Best and worst new-to-me movies of 2022. Links to reviews (where applicable) in the title.
A very strange list this year and with only one Indian film. Though I did watch quite a few, they were generally uninteresting. Maybe it would have been better if I’d watched old ones but I mostly made an effort to keep up with newer releases and they just aren’t good.
This year is less overshadowed by my Christopher Lee obsession, which nevertheless was a wonderful time and one I miss.
An honourable mention to the concert movie of Songs for Drella, which is beautiful and perfect and everything you ever need to know about Andy Warhol, but which doesn’t meet the criteria of this blog.
- Umbracle (Spain, 1972)
Sometimes I forget movies can be art, actually, and something like this has to remind me. A true joy and treasure. As soon as I had finished watching it I knew it would be top of the best list for this year, no matter what else I watched, because it is just that good. However, not for the faint of heart and you should check content notes before watching. Absolutely Christopher Lee’s best movie; maybe not his best performance though a very brave and difficult one and he does succeed in it.
- Harold and Maude (USA, 1971)
Beautiful, life-altering, heart-breaking. Everyone thinks so, and so do I. If you want to watch it you should definitely check content notes first though.
- The Hours and Times (USA, 1991)
Very realistic and touching, full of insights into the relationships and people concerned, like the best fanfiction. I’m not a Beatles expert but even straight male Beatles fans say this is basically accurate and the characterisation is good.
- Robin Redbreast (UK, 1970)
Strictly speaking this is TV but it was re-released as a stand-alone so whatever. A foundational folk horror movie. Great but would have been perfect if they’d cast someone more sexually threatening as Fisher (say, Christopher Lee).
- The Picture of Dorian Gray (UK, 1976)
Again, strictly speaking this is TV, but eh. A great version of the book. Wonderful to see some actual acting for once, every performance is more delightful than the last. Even Dorian is interesting.
- The End of the World (USA, 1977)
Listen, you know I ADORE unwatchably boring 70s movies. Love and adore and worship them. But this was too unwatchably boring even for me and I had to fast-forward to the five glorious minutes of Christopher Lee priest clones.
- Haseena Dillruba (India, 2021)
At the time I commented saying I wished I hadn’t seen this and I stand by that. It starts to give a progressive moral, then starts to give a conservative moral, then is like actually the moral is people are terrible and so it’s stupid to have morals! But then it’s not properly nihilistic either, it’s just a glossy, overproduced, mainstream movie that’s misanthropic and hateful.
Why does this exist?
- Howling II: Your Sister Is a Werewolf (USA, 1985)
Honestly, it probably could have been worse but the whole vibe was so gross and misogynist and it thinks it’s soooo cool and funny and edgy. Just shut up and sit down, movie.
- Manolescu (Germany, 1929)
I can put up with a lot from silent films but this was just unbearable. The main character was the literal worst and a rapist and not even the fact that he was played by Ivan Mozzhukhin endeared him even the slightest to me.
- One Trick Pony (USA, 1980)
An excruciatingly un-self aware and badly acted movie about manpain. Did you know middle-aged (supposedly) straight men with enough money and no real problems who have gone through amicable divorce have literally the hardest lives in the world? You do now. The only good things about it are the mild homoeroticism and Lou Reed (though sadly no real homoeroticism with Lou Reed).