Listopia: Best 2013 Films


Honorable mentions: About Time, Frozen, Much Ado About Nothing, Nebraska, Pit Stop, Pluto, This is The End, To The Wonder, Warm Bodies, and White Night.

The title might be a mouthful, but Yang Tidak Dibicarakan Saat Membicarakan Cinta (aka What They Don’t Talk About When They Talk About Love aka Don’t Talk Love) is a study of depth in simplicity with loud emotions. A that movie will give you a very different experience from other mediocre Indonesian cinema this year.

24. THIS AIN’T CALIFORNIA (Dir: Marten Persiel, DE)
A deliriously fast paced docu-film, deliciously alive and vibrant. Much like Panik, the focus subject of the film itself. This Ain’t California is a part myth, part documentary, but all over awesome tale of german Rollbrettfahrer (skateboarders) subculture. It’s a fresh take of storytelling that engage audience through its visual and emotional crafts.

23. SPRING BREAKERS (Dir: Harmony Korine, US)
“Look at my shyeeet”, Best performance by James Franco. Ever. One of this year pleasant surprise is a cautionary tale of the youth and the so called american dream. An unexpectedly poignant piece under the frenzy of neon lights color and bikini-clad cheesecakes.

22. ONLY GOD FORGIVES (Dir: Nicolas Winding Refn, US/FR/TH/DK/SE)
This year’s most divisive film is Refn-Gosling Only God Forgives. Part character study part tale of sins, the sinners, and their retribution. It’s a challenging and unapologetic creation.

21. FILTH (Dir: Jon S. Baird, UK)
Emotional and unexpectedly endearing film of one man efforts in coping with grief. In my honest opinion, James McAvoy best performance yet.

20. THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES (Dir: Derek Cianfrance, US)
Tripartite story of cause and effects, of fathers, their sons, and the retribution of their actions. Melancholic, poignant, beautifully acted and shot.

19. ILO ILO  爸妈不在家 (Dir: Anthony Chen, SG)
Lovely human drama showing a bond between a little boy and his maid against the background of cultural diversity. Simple yet brimming with emotion.

18. MUD (Dir: Jeff Nichols, US)
A coming of age film featuring an unlikely friendship between a convict and a teenage boy. Exceptionally lovely performance from the young actors.

17. BLUE JASMINE (Dir: Woody Allen, US)
A woman slow descent to emotional breakdown and desperation. Woody Allen’s character driven film featuring the amazing Cate Blanchett showing the artist unprecedented performance that soar above the rest of her peers.

16. HER (Dir: Spike Jonze, US)
Moody and beautiful romantic tale of the digital age between a lonely man and an unlikely partner. Lovely voice acting by Scarlett Johanson and noteworthy costume design of the retro-futurism.

15. STOKER (Dir: Park Chan-wook, UK/US)
From a strong script, translated into a beautiful film. Stoker stood apart from the other film of its genre through Park Chan-wook’s critical eye and use of visual semiotics.

14. RUSH (Dir: Ron Howard, US/UK/DE)
If Gravity did not sweep the technical awards for audio categories in the academy awards, i think Rush should be a worthy candidate. A well balanced film featuring immersive experience in the world of car racing with the emotional journey between the two rivals.

13. CAPTAIN PHILLIPS (Dir: Paul Greengrass, US)
Tom Hanks at his finest, showing the desperation of a man who desperately clings for his life. Barkhad Abdi as his counterpart manage to held his ground, despite the caliber of Hanks. Both are worthy of recognitions.

12. SHORT TERM 12 (Dir: Destin Cretton, US)
Adapted from an award-winning short under the same name, Short Term 12 is a gem. Poignant and melancholic, without being excessively so. A powerful story in a deceivingly simple package, includes a memorable performance from Brie Larson.

11. BEFORE MIDNIGHT ( Dir: Richard Linklater, US)
Linklater’s third (and conclusive?) chapter of Jesse and C relationship shown growth and maturity of their partnership, yet still possess the same heartwarming spirit and as charming as its predecessor.

10. 12 YEARS A SLAVE (Dir: Steve McQueen, UK/US)
One of the most important film of last year is the intense, unflinching experience of discrimination in 12 Years A Slave.

09. LA VIE D’ADÉLE: CHAPITRES 1 & 2 (Dir: Abdellatif Kechiche, FR)
Part coming of age, part romance, part character study. Most talked about foreign film of the year that swept Cannes and make the world fall in love for Adele.

08. DALLAS BUYERS CLUB (Dir: Jean-Marc Vallée,US)
Both the lead and supporting actor work their hardest and give high level of devotion and commitment to their respective roles, and the outcome was a riveting performances that captivates the audience.

07. WADJDA (Dir: Haifaa Al-Mansour, SA)
A coming-of-age film from an unlikely place, Wadjda defied cultural restraints just like the eponymous characters endures in the film.

06. LA GRANDE BELLEZZA (Dir: Paolo Sorrentino, IT)
Personal favorite of mine, Sorrentino piece is a work of art that captures arts. Surprisingly wise and oddly beautiful, this ode to the city of Rome is an experience that i’d like to wrap myself in.

05. INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS (Dir: Ethan CoenJoel Coen, US/FR)
Llewyn is a character journey to find a purpose in life, which sometimes may not be fulfilled, but it’s really the journey that counts. (PS: One of this year most favorite soundtrack of mine :3)

04. L’INCONNU DU LAC (Dir: Alain Guiraudie, FR)
I’d never thought i’d see a Hitchcockian noir in a french thriller film about men in cruising place. Fascinating and definitely gripping, the film explore romance and human need of connection in an unexpected way.

03. FRANCES HA (Dir: Noah Baumbach, US)
What a character! What a film! What a joy to watch! Frances Ha is a character with a story that i can feel very empathic about (and emotionally connected too!). Wonderful contemporary indie film of a young woman journey embarking on adulthood, just think of this as the female counterparts of Inside Llewyn Davis.

02. THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (Dir: Martin Scorsese, )
I think only Scorsese can make a 3 hour film with a delirious pacing yet i did not have one boring moments. Loud story with solid performance from all of its actors, the pleasantly excessive film flows with ease. A hugely entertaining and unexpectedly intriguing biopic, that can only be delivered from teams of seasoned moviemaker.

01. GRAVITY (Dir: Alfonso Cuarón, US/UK)
Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity is a singular cinematic experience for me. Simply breathtaking, deeply touching. Deceptively simple yet it was meticulous in each details and gave way to maximum impact. Bravo Cuarón, Bravo!


A part of KaramelKinema 2013 Retrospective


2 thoughts on “Listopia: Best 2013 Films

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