As 2022 comes to a close, the season of year-end lists begins, with critics and publications announcing their top 10 films from the last calendar year. And few publications’ annual lists carry as much gravity for movie fans as Cahiers du Cinéma, the critical stalwart of the French film world. So, what does the magazine have atop their best films of 2022 list?
None other than Albert Serra‘s “Pacifiction,” fresh off its French theatrical release last month. “Pacifiction” had its world premiere in competition at the Cannes Film Festival in May to rave reviews. The film stars Benoît Magimel as a suave and slippery government official in Tahiti who mingles with the island’s high and low classes as rumors of French nuclear testing persist. Critics love the film, but sadly, it’s not slated yet for US theatrical release. But expect it out stateside sometime in 2023.
Two American films take the #2 and #3 slot on the list: Paul Thomas Anderson‘s “Licorice Pizza,” which had its French theatrical release this year, and Jordan Peele‘s “NOPE.” Jerzy Skolimowski‘s Cannes favorite “EO” comes in at #4, followed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi‘s latest, “Wheel Of Fortune And Fantasy.” The rest of the list boasts the likes of Richard Linklater, Hong Sang-soo, and Jonás Trueba, as well as two French films, “Saturn Bowling” and “Nobody’s Hero,” which haven’t yet had US theatrical releases.
It’s a bit of a surprise to see only two French films on the list and only two Cannes premieres. However, Cahiers du Cinéma continues to love US auteurs (and Asian ones, too). Take a look at the full ranked list below, and log the unfamiliar titles somewhere; if the Cahiers editors love them, they likely deserve a viewing.
1) Pacifiction (Albert Serra)
2) Licorice Pizza (Paul Thomas Anderson)
3) Nope (Jordan Peele)
4) EO (Jerzy Skolimowski)
5) Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (Ryusuke Hamaguchi)
6) Bowling Saturne (Patricia Mazuy)
7) Apollo 10 1/2 (Richard Linklater)
8) Introduction (Hong Sang-soo)
9) Nobody’s Hero (Alain Guiraudie)
10) Qui A Part Nous (Jonas Trueba)