July 19th was a long day.
At work, I stayed late to cover the local premiere of a Hollywood Blockbuster. I interviewed costumed fans and enthused moviegoers. We were all swept up in the unique joy that film makers can still bring; the anticipation and excitement shared in a crowded lobby.
I almost stayed for the midnight show, but opted to head home. I figured I’d see it the next day. While I slept that night, an unimaginable horror unfolded six miles from the theater where I had just been.
By morning, the world had changed for Aurora, and for all of us. In the days to follow, I couldn’t bring myself to watch “The Dark Knight Rises.” Those days turned to months and yet, each time I considered the film, a lump in my throat stopped me cold.
On the last full night of 2012, the time seemed right.
The evil of last summer has given birth to so many acts of bravery, compassion, love and healing. I could see this movie now — no longer blinded by anger, but inspired by the humanity I’d witnessed from survivors, law enforcement, family, even Christian Bale. He’d been here to pray at those makeshift crosses, united with all of us in something greater.
I waited over five months to watch “The Dark Knight Rises.” It took 165 minutes to realize I’d just seen the best film of 2012.
Every element of this movie comes together to elevate storytelling into it’s highest purpose. The time for reviews of this film has long past. I’ll only say this: Under the direction of Christopher Nolan, the elements of riveting drama, brilliant writing, sublime acting, and eye-popping action are finally united as one.
Christian Bale’s last line in the film brought that lump back to my throat. They’re words that resonate in the film, and for all those who were watching on July 19th.
“A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a little boy’s shoulders to let him know that the world hadn’t ended.”
Now, onto my full list of the top 10 films of 2012.
If you want to hear more analysis from Chris Parente about why these are his top 10 movies of 2012, tune in live to the Critics’ Choice Awards on Jan. 10 at 6 p.m. Parente is a member of the The Broadcast Film Critics Association, which puts on the event, and he will be hosting all of the action live on our sister station, KWGN.
1. The Dark Knight Rises
3. Silver Linings Playbook
4. Les Miserables
6. Zero Dark Thirty
7. Life Of Pi
8. Django Unchained
9. The Sessions
10. Best Exotic Marigold Hotel