The most beautiful films of 2022 to be absolutely recovered

At the cinema, but also on platforms, here are the films to watch or catch up on, some brand new and others less so, which have marked this second half of 2022.

A Family Vice (L’origine du mal). Directed by Sebastien Marnier, with Laure Calamy, Jacques Weber, Dominique Blanc, Suzanne Clement (film, in cinemas, from January 4)

Presented at the last Venice Film Festival, played by the amazing Laure Calamy (Call my agent, French version), is the best thriller you will see in the coming months. Serge (Weber) is a wealthy gentleman already hit by a stroke, but not yet completely senile, surrounded by a family of the worst: a big squanderer of money, a very unpleasant daughter, a sulky teenage nephew. One fine day, Stephane (Calamy) arrives at Serge’s large villa, presenting herself as an illegitimate daughter never recognized. That’s all you can say, in this very cruel portrait of an affective and money-sick bourgeoisie, the twists are everything.

bard – the false chronicle of some truths. Direction Of Alejandro González Iñárritu, with Daniel Gimenez Cacho (movies, Netflix).

Presumptuous, self-referential, these are the adjectives used in many reviews of the Mexican director’s film, the first in Spanish after a long time and above all after the great Hollywood successes, his move to America, his work with cinema superstars, from Michel Keaton (Birdman) to Leonardo DiCaprio (Revenants).

In the midst of so much splendour, in 2017 Iñárritu had also created an amazing virtual reality installation entitled Meat and Arena (it was seen in Italy at the Prada Foundation in Milan, which projected spectators into the midst of a flight of Mexican emigrants to the border with the United States. Similar images also exist in Bard because the protagonist is a Mexican documentary filmmaker who has had success abroad and won awards. He doesn’t feel at ease anywhere, his old friends admire him and at the same time despise him, they judge him distant and unbearable. He asks himself: what does it mean to be a director today? Why am I able (or, rather, unable) to tell the truth?

Film full of bizarre and brainy visual inventions, it’s a bit half past eight of Iñárritu and, as you can imagine, either very irritates or seduces.

The eight mountains.Directed by Felix van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch. With Luca Marinelli, Alessandro Borghi, Filippo Timi, Elena Lietti.

Adaptation of the novel by Paolo Cognetti (2016 Strega prize), in competition at Cannes 2022, it has a rather traditional narrative structure. Story of male friendship or, as we say today “bromance”, very well served by Borghi and Marinelli, colleagues who are also accomplices in life. We know Bruno and Pietro as children, in their beautiful summers in the mountains until time for choices separates them and then makes them meet again. Shot between Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn, with footage that conveys a reverence for the mountains and invites spiritual thought, the film does justice to the book and its “cult” reading status. Too bad the too easy solution of the voiceover, it trivializes it more than it deserves.

The prodigy.Directed by Sebastian Lelio. With Florence Pugh, Tom Burke, Ciaran Hinds, Toby Jones (movies, Netflix)

Inspired by a novel by Irish writer Emma Donoghue, that of Roomand directed by the director of A Fantastic Woman (Oscar for Best Foreign Film 2017), this Prodigy it is a hidden gem in the depths of the platform’s algorithm. Set in the mid-nineteenth century, it tells of an English nurse (the very good Pugh) who is sent to a remote village in Ireland to take care of a girl who hasn’t eaten for four months. Religion, superstition, feminism: all within a story told with the colors of the paintings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Frederick Walker.

Nostalgia. Directed by Mario Martone. With Pierfrancesco Favino, Tommaso Ragno, Francesco Di Leva, Aurora Quattrocchi (film, PrimeVideo).

After the shining grandeur Of Here I laughMartone chooses the opposite: a small and ferocious film. Nostalgia very reminiscent of his early cinema, in particular Death of a Neapolitan mathematicianhis dazzling debut in 1992. In Nostalgia, based on a novel by Ermanno Rea, the protagonist is a businessman (Favino) who left Naples as a boy, achieving some success abroad. He lives in Cairo, has a wife, has become a Muslim. He returns to Naples to take care of his elderly, sick and lonely mother. He will rediscover the streets of his childhood and discover that his friend of small youth raids has become “O ‘Malommo”, a boss of the Camorra. Not much more can be said because the revelations about the two only come towards the end of the film which, for the most part, travels around the idealization of the past, nostalgia and the distorted vision of reality it induces. At first the protagonist speaks Italian like a foreigner. The more he emotionally and physically returns to Naples, the more he returns to using an Italian with a “native” Neapolitan accent. Work of great skill by Favino that makes us feel but also listen to the broken world of the character with a few, very accurate, touches.

The Fabelmans. Directed by Steven Spielberg, with Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, Gabriel LaBelle (film, cinema).

The Fablemans (what a beautiful invented surname, with a fairy tale inside) are the Spielbergs: an electronic engineer father, a musician mother who gave up the piano to take care of four children, a boy and three girls. As already widely told by Spielberg himself in books, interviews and in the beautiful documentary by Susan Lacy (2017), his career as a director began at home, with his sisters as guinea pigs-performers and friends as a crew.

