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Sunday, January 29, 2023
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The Cardinal’s Best of 2022

The team reports back on their favorite movies, music and more from the year.

It’s the end of another year and time to talk about what art we’re taking with us. The Cardinal staff was surveyed on their favorites of the year and some even shared their thoughts. Here’s what we had to say.

Movies

Written and directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, the far and away favorite of the year was “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” This film garnered over half of the staff’s votes — over twice more than any other film. Here’s what our staff had to say:

Shu Lan Schaut

Watching “Everything Everywhere All At Once” feels like a life changing experience, a film that you know for a fact will be treasured and revered for years to come. A refreshing new take on the multiverse trend, writers and directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert have created something that feels truly original. The incredibly messy and overly intricate storyline is brilliantly brought to life by Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan and breakout star Stephanie Hsu — each of whom deliver incredibly diverse, profound performances. EEAAO is exciting, painful, refreshing, absurd in all the best ways and one of my favorites movies of all time.

Noah Fellinger

At once profoundly moving and thoroughly comedic, "Everything Everywhere All At Once" is a special kind of film that you only get to experience every once in a blue moon. This movie struck a deep chord with me and opened my mind in some very unexpected ways, which I believe is an experience many can attest to. The movie is beautiful on both a visual and story level. It feels almost organic — like it was grown on some wizened tree in a kindly hermit's backyard. The evident skill and loving care taken by the team behind this masterpiece is astonishing.

Honorable Mentions: 

Lauren Aguila

I didn’t watch many of this year’s mainstream movies, but I would say I really enjoyed “Don’t Worry Darling[’s]” plot and cinematography, despite it being somewhat predictable. The actors and casting were also very good, so overall it was a well-produced film. 

Zoe Kukla

“Nope” was visually stunning and so, so clever. Did you know they filmed everything during the day and edited it to look like night in post-production?

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Mackenzie Moore

I went into “The Menu” thinking it would be a fun but cheesy "Scary Movie" kind of thing. Instead, it was unlike anything I've seen before (in a good way). I laughed, I got nervous, I thought about my life, I kinda wanted s'more after.

Others of note were “RRR,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” “The Batman,” “Elvis” and “Glass Onion.”

Music

While Taylor Swift’s “Midnights” received the most votes, and Harry Styles’ “Harry’s House” received the second most, the bronze medalist “The Car” by Arctic Monkeys, despite garnering three fewer votes than the poll winner, had the most written support from staffers. Here is what writers had to say about “The Car”:

Hope Karnopp

Arctic Monkeys' "The Car" was a long-awaited, gloriously produced album. I had high expectations following "Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino," but the album succeeded in bringing listeners "back to earth" while retaining the band's experimentation with traditionally non-rock instruments. Any rock album with strings is worth listening to for its sheer creativity, in my opinion. While 2013-era listeners of Arctic Monkeys will find an entirely new sound, the band hasn't lost its edge, especially on tracks like "Body Paint." 

Spencer Ball

After abandoning the intricate guitar riffs of their previous records for the space-age pianos and synths of “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino,” Arctic Monkeys have found a happy medium in “The Car.” The album combines a disco-influenced lounge aesthetic with explosive guitar finishes and some of frontman Alex Turner’s best vocal performances yet. While not quite reaching the heights of some of their earlier work, “The Car” is fresh and creative proof that the band is still evolving almost two decades in. 

Honorable Mentions:

Sophia Ross

Taylor Swift's “Midnights” is the closest thing to pop music perfection that my ears have ever heard. The elaborate storytelling Swift conveys through her lyrics is not lost, and in fact shines among the unique and upbeat tunes of this album.

Alex Clark

“$oul $old $eparately” shows Freddie Gibbs can have a broader appeal — signed with a major record label and expectedly this album is stylistic different than his previous, but it works.

Others of note were “You Still Here, Ho?” by Flo Milli, “Free LSD” by OFF!, “Preacher’s Daughter” by Ethel Cain, “CAPRISONGS” by FKA twigs, “God Save the Animals” by Alex G., “Hot Mess” by Dodie, “Gemini Rights” by Steve Lacy, “Stick Season” by Noah Kahan and “Darklife” by death’s dynamic shroud.

Shows and series

2022 proved to be a year of many great shows with none of them being dominant in the zeitgeist for too long. While a wide variety of shows found some time in the spotlight over the course of the year, the winner and runner up of our poll were the second seasons of “Euphoria” and “Bridgerton.” However, no one wrote about “Euphoria,” so we’ll call that a forfeit.

Shu Lan Schaut

Period movies and shows have always had a soft spot in my heart, and “Bridgerton” is no exception. I love watching “Pride and Prejudice” or “Little Women,” but until recently never would’ve thought that someone like me would ever be able to have a place in these universes. "Bridgerton" season two not only includes people of color into this world, but highlights its women of color characters in leading roles. “Bridgerton” still brings its heat and drama to the screen, albeit in a more anticipatory way. Perhaps I enjoy the enemies to lovers trope a little too much, but for me, season two of “Bridgerton” is an addictive addition to the already successful show. 

Honorable Mentions:

Anupras Mohapatra

“Andor” is dark, gritty and quite different from anything we’ve seen in “Star Wars” recently. There is conflict, bureaucracy, secrecy and resilience — the show sheds light on it all. The relative lack of flashy action scenes may be a turn-off to certain fans, but it means there is a greater focus on the granular aspects of fascism from all angles. This is the show’s greatest triumph. I’m 100% sure I would have hated this show four years ago. Thankfully, it seems I have grown up just enough to appreciate it. 

