So you might’ve heard about a little awards show yesterday. Not the Oscars, that other one. In honour of the Golden Globes, here are my picks for the best films of 2013.
3. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Unlike, say, Catching Fire, the Hobbit films take plenty of liberties with the source material. (Granted, most of the additions are originally Tolkien’s, just not from The Hobbit, but the filmmakers added an entire love triangle that wasn’t there before.) But viewers who can suspend their preconceptions about the story are rewarded with a well-done fantasy film — complete with rollicking adventure, some nice character moments, and a beautifully done encounter between a hobbit and a dragon. (I don’t have a review up for this one, but I may natter on about it later if anyone is interested.)
2. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The first Hunger Games film blew all expectations out of the water, at least in terms of box office returns (and it was a pretty good book adaptation, either). The sequel took a bigger budget and ran with it, without getting so caught up in special effects that it lost the heart of the story. Jennifer Lawrence makes this series what it is, and she has some superb supporting actors behind her. In my opinion, the film is actually better than the book.
1. Gravity. This was what 3D was invented for. Forget deep perspective and things flying out of the screen at you — director Alfonso Cuarón uses the technology to capture the feeling of being in outer space. It’s the best of an IMAX science film…with a story. Sandra Bullock does a phenomenal job on an almost one-woman show. (Bonus points for Cuarón: he also wrote the script.) My full review is here.
Dishonourable Mentions from 2013
I wouldn’t call these films the best of any year, but they caught my interest and emotions enough that I had plenty of opinions about them:
Honourable Mentions from Other Years
These films are disqualified because they weren’t released in 2013, but last year I really enjoyed watching:
- The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (with Dame Judi Dench)
- Quartet (with Dame Maggie Smith)
And yes, I may be secretly an old lady in a thirtysomething body.
Your turn! What do you think of the Golden Globe wins? What were your favourite films of 2013?