The Best Of 2012
Published: Thursday, December 6, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 20:01
The Dark Knight Rises
Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy completed its cycle this July with The Dark Knight Rises. At the height of his brilliance, Nolan solidified his Batman reboot with the neo-noir panache audiences have come to expect. However, the end was bittersweet. On the film’s opening night, gunman James Holmes killed 12 moviegoers in a Colorado multiplex, raising questions to the psychological effect of the dark violence in these Batman films. The trilogy is no stranger to tragedy—in January 2008, actor Heath Ledger died of accidental overdose, prior to his Oscar-winning appearance as the Joker in The Dark Knight. Not without controversy, The Dark Knight Trilogy amassed critical success, second only to its box office glory (the series amassed a total of $2.6 billion worldwide). What’s more, his influence on the action genre is already evident in this year’s movie crop (e.g. Skyfall, The Avengers). Nolan will strike again—his Superman reboot, Man of Steel, is set for release next June. Until then, superhero fans can sleep easy, after finally receiving “the hero Gotham deserves” on the big screen.
Known at first only for his role in the sitcom 3rd Rock From the Sun, Joseph Gordon-Levitt became an instant household name after starring as Zooey Deschannel’s jaded lover in the 2009 indie classic (500) Days of Summer. He has completely infiltrated the film industry this past year, however, proving that he’s more than just a sweet, winsome face—he’s an undeniably versatile and talented actor too. Starring in four acclaimed films just in this past year, Gordon-Levitt is arguably 2012’s Ryan Gosling, and he will, without a doubt, remain the actor to watch. A faithful police officer in The Dark Knight Rises and a president’s son in Lincoln, Gordon-Levitt has the rare talent of bringing a marked sense of importance to his supporting roles. On the screen, he conveys the same level of skill and charisma in his lead roles, too, such as in the sci-fi thriller Looper and in the comedic action flick Premium Rush. With such a successful past, it will be both interesting and exciting to see how his future will pan out.
Did anyone have a better 2012 than Joss Whedon? First of all, he managed the near-impossible task of satisfying both die-hard comic book fans and a general audience with the megahit The Avengers, Marvel’s massive integration of its superhero franchises. Compared to so many joyless comic book movies, The Avengers was truly refreshing, replete with witty banter and superb action scenes that made for a thrilling popcorn movie. Directing The Avengers would have been enough for anyone else, but Whedon also wrote and produced The Cabin in the Woods, a heady blend of the slasher movie and science fiction. In an entirely different vein, Whedon premiered his low-budget, black-and-white Shakespeare adaptation Much Ado About Nothing (shot in 12 days while on break from making The Avengers) at the Toronto Film Festival. Finally, Whedon enlivened the election scene with a hilarious viral video “endorsing” Mitt Romney for his policies designed to send America into a zombie apocalypse. From a simple video to the biggest blockbuster of the year, 2012 proved Whedon’s versatility in the entertainment world.