Swampflix’s official coverage of the best films of 2022 won’t start until January 2023, but listmaking season is already in full swing elsewhere. General consensus on the best films of the year is starting to take shape as regional film critic associations are publishing their collective Best of the Year lists, and I’m proud to say I was able to take a small part in that ritual this year. I voted in the Southeastern Film Critics Association poll for the best films of 2022, representing a consensus opinion among 84 critics across nine states in the American South. Winners were announced this morning, and it’s a pretty great list! At the very least, it’s incredibly cool to see the skull-cracking action flick RRR rank so highly among the winners (including a win for Best Foreign Language Film) and to see something as bizarre as Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic recognized as “the film that best evokes the spirit of the South” (SEFCA’s Gene Wyatt Award). At Swampflix, we’re always pushing for vibrant, over-the-top genre filmmaking to be recognized alongside more typically prestigious Awards Season fare, and this year’s SEFCA winners include a healthy balance of both.
Speaking of which, the biggest story of this year’s list is the total dominance of the Daniels’ big-hearted sci-fi comedy Everything Everywhere All at Once. Not only was it honored as our #1 film of the year, but it also pretty much swept all major categories, including awards for Best Actress (Michelle Yeoh), Best Supporting Actor (Ke Huy Quan), Best Director(s) (Daniels), and Best Original Screenplay (Daniels). Online discussion of Everything Everywhere‘s faults & merits has gotten shockingly hyperbolic since it hit theaters way back in March, but it’s undeniably cool that a movie that playful & adventurous is earning so much genuine grassroots praise as a serious contender for Movie of the Year. To quote SEFCA President Matt Goldberg in today’s press release, “As film critics, one of the best things we can do is celebrate films that push the boundaries of narrative and genre. We hope that our voice can pull in viewers who may not normally check out a film where two women with hot dog fingers figure out their relationship. As strange as the film can be, its core message of embracing the richness of our relationships in the face of nihilistic apathy will endure far beyond this year’s award season.” Right on.
Check out the SEFCA’s Top 10 Films of 2022 list below, and the full list of this year’s awarded films on the organization’s website.
1. Everything Everywhere All at Once
2. The Banshees of Inisherin
3. The Fabelmans
5. Top Gun: Maverick
7. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
8. Women Talking
10. The Batman
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