So Much To Love | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

So Much To Love

Jared shares his favorite movies and shows of 2022

I'm not sure how it happened, but earlier this year I was lamenting the fact that 2022 hadn't been a great year for cinema, but then in the last, like, four months, a dozen or so all-around amazing movies were released. So amazing that here at the end of the year making a Best of 2022 list was impossible without giving a few special awards out to the deserving and highlighting some of the weird stuff that I adored. It was an astounding year for art in cinema and television. Here are the things I loved.

So Much To Love
In "White Lotus," Meghann Fahy played the girl next door who you wanted to slap silly.

Best of 2022: Television Edition

I know it's not accurate to call most of these "television shows" since most everything is either streaming or available by watching them on your phone while waiting in line somewhere, but you get what I mean.

Special Award in Excellence of Attention Spans: "The White Lotus"

While this season didn't quite reach the highs of the first for me, I still loved that it was the one show almost everyone I know was talking about every week. "The White Lotus" managed to be whatever the post-pandemic version of a water cooler show is, while also never shedding the strange idiosyncrasies that make it a Mike White invention.

Special Award in Comfort Programming: "Abbott Elementary"

This show is pure goodness of spirit in the same way that the first season of "Ted Lasso" was. Its entire mission is just to show kind people taking care of children and their friends while struggling not to succumb to jaded cynicism. This is the show I would throw on after waking up from a bad dream.

Special Award for Being too Good to Finish: "Better Call Saul"

I'm sure this final season of "Better Call Saul" is one of the best shows of the year, but I'm not ready to say goodbye to the world that Peter Gould and Vince Gilligan built. So, I haven't watched the last batch of episodes because I like knowing there's still more of the story out there left for me to see. I know, I'm a child.

My five favorite shows of 2022 in no particular order:

"Barry:" Season Three

Every episode of "Barry" this season made me completely drop my jaw at least once. What started out in the first season as another deconstruction of the anti-hero redemption trope became something much darker and profound in the third season. Bill Hader is not only giving one of the most finely calibrated performances on television, but he has also proven to be a director of stunning style and grace. Available on HBOMax.

Favorite Installment: Episode #6: "710N."

"The Bear:" Season One

From out of nowhere came this nerve-wracking, intense and deeply human look at the kitchen staff of an Italian Beef sandwich shop and the burnt-out, high end chef struggling to keep it open. You will fall in love with these people and their world. The food looks amazing, the characters are rich and Jeremy Allen White is giving the performance of his life. Available on Hulu.

Favorite Installment: Episode #7: "Review."

"Severance:" Season One

What could have just been a satirical look at the divide between American work life and home life became something much more interesting across the course of its nine first season episodes. Every episode adds mystery to the story of what the corporation our characters are working for is actually doing, but it's the characters perfectly played by Adam Scott, Britt Lower, John Turturro, Christopher Walken, Zach Cherry, Tramell Tillman and Patricia Arquette that keep you coming back. Season Two can't get here soon enough. Available on AppleTV+.

Favorite Installment: Episode #9: "The We We Are."

"Yellowjackets" Season One

Stop me if you've heard this one before: A group of female high school soccer players gets in a plane crash in the wilderness and starts killing and eating each other. Yeah, me neither. It sounds tacky, but the show is actually a sensitive and scary look at friendship, survival and nature sent through a mash-up of a coming-of-age drama and a psychological horror movie. Christina Ricci and Melanie Lynskey deserve all the awards for their work. Fans of "Lost" will adore this show. Available on Showtime.

Favorite Installment: Episode #1: "Pilot"

"Reservation Dogs:" Season Two

The most humanist show on television is also its funniest. Changing the structure of the show this season by having each episode focus on a single character was brilliant and really proved how deep the bench of these characters goes. You'll laugh and cry and rage at the unfairness of the world while also legitimately becoming more empathetic as each episode ends. Important work is being done here. Available on Hulu.

Favorite Installment: Episode #7: "Stay Gold Cheesy Boy"

Runner Ups: "Andor," "Black Bird," "What We Do in the Shadows," "The Rehearsal," "Peacemaker," "Undone," "Los Espookys," "Atlanta," "Better Things," "We Own This City," "The Sandman," "The Patient," "Welcome to Wrexham," "1899" and "The Resort."

So Much To Love
Courtesy of A24
Michelle Yeoh was a force of nature in "Everything Everywhere All At Once."

Best of 2022: Movie Edition

I watched 125 movies that were released in 2022 and still missed dozens I was hoping to see before writing this list. I missed big ones like "The Menu," "Babylon," "Bardo" and "She Said," so my Best Of list, as always, has my OCD hackles up in feeling incomplete. But, at the same time, I think I did pretty good this year and feel happy with my choices. Let's get into it.

