2012's top 10 cinematic sensations

Updated: 2013-01-04 09:59

By Liu Wei (China Daily)

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It's difficult to pick the 10 greatest domestic films in 2012, but there are solid reasons why these are worth watching. Artistic quality is not the list's sole criterion. Popularity is also a major concern. Some may not have stood out in either realm but have strong social relevance or generate broad discussions beyond the films themselves. Liu Wei reports.

Back to 1942

2012's top 10 cinematic sensations

Feng Xiaogang deals with a dark chapter in Chinese history when 3 million people in Henan province died in a famine in 1942. In a restrained tone, Feng explores the real reasons for the tragedy, such as corruption and war, behind surface causes like drought and locusts. The 147-minute film is not entertaining per se but leads viewers to reflect on both the dark and bright sides of human nature.

A Simple Life

2012's top 10 cinematic sensations

Ann Hui's drama, based on the story between an elderly maid and her boy master, is almost impeccable in storytelling and acting.

Protagonist Ah Tao is a nanny who lives with a family for 60 years. When she has a stroke, the family's son takes responsibility to care for the woman, who has looked after him since he was a baby.

Hui is clever in not turning the flick into a tearjerker but, rather, a touching and emotional drama between the most ordinary of people. Her anti-sentimental approach quietly pulls audiences into the story and to thoughts about how we face aging.

2012's top 10 cinematic sensations

2012's top 10 cinematic sensations

The grave side

Muddy waters 

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