2013: The Year in Film and My Top

Overall, not a bad year but not great. Two films from this year make my “Required viewing” list. Surprise of the year was “Frozen”, expected to be a modest success only.

Total Films Viewed from 2013: 40

Scroll down for my Top 10

Top 10 Critically Acclaimed Films

(Source : criticstop10.com – a site that take a weighted average of about 800 lists, 350 of which are considered “Top Critics”)

  1. 12 years a Slave
  2. Gravity
  3. Inside Llewyn Davis
  4. Her
  5. Before Midnight
  6. Wolf of Wall Street
  7. American Hustle
  8. Frances Ha
  9. The Act of Killing
  10. Blue is the Warmest Colour

Winners of The Major Oscar Categories

Best Picture Nominees from 2013 (2014 Oscars)

Best Picture                             12 Years a Slave

Best Actor                                Matthew McConaughey Dallas Buyer’s Club

Best Actress                             Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Best Supporting Actor             Jared Leto, Dallas Buyer’s Club

Best Supporting Actress          Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave

Best Director                            Alfonso Cauron, Gravity

Original Screenplay                Spike Jonze, Her

Adapted Screenplay                John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave

Best Animated Feature           Frozen

Two performances from Dallas Buyer’s Club won Oscars. Matthew McConaughey – who did not deserve a win and gave a speech where he thanked his future self. Really, he did. And Jared Leto, who gave one of the best performances of the decades offered a heartfelt, humble acceptance speech for the ages.

Top Grossing Movies:                Iron Man 3 (Domestic )

                                      Frozen (Worldwide)

Really Good Films from 2013 You May Have Missed:

Don Jon

Blue Jasmine


Before Midnight

Movie from 2013 to avoid at all costs:

Grown Ups 2


Kick Ass 2 (so so so disappointing)

The Hangover Part III

Here are my Top 10 films of 2013

Runners-up: Inside Llewlyn Davis, The Spectacular Now, Saving Mr. Banks, World War Z, Dallas Buyer’s Club, Don Jon

10.  Pacific Rim

Level 7 Guilty Pleasure. Giant robots from the future get face to face with acidic-goo spewing alien sea beasts from another dimension and punch them in the face!!! What’s not to like. This is B movie silliness in the hands of skilled director to create a movie that is by no means good, but I just loved!

The “Honest Trailer” both sums up why I love and should hate this movie.

9. American Hustle

I have read a number of times that director David O. Russell is not easy to work for. True on not, he draws amazing performances from his cast. Only a handful of movies have ever had nominations in all four acting categories and he has done it twice, once with this film. A fun, raucous, 70s period piece about con artists and grifters. Wildly entertaining movie.

8. Captain Phillips

The movie that started the “Never Travel with Tom Hanks” meme. True story of the freight liner that is taken over by Somali pirates, the cunning required to stay alive and the fractious relationship that develops between the ship’s captain and its captors. The ending, based on the actual rescue mission by Seal Team 6, is nail-biting stuff.

7. Blue is the Warmest Colour

More noted and notorious for its graphic lesbian sex scenes, this film is really a wonderful, moving tale about love, loss and self discovery.

6. Before Midnight

Ever been in what seems to be an impossible relationship? If your human, then of course you have. Chapter Three of the compelling, heart wrenching tale of Jesse and Celine, unlikely lovers whose path cross rarely but intensely. Director Richard Linklater’s commitment to this project is nothing short of amazing and the three movies together are amongst the great trilogies ever made.

5. 12 Years a Slave

This year’s best picture, hard to watch but it packs a visceral, emotional wallop like few films. It became the first film to be producer, written and directed by African American film makers to win Best Picture. Director Steve McQueen draws some incredible performance from his three leads, with an Oscar for Lupita Nyong’o.

4. Her

I spend more time on my computer than I do with any one person in my life. Sad statement, I know but it makes the story of a man who falls in love with his AI Operating System not all that far fetched. Director Spike Jonze can be expected to deliver the unexpected (Being John Malkovich) and with “Her” he does not disappoint. Brilliant voice-over work from Scarlett Johannsen as Samantha, the Operating System.

3. Blue Jasmine

Two years in a row with exceptional movies from Woody Allen. Cate Blanchett won a well-deserved Oscar and there are astonishingly good performances from stand-ups Louis CK and Andrew Dice Clay. Blanchett plays a disgraced New York socialite who travels to San Francisco to seek help from her estranged sister unable to accept her new diminished status in life.

2. The Wolf of Wall Street

Leo’s best every performance in a tale of 80s excess and debauchery that could only be brought to life by the great Martin Scorsese. It’s a movie about addiction – to everything, drugs, money, sex, power. Based on the real-life story of stock swindler Jordan Belfort. Not for the light-hearted. Jonah Hill’s best movie.

1. Gravity

Saw it three times in theatres. Had to been seen on the big screen, preferably in IMAX. What an experience. Three-person cast if you count Ed Harris’ voice over. Winner of seven Oscars. Gravity clocks in at a tight 90 minutes which makes if perfect as you live Ryan Stone’s life and death journey with her nearly in real time. This movie almost never got made and went through countless casting changes (originally Robert Downey Jr. and Angelina Jolie). The end result is one of the best films of the decade.

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