Here is a look at 10 of 2013’s best films.
Her is a sobering glimpse into the near future in which a man falls in love with his computer operating system. It then develops the ability to love him back. Joaquin Phoenix goes for broke in this deceptively cheery looking and entirely relatable boy-meets-girl nightmare.
Nebraska is a black and white contemporary trip set in a nostalgia rich non-digital world. A man takes his ailing, ageing father on a road trip in search of a fortune but finds something better. Richly told, humble and simple with enough heart for ten films.
Inside Llewyn Davis is set in the early sixties in Greenwich Village, a time and place of great importance in the popular music scene when folk music was about fall victim to Bob Dylan’s electric guitar. A great film in every way and there’s a cat in a supporting role!
12 Years a Slave is a long, hard road to travel, but it teaches our shameful past to a new generation. The characters live in an unending prison that compromises everything they do and are. Beautifully written and executed with superb performances.
Blue is the Warmest Color is the hotly debated and award winning film about two young lesbians that was a huge hit at Cannes. It’s long, uncompromising and sexually explicit and brutally reminds us of the pain that love can bring.
Prisoners is an old fashioned whodunit with big stars playing parents in blue collar America whose children disappear during holiday celebrations. The police, the families, suspects and strangers join in a chilling cat-and-mouse game that will have you squirming.
Blackfish documents conditions sea animals endure in captivity. Marine parks around the world are shown to be guilty of mistreating beautiful creatures like whales and dolphins for the enjoyment of park goers and their children. And then they wonder why the creatures attack.
Captain Phillips is the true story of an American freighter attacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia. Tension is high and the action is confined to a ship and a lifeboat. Tom Hanks’ Captain keeps cool until he doesn’t and then he serves up one of the most memorable moments in film in recent memory.
The Hunt is Denmark’s Best Foreign Language Oscar submission; it’s a powerful story of a primary school teacher accused of molesting a little girl, told from the teacher’s point of view. He watches his world collapse in horror as friends and family abandon him. Breathtaking.
The Oxbow Cure is a small film that is virtually silent and stunning to look at. An ill woman takes refuge in a remote cottage during a hard Northern Ontario winter. She’s beset by escalating nightmares. Nothing much happens but it is 110% immersion.