Marjorie Baumgarten's Top 10 list

Marjorie Baumgarten's Top 10s

<i>Holy Motors</i>
Holy Motors

1) Holy Motors I think Buñuel would have liked this movie, and that's good enough for me. It's my personal winner of the épater la bourgeoisie award for the new millennium.

2) Cloud Atlas It's the only movie this year that brought a tear to my eye, so swelled was I with its mad audacity and synchronicity.

<i>Beasts of the Southern Wild</i>
Beasts of the Southern Wild

3) Beasts of the Southern Wild This idiosyncratic dazzler leaves you to wonder what swamp it crawled out of and who else is in there. The film's blend of figment and authenticity is just right.

4) Lincoln It's as if John Ford were directing Profiles in Courage – crafting cinema in the service of history. Nevertheless, the film is a stupendous congruence of magnificent direction, cinematography, performance – and timeliness.

5) Argo Give me more movies like this, please: great story + wonderful ensemble + gripping filmmaking + social relevance = terrific entertainment.


6) Amour A French octogenarian couple demonstrate what it means to love and honor in sickness and health – and, in the process, reveal an aspect of love little seen in the movies.

7) Zero Dark Thirty Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal recognized the makings of a great story before knowing its actual outcome, and then managed to redirect the drama to focus on the unsung analyst warriors.

8) Polisse It's another day on the job for the officers in this French child protection unit, while the horrific grind that affects each one differently is deftly observed by the filmmaker.

<i>Rust and Bone</i>
Rust and Bone

9) This Must Be the Place Sean Penn's transmogrifying performance aside, this film is a riveting portrait of rock stardom in middle age.

10) Rust and Bone Marion Cotillard is thoroughly amazing in this compelling love story between an unlikely pair.


Life of Pi, Django Unchained, Bernie, Looper, The Grey


<i>This Must Be the Place</i>
This Must Be the Place

Silver Linings Playbook, The Master, Moonrise Kingdom


Cloud Atlas, This Must Be the Place, Killer Joe


Denis Lavant (Holy Motors), Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln), Sean Penn (This Must Be the Place)


<i>The Paperboy</i>
The Paperboy

Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Marion Cotillard (Rust and Bone), Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook, The Hunger Games)

ACTING KUDOS (supporting male)

Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln), Matthew McConaughey (Magic Mike), Samuel L. Jackson (Django Unchained)

ACTING KUDOS (supporting female)

Sally Field (Lincoln), Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables), Nicole Kidman (The Paperboy)


<i>The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey</i>
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Leos Carax (Holy Motors), Steven Spielberg (Lincoln), Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, and Lana Wachowski (Cloud Atlas)


Zero Dark Thirty (Mark Boal), Amour (Michael Haneke), Looper (Rian Johnson)


Cloud Atlas (Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, and Lana Wachowski), Argo (Chris Terrio), Lincoln (Tony Kushner)


The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: Do Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh have no one around who'll say no to them? This is a sad example of a film's grasp far exceeding its reach.


Women Loosed From the Shadows: Alma Reville, the director's better half in Hitchcock; Maya, the unidentified CIA analyst in Zero Dark Thirty; and Margaret "Daisy" Suckley, FDR's Hyde Park on Hudson honey

More Top 10s
Jessi Cape's Top Reads of 2016
Top Books to Inspire Hope Amidst Change
Memoirs of activism and tales of suspense helped ground this reader during a roller-coaster year

Jessi Cape, Dec. 30, 2016

Rosalind Faires' Top Reads of 2016
Top Books to Make You Cry on Your Lunch Break
These three novels drew a discreet tear or two with their beautiful, brave, and bittersweet humanity

Rosalind Faires, Dec. 30, 2016

More by Marjorie Baumgarten
Stream Analysis
Stream Analysis
Dispatches from the couch

Oct. 20, 2017


Oct. 20, 2017


Top 10s, Holy Motors, Cloud Atlas, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Lincoln, Argo, Amour, Zero Dark Thirty, Polisse, This Must Be the Place, Rust and Bone

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)