Posted 16 April 2017 - 05:47 PM
Lawrence, I hope I am not hijacking your thread, but I just wanted to talk about the films from 2013, since it had some of the best films this decade. 2013 was a year in which I didn't much go to the theatres; I was in a moody teenage phase that has since ended (as has my adolescence). Most of these films I caught up with in 2015 or 2016, there being 28 in total (includes one film listed as 2012 on IMDb). Over half of these can truly be called wonderful. I am going to rank them from worst to best.
28. Inside Llewyn Davis -- I am usually a Coen Brothers fan, but this film just felt hollow and pretentious. I do like the song "Please Mr. Kennedy" though.
27. Ain't Them Bodies Saints -- A beautiful looking film, but not very memorable. Malick could have done wonders with this possibly.
26. The World's End -- A letdown from the makers of the hilarious British comedy Hot Fuzz. The film gets off to a sprightly start, and, even in the second half, Rosamund Pike is a delight, but the film snaps under the weight of its shift to sci-fi, and the ending leaves a very bitter taste behind.
25. Closed Circuit -- Not a memorable film, but very solidly done and well acted all around.
24. Dallas Buyers Club -- Rather overrated by the Academy, but a very well acted showcase for its three lead performers.
23. Monsters University -- Good, clean fun. Doesn't add up to a whole lot, but its bouncy family fun, and its nice to see some well-liked Pixar characters again.
22. Frozen -- This felt like the best Disney animated film in a long time on first watch, but it has dulled a bit on rewatch. The animation is stunning, voice work good (with one exception), with one standout song, and some fine bursts of emotion.
21. Begin Again -- It really starts off on the wrong notes, but after the first 15 or 20 minutes, the film becomes very wistful, entertaining, and romantic.
20. Frances Ha -- Quirky, offbeat indie with a wonderful Greta Gerwig performance, crisp black-and-white cinematography, and a good script. Nice use too of David Bowie's "Modern Love"
19. The Lunchbox -- An import from India, the film is low-key and charming with two ideal leads.
18. Belle -- An intrinsically interesting film about the British lady, daughter of a titled Englishman and a Jamacian women, who brought an end to slavery in England. Beautifully mounted and acted by all concerned.
17. Captain Phillips -- Tough, gripping thriller that is riviting from beginning to end. Tom Hanks is at his best, and Barkhad Abdi plays the head hijacker with some impressive complexity.
16. The Immigrant -- Period detail is immaculate in this film about a Polish woman who was lad into prostitution in Turn of the Century New York. Marion Cotilliard is perfect, with a scene in a church's confessional a stunning highpoint.
15. Ida-- Simplicity is the name of the game here. This Polish import takes its time with an emotional tale, is is handled extremely well throughout.
14. 12 Years a Slave -- An important film,but unflinching in its depiction of cruelty. It's the type of film I am not sure I am up to going through a second time. In its austete way, its perfect. Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong'o are heartbreaking
13. Blue Jasmine -- Yet another wonderful Woody Allen film, the film owes a lot to A Streetcar Named Desire, and like that film, this film offers a showcase female part which Cate Blanchett takes on with great relish. She's wonderful, and Sally Hawkins and Andrew Dice Clay more than hold their own against her.
12. Short Term 12-- A simple, unadorned, heartfelt film that feels completely real and authentic. Brie Larson excels in the lead.
11. Saving Mr. Banks -- In yet another fine 2013 leading actress performance, Emma Thompson embodies the prickly yet vulnerable P.L. Travers to a tee. The whole film is elegantly put together, very moving, and beautifully perforned by an ensemble cast. Thomas Newman's lyrical score is another asset.
10. Enough Said -- Smart, funny, mature comedy-drama that is true to life and completely winning. Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and James Gandolfini make a wonderful pair.
9. The Way, Way Back -- Another offbeat comedy-drama, this one too has a lot of heart, a fine ensemple cast, and charm to spare. The film feels like a warm hug.
8. Gravity -- A tour de force for Sandra Bullock. She effortlessly carries this film for most of its runtime and infuses it with urgency and emotional power. The film is so realistic it made me feel like I was gasping for air.
7. Her -- On paper, this must have appeared odd, but the combined talents of Joaquin Phoenix, Spike Jonze, Scarlett Johansson, and Amy Adamas has created a beautiful and aching film that is beautifully poignant.
6. Labor Day -- Many people savaged this film, but I was deeply moved by it. The film may be set in 1987, but it has the same emotions as that of a golden age film. I fell for it completely.
5. The Wind Rises -- Elegant, profound, moving animated film from Japan that rates as one of the best animated achievements of the last 25 years.
4. American Hustle -- Blunt and sassy, American Hustle bristles with late 70s flavor. In many ways it feels like a film that could have been made back then. And its deliciously funny. Grand fun.
3. Philomena -- In a year of fine performances by actresses, Judi Dench's performance here was the best. She illuminates the screen, and the film around here is beautiful too and extremely touching.
2. Nebraska -- Rarely has a film captured the spirit of the Midwest so well. Nebraka is simple and true, funny and moving, wonderfully written and acted by everyone. A gem.
1. About Time -- I'm a little scared in saying how much this movie means to me. In one's life, somebody only rarely runs into a film that just seemingly speaks to them almost directly, and feels perfect to the eye of the beholder. About Time has some plot holes, but it doesn't matter. This film touched my soul deeply, and, seeing so much of myself in the main character, I formed a deep emotional feeling for it. The film just sits outside of my all time top 10 of over 2,300 films I have seen, ranging from the 20s to the present. It is sweet, gentle, funny, romantic, depply moving, and written and cast perfectly. I can't ask for anything more.