From 'A(mour)' to 'Z(ero Dark Thirty)'
2. "Moonrise Kingdom" (Wes Anderson)
I don't much respond to Wes Anderson's work, but I found this to be his best film in over a decade -- perhaps his best to date. It's a brilliant ode to love at the beginning, told with grace and maturity and, in some ways, a lovely bookend to something like "Amour," which tells of love at the end. It has clicked its way up the ladder throughout the year for me and landed in a personally surprising high spot. Where much of Anderson's work has always felt put-on to me, this effort feels more personal. And it's led by a pair of child actor performances from Jared Gillman and Kara Hayward that nail the storybook artifice's collision with sincerity.