2013: Best and Brightest

I guess I should do this, yeah? I saw more films in 2013 than any year before – both films from 2013 and just films in general – so I at least feel like the following “ballot” is a more comprehensive list than I may have given years prior. All of that, of course, has to do with my moving to America and, most specifically, New York City. I got to see more new release films in cinemas than ever before, including obscure, little-known and all but invisible titles that Oscar voters likely have little time for. I was also able to attend various film festivals including Tribeca (within days of arriving in New York), San Francisco, and New York. It all allowed me access to films that in Australia would only be seen if you were lucky enough to pick the right festival schedule. Many of the films I saw in 2013 will never get a release in Australian cinemas, and will instead be relegated to home entertainment and direct-to-TV releases at some point over 2014.

I thought 2013 was a great year for cinema, although I don’t think my own personal tastes have aligned less with the Academy’s before (again, maybe just symptomatic of seeing more movies than usual). With the Oscars this Sunday (Monday in Australia) I thought it was finally time to publish this “best of” list that is in no way definitive and final. I will add to it over the years if I catch films that went under my radar (or, in the case of Asghar Farhadi’s The Past, rather inexcusably missed). But, as of now, this is a very good look at my time at the movies in 2013. These are the performances and technical achievements that I will associate most fondly with the past year. Some of my eligibility rules may appear lax: Oscar-qualifying runs count, Australian films released in 2013 (but 2014 in America) count. Some categories have six or seven because I thought they all really deserved it, plus it’s my blog I can do what I want to. Some of the best films I saw in 2013 – Hide Your Smiling Faces for instance – won’t get official releases until 2014 so they’re not featured. Films that I saw in 2012, but didn’t get American releases until this year – LoreBerberian Sound Studio – are not included here.

* Image choice doesn’t necessarily denote who I’d pick as the winner. I’m not choosing “winners” apart from the top ten.

Best Picture
 The Missing Picture (dir. Rithy Panh)
2. Spring Breakers (dir. Harmony Korine)
3. The Place Beyond the Pines (dir. Derek Cianfrance)
4. Laurence Anyways (dir. Xavier Dolan)
5. A Touch of Sin (dir. Jia Zhangke)
6. Gravity (dir. Alfonso Cuaron)
7. No (dir. Pablo Lorrain)
8. Una Noche (dir. Lucy Mulloy)
9. In the House (dir. Francois Ozon)
10. You’re Next (dir. Alex Wingard)

2o13 Oscar Prediction: 12 Years a Slave

Best Direct0r
Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Xavier Dolan, Laurence Anyways
Alain Guiraudie, Stranger by the Lake
Harmony Korine, Spring Breakers
Lucy Mulloy, Una Noche
Rithy Panh, The Missing Picture
Jia Zhangke, A Touch of Sin

Oscar Prediction: Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity

Best Actress
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Suzanne Clement, Laurence Anyways
Adele Exarchopoulos, Blue is the Warmest Colour
Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha
Gabby Hoffman, Crystal Fairy
Brie Larson, Short Term 12

Oscar Prediction: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Best Actor
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Paul Eenhoorn, This is Martin Bonner
Mads Mikkelsen, The Hunt
Tye Sheridan, Mud
Miles Teller, The Spectacular Now

Oscar Prediction: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Best Supporting Actress
Rose Byrne, The Turning
Nadezhda Markina, In the Fog
Joanna Scanlan, The Invisible Woman
Shari Sebbens, The Darkside
Emma Watson, The Bling Ring
Oprah Winfrey, Lee Daniels’ The Butler
Tao Zhao, A Touch of Sin
Lupita Nyong’o, Adepero Oduye and Sarah Paulson, 12 Years a Slave

Oscar Prediction: Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave

Best Supporting Actor
Ben Foster, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
Ryan Gosling, The Place Beyond the Pines
Rutger Hauer, Il Futuro
Toby Irvine, Great Expectations
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Christophe Paou, Stranger by the Lake

Oscar Prediction: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Best Original Screenplay
Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine
Sebastian Lelio, Gloria
Malgorzata Szumowska and Michal Engler, In the Name Of
Destin Cretton, Short Term 12
Chad Hartigan and Tara Everhard, This is Martin Bonner

Oscar Prediction: Spike Jonze, Her

Best Adapted Screenplay
John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
Sofia Coppola, The Bling Ring
Abdellatif Kechiche and Ghalia Lacroix, Blue is the Warmest Colour
Francois Ozon, In the House
Derek Cianfrance, Ben Coccio, Darius Marder, The Place Beyond the Pines
David Gordon Green, Prince Avalanche

Oscar Prediction: John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave

Best Cinematography
Nelson Yu Lik-wai, A Touch of Sin
Emmanuel Lubezki, Gravity
Yves Belanger, Laurence Anyways
Ivan Sen, Mystery Road
Sergio Armstrong, No
Benoit Debie, Spring Breakers

Oscar Prediction: Gravity

Best Production Design
Howard Cummings, Behind the Candelabra
Elena Zhukova, Faust
Catherine Martin and Beverley Dunne, The Great Gatsby
KK Barrett, Her
Anne Pritchard, Laurence Anyways

Oscar Prediction: The Great Gatsby

Best Costume Design
Stacey Battat, The Bling Ring
Catherine Martin, The Great Gatsby
Xavier Dolan and Francois Barbeau, Laurence Anyways
Karyn Wagner, Lovelace
Kurt and Bart, Stoker

