With the Academy Awards just round the corner (tonight to be precise), we thought it a good time to lend Screen Watch’s voice to the masses and talk about our favourite films of last year. But we can’t do it alone.
Kenny and I have each shortlisted our three favourite films of 2013, but we’re giving you a chance to vote for Screen Watch’s film of the year. Simply check out the nominees below, and vote on the poll at the bottom of the page.
Screen Watch’s film of the year will be announced next week, so watch this space!
Despite the anaemic, been-there-done-that dialogue, Gravity is a visual treat. Technically astounding, it features some great performances and an absolutely stunning soundtrack. Certainly a frontrunner for the Oscars, Alfonso Cuaron’s space drama is best seen in the biggest, loudest cinema you can find.
The Way Way Back
Written by, directed by and featuring Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, the comedy drama didn’t get anywhere near as much exposure as it should have when it was released last year. It’s a coming-of-age story that plays on the awkward teenage phase brilliantly, with as many laugh out loud moments as poignant ones. Sam Rockwell and Steve Carrell deliver finer performances than either have in any of their more prevalent roles, and I expect we’ll be seeing big things from Faxon and Rash in the future.
If you like feeling tense, clammy, and nauseous, then Captain Phillips is the film for you. The true(?) story of the good ship Alabama and its takeover by nefarious pirates is up for a Best Picture award, and villain Barkhad Abdi recently walked away with a Best Supporting Actor BAFTA. Director Paul Greengrass has done a great job at depicting what it could be like being thrown into a midsea hijacking. Jelly-leg stuff.
Whether you’re a fan of the sport or not, Ron Howard’s film made waves with critics and has popped up at various awards ceremonies. Featuring a sublime acting duo, Chris Hemsworth delivers a mature performance of the immature Hunt to counter Daniel Brühl’s wonderful depiction of Niki Lauda. Poised perfectly so as not to make you hate either character but to relish in the on-screen development of their relationship, this story encompasses enough funny, sad, graphic and emotive moments to leave your heart pumping.
Saving Mr. Banks
Some of the harsher critics would point out that this film perhaps canvasses over Walt Disney’s true personality – that of a less appealing man. However, if you take the film for what it is, you’re treated to something very special. Emma Thompson gives one of the best performances this year, dishing out British wit by the bucket load. Tom Hanks plays the supporting role of Mr Disney with the finesse you would expect of a seasoned actor, but the relatively under-advertised role of Colin Farrell was an excellent surprise as he touchingly adds to the plot’s back-story. Great music, great fun and (looking beyond the ‘true story’ element) a wonderful tale.
The costumes, the script, the hair. This film manages to stick you right into the story and make you believe it from the offset, quickly developing all four lead characters. Always a risk trying to pull off four strong leads, but American Hustle does it brilliantly as they each bounce off one another with superb on-screen chemistry. Their strength is evidenced by Bale, Cooper, Adams and Lawrence all receiving Oscar nominations. The jokes are genuinely funny and the plot is both mature yet hilarious. This film is a success from start to finish.
So what do you reckon? What was the best of 2013? The Space drama? The motor racing extravaganza? Or Bradley Cooper’s hair? Cast your votes below!