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Oscar Prep: Talib Kweli Picks Best Movies of 2012

Just in time for the Academy Awards, Kweli explains his two favorite films of last year

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NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 27: Rapper Talib Kweli performs at the MLB Fan Cave on September 27, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo
Mike Lawrie

Who needs the Oscars when you have Talib Kweli? When we chatted with the Black Star rapper about his all-time favorite film The Big Lebowski, we also asked which movies from last year left an impression on him. And while his two favorite flicks of 2012 might surprise you, his explanations for loving these films are as eloquent as his lyrics. One of them was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, but the other was sadly snubbed. Click through to learn why Kweli loved them both.

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'Beasts of the Southern Wild'

Kweli: There's something about the vastness and innocence of child actors I love, and I like when young actors take on heavy pieces like this. Beasts literally brought tears into my eyes within the first five minutes. Before the title even rolled on the screen, the whole intro was so intense for me. Man, that girl [the Oscar-nominated Quvenzhané Wallis] is something else.

To see black people, poor people and oppressed people have their story told with that level of beauty was inspiring for me. It was a powerful story and it wasn’t a depressing one, even though there were clearly major issues for the people living there.

[Spoiler Alert] I think I understand the actual beasts entering at the end, or at least I have my own interpretation. I know some people who are turned off by things like that, people who say, "I don’t get it!" But I loved it. To me, that’s movie magic. You know, why not? Why not have there be actual beasts that she has to face down in a movie called Beasts of the Southern Wild?

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'Moonrise Kingdom'

Kweli: I’m definitely someone who goes to see a movie for the director more than the actor, because the director has more control. Anything Wes Anderson, I’m there, knowing it’s going to be good. I don’t even get why he writes these stories: They’re oddly similar, but still different. In Moonrise, to see Frances McDormand, Bill Murray and Bruce Willis all interacting with each other and playing second fiddle to the kids, that was a magical thing. And for me, being someone who’s into theater, I can almost imagine Moonrise being staged in real life as a play.

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