Hello! Welcome back all 8 (optimistically) of you who read these! This is part two of my best movies of 2013: THE FINAL HOUR.
These are the 25 best movies (in my opinion, as always) of last year. Let’s begin in the middle. (The top 10 get pictures weeee!)
WOW. The most Oscars and it only got the number 25 spot?! What has THIS MAN BEEN SMOKING? Well friends, I’ll tell you. I’ve been smoking a nice cigar filled with GRAVITY WAS GOOD BUT IT WASN’T THAT GOOD. On a technical level, this movie was phenomenal. On a writing and acting level? Still pretty phenomenal. Just not as phenomenal as the next 24 movies. Or at least, the sum of its parts is not equal to the following 24.
24. The Battery
I’ll forgive you if you haven’t heard of this one. It really only came on Video OnDemand in June 2013. It’s a low budget zombie movie (“oh no not a ZOMBIE MOVIE” hear me out…) about two baseball players (Adam Cronheim and Writer/Director Jeremy Gardner) traveling cross-country, moving from place to place trying to survive. It’s much more of a character drama than a zombie movie. It really feels like a story in the vein of something you’d read in the pages of The Walking Dead.
Her is a nice, depressing little future movie. I loved the metaphysical aspect of it, and Spike Jonze’s style shines. I got annoyed a little bit by what I now refer to as “Juno hype” and if you can’t tell what that is from the phrasing then there’s no way I can explain it to you in this short little blurb I’m writing. But anyway I definitely really enjoyed it.
22. Enough Said
Ahh James Gandolfini. Gone entirely too soon. This being one of his final films, it was really just great. It’s the story of two divorcees, both with daughters going off to college. They meet and fall in really charming, realistic love. The twist? I’ll save THAT ONE for YOU to discover!!! ~intrigue~
21. Blue is the Warmest Color
This movie is a 3-hour love story between two French girls (well, I guess since it covers years they’d be women. But at the beginning the one is 17. Whatever semantics) spanning years and ups and downs. It’s a heavy, sensitive movie and there’s a ton of explicit sex in it so I GUESS it’s not for everyone, but it won the Palme D’Or so see it.
This movie jumps back and forth between lighthearted, charming comedy and tearjerker, and it does it so well. Steve Coogan is great in a relatively non-comedic role, but the real gem is Dame Judi Dench’s performance as the elderly Irish Philomena traveling to find her long-lost son.
19. The Broken Circle Breakdown
This is one of the saddest movies I have EVER seen. If you don’t want to cry so much your eyes liquidate, then don’t see it. Unless of course you want to see one of the best movies of the year. It’s a love story between a tattoo artist and a bluegrass singer. They have a child together. I don’t want to give too much away. Trust me though. It’s the saddest movie I saw this year.
18. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Man I love Lord of the Rings. I loved all three. You can imagine my excitement when The Hobbit came out last year. If you recall, it made the list, I think at 22. This year, the sequel came out, and it was WAY better. I really liked the first, and I loved this one. I HATE the sequel-bait ending, but it’s not too bad because I expected it, and the third comes out this winter.
17. Short Term 12
Short Term 12 is the story of a girl who takes care of troubled youth at a troubled youth center. The problem is that she’s basically still a troubled youth herself. In what (in my opinion) should be a career-making performance, Brie Larson blew me away in this and it went criminally absent at the Oscars. It’s on Netflix now! Go watch it!
16. Evil Dead
BLOOD. SO MUCH BLOOD. GLORIOUS, GLORIOUS HORROR. These are some of the thoughts I felt during the remake of Evil Dead. A wonderful adaptation/remake/sequel (depending on who you ask), this movie shocked moviegoers across the country early last year, reportedly causing people to leave the theater and even become physically ill! Wow! Anyway I’m MAYBE biased because Horror is my most-enjoyed genre but this REALLY was an excellently-constructed film. PLUS a girl cuts her own arm off with an electric knife!
15. The Great Beauty
Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film, The Great Beauty is about an aging Italian man named Jep Gambardella. He’s lifelong citizen of Rome and has embraced the party lifestyle for as long as he can remember. Sometimes this movie is sad and sometimes it is bitterly, cynically comedic. It features some of the sharpest writing of the year. A highlight scene involves a very pompous woman relating all of the wonderful things she does and Jep immediately tears every single thing she says to pieces, exposing her for the depressing woman she is, just like himself and everyone else there.
14. The World’s End
Ah. The end of an era. The Three Flavors Cornetto trilogy has reached its conclusion. For those of you who don’t know (though God only knows HOW you don’t know), the Three Flavors trilogy is the three films that collaborate Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and director Edgar Wright (among others). The films are Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and now, The World’s End. One part “return to your hometown buddy dramedy,” another part “invasion of the body snatchers with a lot of fighting,” and all comedy, this served as a perfect end-piece to a perfect franchise.
