If you’ve haven’t read part one of my Top 10 Films of 2013 I’ll provide you with a brief recap; there was a lot of love for Keanu Reeves and I make no apologies for that. End.
But seriously, the countdown thus far looks a lot like this
#10 Keanu Reeves
#9 Side by Side (Kenneally, 2012)
#8 Doctor Who: Day of the Doctor (Hurran, 2013)
So, without further adieu, let’s recommence the countdown and straight in at number seven is
You’re Next (Wingard, 2011)
Adam Wingard’s brilliant horror film, You’re Next, was languishing in celluloid limbo until his favourable segments in V/H/S and The Abcs of Death gained him notoriety on the horror film circuit. Whilst I found his portmanteau films, like the rest of those shorts to be somewhat lacking, his feature length horror is without doubt the most satisfying horror film of 2013. Featuring a spunky female lead that you’ll actually root for and a collection of douche bags you’ll excitedly wait to be ‘offed’. Quite simply, it was a pleasure to wince and giggle at the dismemberment of others.
Frances Ha (Baumbach, 2012)
Frances Ha makes this list for two reasons:
- it demonstrates the acting chops that Greta Gerwig has at her disposal, not to mention a reasonable talent as a scriptwriter too
- Frances Ha resurrected and rejuvenated the career of one, Noah Baumbach
The film largely follows the template of the confused, twenty-something woman set-out by Lena Dunham with her theatrical dÃ©but, Tiny Furniture (Dunham, 2010) and to greater effect in her hit HBO series, GIRLS. Frances bounds along the streets of New York to David Bowie’s Modern Love and you can’t help but to be swept along by her youthful verve. I still prefer Baumbach’s The Squid and the Whale (Baumbach, 2005), but clearly the director is indebted to his muse (as are we).
The Great Beauty/La grande bellezza (Sorrentino, 2013)
I first discovered the joys of Paolo Sorrentino’s cinema in 2008 when Il divo was released, after that I quickly brought The Family Friend/L’amico di famiglia (2006) and The Consequences of Love/Le conseguenze dell’amore (2004) and I’ve been a fan ever since. But 2011’s This Must be the Place, which starred Sean Penn, tested my patience beyond belief -I put this down to it being the director’s first attempt at an English language film. However, with The Great Beauty we see Sorrentino return triumphantly. Jeb is an aged lothario, who has slept his way through Rome’s exuberant nightlife but after his 65th Birthday he begins to take stock of his life and its ‘real’ beauty. A film with some of the finest cinematography this year, an excellent performance from Sorrentino regular, Toni Servillo, and some truly beautiful dance sequences.
The Great Beauty:
Spring Breakers (Korine, 2012)
Harmony Korine’s subversive take on Spring Break is without doubt one of the most debauched and vibrant films of 2013. The film’s first act is as voyeuristic as the break itself, but from there it quickly morphs into something far more exciting. The college friends – Brit, Candy, Cotty, and Faith -adventure begins with them robbing a restaurant to fund their holiday, escalating to drug smuggling and even gun-running with their gangster friend, Alien (James Franco). It’s lewd, crude, leering but totally worth watching. Oh, and you might have heard, but there’s a rather brilliant cover of a Britney Spears song to -true story.