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Favorite movies watched in 2012

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I watched 70 movies in 2012: 49 that I hadn't seen before, 21 that I had (though usually not in the past ten years or so). Almost all of my favorites were ones I had seen before; unsurprising, given that I was rewatching them specifically because I had liked them a lot the previous time(s).

Rather than list everything I watched, I'll just list my top twelve favorites, roughly in order starting with my most favorite; movies with the same ranking number are approximate ties. An asterisk indicates a movie I hadn't seen before.

1. Shakespeare in Love
Third time I've seen it, I think. It gets better every time I see it; this time, it was near-perfect.
2. Brazil
Not quite as perfect as previous watchings, but still remarkably good.
3. A Fish Called Wanda
Still hilariously funny (even the humor-of-embarrassment bits), but one particular scene (involving fish) is still pretty painful to watch, and the movie's mocking of Ken's stutter is a little distressing.
3. Love Actually
Still very funny and thoroughly charming, and even manages some depth. If only they had left out the fat jokes.
4. The American President
Funny and charming and all-around delightful. Good to see Sorkin in peak form. (Last time I saw this was before I watched West Wing.) Lots of great facial expressions.
4. * Avengers
A lot of fun. Some problems, but nothing huge.
4. * Conversation(s) with Other Women
Really good, really unusual.
4. Out of Sight
Still really good. Sharp, often funny, and great chemistry between Clooney and Lopez. It gets a little oddly dark in the second half, shifting the tone and sort of the genre, and the scene in the trunk near the beginning is a little offputting; but even so, very good.
4. * Phineas & Ferb: The Movie
Very fun, very funny. (Had never seen the show before this. Have now seen the show, but I like the movie better.)
4. *? The Sound of Music
Lovely and charming and very funny in places. Enjoyed it a whole lot. Might deserve to be a little higher on this list. I'm not actually certain whether I've seen this before or not, but I've certainly been listening to the songs since high school or earlier.
4. 10 Things I Hate About You
Still excellent and still very funny and smart.
4. Up
Still excellent, still hilarious and very sad, still has some annoying gender stuff.

Looking at this list, I'm disappointed about political stuff, specifically about diversity of characters.

For example, I think the majority of them technically pass the Bechdel test, but I don't think any of them do much better than a technical pass; most of them feature one prominent female character surrounded by several prominent male characters. There are few if any people of color in most of them, and I think no more than three or four queer (or even ambiguously quasi-queer) characters in the entire set.

My five runners-up to this list (left out to make this entry a little less long) include more people of color and more queer characters, but still very few women. Maybe I should make more of a point of intentionally watching more diverse-charactered movies. Most of the above favorites came out ten or more years ago, but that's not an excuse; by and large, the more recent ones lower down on my list don't do much better in these areas.

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