Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Top Ten Films of 2013

Happy New Year! Farewell to The Year in Film 2013, and here's hoping that 2014 brings a cinematic gem or two. I went to the movies 84 times in 2013 to see 74 new releases.

I also saw the French-Canadian film Upside Down, released in 2012. If it had been a 2013 release, it would definitely make the list below.

So here are my top ten films of 2013. At the end of the year, each of these films still stands out in my mind - for an outstanding performance, a touching or gripping scene, the excellence of its cinematography, or the artistry of its visuals. Each film has a high watchability rating (I have seen most of them twice, one of them four times in the theater, and one of them at least five more times on DVD). In addition, each film touches heart or mind, or both, in a lasting way. Feel free to follow the link to my comments on each film posted shortly after its release.

10. Mama

9. 12 Years a Slave

8. World War Z

7. Spring Breakers

6. Oblivion

5. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

4. Fruitvale Station

3. The Place Beyond the Pines

2. Gravity

1. All Is Lost

Also worthy of mention:

Before Midnight
The Bling Ring
Blue is the Warmest Color
The Book Thief
Captain Phillips
Frances Ha
Out of the Furnace
Warm Bodies
The Wolf of Wall Street


Anonymous said...

Blue Jasmine? Philomena?

Steve's Blog said...

It is always a pleasure to read someone's top list for anything. It recalls memories, both good and not so good, and encourages us to reflect on our own feelings about, in this case, films of 2013. I won't necessarily comment on "how could you choose this or that?!" Instead I will opt for respect and agree with your call on All Is Lost as the best. I haven't seen Wolf, Mitty, Nebraska, or Llewyn Davis yet, so I feel unequipped to quip responsibly. I do like many on your Honorable Mention as well!

I also got to see Upside Down last week on DVD and found it visually gripping, if narratively deficient. I wonder how it would have played as a silent film??? I think its visuals were strong enough to sustain such a film. I also recently watched Steve McQueen's earlier films, Hunger and Shame, respectively. It is after watching those films that my regard for 12 Years a Slave diminishes even more. It lacks the subtle power, artistic conviction, and emotional ambiguity of those two earlier works.

Hope all is well there in early 2014 in the midst of a snowstorm. Stay warm and look forward to a good year of film-going!

Hokahey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hokahey said...

Anonymous - I missed BLUE JASMINE, will watch it On Demand. PHILOMENA - not interested.

January 3, 2014 at 7:00 AM

Hokahey said...

Steve, thanks for the comment all the way from Japan. You are missing A LOT OF SNOW.

Interesting thought about UPSIDE DOWN. It does have an otherworldly paradigm that would suit a silent film. Yes, at times the silly aspects of the narration needed to be silent.

SHAME and HUNGER are great movies. Glad you saw them. Still think SLAVE Is strong.

Happy 2014.

Sam Juliano said...

It's been too long since I stopped in here Hokahey, but this past year has been a tough one in more ways than one. In any case I have seen some of your consistently excellent work over the course of the past twelve months. As always you present a distinguished and diverse Top Ten list. I am happy to see we are both huge fans of 12 YEARS A SLAVE. I also liked GRAVITY, FRUITVALE STATION and THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES especially of the rest of your list.

I won't be posting my own for another week by it will probably go like this:

My own Top 10 (though it is actually 12 with a three-way tie for #10):

1. 12 Years A Slave
2. Short Term 12
3. Her
4. La Grande Bellezza (Italy)
5. Blue is the Warmest Color (France)
6. The Past (Iran)
7. Wadjda (Saudi Arabia)
8. Nebraska
9. To the Wonder
10. The Hunt (Denmark)
Frances Ha

I wish you the very best year ever in 2014, my friend.

Hokahey said...

Thanks for dropping by, Sam. It's been a rough year in many ways for me as well - and so even though I posted something on most of the movies I saw this year the posts tapered off at the end of the year.

I like your list. It includes films I haven't had a chance to see. Just saw NEBRASKA today. HER is not playing on the Cape yet. I really appreciated BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR. Great acting by the young lead. Also, I really enjoyed FRANCES HA.

Glad you got to see so many great movies. Best wishes for a happy 2014.

Zach Murphy said...

Solid list!

I had:

1. Mud
2. Short Term 12
3. Gravity
4. The Way, Way Back
5. Captain Phillips
6. The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
7. The Place Beyond The Pines
8. This Is The End
9. The Wolf of Wall Street
10. American Hustle