‘The Master’ Tops Sight & Sound’s Top Ten of 2012 While ‘Holy Motors’ is #1 with Cahiers Du Cinema

The first top ten lists of 2012 have arrived by way of Sight & Sound and the distinguished French magazine Cahiers Du Cinema, and to no surprise we are looking at a pair of lists that largely target festival features rather than anything mainstream. Sight & Sound’s is compiled through contributions of approximately 100 critics and does contain a few more “well known” features, but for the most part you’re looking at a pair of cinephile lists that will probably include a few titles you haven’t heard of… no problem with that.

Three films crossover between each list with Leos Carax‘s Holy Motors landing at #4 on the Sight & Sound list while coming in as the #1 film on Cahiers’ list. Then, David Cronenberg‘s Cosmopolis starring Robert Pattinson, which wasn’t necessarily well received everywhere it landed, comes in at #2 on the Cahiers list and ties for the eighth spot on Sight and Sound’s. Finally, Miguel Gomes’ Portuguese feature Tabu comes in at #2 on the Sight & Sound list and tied for the eighth spot on Cahiers.

The #1 film on Sight & Sound’s list is Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master, which is currently hanging on by the fingernails in my Best Picture Oscar predictions, but I’m sure this won’t be the last list it tops as year-end top tens rarely mirror the Academy’s Best Picture nominees.

Looking over the two lists only one inclusion surprises me, that being Francis Ford Coppola‘s truly awful Twixt, which I saw in Toronto in 2011 and couldn’t even bring myself to review it. Coppola, however, is probably unaffected as he has taken to making more personal films in his latter years as a director and while I didn’t like Twixt I still applaud him on maintaining some level of directorial integrity… I guess Godfather residuals and a massive wine business makes such a prospect a little easier.

I have included both lists directly below, along with links to my reviews of each where available.


  1. The Master (dir. Paul Thomas Anderson
  2. Tabu (dir. Miguel Gomes)
  3. Amour (dir. Michael Haneke)
  4. Holy Motors (dir. Leos Carax)
  5. Beasts of the Southern Wild (dir. Benh Zeitlin)
  6. Berberian Sound Studio (dir. Peter Strickland)
  7. Moonrise Kingdom (dir. Wes Anderson)
  8. Beyond the Hills (dir. Christian Mungiu)
  9. Cosmopolis (dir. David Cronenberg)
  10. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (dir. Nuri Bilge Ceylan)
  11. This is Not A Film (dir. Jafar Pahani and Mojtaba Mirtahmaseb)


  1. Holy Motors (dir. Leos Carax)
  2. Cosmopolis (dir. David Cronenberg)
  3. Twixt (dir. Francis Ford Coppola)
  4. 4:44 Last Day On Earth (dir. Abel Ferrara)
  5. In Another Country (dir. Hong Sang-Soo)
  6. Take Shelter (dir. Jeff Nichols)
  7. Go Go Tales (dir. Abel Ferrara)
  8. Tabu (dir. Miguel Gomes)
  9. Faust (dir. Alexadre Sokourov)
  10. Keep The Lights On (dir. Ira Sachs


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *