Welcome to 2014 everyone! I hope you all had some amazing new year celebrations and that everyone has been recovering nicely. Today I’ve been reflecting on 2013 in film, and have chosen some favourites (and disappointments) of the past year, plus some sneaky television picks. 2013 had a lot of highs, but a bunch of lows as well, and I’m looking forward to a tip-top 2014 filled with happiness and more excellent films to watch!
Best film released in 2013: Gravity
I feel like this is a very popular opinion, but that’s okay because this was one of the most amazing cinema experiences I’ve had in recent times. I don’t know if this one’s still in cinemas, but if you didn’t catch it during its cinema run, you definitely missed out. Watching it on a big screen, with surround sound, immersive music and beautiful visuals is the best way to enjoy it. I was transfixed the whole way through, and for that, I choose it as my favourite 2013 film. (For more reasons why I loved this, feel free to read my review linked above.)
Runner Up: Blackfish
Amazing documentary. Has to be seen to be believed, and I encourage everyone to see this one.
Best non-2013 film watched in 2013: Funky Forest: The First Contact (2005)
I’d been meaning to watch this one for a long time before finally watching it in 2013, and it was well worth the wait. A 2.5-hour-long exercise in randomness and surrealism, Funky Forest isn’t just a film, it’s an experience. The strangest ideas and visuals are thrown at you, giving you almost no time to comprehend what you’re being served. I loved it, but I don’t think it’s for everyone.
Runner Up: The Three Colours Trilogy (1993; 1994)
Technically three films, but they are so interrelated that I’m including the whole trilogy as one big film. Simply beautiful cinema that everyone should watch at least once.
Most disappointing film released in 2013: Tie between American Hustle and World War Z
I was admittedly hyping up American Hustle quite a bit before I saw it, so the disappointment was probably inevitable. I’ve found out since my review that my opinion isn’t that unpopular, but whilst the film is receiving so much Golden Globes and Oscars buzz, I find myself asking – was it really that great? I tend to think of that film in terms of its memorable moments as opposed to a complete whole, and that’s how it felt watching it in the cinema. As for World War Z, there were moments that were exciting and inventive, but the storytelling was flawed and it was full of plot devices and holes. I was really disappointed by it. I didn’t have my blog back then so maybe I’ll write a post on it later on in order to elaborate my feelings.
The absolute worst film of 2013: Movie 43
I initially had this down as a runner up to the most disappointing film of 2013, but then the wonderful Hypersonic55 convinced me in the comments below that it’s not just disappointing, it is just overall THE WORST, and it deserves its own category. It’s just the worst, that’s all I’ll say. For further information, feel free to read my (very brief) review linked above.
Best Australian film watched in 2013: Animal Kingdom (2010)
The first time I watched this (in 2010 or ’11), I fell asleep halfway through and totally missed the point. I watched it again last year and found that it was way better than my previous sleepy self remembered. Loosely based on events surrounding a crime family that operated in Melbourne in the 1980s, this film is so gritty and creepy. Jacki Weaver is incredibly menacing as the matriarch of the family. Not sure what else to say about this one, but I’d definitely recommend it as a good true crime film to watch.
Best television show watched in 2013: Breaking Bad
I am a massively passionate fan of Game of Thrones and Mad Men, and I was tempted to do a triple tie between these three shows. However, Breaking Bad ended on an AMAZING note in 2013, so much so that it tops my trifecta of favourites overall. I occasionally find myself staring into the air and pondering its greatness. The final episode was the perfect way to end the show. What I loved most was that it tied everything up before the show became too ‘old’. The writers/creators knew exactly when to let a good thing go, and how to go about it in the most satisfying way possible. Which leads me to my next category…
Most disappointing television show watched in 2013: Dexter
Dexter‘s ending was not so good. In fact, it felt like a big slap in the face. I wonder if all fans of the show feel this way. Very disappointing indeed. The final season was one ridiculous moment after the other, and the final episode was filled with so many WTF moments that it just ruined the whole thing. It probably should have ended about two seasons before the final one, and as a result, what could have been an explosive and shocking finale turned into me yelling at the television for about half an hour. Not cool.
Favourite actor in 2013: Bryan Cranston
Love him. Love him in Breaking Bad, Argo (2012), Seinfeld, random vintage commercials on Youtube, interviews, his Reddit AMA, I just love everything he does. The finale of Breaking Bad was icing on the cake. If he doesn’t win anything for his role as Walter White this year, I’m going to have to write some very stern letters.
Favourite actress in 2013: Jennifer Lawrence
She’s just great. I loved her performances this year in both American Hustle and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, as well as her feisty and natural personality outside of her films. She’s just such a talented actress that I’m looking forward to seeing her in whatever movie she’s involved with. I’ve never been disappointed by any of her performances.
Thus ends my mini-review of 2013. Short and to the point. Hopefully I didn’t miss out on anything major. I have to note that I haven’t seen 12 Years a Slave because it hasn’t come out here (Australia) yet, nor has Blue is the Warmest Colour, both of which I am so looking forward to seeing. So maybe they’ll feature in next year’s review! Let me know what your favourites of the year were in the comments below! 🙂