Ace Filter

“Attack on Titan” remains my favorite anime of all time. Hajime Isayama is a brilliant writer, and MAPPA Studios truly brought the story of season four part two to light through their admirable animations and voice actors. I am eagerly awaiting the third and final part of season four, which is due to air in early 2023.

Annika Bereny

I loved “The Bear” because it was really good and made me write up a menu and cook dinner for the rest of the week. But, “Love Island UK” is the GOAT of 2022 TV, I fear. The drama and storylines were unmatched, and the islanders were just so insane that it was perfect TV.

Others of note were recent seasons of “Abbott Elementary,” “The White Lotus,” “The Rehearsal,” “Obi-Wan Kenobi” and “Rick and Morty.”

Games

When it came to 2022’s games, there was a clear favorite: “Wordle.” This game took over the internet for several weeks then spawned an entirely new genre.

Anupras Mohapatra

My mom and I used to play “Wordle” with each other daily. We’re in touch every day anyway, but this added something more to it. When you stay away from home for months on end, every little interaction counts that much more. “Wordle” added something special. The game is so simple as well. Like any trend, it has fallen in popularity, but it was fun while it lasted. 

Brenna Rae

“Wordle” took over people. It was the basis of two of my friendships and often the first thing I did every morning.

Honorable mentions:

Mackenzie Moore

To be honest, I just started playing “Pokemon Legends: Arceus” after not having played a Pokemon game since it was on Game Boy. That being said, I caught a Psyduck a couple nights ago and it brought me indescribable joy.

Anupras Mohapatra

I am literally a billionaire in “Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga.” The open world nature of the game is great, although there’s still a lot that could be better. Story mode missions are shorter in this game versus older Lego Star Wars games, and some planets have limited access. Also, once you’ve done quests, you can’t redo them unless you make a new save. Still my favorite game of the year.

Jeffrey Brown

2022 felt like a slow year for video games, or at least ones that fit my taste. So despite coming out in 2021, the fact that I finally got around to playing “Inscryption” makes it count as my game of 2022. I’m a lame duck arts editor, so I make the rules and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. This game blew my mind and easily secured a spot in my top five video games of all time. I wouldn’t break the rules for anything less.

Others of note were “Elden Ring” and “The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe Edition.”

Art around us

While movies, music, TV and games are all great ways to engage with art, there is so much more art around us. Here’s what the writers had to say about their favorite ways of engaging with art on campus or in Madison.

Mackenzie Moore

I really loved the “Sifting and Reckoning” exhibit at the Chazen. I was amazed at the amount of history that has been preserved throughout UW-Madison's history. Plus, I learned a lot about the discrimination that has taken place on campus over the years and the administration's response to it.

Hope Karnopp

My ballroom class required me to watch two contemporary dance concerts during the fall semester. I had never seen contemporary dance before, but it was a unique and thought-provoking experience. "bits n' pieces," presented by Li Chiao-Ping Dance and the UW-Madison Dance Department, showed me that dance can both present serious themes and be downright hilarious. I had no idea that UW-Madison's dance program and Lathrop Hall have such a rich history. If you're looking for a new experience in Madison's arts scene, I highly recommend checking out a contemporary dance performance in the Margaret H’Doubler Performance Space. 

Lauren Aguila

My favorite way of engaging in the arts on campus was by attending the Multicultural Celebration of Organizations and Resources (or MCOR) at the beginning of the semester. I also enjoyed attending some of the musical productions held at the Hamel Music Center.

Joyce Riphagen

I love being at WheelHouse, the art studio on campus.

Brenna Rea

Live improv shows by the understudies and public art galleries are both my current favorites. They are both great ways to see passionate students perform.

Vee Sridhar

Wisconsin Rangde — a dance group here at Madison that focuses on fusion dance which combines Indian music with all genres, like hip-hop, R&B and more — has been a joy to be a part of.

Final Thoughts

And finally, here’s what the staff had to say when given a free space to share their final thoughts on art in 2022.

Drake White-Bergey

I think that “Damaged” by Black Flag should win the award for "2022 Best Album Released on December 5, 1981."

Mackenzie Moore

I just wanted to say that "Pickled" — the celebrity pickleball tournament — was 100% Emmy worthy. Also, I want a rom-com starring Will Ferrell and Tig Notaro STAT.

Brenna Rea

“Don’t Worry Darling” was bad, Kanye is not a great guy now and TikTok has a firm grip on my music taste. 

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Hope Karnopp

Hope Karnopp is the news manager and dabbles in music reviews at The Daily Cardinal. She previously hosted the Cardinal Call for WORT-FM and edited state news.


Anupras Mohapatra

Anupras Mohapatra is a former opinion editor for The Daily Cardinal and currently serves on the Editorial Board. He is a senior double majoring in Computer Science and Journalism. 


Mackenzie Moore

Mackenzie is the first ever editor of The Beet and actually made of over 62% beet.


Jeffrey Brown

Jeffrey Brown is an Arts Editor for the Daily Cardinal and also writes for the Beet occasionally. He is a senior majoring in Sociology with a certificate in African-American Studies.


Drake White-Bergey

Drake White-Bergey is the Photo Editor Emeritus of the Daily Cardinal. You can follow him on Instagram at @drakewb437 and on Twitter at @DWhiteBergey.


Noah Fellinger

Noah Fellinger is an Arts Editor at The Daily Cardinal. Follow him on Twitter at @Noah_Fellinger.


Zoe Kukla

Zoe Kukla is a state news reporter, photographer and graphics artist for The Daily Cardinal. Follow her on Twitter at @ZoeKukla.


Annika Bereny

Annika Bereny is a staff writer for the Daily Cardinal specializing in state news and politics reporting. Follow her on Twitter at @annikabereny.

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