With hindsight, 2013 was a rather disappointing year for film, and although there was a slew of good productions on release, it seemed the year started and ended strong with a lot of gumpf in between. Looking back at some of my own reviews, I realise that I've been extremely generous with my ratings - I guess I'm a glass half full, rather than half empty kinda guy - and all things considered it would be easier to argue that the pre-release hype of most films outweighed their value upon release. Just think about Only God Forgives, The Counsellor, World War Z, Pacific Rim and even though my review of Man of Steel was positive, I've reconsidered it, and the ending was simply crap. There were however some very interesting documentaries, looking at a screenwriting legend, killer whales, Israeli Secret Service and the various interpretations of one horror classic. The most disappointing was the lack of good sic-fi, something 2014 will hopefully make up for with a wave of upcoming releases.
Ignoring my occasionally fickle review ratings, and with hindsight being a far fairer companion than the zeitgeist (yes, I'm guilty of drinking the kool-aid, jumping on the bandwagon, and riding the wave), which can cloud one's judgement, I have compiled by list of favourite movies of the year - that is to say, the ones I was either wowed at or would simply rush out to buy on DVD for their re-watchability rather than credit as a 'great movie' (Elysium). As I mentioned, my ratings are off at times, so please ignore and make sure you see the films listed below.
Happy new year, and here's looking forward to 2014!
Favourite Films of 2013
1. 12 Years a Slave - dir. Steve McQueen
2. Gravity - dir. Alfonso Cuaron
3. All is Lost - dir. J.C. Chandor
4. Django Unchained - dir. Quentin Tarantino
5. Zero Dark Thirty - dir. Kathryn Bigelow
6. Stoker - dir. Park Chan-Wook
7. Inside Llewyn Davis - dir. Coen Brothers
8. Captain Phillips - dir. Steven Spielberg
9. Mud - dir. Jeff Nichols
10. Nebraska - dir. Alexander Payne
11. Life of Pi - dir. Ang Lee
12. Bullhead - dir. Michael R. Roskam
13. Blue Jasmine - dir. Woody Allen
14. Blackfish - dir. Gabriela Cowperthwaite
15. Elysium - dir. Neill Blomkamp
BEST DIRECTOR - Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
NOTABLE MENTION - Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity; J. C. Chandor, All is Lost; Ang Lee, Life of Pi; Park Chan-Wook, Stoker; Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained; Alexander Payne, Nebraska.
BEST ACTOR - Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
NOTABLE MENTION - Bruce Dern, Nebraska; Robert Redford, All is Lost; Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips; Matthias Schoenarts, Bullhead.
BEST ACTRESS - Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
NOTABLE MENTION - Marine Vacth, Jeune et Jolie; Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty; Sandra Bullock, Gravity; Mia Wasikowska, Stoker.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR - Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
NOTABLE MENTION - Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips; Will Forte, Nebraska; Jason Clarke, Zero Dark Thirty; Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained; Leonardo Di Caprio, Django Unchained.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS - Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave
NOTABLE MENTION - Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine; Carey Mulligan, Inside Llewyn Davis; June Squibb, Nebraska; Cameron Diaz, The Counsellor.