The Oscar Project
I’m starting this countdown a little earlier than I did last year to make sure I have enough time to get everything in that I want to talk about. Just like last year, I’ve put together a total of six lists to recap the year. You’ll see the posts throughout the month of December, but here’s the full list that I’ll link to as they post:
Biggest Surprises of 2022
Last year I had two films that surprised me and this year the list has grown to a total of four films, but I’ve combined two of them and you’ll see why below. In no particular order, they are:
The Sea Beast
I didn’t write an official review of this at the time, but I absolutely loved this animated Netflix film. It was vibrant and colorful. It features a gruff sailor who befriends a spunky young girl and together they learn that the sea monsters their world fears and hunts are not truly evil, just misunderstood.
There was some “messaging” regarding tolerance and overcoming prejudice, but I didn’t think it beat you over the head with it. The acting is well done, with Karl Urban and Jared Harris filling the hero and villain roles. Zaris-Angel Hator voices the young girl and has racked up multiple credits this year, including Morbius (affiliate link) (also with Harris) and the recent Netflix Christmas film Scrooge: A Christmas Carol.
And did I mention it was a beautiful film? I would put the visual style on par with just about anything from Disney, Pixar, or Dreamworks. The colors of the ocean and the various cityscapes are a sight to behold and it seems like the sea monster come in every shade of the rainbow.
To top it off, your kids will love this too. My own kids were initially skeptical of this one, but they sat through the whole thing and have watched it at least a few times since the summer.
This film I did review back in October after hearing about it on several podcasts over the summer and fall. I was a bit skeptical myself about the film that focuses on the life of dairy cows with no real soundtrack to speak of and no narration. But, as I watched, I found myself connecting with the cow on screen and empathizing with her when her calves are taken away and she is forced into the daily grind of eat, sleep, get milked, until the inevitable end.
The creators of Cow (affiliate link) claim not to have any agenda other than to make us think, but many people will probably see it as an anti-animal cruelty film or a pro-vegan film. I didn’t take it as either of these, but it definitely made me think.
The Lost City/Bullet Train
These two get combined because of the cameo trading that went on between them. Brad Pitt made a several scene cameo in The Lost City (affiliate link) trying to help Channing Tatum’s character save Sandra Bullock before meeting an untimely end (or did he?). Bullock and Tatum then returned the favor in Bullet Train (affiliate link), Bullock appearing as Pitt’s “voice on the phone” handler and Tatum as an unnamed train passenger.
While I’m still finalizing my top ten of the year list for later this month, it’s safe to say that at least one of these films will be on it. They are both fun and breathe some fresh air into the action-comedy genre, in very different ways. Be sure to keep an eye out here to find out which one makes it into the top 10!
I'm just a film buff who wants to watch great movies. Where else to find the best, than the list of those nominated by the Academy each year?