Best Directorial Debut: "We're All Going to the World's Fair" by Jane Schoenbrun

Best Musical: "Entergalactic" music by Kid Cudi

Best Superhero Story: "Werewolf by Night" by Michael Giacchino

Best Reboot: "Confess, Fletch" by Greg Mottola

Best Sequel: "Top Gun: Maverick" by Joseph Kosinski

Worst Movie: "Jurassic Park: Dominion" by Colin Trevorrow

Worst Comedy: "The Bubble" by Judd Apatow

Worst Superhero Story: "Morbius"...obviously. By Daniel Espinosa

So Much To Love
Courtesy of A24
"Aftersun" was unforgettable and perfect in every way.

Top 15 movies of 2022:

15: "You Won't Be Alone" Just your typical Australian production, filmed in Serbia and with Macedonian as the spoken language. On the surface this is a horror movie about witches, but really it's a gorgeous and heartbreaking look at humanity when viewed from the outside.

14: "On the Count of Three" The funniest movie about suicide you've ever seen with career-best work by Jerrod Carmichael and Christopher Abbott. 84 minutes that covers every single emotion in the spectrum of human feeling.

13: "Decision to Leave" Park Chan-wook is one of the greatest living filmmakers and this is easily the most deeply felt and romantic work of his career. When your partner asks you how far you'd go for their love, show them this.

12: "Tár" Cate Blanchett gives the performance of her life in this incisive look at genius and how easy it can be to let power make you a monster. So sneakily powerful, you don't even realize how affecting the movie is until it's already over.

11: "Bones and All" This is the second piece of pop culture of the year that I loved that also features a tad bit of cannibalism, but this truly breathtaking work by Luca Guadagnino uses the eating of flesh as a metaphor for love in ways both sublime and beautiful.

10: "Nope" This one divided audiences quite a bit this year, but for my money, this complete subversion of the alien invasion genre pinned me to my chair in a way no film did all year. Jordan Peele is evolving as an artist with each film, and I can't wait to see what's next.

9: "The Eternal Daughter" Tilda Swinton gives an astounding dual performance as a mother and daughter staying in an almost empty hotel that used to be the mother's childhood home. Advertised as a ghost story, this is actually a stunning rumination on memory and family that I can't get out of my head.

8: "Triangle of Sadness" The hardest I've seen an audience laugh all year came from this dark and delicious satire about wealth, politics and class that once again proves to me that cinema can say some truly profound things if we give filmmakers the chance to be fearless. A masterpiece.

7: "The Banshees of Inisherin" Martin McDonagh has long been my favorite playwright and his direction and script for this fable about friendship is so subtle and magnificent that it will probably take years until audiences really discover how special this little movie really is. Lovely.

6: "After Yang:" The second appearance of Colin Farrell on this list and the quietest and gentlest film of the year, by far. The robot companion of a family starts malfunctioning and the father tries to fix it while simultaneously learning how important this "machine" really was. Will actually add warmth to your soul.

5: "RRR:" In just three hours this movie has spectacular action scenes, musical sequences, stamepeing animals, two romances and the best friendship in a movie all year. Oh, and the heroes fight colonialism with a dance battle. The purest piece of cinema I've seen in a very long time.

4: "Everything Everywhere All at Once" Lives up to its title within the first 10 minutes and then spends the next two-plus hours being a martial arts epic, a touching look at deferred dreams and the finest examination of a mother/daughter relationship I've seen in years. Michelle Yeoh is a force of nature, with Ke Huy Kwan and Stephanie Hsu giving the supporting performances of the year.

3: "Aftersun" Writer-director Charlotte Wells takes everything we know about cinematic language and tells a story of a father and his daughter on vacation in a way we've never seen before. Unforgettable and perfect in every way.

2: "Marcel the Shell with Shoes On" I feel like if anyone watches this movie and the only adjective they have to describe it is "cute," then we watched two different movies. An uncynical and loving story about a little shell and his aging grandmother, living alone in an Airbnb and just trying to be happy. More empathic than any movie I think I've ever seen.

So Much To Love
Some may not agree, but "Memoria" finished as the author's favorite film of 2022.

1: "Memoria:" Most people won't like this movie, but, for me, director Apichatpong Weerasethakul has managed to turn film into a different sensory experience, combining sound, image and the lack of both into trying to connect the viewer into the vibrations of the Earth. Dream, memory, self-discovery and collective humanity combine to make a film that only lives as an emotion or a fleeting sensation, not as a story you can describe to others. Very possibly the next evolution of cinema.

Also, I wanted to thank everyone who read my work over the past year. It means so much to me, having the opportunity to share the things I love with all of you, and I appreciate each of you. Have a most extraordinary new year. It'll be your best one yet.

About The Author

Jared Rasic

Film critic and author of food, arts and culture stories for the Source Weekly since 2010.
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