Ariana’s Favorite Films of 2022

The way I choose my top films is the ones I think about often. There are a few I failed to list that still haunt me such as Watcher and After Yang. These are the ones that linger with me and might deserve a second watch.

On the Count of Three
Written Ari Katcher & Ryan Welch
Directed by Jerrod Carmichael

A dark comedy and directorial debut for Jerrod Carmichael, I think back to this movie a lot. As someone who suffers from severe depression, this movie is honest about how it feels to question if life is worth it. You feel their pain and their love for one another—a rare thing in American cinema lately.

Hit The Road
Written & Directed by Panah Panahi

A road trip. A galaxy moment. A child who keeps breaking into karaoke. A family that’s fragmented and unsure if they can make a beautiful mosaic of what’s left. Iranian films do not shy away from having children bear witness to their parents’ best and worst decisions. They do not soften it, allowing every family member to be as human as possible while the lens is on them.

Written & Directed by Andrew Semans

This film is not the most visually spectacular. However, it is a demonstration of a powerhouse performances from Rebecca Hall and Tim Roth that will leave you uncomfortable and unsure about everything. A woman who had carefully crafted her life so that she can never get hurt or taken advantage of again, views love as a protective force, only to figure out perhaps that love isn’t sustainable if there is no trust.

Written & Directed by Charlotte Wells

Thanks to this movie, I am listening to R.E.M. again, wanting to weep because I didn’t consider the lyrics to ‘Losing My Religion’ when it first became popular when I was a child. I clicked on someone’s review on Letterbox for this who gave it a 2-star review and saw their other reviews and now have no hope in humanity (or at least Letterboxd users). Imagine not understanding how it didn’t need to be packed with narrative scene after scene when it’s an emotional reflection on a father-daughter relationship and the love felt and now missing.

BARDO, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths
Written by Alejandro Iñárritu & Nicolas Giacobone
Directed by Alejandro Iñárritu

In a society where we are supposed to respect people for their beliefs and will rightfully call them out for the hateful ones (canceling is a lie, and we know it), Bardo shows us what Alejandro González Iñárritu believes and thinks about. It is long, but beautiful and heartbreaking. It touches on family, national pride, racism, and privilege. You get the strong sense that Iñárritu knows he will never get the chance to make a movie like this again. I cried when Silverio listened to his daughter as she explained that she was sad about the ‘What if’ when being in Mexico, having been raised in Los Angeles. The knowledge of being an immigrant and the ‘right’ kind of immigrant, despite knowing others from where you hail from, suffer just to cross the border. It’s almost tempting to use how someone responds to this film as a test of if I trust a person or not.


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