This year, society almost got back to normal, with some caveats, and we all went back to film festivals and theaters, thankful for the myriad features from some of the best filmmakers around. In the following 19 essays, directors offer praise and insight into their favorite films — the movies that moved them the most or ones they found just plain astonishing — of 2022.
Guillermo del Toro found Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” fascinating. “It was like a concert — it was experiential, peppered with details and perfectly observed mannerisms and hidden clues,” the “Pinocchio” director wrote. “Austin Butler and Baz showcase Elvis’ world shaking, transformative talent, his joy, his soul, his sadness — actor and director working in tandem to re-embrace and re-energize the power and danger that Elvis possessed.”
Wes Anderson, on the other hand, preferred Noah Baumbach’s “White Noise,” writing: “This is perhaps the most literary (and language-oriented) gigantic semi-science fiction blockbuster-scale movie ever made. College professors lecture. Academics debate. Grocery shoppers dance in the aisles. A giant toxic cloud is an existential threat; but first and foremost, it’s a metaphor. This movie is dazzling and mysterious and poetic and wildly entertaining.”
“Catherine Called Birdy” director Lena Dunham praised Maria Schrader’s “She Said,” writing that Schrader was “the perfect director to take on the horrors of Harvey Weinstein through the lens of the women who reported the bombshell New York Times story that marked the first chink in his armor.”
Read on for essays from the likes of Judd Apatow, Edgar Wright and Claire Denis.