knight Rises
The Hunger Games
21 Jump Street