As 2013 draws to a close, it’s time to reel off One Room With A View’s Top Ten Films of 2013. Each writer will list their top ten and we’ll reach an ultimate list at the end. To achieve this, we’ll be using a simple points system so that a film placing 10th = 1 point, 9th = 2 points and so on until whichever film finishes top gets a perfect 10. The film with the most points at the end of our lists is our film of 2013.
With all that sorted, it’s game time for Christopher as he give us his top ten of 2013:
SHORT TERM 12: Child abuse is a most heinous crime. Short Term 12 is not in a hurry to forget this. But nor does it want to forget just how much strength we can find in the hearts of our fellow men. Destin Cretton’s latest might well be a bicycle ride through every emotion possible, but for every tear that rolls down your cheeks, there will be a smile that spreads across your face. This movie is Brie Larson’s Winter’s Bone. Honestly, remember her name. While it may have sat quietly in the corner of 2013, Short Term 12 is a wonderfully touching film; something that will restore your faith in human kindness.
FRANCES HA: Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa is, without a shadow of a doubt, the funniest comedy of 2013. So how has Frances Ha usurped its place on this list? Because, although its laughs may not tickle the depths of the belly that Norfolk’s most famous son did, its softness and playful attitude lingers in the mind far longer. From director Noah Baumbach, Frances Ha is a bouncy folky number that perfectly illustrates that just because you’re grown up, it doesn’t mean you’re a grown-up. The mumblecore movement has a new queen: all hail Frances Ha.
IRON MAN 3: How to solve a problem like Marvel? After delivering the biggest (and, in my humble opinion, the best) movie of last year, where was the superhero factor to go next? Robert Downey Jr. and his Iron Man stepped up to the bat and delivered tenfold: full of cinematic fireworks, Iron Man 3 is the most worthy solo entry of the ever-expanding Avengers-verse to date. It made me laugh and cheer, and I’m now as confident as ever that the capes and spandex bandwagon is still galloping along with tremendous speed. The best blockbuster of the year by a country mile.
BEHIND THE CANDELABRA: This poster encapsulates just how awful Behind The Candelabra could have been. Just look at it. It’s literally choking on its own glitter. What BtC turned out to be, however, was an entirely beguiling biopic; pitch-perfect in tone and showcasing a performance of a lifetime from one actor in particular. Come for the fun, stay for the story. This should have been Michael Douglas’ Academy Award winner.
GRAVITY: A thriller. A spectacle. An achievement. Alfonso Cuarón has delivered something truly exceptional here: an amazing movie, an artistic innovation, and the best use of 3D I have seen to date. I’m still not entirely convinced its heart beats as strongly as its aesthetics but who cares? This remains breathless, nerve-chomping cinema. P.S. Sandra Bullock’s lungs for Best Supporting Actress(es).
THE ACT OF KILLING: I have never seen anything like The Act of Killing before, and I’m not sure how I feel about seeing anything like it ever again – but, make no mistake, this is documentary cinema at the height of its importance. Oppenheimer’s alarming film is a fascinating look at the Indonesian killings of the 1960s but what is perhaps more terrifying is the manner it shows how the darkness of the cinema can be perceived by the eyes of monsters. Unmissable.
DJANGO UNCHAINED: For a long time in 2013, Django Unchained was my favourite film of the year. Its bombastic (but never malicious) approach to such a dark subject matter has been somewhat humiliated by Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave (a film you, unfortunately, can’t help but compare it to) – but Django’s contagious electricity is undeniable. Helped along by a sparkling performance from Christoph Waltz (and an absolutely cracking soundtrack), you can’t help but be charmed by this romp through history and the Western genre. Django Unchained may just be QT’s best work since Pulp Fiction.
BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOUR: Blue is the Warmest Colour proves that explicit lesbian sex scenes are going to grab your film some attention. It’s just a shame that their inclusion seems to have incinerated any other conversations about this remarkable film. So much more than the ‘gay movie’ it has been mugged to be, BitWC is a startlingly real tale of growing up and what a struggle that period can be. Some will balk at its heavy 179-minute running time, but Kechiche ensures it zooms by, using every single second to luxuriate in getting to know these characters. Newcomer Adéle Exarchopoulos is tremendous too: if it was up to me, it would be her vs. Brie Larson for every acting gong under the sun come Awards Season.
BEFORE MIDNIGHT: Part Twos are hard to produce. Seriously, just look at how many awful sequels there are out there. And the only thing more difficult to get right than a sequel are its siblings: the threequels. How is it then that Richard Linklater makes it look so effortless? Before Midnight, the third chapter in Jesse and Celine’s wonderful love story, takes its place as one of the silver screen’s greatest love stories. This film is so very honest; their love is fragile and raw and beautiful, and the characters are just as real now as when we first met them (all the way back in 1995). With Before Midnight, the Before series can now join Toy Story and The Lord of the Rings as one of cinema’s most perfect trilogies.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: Captain Phillips is a freighter, storming through the ocean of cinema, that carries depth, emotion, suspense and thrills. Paul Greengrass grabs you by the ankles and drags you to the edge of your seat, only to leave you dangling there until the credits roll. Tom Hanks returns to form with gusto, and is ably flanked by Barkhad Adbi as the complex captain of the Somalian pirate clan. I was completely exhausted as I left the screening of Captain Phillips and instantly couldn’t wait to watch it again. It is a thundering and epic film, and it stole my heart entirely.
SCORES (after Round 4)
Django Unchained – 30 points
Gravity – 25 points
Captain Phillips – 17 points
Blue Is The Warmest Colour – 16 points
Zero Dark Thirty – 10 points
Upstream Colour – 10 points
Rush – 9 points
To The Wonder – 9 points
Blue Jasmine – 9 points
Before Midnight – 9 points
Iron Man 3 – 9 points
Frances Ha – 8 points
Blackfish – 7 points
Cloud Atlas – 7 points
Lincoln – 7 points
The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug – 6 points
Act of Killing – 6 points
Only God Forgives – 5 points
Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God – 4 points
Place Beyond the Pines – 4 points
Behind the Candelabra – 4 points
Pacific Rim – 3 points
The Spectacular Now – 2 points
Frozen – 1 point
Mud – 1 point
A Field in England – 1 point
Short Term 12 – 1 point