thu 30/05/2024

Nick Hasted's Top 10 Films of 2022 | reviews, news & interviews

Nick Hasted's Top 10 Films of 2022

Nick Hasted's Top 10 Films of 2022

Art and commerce have never been more polarised

'Happening': Anamaria VartolomeiPicturehouse Entertainment

Audrey Diwan’s French abortion drama Happening was the year’s hardest but most luminescent watch, as a fiercely intelligent young woman fights for her future survival as an artist in 1963, when illegal abortion requires wartime subterfuge and bloody violence to female bodies.

Similarly humane social concern motivated the poetic realism of Li Ruijun’s Chinese peasant saga Return to Dust, and migrant children’s struggles in the Dardennes’ gripping Tori and Lokita. Nina Hoss’s portrait of a disintegrating piano teacher in The Audition also brought icy thriller techniques to the arthouse, while a brief encounter across the cultural divide made Russian train-set Compartment No. 6 a sly, pungent treat.

But 2022’s defining trends lay in the one-week-only release of Rian Johnson’s hugely entertaining meta-whodunnit sequel Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, which Netflix acknowledged left considerable box-office untapped, designed instead to promote its streaming debut. This contrasted with the artistic hollowness of most of the blockbusters allowed big-screen runs. A rich year for socially conscious cinema couldn’t disguise cinemagoing’s worst crisis since its 1980s nadir.

1. Happening
2. Compartment No. 6
3. Return to Dust
4. Tori and Lokita
5. The Audition
6. Decision to Leave
7. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
8. Something in the Dirt
9. The Forgiven
10. X

A rich year for socially conscious cinema couldn’t disguise cinemagoing’s worst crisis since its 1980s nadir

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