All right, folks, so after all the hubbub of awards season, trying my best to see what seemed like every 2013 release possible, I can now wrap up the year that was 2013 by listing my ‘Top 13 of 2013.’ I think I did a pretty good job, surpassing all records and seeing a total of 120 - count them - 120 releases from the year 2013. I’ll start by counting down from those films that I’ve put in slots 10 through 13, on Saturday I’ll post 6 through 9, and then Sunday, I’ll have a post each for my top five films of 2013. So read on, good Tumblrer!
13. AL MIDAN a.k.a. THE SQUARE (Dir. Jehane Noujaim) // One of the most powerful documentaries of the year (and that’s saying a lot considering how fantastic 2013 was for docs), it speaks not only to the passion, strength, and impact humans are capable of, but also to the cruelty, power, and and corruption by the same hand. One can’t help but feel achingly heartbroken watching this generation give voice to struggle that’s been endured for time in memoriam, all the while being stepped on, quieted down, and forced out of the square that’s so symbolic to their cause. (4/5)
12. SPRING BREAKERS (Dir. Harmony Korine) // If you think this film looks weird, all over the place, zany, and a little too out there - well, you’d be right. But that is exactly what makes this one of the best films of the year, with a truly hauntingly cheeky performance by Franco, and an oddly empowering story at moments, while damning at others. The cinematography is drop dead gorgeous, and while it’s a surrealist movie, it’s one of the best acid dreams you’ll have this year. (4/5)
11. SAVING MR. BANKS (Dir. John Lee Hancock) // I’ll admit, I went into this film ready to call it precious and oozing sentimentalism. Sure, there are little drops of that here and there, but at the true core of this film is a dedication to showing the heart of the story, whether it’s completely accurate or not. It glosses over certain things, while fluffing up others, but that doesn’t make the performances of Thompson and especially Farrell any less effective. It’s a beautiful story that echoes not only the idea of wonder, inspiration, and imagination, but also regret and self-destruction. (4/5)
10. THE SPECTACULAR NOW (Dir. James Ponsoldt) // One of the best coming-of-age tales in the past few years, it is simple, direct, well-written, and most importantly, its leads provide us with a completely pure performance, no melodramatics or overacting needed (which is a good balance when the story decides to veer the film in these directions). It’s a strong testament to young love, but more importantly, it’s a realistic one. The main character of Sutter is relatable, full of flaws, and it’s that element that makes us root for him understand that he’s more than just a repeat of his father and to do something with his life, whether or not it’s driven by the love he’s found for a girl. (4/5)