Mt. Vernon Register-News

Features

December 27, 2012

Slate: The 10 best movies of 2012

NEW YORK — For the second year in a row, there weren't that many movies jostling behind the velvet rope to get onto my 10-best list. Maybe that's because I felt ambivalent to negative about several films this year that seemed to resonate powerfully with other viewers. "Looper," "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and "Django Unchained" are three examples of movies I tried to feel passion for and finally couldn't — much as I may have admired, respectively, Rian Johnson's imagination, Benh Zeitlin's community spirit, and Quentin Tarantino's adamantine cojones. Still, when it came down to distilling a whole year's worth of viewing into just 10 titles, I found with relief that it was impossible to remain stingy with my accolades: There were enough films that genuinely thrilled me this year to fill up a list, and then some. Forthwith, in alphabetical order, my 10 favorites of the year, plus five runners-up:

"Amour."

I've sometimes felt queasy about the Austrian director Michael Haneke's relationship to his audience: In movies like "The Piano Teacher" or "Funny Games," his merciless commitment to showing us the worst human beings are capable of can feel manipulative and sadistic. But in the admittedly hard-to-watch "Amour" — which bears agonizing witness to the decline of a Parisian octogenarian (the astonishing Emmanuelle Riva) before the eyes of her devoted but ultimately powerless husband (the equally great Jean-Louis Trintignant) — Haneke goes beyond facile nihilism to create a soul-wrenching portrait of love at the extreme edge of life.

"How to Survive a Plague."

If its essence could be bottled, David France's fierce, heartbreaking documentary about the very early days of AIDS activism could serve as a tonic for demoralized political organizers, a bracing reminder that change is possible when a group of committed people come together to fight injustice, indifference and prejudice. Even if you think you've seen every documentary you need to about the early days of the AIDS crisis (last year's "We Were Here," which focused on a small group of San Francisco activists, was exceptional as well), don't miss this cathartic, inspiring film.

Text Only
Features
  • Cats outsmart the researchers

    I knew a lot had been written about dogs, and I assumed there must be at least a handful of studies on cats. But after weeks of scouring the scientific world for someone - anyone - who studied how cats think, all I was left with was this statement, laughed over the phone to me by one of the world's top animal cognition experts, a Hungarian scientist named Ádám Miklósi.

    April 22, 2014

  • Do your genes make you procrastinate?

    Procrastinators, in my experience, like nothing better than explaining away their procrastination: General busyness, fear of failure, and simple laziness are just a handful of the excuses and theories often tossed around. Now researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder have added another option to the list: genetics.

    April 21, 2014

  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 18, 2014

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 17, 2014

  • To sleep well, you may need to adjust what you eat and when

    Sleep.  Oh, to sleep.  A good night's sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults.  And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

    April 16, 2014

  • Allergies are the real midlife crisis

    One of the biggest mysteries is why the disease comes and goes, and then comes and goes again. People tend to experience intense allergies between the ages of 5 and 16, then get a couple of decades off before the symptoms return in the 30s, only to diminish around retirement age.

    April 15, 2014

  • Screen shot 2014-04-11 at 4.49.09 PM.png Train, entertain your pets with these 3 smartphone apps

    While they may not have thumbs to use the phone, pets can benefit from smartphone apps designed specifically for them.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Millions of Android phones, tablets vulnerable to Heartbleed bug

    Millions of smartphones and tablets running Google's Android operating system have the Heartbleed software bug, in a sign of how broadly the flaw extends beyond the Web and into consumer devices.

    April 11, 2014

  • DayCareCosts.jpg Day care's cost can exceed college tuition in some states

    Most parents will deal with an even larger kid-related expense long before college, and it's a cost that very few of them are as prepared for: day care.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • 10 tips for surviving a severe allergy season

    My colleague Brady Dennis reported recently that the arrival of warmer weather will soon unleash a pollen tsunami in parts of the country where the winter has been especially long and cold. Here are some survival tips from Clifford W. Bassett, an allergy specialist and assistant clinical professor of medicine at the New York University School of Medicine.

    April 9, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks