As 2022 comes to a close, the Storyhouse Cinema Team reflects back on the last 12 months; revealing Your Top 10 Films (as ranked by attendance figures) as well as celebrating their very favourite films from this year’s incredible programme.
Unanimously, the team picked Charlotte Wells’ incredible debut feature Aftersun as their top film of the year. The cinema team’s newest member Jodie Jeffs remarked that it’s “an incredibly beautiful film, with a very impressive debut performance by Frankie Corio.” She added, “It’s a very special film that I just can’t stop thinking about!”
Storyhouse Cinema Assistant & Freelance Film Journalist, Jordan King broke down his Top Five favourite films of 2022, with Aftersun leading the pack:
- Aftersun – “Filled at once with love and pain, this touching tale of a father and daughter’s mid-90s resort holiday – told through home video and a nostalgic haze – just makes you wish you could rewind it and rewatch again… and again… and again. Paul Mescal and Frankie Corio have my whole heart.“
- Elvis – “A rhinestone encrusted, wildly operatic soup-to-nuts ride through the life, times, and many capes of Elvis Aaron Presley, this is peak Baz Luhrmann. Austin Butler doesn’t just perfectly mimic The King – he truly becomes him in a role that will doubtless be career-defining.”
- Top Gun: Maverick – “Big action, bigger heart, and the biggest summer blockbuster we’ve had for a few years (thanks Covid!), Tom Cruise and co deliver a supersonic spectacle that blows your mind – and also maybe your eardrums. In a good way!“
- Matilda the Musical – “Dahl’s devilish humour and mischievous streak shine through this cinematic adaptation of the smash-hit stage show (of the generationally beloved book). Choreography’s incredible, the songs playful and poignant in equal measure, and the cast is so stacked it’s miraculous they don’t topple over under the weight of their own brilliance.“
- Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery – “The return of everybody’s new favourite gentleman sleuth did not disappoint. A fiendish mystery ensconced in a series of gags, revelations, and biting satirical social commentary, this one does everything Knives Out did so well – but some how even better! I came for Benoit Blanc in a stripy swimming costume – I stayed because this is the best of the recent murder mystery movie revive.“
Storyhouse Film Manager Nicky Beaumont gave us a taste of her favourite films of 2022, unsurprisingly led by Aftersun. Nicky said: “Aftersun is a film where almost nothing happens but everything is happening, it is beautifully crafted and superbly performed. It’s a film that stays with you long after watching.”
Looking back to the beginnings of the year, Nicky picked Licorice Pizza as a fond favourite, remarking on the “sheer freewheeling fun” of Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest feature, praising it as “a nostalgic trip through the 1970s, with a great soundtrack to match“.
Nicky spoke highly of Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick, calling the summer blockbuster “a mixture of jaw-dropping excitement and melancholy“. She also rated Martin McDonagh’s blackly comic Irish tale The Banshees of Inisherin, “a tragicomedy that had me laughing behind (a lot) of tears“.
Looking towards programming for the New Year, Nicky gave mention to the astounding biographical drama The Silent Twins – “a truly original film made with great imagination“.
The Silent Twins will be screening at Storyhouse in January 2023.
Storyhouse Cinema Marketing Assistant Alex Goldsmith, had a great deal to say when breaking down his list of films. As a member of Film London’s FAN Young Consultants Alex has helped celebrate films on their national release. He spoke on five films championed by the group in 2022:
January: Boiling Point – “An intense and wildly impressive single-take kitchen drama that boosts a strong diverse cast with stirring performances from Stephen Graham and Vinnette Robinson. At just 90 minutes long, Boiling Point is an incredibly immersive drama that doesn’t cool down.”
March: Ali & Ava – “An uplifting British drama with a lot of heart – and an excellent soundtrack! Adeel Akhtar and Claire Rushbrook share delightfully authentic on-screen chemistry as the eponymous characters in love. It’s a must-watch film from writer-director Clio Barnard.”
March: The Worst Person in the World – “One of the best films of the year. Joachim Trier’s anti-rom-com is a sweeping delight. With a brilliant script, beautiful cinematography, and an excellent central performance by Renate Reinsve. The Worst Person in the World tells an emotionally engaging story, one that is funny, sad, and at times infuriating, but always down-to-earth despite some seriously surreal moments.
April: Happening (L’Événement) – “A harrowing and prescient tale of a young woman’s unwanted pregnancy and her resilience and determination in seeking an unlawful abortion. An almost timeless setting gives this French drama a contemporary feel, as director Audrey Diwan tackles the 1960s story with unwavering honesty. This was one of the most important stories to tell in 2022 as women’s rights and healthcare continued to become hotly debated and politicised around the world.”
October: Triangle of Sadness – “Ruben Ostlund’s wickedly satirical disaster movie is best experienced with as many people as possible. Set across three parts, hilarity ensues on board a super-yacht for the filthy rich as a heady mix of combustible personalities give way to total chaos amidst a raging storm that leaves its survivors stranded on an island where a new hierarchy of power emerges. This gut-wrenching gross-out film is sure to leave you seasick with laughter.”
Alex continued with another eclectic list, this time with his favourite films as watched at Storyhouse Cinema:
- Compartment No. 6 – “Cosy, and at times quirky, this was an unexpectedly warm and well-crafted story about self-discovery and human connection that captures and embraces the complications and imperfections of people and relationships wonderfully. Compartment No. 6 was first shown as a Preview Screening as part of the Chester International Film Festival 2022; the first post-lock-down film festival by the Chester Film Society; which made this screening all that more special.“
- Everything Everywhere All At Once – “A cartwheeling menagerie of mayhem and imagination. Michelle Yeoh is outstanding in this zany multiversal story with stunning visuals and a mind-blowing concept that gives Marvel a run for their money. Absurd yet probable to bring you to tears, this big-hearted sci-fi comedy has to be experienced more than once.“
- The Electrical Life of Louis Wain – “Maybe it’s my affinity for cats, but Benedict Cumberbatch’s fantastical big screen rendition of the eccentric British artist moved me to tears in unexpected ways. A beautifully stylised fantasia of vivid colours and whimsy.“
- Good Luck To You, Leo Grande – “There’s nothing like a full house for a cinema screening, and that’s just what we had for this sensual yet philosophical bedroom drama starring Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack. A refreshing, charming, sex-positive comedy with hilarity and heart. This one comes highly recommended.“
- My Old School – “A hilarious and gripping animated documentary about one of the most sensational and strange news stories to comes out of Scotland in the 199os. Entertaining and thought-provoking, with a story that unravelled with humour and suspense. Simply, it put a smile on my face.“
Finally, we caught up with Isobel Harrop, Cinema Assistant and former Young Programmer. She reflects on this year’s programme from beginning to end:
- Titane – “One of the first films I saw back in January of this year, but it kept hold of the top spot throughout the months for being the most unpredictable, thrilling, yet strangely touching rollercoaster cinema experience.”
- Aftersun – “I ended the year on a high with this one, and cried the most I’ve cried in the cinema all year. Believe the hype.“
- Cow – “As a huge fan of Andrea Arnold’s other works I found it fascinating to see how she brought her style of poetic realism over to this extremely thought-provoking documentary.”
- The Quiet Girl – “A really beautiful, sensitive film. I didn’t know about it at all until it screened here – a hidden gem that I hope will do well at the Oscars!“
- Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy – “A special film about three chance encounters. I got to see this as part of this year’s Chester International Film Festival and was very grateful that I did.“
Isobel gave us our final words with an honourable mention to Mrs Harris Goes To Paris for being the “cosiest film of the year”, as well as insisting on a shout-out for Josie and the Pussycats from her My Forgotten Favourites film season at Storyhouse.
“I’m biased because I programmed it… but it is the best movie ever“.
(We’ll have to let that one slide).
Happy New Year from the Storyhouse Cinema Team, we can’t wait to welcome you back for another great year of film in 2023.
Join the Storyhouse Cinema Team on Thursday 5 January to discuss your favourite films of 2022 as part of REEL TALK.