Monday, March 10, 2014

Top 10 Films of 2013

Too many great films in 2013 and my top 10 won't even suffice the brilliance of all of them but this is my personal top 10 and I'm pretty sure it's way different than the general consensus. Although judging my top 10, I feel like it's an exclusive group of heart tugging films. Oh well... I guess I'm just fond of sugars.

10. Saving Mr. Banks
It's kind of awesome how the influence of an acting performance and a musical background can make me LOVE a not so technically extravagant film. The combination of Emma Thompson's lovable performance matching with Thomas Newman's pleasing to the ears score nailed Saving Mr. Banks in my top 10 film ranking. In a year with so many high quality films, Saving Mr. Banks pales in comparison to most of them. But what it has that others don't is Emma Thompson's antics and irresistible presence.

9. Crystal Fairy
It's too slight said by most critics. But I actually like this film because of its deep sentimentality. The characters Jamie and Crystal Fairy are so different from each other but what they share together are their imperfections that provide something viewers can relate to. This film offers you to LAUGH your ass off with Jamie's friends and Crystal Fairy's shenanigans but it also leads you to the obscurity behind their outrageous characters. It reminds you of people easing their way out of loneliness. This film is hilarious but at the end of it, one would find it quite depressing.

8. Frances Ha
It's easy to like a film when the theme is familiar and relatable. What makes it more easier is that the lead actress is as charming and awkward as the character she's portraying. That is Frances Ha. I've mentioned this too many times in this blog but it's truly one of the most colorful film I've seen despite being black and white. From its lead actress, to the screenplay, to Noah Baumbach's fine direction, all of these transcends the bleakness of its color.

7. Cutie and the Boxer
This documentary about the story of the 40-year marriage of the boxing painter Ushio Shinohara and his wife Noriko touched me greatly. In the beginning it seemed like it's going to be a heartbreaking story of a marriage full of regrets but at the end of the film, things have come full circle to this couple and it's a triumphant one. It's one that made me "AWWWW" on the inside when I watched everything unfold in their relationship. Add to that is the aesthetic shots and direction of Zachary Heinzerling.

6. 12 Years a Slave
Truly a masterpiece. This is from someone who tends to claim every good film a masterpiece but repeatedly restrains himself of doing so because it's such a precious word that only few things deserve to be called one. Brutal is an understatement so it's hard not to get emotional and provoked while watching the film especially this is a true story of slavery. Director Steve McQueen gave justice to Solomon Northup's life and so are the actors that brought this story to life. It's also a plus that this film introduced us to Lupita Nyong'o. I'm glad that she won Supporting Actress for her performance as Patsey as it's truly deserved. I hope we see more of her in the future.

5. Captain Phillips
Captain Phillips is action packed, it has Tom Hanks who acted his ass off, and it launched Barkhad Abdi's acting career. With its more than 2 hours running time, director Paul Greengrass filled it with pulse-pounding scenes, humanizing & charismatic characters, stupendous acting performances. We were absorbed into a relentless suspense throughout the film. I can't think of a single shot that lasted 20 seconds. Seems like a hard work well done by the editor! I had a great time watching this at the movies.

4. Gravity
Speaking of having a great time at the movies, Gravity is on top of my list. I've seen it in IMAX so that makes it even greater. Seeing clips of it in many film montages makes me want to rewatch it so bad because it's SOOOO GOOD! It's the visuals that really made me love this film. It's just a bonus that Sandra Bullock is badass in this. She's a pleasure to watch. And the score is just amazing. I see a bright future in Steven Price career as a musician.

3. Blue is the Warmest Color
Realistic approach to any subjects in films always have the upper hand to grand and staged ones. It doesn't always work but it works so well in Blue is the Warmest Color. It's just apt that Abdellatif Kechiche took that approach because this film's subject matter is as authentic as it gets. Everything's so natural even Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux's performance so it's really hard not to get invested to this film emotionally especially that it tackles a lot of sensitive subjects. It's really the authenticity of this film that not only impressed me, but what got me strucked to it. It's unforgettable.

2. About Time
We're at number 2 so by now it's not a surprise that I'm really fond of saccharine films given the choices and writeups I've made above. It's really the touching films that make me love a film, films that get you emotionally because I think it's hard for me to get emotionally invested in anything. lol I don't know. But anyway, About Time is probably the most touching of all films last year. I consider this film a feel great movie and even if it really did make me feel great, it also made me emotional as fuck. It's crazy because I get easily critical to films that imposes impossible acts but the involvement of time travel in this film didn't bother me. It's also probably because it's very relatable? I don't know really but About Time is just lovely. Makes my heart melt even just thinking about it. It's probably Rachel McAdams.

1. Before Midnight
It's a crime that Before Midnight didn't even get a Picture nomination at the Oscars. Let alone its loss to 12 Years a Slave in screenplay. There's no such thing as perfect but Before Midnight is the closest to perfection. The trio of Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke always hit the nail on its head with their concepts. The nine year interval from each of Before series feels like it was planned when the first one, Before Sunrise was being conceptualized. And for that, I think it goes beyond movie making because they showed amazing commitment to this masterpiece and it worked so masterfully. But moving on, what really made me adore this film is the turn of events in Celine and Jesse's relationship, the story. The feeling of sweetness and adventure in the first two is not as fierce as the first two but it got darker yet so true to reality and that's better. Their love story is truly a love story that I would root for and even if Before Midnight is as perfect as it can be, I won't mind if they make another one 9 years from now. By then, I really hope that they get the Oscar that they deserve. Hmm thinking about it, nahhh, the Academy can kiss Before series' ass.

Honorable Mentions:
The Croods
Nebraska
The Wolf of Wall Street
Prisoners
Blackfish
 
Let me know your thoughts! and hang on for my favorite 2013 movie characters! Tweet me @jaynormouskid