Oscar Prediction: The Great Gatsby

Best Editing
Jennifer Lame, Frances Ha
Jem Cohen and Marc Vives, Museum Hours
Joel Cox and Gary Roach, Prisoners
Douglas Crise, Spring Breakers
Adam Wingard, You’re Next

Oscar Prediction: Captain Phillips

Best Visual Effects
The Conjuring
Pacific Rim

Oscar Prediction: Gravity

Best Make-Up and Hairstyling
American Hustle
Behind the Candelabra
The Conjuring
The Great Gatsby
Laurence Anyways

Oscar Prediction: Dallas Buyers Club

Best Original Score
Giong Lim, A Touch of Sin
Daniel Hart, Ain’t them Bodies Saints
Lili MarchitelliThe Great Beauty
Richard Hartley, Great Expectations
Marc Marder, The Missing Picture

Oscar Prediction: Philomena

Best Original Song
Black Nativity, “He Loves Me Still”
Frozen, “Let it Go”
The Great Gatsby, “Young and Beautiful”
How I Live Now, “Garden’s Heart”
Short Term 12, “So You Know What It’s Like”

Oscar Prediction: Frozen

Best Sound Design
The Missing Picture
Spring Breakers
Una Noche

Oscar Prediction: Gravity

Best Sound Editing
All is Lost
Captain Phillips

Kiss of the Damned
Man of Steel
World War Z

Oscar Prediction: Gravity

Best Foreign Language Film (Excluding Best Picture Nominees)
The Hunt (dir. Thomas Vinterberg, Denmark)
Stranger by the Lake (dir. Alain Guiraudie, France)
The Last Time I Saw Macao (dir. Joao Pedro Rodrigues, Portugal/France/Macao)
In the Name Of (dir. Margorzata Szumowska, Poland)
The Square (dir Jehane Noujaim, Egypt/USA)

Oscar Prediction: The Great Beauty

Best Documentary (Excluding Best Picture Nominees)
At Berkeley (dir. Fred Wiseman)
The End of Time (dir. Peter Mettler)
Kink (dir. Christina Voros)
The Square (dir. Jehane Noujaim)
Stories We Tell (dir. Sarah Polley)

Oscar Prediction: The Square

Best Short Film
Alberi (dir. Michelangelo Frammartino)
Gates of Life (dir. Hannes Vartiainen and Pekka Veikkolainen)
Just Before Losing Everything (dir. Xavier Legrand)
The Language of Love (dir. Laura Scrivano)
Long, Clear View (dir. Mia Wasikowska)
Rosalina (dir. Matias Pineiro)
The Swim Trunks (dir. Gerard Gutschmitd)
Tau Seru (dir. Rodd Rathjen)
Two Islands (dir. Jan Ijas)
Ziegenort (dir. Tomasz Popakul)

Oscar Predictions:
Live Action: Just Before Losing Everything
Animation: Mr Hublot
Documentary: The Woman in Number 6: Music Saved My Life

Best Animated Film
An Oversimplification of Her Beauty
Is the Man Who is Tall Happy?: An Animated Conversation with Noam Chomsky
The Wind Rises

Oscar Prediction: Frozen

Best Breakthrough – Director
Hannah Fidell, A Teacher
Stacey Passon, Concussion
Matthew Johnson, The Dirties
Rama Burshtein, Fill the Void
Adam Leon and Jack PerriboneGimme the Loot
Lake Bell, In a World…
Lucy Mulloy, Una Noche

Best Breakthrough – Performance
Elizabeth Debicki, The Great Gatsby
Kaitlyn Dever, Short Term 12
Toby Irvine, Great Expectations
Aja Naomi King, Four
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave

I should probably have included Adele Exarchopoulos, but the truth is that I noticed her a couple of years back in a small role in The Round-Up. I could never forget those eyes and those lips, could you?

Best Australian Film
The Darkside (dir. Warwick Thornton)
Exit (dir. Marek Polgar)
Fallout (dir. Lawrence Johnson)
Mystery Road (dir. Ivan Sen)
The Rocket (dir. Kim Mordaunt)

Best LGBT Film
Blue is the Warmest Colour (dir. Abdellatif Kechiche)
Concussion (dir. Stacey Passon)
God Loves Uganda (dir. Roger Ross Williams)
I Am Divine (dir. Jeffrey Schwartz)
In the Name Of (dir. Margorzata Szumowska
Out in the Dark (dir. Michael Mayer)
Pit Stop (dir. Yen Tan)
Laurence Anyways (dir. Xavier Dolan)
Stranger by the Lake (dir. Alain Guardaurie)
Una Noche (dir. Lucy Mulloy)

Best Unreleased Film
Everyday Objects (dir. Nicolas Wackerbarth)
Farah Goes Bang (dir. Meera Menon)
Hide Your Smiling Faces (dir. Daniel Patrick Carbone)
Nights with Theodore (dir. Sebastien Betbeder)
Stand Clear of the Closing Doors (dir. Sam Fleishner)

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2 Responses to 2013: Best and Brightest

  1. vladdy says:

    I’m curious how you felt about The Great Beauty, Her and Before Midnight, my top three films of the year. You made no mention. I like your blog and your taste seems impeccable, hence my interest in your opinions on my favorites.

  2. glenndunks says:

    Vladdy, I like them each, but just didn’t make any of the major categories.


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