The Fablemans it is a sweet autobiography but not a trombone because despite its author’s exceptional career, it manages to underline universal themes: the relationship between talent and happiness, between the desire for adventure and the instinct for stability, between ambition and stubbornness.

In a sublime scene, Uncle Boris (Judd Hirsch, ready for an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor) comes to lecture Sammy in which, essentially and mercilessly, he says “if you want to reach the top in your art , you will certainly hurt someone because you will neglect your affections, because there will be nothing more important to you than cinema”. The film ends on young Sammy/Spielberg dropping out of college and going to work in television. A few years later he would direct Duel. So we don’t know if, for example, it was an absentee husband and father. But we know that he has done good for the cinema and for us spectators. He does it again this time.

Bones and All. Directed by Luca Guadagnino. With Taylor Russell, Timothée Chalamet, Mark Rylance, Chloe Sevigny. (film, cinema)

The film is set in the late 1980s, a time far removed from current technologies and investigative practices (DNA testing, etc.): I stress this because this is the only way this story of young cannibals who cross America unpunished, albeit cultivating idealistic senses of guilt, maintains a semblance of plausibility. The Eighties are the era, in the United States, marked by the Reagan presidency, by a frenetic cult of well-being, by the rejection of ideologies and above all by a consumerism driven to the extreme, a hellish bulimia of things and brands. That hunt for instant gratification was perfectly represented by Bret Easton Ellis’ novel American Psycho (followed by the film of the same name with Christian Bale). There the wealthy New York stock speculator became a serial killer because possession of the objects was not enough to appease his symbolic hunger. Here, in Guadagnino’s film, those hungry for human flesh are underprivileged, they are America without a roof or law, without education or family. This is the first of the many metaphors of Luca Guadagnino’s film: a romantic horror studded with brutal scenes which, to some viewers, will be indigestible (sorry for the joke). Other metaphors: sexual desire as hunger for the other, love as an appetite that is never satisfied but also the condition of youth as an implacable destiny. These “cannibals without a cause” are close relatives of theElephant Man by David Lynch and gods Freaks by Todd Browning. A different, indomitable nature, which makes the ordinary happiness of social approval impossible.

Forever Young – Les Amandiers. Directed by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi. With Nadia Tereszkiewicz, Sofiane Bennacer, Louis Garrel, Micha Lescot, Clara Bretheau (film, cinema)

“Les Amandiers” of the original French title is the theater with attached school directed by Patrice Chéreau and attended by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi. Chéreau was her teacher and also the first director who gave her a part in the cinema as an actress: in Hotel de France in 1987. The story of this community of young theater enthusiasts might seem on the surface a They will be famous French, it’s actually much more. He makes a clean sweep of the rhetoric on “sacrifices” to be successful and rather delves deeply into the perhaps necessary, indeed indispensable, discomfort to become actors, to the torments of an “I” that chooses to be continually divided by professional status.

Valeria Bruni Tedeschi touches the essence of the trade, tells how a master (Chéreau is played with the usual sly charisma by Louis Garrel) can be demanding, overbearing, almost the shaman at the head of a secret society, of a bizarre cult.

As in all of his films, he manages to mix personal and audience with a figure that is truly his own and wonderfully sincere. The film manages to give a formidable impressionist brushstroke on a time and a generation that today seem very distant but not enough to feel a sanitized nostalgia.

Triangle of Sadness. Direction by Ruben Östlund, with Thobias Thorwid, Harris Dickinson, Charlbi Dean, Woody Harrelson (film, cinema).

Ruben Östlund’s films never leave one indifferent. Usually, they irritate. It irritated Force Majeure (2014) who debunked the feigned robustness of family men. She irritated (and, moreover, amused) The Square (2017), another apologue on cowardice but also a social satire on the art world and its claims to understand, to know, to imagine. Pretentious, it must be said, this too is Triangle of Sadness because the topics on stage are many, even too many: social classes, good or bad capitalism, the world of images via social media, the survival instinct, #MeToo, the power that wears out those who don’t have it.

Divided into three parts, it begins with the clash between two young influencers and models, prototypes of the selfie-generation. The two then leave for a snack cruise, kindly offered by some sponsor, #adv or whatever, and the second part of the film introduces us to the other passengers on that cruise. A couple of nice old men, rich because they are manufacturers of weapons. A Russian billionaire. A Marxist ship captain.

It is not Love Boat. The camera will make you seasick not to mention the scenes with vomiting and more when the ship goes adrift. This fortissimo second act, ideally between Lars Von Trier and an extreme Buñuel, is followed by an all too obvious denouement. From the grotesque of navigation we pass to a kind of parody ofIsland of the famous, which weakens a lot on the finish. However, the irony of Lina Wertmüller is missing Triangle of Sadness it’s a nice slap, which awakens from torpor and deserves to be seen.

The most beautiful films of 2022 to be absolutely recovered