© David John - Flickr: DavenJohn


The Time Out Film team’s best films of 2013

Posted at 11:30 am, December 12, 2013 in Arts & Entertainment

Our critics have spent much of the year in the dark, spending hours and hours with animated cuties, dastardly villains, distressed lovers and real-life tragic heroes and heroines.

But which are the films they’ve loved the most? Here, Time Out’s Dave Calhoun, Tom Huddleston and Cath Clarke pick their five favourite films of 2013.

Dave Calhoun

The great beauty

1. The Great Beauty

Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino should have won big at Cannes in 2013 for this sprawling, gorgeous, surreal musical epic about a man (Toni Servillo, excellent as a dapper writer and bon viveur) entering the later stages of life in the Eternal City of Rome and questioning what it’s all about.

2. Our Children

This drama from Belgian writer-director Joachim Lafosse is simply devastating in its examination of a young mother (Emilie Dequenne) driven to terrible extremes by the psychological pressure of simply trying to get by.

3. Blue Is the Warmest Colour

The controversy was just background noise; actress Adèle Exarchopoulos is a revelation as a schoolgirl who falls in love with a slightly older woman (Lea Seydoux) and finds her whole world turned upside down. Director Abdellatif Kechiche turns the small moments of real life into something wondrous.

4. The Act of Killing

The first of two fascinating documentaries this year to blend fact and fiction in a way that shows the real world in a strange new light. For this film, Joshua Oppenheimer asked former killers in Indonesia to reconstruct their hideous crimes as noir-ish dramas.

5. Caesar Must Die

And this was the second sly cocktail of drama and documentary: longterm prisoners in a Roman jail put on Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Caesar’ and along the way we lose sight of what’s real and not and see these troubled men from a new, illuminating angle.

Tom Huddleston

it's such a beautiful day

1. It’s Such a Beautiful Day

Written, directed, animated, edited, narrated and distributed entirely by one man – 37-year-old Californian Don Hertzfeldt – this is cinema as sublime art, sifting through life’s bitter details in search of truth and transcendence.

2. I Wish

Pure happiness distilled onto celluloid thanks to the world’s most sympathetic writer-director, Hirokazu Kore-eda, and a pair of 12-year-old stand-up comedians with pitch-perfect timing.

3. Blue Is the Warmest Colour

Like being slammed face-first into someone else’s love life, this wrenching drama arguably suffers from a few minor male-gaze issues, but the depth of its empathy is impossible to ignore.

4. Gravity

The state-of-the-digital-art ‘Gravity’ is big-budget genre cinema distilled to its absolute essentials: stars, spectacle, sensation, special effects and just a little smidgen of sentiment.

5. Cloud Atlas

Yes, it’s loopy, lurid and frequently laughable, but by God, the editing! The ambition! This was the giddiest, most unexpected thrill I had in a cinema seat this year, hands down.

Cath Clarke

Zero Dark Thirty

1. Zero Dark Thirty

An action movie with brains. You know already know the ending, but if that final kill-or-capture Osama Bin Laden scene were any more gripping the audience would’ve needed oxygen masks.

2. The Great Beauty

A film to swoon to. No one moved from their seats for minutes after the end credits at the cinema I saw it in. And I must have listened to the Kronos Quartet’s version of Vladimir Martynov’s ‘The Beatitudes’ on YouTube everyday since.

3. Stories We Tell

Sarah Polley switched her camera on after discovering a secret about her family. Not every family has a Jeremy Kyle-sized secret like hers, but everyone can relate to how people in families remember stories differently. My favourite doc this year.

4. Blue Jasmine

What more can be said about Cate Blanchett’s performance as a pearl-encrusted New York lady who lunches? She will win the Oscar. And she deserves it.

5. Wadjda

A tomboy wants to ride a bike but isn’t allowed because she’s a girl. Sounds like a story we’ve seen a million times before. But this film from Saudi Arabia won me (and everyone else who’s seen it) over with buckets of charm and warmth.

They film team have fought it out and here’s our top 10 films of 2013

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,