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January 9, 2014

4

Nir’s List of the Best Films of 2013

by NIR SHALEV

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

When viewing films, there exists a significant amount of subjective attachment, and also, usually a much smaller amount of objective reasoning. Ever since I’d graduated from film school, approximately five years back, my objective reasoning had overtaken and significantly overshadowed my personal taste in films- a/k/a my ability to watch films subjectively, “shut off my brain”, and enjoy films for what they are purely and simply.

Now, when it comes to making Best of the Year lists, I always, and I mean always do so through an objective point of view. It’s never about the films that I’d enjoyed, but rather about the films that are simply and utterly excellent.

The very notion of making a list and filling it up with film titles does not exist solely for the purpose of sharing with others my personal taste in films and information regarding what movies they should watch, but what I, subjectively, find to be, objectively excellent films that deserve praise and therefore, end up on Best of the Year lists.

The following are films that I find manage to stand above and beyond the rest of what 2013 had to offer. These are simply films that are far superior to the rest and should be placed on “Best of the Year list.”

Her (2013)

Her manages to stand atop the other films on the list. It’s a brilliantly shot and terrifically acted film that boasts great commentary towards our current standing with technology, and showcases a clear focus on the fine line between true connectivity with others from our very own race. The screenplay is brilliant; the film is often laugh-out-loud hysterical; and Joaquin Phoenix shows us a remarkably touching, tender side that’s never truly been explored on film (or in person) before. It’s a contemporary masterpiece and a perfect little, wonderful film.

The Wolf of Wall Street is simply the best film that I’d seen this year, placing Her in a clear second place. The team of Scorsese and DiCaprio strikes gold once again, delivering simultaneously the most adult and equally immature film of the year (and of Scorsese’s career). It’s all about great actors playing silly, greedy people and having a ridiculously fun time being just that. And I can’t remember the last time that I’d laughed so hard while watching a film in theatres.

It’s 100% a comedy and one of the best comedies that I’ve watched in a long, long time. When the film was over, I’d asked my friend (who sat next to me), “Was that really only three hours long? I sure could go for another hour of that.” Yes folks, it’s that good, that funny, and that ridiculously entertaining. It’s also brilliantly shot, edited, and acted, as expected.

That being said, the rest of the list is presented in alphabetical order because I don’t find that any of those films stand above the rest. They are simply the best films that I’d seen this year:

12 Years a Slave (2013)

All Is Lost (2013)

Blue Jasmine (2013)

The Lone Ranger (2013)

Mud (2013)

Rush (2013)

Stoker (2013)

The World's End (2013)

2013 is a far better year for films than 2012 was, seeing that I find 2012 to be “the worst year in films, ever.” That’s not to say that it was a complete bust, but rather a mostly lackluster year. Plenty of good films were released during 2013, but that’s not what this post is about. This post is a cause for celebration. There came a few truly great films this year and in this day and age, an “age of mediocrity”, that puts a smile on my face.

Happy 2014, everybody!

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jan 10 2014

    I’d love to write something terribly insightful right now but unfortunately I either missed or haven’t yet seen all but one of the movies on your list. I liked MUD too, for a lot of reasons but most of all the sensitive depiction of unsheltered young adulthood and the lovely cinematography of the river and their island sanctuary.

  2. Jan 11 2014

    Yup and yup. I also love the “fatherly” scene that exists late in the second act, where Mud rushes Ellis to the hospital regardless of whether the authorities catch him. Mud is an “even better version of Stand By Me“. :O)

    As far as I’m concerned, writer/director Jeff Nichols is 3 for 3.

    Well Helen, it’s a new year and there’s no time like the present for catching up with the best of what 2013 had to offer. 0_<

  3. Jan 11 2014

    I saw HER today. It only opened in Indy yesterday so you can’t call that catching up. :-)

  4. Jan 12 2014

    I hear yah. It came out in Toronto two weeks before the end of 2013.

    I watched it as a birthday gift. It’s a wonderful film, no?

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