And the 2022 Braddies go to … Peter Bradshaw's film picks of the year – The Guardian

While the Guardian’s Top 50 countdown, as voted for by the whole film team, announces its No 1 today, here are our chief critic’s personal choices, in no particular order
Read the US Top 50 movies of 2022
Read the UK Top 50 films of 2022
More of the best culture of 2022
It is time once again for me to unveil the Braddies – my strictly personal awards (distinct from the film section’s collegiate best of the year selection) for the calendar year.

This time last year, I somewhat naively said that the industry was emerging from its pandemic woes. And in fact, there was some optimistic talk this year about the industry resuming its pre-pandemic annual turnstile target of 200m admissions. Big films such as Doctor Strange and particularly Tom Cruise’s barnstorming blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick filled cinemas to bursting. (A cinema manager told me excitedly: “Why on earth should we schedule anything else when Top Gun will always pack out our venue?”)
But maybe the movie world is still suffering the effects of Covid. The American Cineworld chain, which owns the Cineworld and Picturehouse sites in the UK, filed for bankruptcy this year, citing the Covid downturn. And even more pressingly, the Edinburgh film festival (EIFF) was shut down this autumn, along with the historic Edinburgh Filmhouse cinema and Aberdeen’s Belmont Filmhouse, after the Centre for Moving Image charity which controlled them ceased trading – again, citing energy costs and the Covid effect on box office.
Screen Scotland has been lined up as a potential saviour for the EIFF, which may indeed go ahead as planned next summer, and other bids are being considered, but as things stand these cinemas are still dark.
So we have a lingering crisis, or potential crisis, in the movie world, with g. Great figures such as Steven Spielberg are having to passionately evangelise for the big-screen experience – the first time this has been needed since the last great crisis, when cinema feared everyone would stay at home with the new invention of television.
And there has been a knock-on effect on the larger critical response to films that haven’t done well at the box office. With things hanging financially by a thread, financial returns are scrutinised even more neurotically for significance. Nicholas Stoller’s sparky gay comedy Bros underperformed commercially, which led to a lot of soul-searching about whether LGBTQ+ audiences or allies failed to support the film, and what it all means.
But then everyone can name some really great films that failed at first to find their audiences. There were disappointing box-office returns for Maria Schrader’s excellent She Said, a film about the Weinstein affair. Does that mean society is losing interest in #MeToo issues? Not necessarily – and it certainly doesn’t mean the film isn’t good. I predict that it too will find its feet. But also I suspect that many journalists, critics and media observers feel it is their cinematic duty to go easy on the big-ticket movies that look like creating the vital bum-seat contact. I myself didn’t feel any compunction in expressing my disappointment with James Cameron’s soggy blockbuster Avatar: The Way of Water.
It is down to critics to redouble their passions to argue for movies which deserve to be seen on the big screen before they disappear into the world of screening platforms. So here again are my choices, which are not listed in any particular order, and as ever readers are invited to vote for their choices below the line and point out what they feel are omissions.
Imelda Staunton for Amulet
Janelle Monáe for Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Nicole Kidman for The Northman
Sienna Guillory for A Banquet
Essie Davis for Nitram
Cate Blanchett for Nightmare Alley
Pantea Panahiha for Hit the Road
Aimee Lou Wood for Living
Kristen Stewart for Crimes of the Future
Zelda Morrison for Pleasure
Richard Ayoade for The Souvenir Part II
Jason Isaacs for Mass
Anders Danielsen Lie for The Worst Person in the World
Barry Keoghan for The Banshees of Inisherin
Makita Samba for Paris, 13th District
Yuriy Borisov for Compartment No 6
Simon Russell Beale for Benediction
Kiyohiko Shibukawa for Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
Tom Burke for The Wonder
Mark Rylance for Bones and All
Kate McCullough for The Quiet Girl
Gregory Oke for Aftersun
Laurie Rose for Catherine Called Birdy
Andrew Dunn for Downton Abbey: A New Era
Jarin Blaschke for The Northman
Jonathan Ricquebourg for Earwig
Autumn Durald Arkapaw for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
James Friend for All Quiet on the Western Front
Claudio Miranda for Top Gun: Maverick
Senthil Kumar for RRR
Blerta Basholli for Hive
Colm Bairéad for The Quiet Girl
Charlotte Wells for Aftersun
Romola Garai for Amulet
Ruth Paxton for A Banquet
Panah Panahi for Hit the Road
Laura Samani for Small Body
Nathalie Álvarez Mesén for Clara Sola
Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic for Murina
Ninja Thyberg for Pleasure

Rian Johnson for Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Owen Kline for Funny Pages
David Earl and Chris Hayward for Brian and Charles
Kazuo Ishiguro for Living
Katy Brand for Good Luck to You, Leo Grande
Sjón and Robert Eggers for The Northman
Richard Linklater for Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood
Sebastián Lelio and Alice Birch for The Wonder
David Cronenberg for Crimes of the Future
Céline Sciamma, Jacques Audiard and Léa Mysius for Paris, 13th District
Letitia Wright for Aisha, The Silent Twins and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Emma Thompson for Good Luck to You, Leo Grande
Vicky Krieps for Corsage
Jessica Chastain for The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Achouackh Abakar for Lingui, the Sacred Bonds
Alana Haim for Licorice Pizza
Renate Reinsve for The Worst Person in the World
Tang Wei for Decision to Leave
Florence Pugh for The Wonder
Swamy Rotolo for A Chiara
Bill Nighy for Living
Tom Cruise for Top Gun: Maverick
Simon Rex for Red Rocket
Paul Mescal for Aftersun
Alexander Skarsgard for The Northman
Adeel Akhtar for Ali & Ava
Colin Farrell for The Banshees of Inisherin and After Yang
Brendan Gleeson for The Banshees of Inisherin
Will Smith for Emancipation
Cooper Hoffman for Licorice Pizza
Charlotte Wells for Aftersun
Noah Baumbach for White Noise
Park Chan-wook for Decision to Leave
Ryusuke Hamaguchi for Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
Marie Kreutzer for Corsage
Eskil Vogt for The Innocents
Panah Panahi for Hit the Road
Luca Guadagnino for Bones and All
Maria Schrader for She Said
Joanna Hogg for The Souvenir Part II
Funny Pages
Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood
Licorice Pizza
The Quiet Girl
Nightmare Alley
We’re All Going to the World’s Fair


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