Wednesday, February 12, 2014

2013 Year in Review: My Top 10

And now as is the annual tradition, here is my Top 10 Films of 2013. As usual a number of my favourite films I saw this year weren't actually new releases, I've gone along with the tradition of only including films released in 2013. This years list was easier to put together in some ways and harder in others. Having only awarded 12 films a score of 8/10 or more, it was a quick process to narrow down the list, however it was then rather a tricky challenge to choose which made it into the final 10. Overall it was a disappointing year and I only wanted to select films that deserved to be included, and I think i've come up with a list that suffices. 

Some honourable mentions include the Korean-indie's Romance Joe, Love in 42.9 and December, films I championed through Cinema on the Park, Lost Rivers, William and the Windmill and Black Fish were my top international documentary pics, while the Korean-doco's My Place, Non-Fiction Diary and Camp 14: Total Control Zone all deserve special mention. Django Unchained and This Is 40 were both solid entries in the long filmographies of Tarantino and Apatow, but aren't well round enough to make it higher up the list.

My most underrated films of the year have to go to the Korean-American rom-com Wedding Palace, Flora Lau's Bends and Mike Birbiglia's Sleepwalk with Me. The unlucky 8/10 films that just don't make the cut were Cutie and the Boxer and Mistaken for Strangers, meaning this years list is the first in 5 years that does not include a straight-forward documentary (See no. 6 for what that refers to). My guilty pleasures of the year go to Arnold's return to the silver screen in Kim Jee-woon's The Last Stand, and Park Chan-wook's similarly successful Hollywood debut with Stoker, while both were not complete enough to make the final selection but both brought a smile to my face.

My favourite performances of the year have to go to brilliant Ahn Jae-hong in The King of Jokgu, the delightful Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine, and the surprisingly well-rounded performance of pop-star turned actress Lee Jung-hyun in Juvenile Offender. While best supporting performances were no doubt Bobby Cannavale in Blue Jasmine and Carina Lau in Bends. My biggest disappointments of the year were Fruitvale Station, Alpha Papa, Elysium, The Hobbit, Cabin in the Woods, Tang Wong and Wreck It Ralph! Once again I had huge expectations for a Korea-Thai film Thuy, though like last years Mai Ratima, it was just as disappointing. Read on below for mini reviews of my top 10. Agree, Disagree, comment below.