Movies 2022: The Year in Review
For a few reasons, 2022 for the movie industry was unlike any year that came before it.
This year was the first full calendar year since 2019 when viewers could watch new releases in traditional brick and mortar theaters, something many "experts" said would never happen again.
The COVID-19 scare negatively affected thousands, if not millions of businesses and forever changed the lives of everybody left in its wake to one degree or another, but few more than the movies.
Within days of the nationwide shuttering of theaters in March, 2020, the studios reluctantly acclimated by offering new releases on-demand.
"Better to lose a little than a lot" was the new business model, but even the most uninformed recognized this fix had to be temporary; if it continued long term, movies as we knew them would no longer exist.
There were two significant holdouts to the streaming/on-demand mindset, resulting in wildly divergent results.
One of them lost big on their gamble and the other won in a huge way and, in the process, might have singlehandedly rescued the film industry from oblivion.
Released in the U.S. on Sept. 3, 2020 (after two delays), director Christopher Nolan’s "Tenet" would go on to pull in a tad over $365 million which, based on budget, marketing costs, and inventive Hollywood accounting, lost 0ver $50 million.
It marked the largest net deficit of Nolan’s career.
Original scheduled for release on July 12, 2019, "Top Gun: Maverick" would eventually come out over 22 months later on May 27 of this year.
Although the first of four date changes was attributed to reshoots, the others were chosen in part by leading man/producer Tom Cruise who flat out refused to stream the movie.
Cruise’s patience paid off.
"Maverick" went on to pull in $1.488 billion worldwide, making it the highest-grossing film of his career and the biggest money maker in the history of Paramount Studios.
From a critical perspective, 2022 was my favorite year — quality wise — since 1999.
Again, due in part to the COVID-19 situation delaying production, the studios ended up with a backlog of titles.
They released some of the lesser quality, low-visibility stuff online but saved the primo material for theatrical release.
This, in turn, led me to create, for the first time in 27 years, two Top 10 lists — one for live-action and the other for documentaries.
I’ve never liked including these two completely different types of films on the same year-end list (and the same goes for animated releases) — they’re not the same animals.
Truth be told, there were well over a dozen more titles — excellent movies one and all —which this writer regrettably had to jettison from both Top 10 lists.
I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the masterful achievements of Isaiah Washington for his work on my favorite release of the year, "Corsicana."
Containing elements of Taylor Sheridan, Quentin Tarantino, along with some John Ford and Howard Hawks, "Corsicana" is the best Revisionist Western since Clint Eastwood’s "Unforgiven."
In addition to thoroughly disappearing into the role of non-fictional U.S. Marshall Bass Reeves, Washington also co-wrote the screenplay and directed the movie (the first of his career behind the camera) and did so with only two days notice.
"Corsicana" is still playing in theaters and the for best way find out exactly where, visit fandango.com.
Finally, thanks once again to Carolyn Sloss and her stellar staff at Allied Integrating Marketing for their invaluable assistance.
Top 10 2022 Live Action:
- Empire of Light
- My Son Hunter
- Top Gun: Maverick
- Glass Onion
- Confess, Fletch
- All Quiet on the Western Front
- The Scottish Play
- Where the Crawdads Sing
- Dragon Eats Eagle
Top 10 2022 Documentaries:
1. Eternal Spring
3. Deep in the Heart: A Texas Wildlife Story
4. Louis Armstrong's Black & Blues
5. Died Suddenly
6. Downfall: The Case Against Boeing
7. Lucy and Desi
8. Moonage Daydream
9. Facing Nolan
10. The Race to Alaska
Best Lead Actor: Austin Butler in Elvis
Best Lead Actress: Olivia Colman in Empire of Light
Best Supporting Actor: Brendan Gleeson in The Banshees of Inisherin
Best Supporting Actress: Kerry Condon in The Banshees of Inisherin
Best Ensemble Cast: Glass Onion
Breakthrough Performance (female): Daisy Edgar-Jones in Where the Crawdads Sing
Breakthrough Performance (male): Micheal Ward in Empire of Light
Best Director (live action): Rian Johnson for Glass Onion
Best Director (documentary): Jason Loftus for Eternal Spring
Best First Feature by a Director: Isaiah Washington for Corsicana
Best Animated Feature: Eternal Spring
Best International Feature: Eternal Spring
Best Cinematography: Roger Deakins for Empire of Light
Best Original Score: Daisy Coole and Tom Nettleship for The Pay Day
Best Original Song: "Carolina" — Taylor Swift, Where the Crawdads Sing.
Originally from Washington, D.C., Michael Clark has written for over 30 local and national film industry media outlets and is based in the Atlanta Top 10 media marketplace. He co-founded the Atlanta Film Critics Circle in 2017 and is a regular contributor to The Shannon Burke Show on floridamanradio.com. Over the last 25 years, Mr. Clark has written over 4,000 movie reviews and film-related articles. He is one of the few conservative U.S. movie critics. Read Michael Clark's Reports — More Here.
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