Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Top Films From 2013

Posted by Michael

Each year Tony and I compile our list of best movies from that year. We’ve enjoyed sharing these lists, because we always get some good feedback and usually get a tip or two on a great movie that we have missed. So, we would love for your to send over your top movies from the past year, they don’t have to be in “Top 10” form. And now, on to my list……

10)Saving Mr. Banks: Tom Hanks is great. Emma Thompson is great. The story is interesting, but a bit heavy. It was expected to be a great movie, but misfired just a touch, and fell a little flat, but still a good movie.

9)Room 237: This must have been the year of documentaries for me. This film and one other made my Top 10 list, and The Stories We Tell would be an Honorable Mention (if I had an Honorable Mention list). This quirky, funny, and interesting look deep into the film The Shining was very enjoyable, but I will let Tony talk more about this one….

8)Prisoners: Dark, painful, and unrelenting. This film is a great look at the nature of loss, justice, and revenge. If we are not careful we can all become prisoners to something.

7:Salinger: This is the second documentary on my list. J.D. Salinger was a fascinating man, and this film delves into his eccentric and talented life in such an interesting way,  that it made me go back and read The Catcher in the Rye. Any film that drives you to action after you have seen it is worthy of a Top 10 slot.

6:The Great Gatsby: It’s impossible to translate a book as amazing as Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby onto film, but it’s also impossible to not be engaged by this classic story. Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan were great as usual.

5:Zero Dark Thirty: I felt this film was overlooked during awards season more for political reasons than for its actual merits. It’s an intense and driven look at the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Jessica Chastain was brilliant and in my opinion should have received the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance.

4:The Way Way Back: Heart-warming tales of overcoming family dysfunction are a Hollywood staple right now. So, it’s rare when one is thoughtful enough to stand out, but that’s exactly what The Way Way Back does. It’s honest without being too gritty or depressing and hopeful without being cheesy and predictable. Also, who knew Steve Carell could play such a convincing jerk?!?

3)In A World: There always seems to be an indie movie or two that pops up and surprises. This year it was In A World, a movie about family, love, hope, and of course, doing voice-over work for movie previews. It had heart and avoided being cheesy or too self-important. Lake Bell did a terrific job as the drifting and aimless underdog who finally takes a chance on the career of her dreams.

2)Fill The Void: This film was the most emotionally evocative of any I saw in 2013. It left me thinking long after the movie had ended. It’s a glimpse into the life of a young Hasidic Jewish woman who is pressured with regards to marriage and family. The story delves into tradition and the law as it slams up against love and mercy. If you are ready for a film that will make you feel and think, and won’t do all the work for you, rent Fill the Void immediately!

And #1……

Silver Linings Playbook: Jennifer Lawrence was literally flawless in her role as the young eccentric widow with a passion for life. Bradley Cooper does well as Pat, a young man fresh from a stint in a mental hospital. His return home is difficult, as he battles his own thoughts and the expectations of the world around him as he seeks for contentment and direction. This film struck all the right notes for me. It told an entertaining story without reaching or preaching, and was incredibly enjoyable. Also, is there any way that David O. Russell isn’t the best director in Hollywood right now? His last three films include The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook, and American Hustle.

Weigh in here or on Facebook, I would love to hear about the best films you’ve seen in the past year….

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