Arts review of 2012: The faces of the year

Beyonce and Jay-Z had their first baby this year. Picture: Getty
Beyonce and Jay-Z had their first baby this year. Picture: Getty
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Who has made a splash this year in the world of entertainment.


Her prose is laughable, her characterisation bonkers, and what she doesn’t understand about the world of BDSM could fill three more books. But there’s no denying that this was the year James painted the world grey. Let’s hope her much-deserved royalties are massive enough to encourage early retirement.


We have the X Factor to thanks-but-no-thanks for this singer, who’s disgruntled at not receiving any 2012 Brit nominations, despite his

big… sales figures. (Well, you didn’t think I’d say talent?) At least he’s vowed to keep his shirt on until he resembles rapper Flo Rida. Small mercies.


Endlessly but not always happily in the headlines for his shocking (ha – so not) divorce from Katie Holmes. He also drew criticism for being short of stature, yet having the audacity to play 6ft 5in, 250lb badass Jack Reacher. Darlings why do you think they call Hollywood the Dream Factory?


Pulling a reverse Fisher Stevens (unfaithful to Michelle Pfeiffer), the Twilight star cheated on Rob Pattinson (I know!), making Mad magazine’s 20 Dumbest People of 2012 list. Her apology won back R-Patz, who uttered the immortal idiocy: “Real relationships are not affected by what happens in life.” Dumb and dumber?


With the roaring success of Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated Girls – which she created, writes, directs and stars in – she became a transatlantic “It” girl, scoring a $3.5m deal to write a book of advice for young, hip, creative gals who don’t conform to cookie-cutter ideals of beauty.


She spoke out at the Levenson inquiry, then told Cameron that his response left her feeling “duped and angry”. She published Casual Vacancy, a wizardless novel for grown-ups, and it didn’t do half badly. Plus she sold her multimillion-pound Merchiston mansion in under a month. During a recession. Respect.


She kicked off the year giving birth to Blue Ivy (a child, not a pot plant), filmed an HBO documentary, and finished up by signing a $50m deal with Pepsi that finds her shilling for their pop while they, well, shell out for her pop and other projects.


Britain’s buffest Bond came back with a vengeance in Skyfall, still coining it at the box office and still fuelling a thousand female fantasies. He and his M, Judi Dench, were voted the nation’s favourite actors of 2012. And he insists that his favourite sex scene on film was with Anne Reid!


Sheep. Flaming rings. Dancing nurses. Doreen Lawrence. A skydiving Her Majesty. Boyle’s amazeballs Olympics opening ceremony had it all, and so much more. By the rousing torch-lighting climax, even viewers at home were on their feet cheering. Remembering it now is giving me a severe case of giggles and goosebumps.


Gorgeous, talented, and never knowingly dressed, it’s a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma why she’s allergic to clothes and good sense. Controversially, she’s resumed her relationship with Chris Brown, who put her in hospital once already. Always worth watching – just not always for the right reasons.