THIS is the movie I thought was going to finally get McConaughey that Oscar. Unfortunately, this movie was completely ignored by the Academy (not unlike last year’s Take Shelter, by the same director Jeff Nichols). It’s about two boys who meet a homeless man named Mud and attempt to help him find his long lost love. It’s definitely one of the heaviest PG-13 movies I’ve seen in a while.
12. American Hustle
For a short time I thought it was going to be this year’s Argo and pull a Best Picture win, but if you flip over to my Oscar predictions you’ll know I ended up changing my mind. If you didn’t see American Hustle, you missed out on a hilarious, excellent Crime comedy.
11. Dallas Buyers Club
McConaughey definitely deserved that Oscar. The story of Ron Woodruff and his middle finger to the FDA is a story that needed to be told, and it was told extremely well. Accompanied by an amazing, heartbreaking performance by Jared Leto, this is a movie everyone should see. Remember kids, the government isn’t always (if ever) right. *End of political grandstanding*
AND NOW THE TOP 10 (WITH PICTURES!)
10. The Wolf of Wall Street
Martin Scorsese, you will always and forever be in that holy circle of director’s who rarely, if ever, do wrong. 3 hours of alcohol, cocaine, quaaludes, strippers, parades, yelling, shouting, money, chest-thumping, cussing, sex, drugs, and some violence is one of the most enjoyable family films of the century.
Park Chan-wook, who directed Oldboy, makes his English-language debut with Stoker. Stoker is about a girl named India whose father dies, her completely oblivious mother, and her eerily charming uncle who shows up right when her father dies. It must be seen to be believed and believe me it must be seen.
7. The Hunt
The Hunt is one of those movies that gets you pumped up and angry. It’s the story of a man wrongfully accused of child molestation. You can see how this would get you pumped up and angry. I won’t say much more because I really hate saying too much about great movies. Just see it for yourself. It’s on Netflix.
6. 12 Years a Slave
It won Best Picture. It actually deserved it. If that’s not enough for you, then here’s a little more. It’s a beautiful, horrible, tragic film with some of the best acting I’ve seen basically since Steve McQueen’s last film, Shame (my favorite of 2011).
5. The Grandmaster
Wong Kar-wai’s The Grandmaster is basically two different films. There is the Hong Kong original (130 minutes, spoken language original Cantonese) and there is the American cut (108 minutes spoken Mandarin or English – dubbed). The #5 spot on my list goes to the Hong Kong original and ONLY goes to the Hong Kong original. The U.S. cut wouldn’t even make the top 50 list. Anyway it is a fictionalized take on the story of Ip Man (among others). It is an absolutely stunningly filmed movie and has some of the most beautiful cinematography THIS BLOGGER has seen in his entire life so far.
4. You’re Next
Simply put, this is the best horror film in a year of some pretty great horror movies. To say much would say too much but LET ME TELL YOU if you like horror, even a little, see this movie immediately. Hopefully its effects are felt in horror to come.
What a beautifully crafted thriller. It bears a mild resemblance to Mystic River, but in my opinion, does it better. And to think only ONE OSCAR NOMINATION for CINEMATOGRAPHY! Where is the love? Hugh Jackman as a man who will do anything to find his daughter is both aching and terrifying and Jake Gyllenhaal is at least tied for his career best performance.
2. Inside Lleywn Davis
This movie was nominated for two Oscars. Those Oscars were not for the phenomenal acting, nor the this-close-to-perfect screenplay. No the nominations weren’t for the directing or any of the supporting performances. The nominations were for the excellent cinematography and the high-quality sound mixing. Both of these nominations were warranted. Not that it won either, but it certainly deserved them. Unfortunately, the Academy ignored it for picture, screenplay, acting, and directing. It’s criminal.
OKAY HERE WE GO
The moment I know you have all been waiting for
That final moment where you finally find out what I, Will Walsh, consider the best film of the year of our Lord 2,013 Common Era
That film that transcends the medium
Better than every other single film I watched in the previously stated calendar year
The film so epic, so awesome, one shudders to think what it could possibly be
How could it be better than the likes of Pacific Rim and You’re Next?
Well it just is.
My #1 movie of the year is…
Yes. Nebraska. The understated, stark, dry, arid, and absolutely hilarious and heartwarming film from Alexander Payne (director of 2012’s excellent The Descendants) about an old man who thinks he’s won a million dollars. On his way to Lincoln, Nebraska from his home in Billings, Monatana, he decides to stop in his old hometown. What happens there, I will leave to you, dear reader.
Well. That’s it. That’s the end of my year in film. I hope all of these pictures are sized correctly. Expect my 2014 list sometimes probably 3 years from now, who knows. Anyway expect more frequent postings. I’m going to start work on my “Will’s shoulda coulda woulda Oscars” tomorrow. It’s going to be cynical but hopefully I will provide some valuable insight on things the Academy Awards completely ignored. Good night!