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 5 years back, my objective reasoning had overtaken and significantly overshadowed my personal taste in films- aka my ability to watch films subjectively, “shut off my brain”, and simply 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 generally 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.
And now for the meat!
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) is simply the best film that I’d seen this year. The team-up 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 the theatres.
It’s 100% a comedy and one of the best comedies that I’d 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.
Coming directly in second place is Spike Jonze’s Her (2013), 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. It, too manages to stand atop the other films that are listed below.
And finally, the following titles are of films that had managed 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”. The entirety of the list is presented in an alphabetical order because I don’t find that any one film stands above the rest. They are simply the best films that I’d seen this year.
12 Years a Slave (dir. Steve McQueen)
All is Lost (dir. J.C. Chandor)
Blue Jasmine (dir. Woody Allen)
The Lone Ranger (dir. Gore Verbinski)
Mud (dir. Jeff Nichols)
Rush (dir. Ron Howard)
Stoker (dir. Chan-wook Park)
The World’s End (dir. Edgar Wright)
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, a personal “age of mediocrity”, that puts a smile on my face.
Happy 2014, everybody!