My Annual review of 2013 film year

2013 turned out to be an exciting year for films in which I saw an unusually high number of exceptional films.

We were treated to highly entertaining, significant films by visionary directors like Marc Forster (World War Z), Guillermo del Toro (Pacific Rim), Danny Boyle (Trance), Sofia Coppola (The Bling Ring), Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity), Baz Luhrmann (The Great Gatsby), Lee Daniels (The Butler), Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners), Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips), Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), Alexander Payne (Nebraska) David O. Russell (American Hustle), Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street) and Peter Jackson (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug).

This was also the year of the black history film with many great historical biographical films depicting struggles against racism in America and elsewhere. Movies like The Butler, 42, Fruitvale Station, 12 Years a Slave and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

Since the success of Life of Pi (2012) last year we saw a spate of “stranded-at-sea” stories this year with movies like Kon-Tiki, Leviathan, A Hijacking, Captain Phillips, All is Lost, and Maidentrip.

Black and White films made a comeback this year since the triumph of The Artist (2011) with films like Much Ado about Nothing, Blancanieves, Frances Ha and Nebraska.

Foreign films made an exceptionally strong showing in 2013. I was impressed with the amount of quality films on offer from counties like Denmark (The Hunt | A Royal Affair | A Hijacking), Brazil (Brazilian Western | Neighboring Sounds | Gonzaga), South Africa (iNumber Number | Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), Spain (Blancanieves), Sweden (Hotel) and France (Blue is the Warmest Color).

Dystopian future visions continue to be popular in a year that saw a number excellent original “end of humanity” films like Oblivion, World War Z, Elysium, Pacific Rim and The World’s End.

Below is a list of my favourite films I saw so far this year categorized by genre and in order of release date.

(Click on the film titles in orange for my full review)

Oblivion                                                                        Joseph Kosinski           
World War Z                                                                 Marc Forster
Pacific Rim                                                                   Guillermo del Toro
Elysium                                                                        Neill Blomkamp
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug                              Peter Jackson

Action Adventure/Suspense/Thriller:
Trance                                                                          Danny Boyle                         UK
The Dinner (Het Diner)                                                    Menno Yeyjes                      Netherlands
Brazilian Western (Faroeste Caboclo)                             René Sampaio                      Brazil
iNumber Number                                                           Donovan Marsh                     South Africa
Gravity                                                                         Alfonso Cuarón

A Royal Affair                                                               Nikolaj Arcel                         Denmark          
Neighboring Sounds                                                      Kleber Mendonça Filho          Brazil
No                                                                               Pablo Larraín                        Chile/France/US
Kon-Tiki                                                                       Joachim Ronning, Espen Sandberg   Norway/Denmark
The Great Gatsby                                                         Baz Luhrmann
Blancanieves                                                                Pablo Berger                        Spain/France
Fruitvale Station                                                            Ryan Cooglar   
The Hunt                                                                       Thomas Vinterberg              Denmark
The Butler                                                                     Lee Daniels
Pioneer                                                                         Erik Skjoldbjaerg                 Norway
Prisoners                                                                      Denis Villeneuve           
Wadjda                                                                         Haifaa Al-Mansour               Saudi Arabia
Captain Phillips                                                             Paul Greengrass
12 Years a Slave                                                           Steve McQueen
Blue is the Warmest Color                                             Abdellatif Kechiche               France/Belgium
Gonzaga: De Pai pra Filho                                             Breno Silviera                       Brazil
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom                                    Justin Chadwick                   UK/South Africa

Comedy/Feel Good/Romance:
Hotel                                                                            Lisa Langseth                      Sweden
Don Jon                                                                        Joseph Gordon-Levitt
American Hustle                                                            David O. Russell
The Wolf of Wall Street                                                  Martin Scorsese 

Feature Animation:
Monsters University                                                       Dan Scanlon                             
From Up on Poppy Hill                                                   Goro Miyazaki                         
The Croods                                                                     Kirk De Micco, Chris Sanders 

Call Me Kuchu                                                              Katherine Fairfax Wright        US/Uganda
Muscle Shoals                                                              Greg ‘Freddy’ Camalier 



Meredith Wouters said...

Wow, that's quite a list. I'm at a time in my life where most of my movie watching runs along the lines of The Croods and Monsters Inc. Thanks for expanding my horizons a bit!

Oksana Frewer said...

Thanks, that is an awesome list ! It's great to have all reviews in one place!