Monday, 26 May 2014

Top 15 Movies of 2013

15. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

A visceral political gut punch and an improvement over the first installment, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire portrays the cast and crew in total control of the content while being faithful to the novel. To put icing on the cake, it has Jennifer Lawrence, raw as ever, digging her nails in the character of Katniss Everdeen and making the persona her own. 

14. August Osage County

The movie for which Meryl Streep was robbed of an Oscar may result in diverse opinions from viewers due to its asymmetrical execution of the subject. But to me, the dissection of a dysfunctional family was a cinematic triumph to marvel at. Meryl Streep along with Julia Roberts gives powerhouse performances to make this drama wickedly funny and emotionally resonating throughout its length. August Osage County has exhausting brilliance hidden up its sleeve. 

13. Prisoners

Morally complex, disturbing and an exploration of law and order in today's society, Prisoners is meant to shock and thrill the audience with its premise and raw execution of the subject.

12. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

A solid improvement over the first yet far away from the masterclass of The Lord of the Rings, The Desolation of Smaug satisfied the dedicated fan base of the franchise. My bets are, you have not seen a better dragon than Smaug in the entire movie history.

11. Rush

Insanely intense, glossy and fervent to the core; Rush gave the Formula One Racing genre the respect and treatment it deserved. Daniel Bruhl and Chris Hemsworth went into the characters and weaved a passionate tale of rivalry set in 70's era between James Hunt and Niki Lauda that is bound to thrill one and all.

10. Nebraska

Nebraska comes from the warm heart of Alexander Payne who earlier directed Sideways (2004) and The Descendants (2011); famous for the knack of identifying the intricate and trivial stuff which sets things in motion in our lands. It is in this soft B&W'ed landscape where we lose our hearts and then gain them right back as the movie surprises beyond measure in its limited scope and appeal.

9. The Hunt

Make way for a foreign movie experience from Denmark that will shake your bones and make you question your faith on innocence. The Hunt (Jagten) is a cinematic tour de force with a climax that resonates long after the credits have rolled down.

8. Gravity

Apart from the mind numbing CGI and attentive detailing to setting of reality standards in space, Gravity excels in carving characters that one can actually root for. Get ready to pick your jaws right off the floor before watching one of the best space travel movies ever made.

7. 12 Years a Slave

It is indeed a tough task to look away from the eyes of Chiwetel Ejiofor in the movie after the horrors were done to him. You start questioning yourself, humanity and the world you live in. Unimaginable, dark, compelling and a force to reckon with, 12 Years a Slave is an experience that will beget sympathy even in the coldest of hearts.

6. Before Midnight

I agree to have a zenith of emotions while watching Before Midnight (2013), the third in the series, for witnessing such a grander sense of maturity and scrupulousness while depicting love’s longevity.

One might feel this trilogy is an unprecedented ode to the power love has and how beautiful life can be, but Before Midnight in all its essence exposed how fruitless it is to capture the ephemeral, fleeting nature of love. Mature, poignant and heartbreaking, Before Midnight raises the bar of indie cinema.

5. Dallas Buyers Club

A performance of a lifetime by Matthew McConaughey as a real life Texas cowboy, Ron Woodroof ensures that Dallas Buyers Club does justice to the HIV positive victim and his struggle to legalize alternative treatment for the same. Becoming the trademark American story which depicts the power of resilience and persistence, it sucks us in with its endeavor and spits us right out in the midst of emotional turmoil to make for a roller coaster of sentiments and emotions.

4. Short Term 12

A deep exploration on the power of empathy and compassion, Short Term 12 succeeds in concocting a tale which is natural and powerful at the same time. Now being hailed as a cult,  it is soulful to the fault and will make you revisit the weird yet resonating paths of your own youth.

3. Her

Soft, melancholic and a vivid portrait on human relationships and desperate longings for a connection in world drifted apart by technology, Her is the understated masterpiece of the year with a plethora of emotions ringing true from the face of his protagonist played brilliantly by Joaquin Phoenix. The loneliness, the agony and the love along with every shade of color you would have known, this is probably the romance of the decade.

2. Inside Llewyn Davis

What would a home be for an artist? A recognition, a praise here and there and a smile from the recipient of the art. And what would happen to the heart of an artist who goes broke chasing his art to a point where he has to beg for a place to crash for the nights? It breaks.

Inside Llewyn Davis is melancholic, poetic and soulful. It has wits and tragedies sprawled across its landscape like flowers on a grave. For all the cinephiles, it is a treat to the senses. To all others, well let me put it this way, it has Carey Mulligan, soft as a feather, crooning ‘A Hundred Miles’ on the stage.

1. The Wolf of Wall Street

Welcome to Merry-fuckin’-Land where first you lose all your inhibitions; second, portray obnoxiously eccentric conduct and then hit the accelerator to become filthy rich. Batten down your hatches and sail to Wall Street where more is the money, merrier are the people; where booze and drugs keep getting heftier; where materialism knows no zenith and greed flow like blood in the veins of one and all; more so ever in one gluttonous New York stockbroker, Jordan Belfort, in this maddeningly ferocious take of his life and lies in The Wolf of Wall Street.  

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  1. good to see "the wolf of wall street" on the top, it was actually a great film, only someone like Scorsese could handle so much nudity without making it look weird... great post. Guess you haven't seen "The Great Beauty" and "Blue is the warmest color" by now. :)


    1. I have seen both the movies. I found Blue is the Warmest Color extremely long and overstretched. That in no manner make it an average movie, it might have ended somewhere in top 20 list for me.

      On The Great Beauty, though I respect the opinions of everybody as I know nobody till now hated it, I felt as if it was trying to be deeper than its parts and thus ended up being pseudo philosophical for me.

      Thanks for reading and posting. :)

  2. Great post Kalpit. Among the listed ones above, I saw only 'Hobbit' and 'Wolf'. '12 years' demanded my guts, but couldn't fulfill it (so didn't watch it). I saw Blue Jasmine but, I know why it's not listed here. I admired Kate's acting for which she bagged the best in Oscars, but the movie was too stretchy. Thanks for sharing

    1. Cate Blanchett was phenomenal in Blue Jasmine, again it would have featured in top 20 list instead of top 15. Moreover, Short Term 12 and Inside Llewyn Davis are definitely worth your time.


  3. I thought Dallas Buyers Club and Her were far better than Wolf. And "The Wind Rises" and "Captain Philips" deserved a place as against The Hunger Games and The Hobbit. Otherwise an awesome list and a great post. Keep it up...:)

    1. I personally think that the panache with which Scorsese carried out Wolf was something to marvel at as same content in some other hands would have been preposterous. As of Captain Phillips, maybe my expectations were more but apart from Tom Hanks, I did not care much for the plot. I have not seen The Wind Rises, will surely see it asap.

      Thanks for reading and posting. :)

  4. Thanks for this nice list, vacation time is movie marathon time for my family and your list is very helpful.

    1. Some are just perfect for a lazy summer afternoon.
      Enjoy and thanks for taking the time out to read.

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