Tag Archives: Before Midnight

Andrew’s Top Ten Films, Favorite Performances, And Other Bests of 2013

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Although in the past couple of years it’s taken me a few more weeks to see every film I’ve needed to from the year prior, 2013 was such an excellent year that I simply couldn’t wait for every film to come to me. And so I made my annual journeys up to Boston to see many of the films I was anticipating, even with the knowledge that they would be released where I live just a week or two later. What can I say? I’m an addict, and with my addiction comes the yearly, painstaking process of chopping my favorite films list down to ten. Doing so after a year that was particularly strong like 2013, especially in terms of independent film, has honestly never been more difficult. For 2013, a top twenty may have been more reflective, but I have to fit in and thus, only ten will do.

In addition to compiling my top ten, I’ve also singled out my favorite performances of the year, while also calling attention to those directors, writers, cinematographers and editors who I personally feel did the best work of the year. I’ve also decided to single out those movie scenes and shots that left an indelible mark on me when I left the theater. Also, while nine of the films in my top ten will not be ranked in any particular order, I will single out my favorite film of the year.

With 2014 now upon us and many new big-screen experiences to look forward to in the coming months, it’s always important to reflect on the year that has just past. Here’s hoping the year in film that was 2013 will stand the test of time as a great example of the eclectic tastes of the various members of both the Hollywood and independent film communities. Away we go.

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“To err is human, so err…” – The Winners of the 2013 Summer Movie Season

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Labor Day weekend is upon us and thus the summer movie season officially comes to a close not with a bang, but with a One Direction concert movie. Not being one to judge entities solely by their endings, here I will discuss the summer of 2013 and the wide array of films that came along with it. So, what films and actors won the summer? Below I’ve declared my personal winners, from those who delivered unbelievable performances to those films that fulfilled this summer’s fun quota in insanely entertaining style.

Cate Blanchett

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It’s become a rarity in Hollywood nowadays for many Oscar-contenders to be born out of the Summer movie season, but every now and then one squeaks through nonetheless. Cate Blanchett’s latest performance in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine is one of such incredible depth and strength that I find it hard to imagine there will be a lead female performance able to match it for the rest of the year. She makes Jasmine the kind of sociopathic socialite that is not only hard to like but hard to completely understand, which is what makes her such a compelling protagonist. Blanchett gives Jasmine a heart, just one that continually reveals her truly selfish intentions. She wants to live the life of a well-off New Yorker but is forced to muddle along with her sister in San Francisco amongst her greasy, working-class sexual conquests. This drives Jasmine crazy, crazy enough to keep her talking to herself and alienating all the people who actually want to care for her. Blanchett has long been admired as one of her generation’s greatest actresses, and this performance may just be the one to top them all.

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2013: The Year in Film So Far

With June upon us and nearly half the year in film gone already, it’s the perfect time to take a look at the films that have come and gone in this sixth month span, with a specific eye on my favorites of the bunch. It’s also time to look at the best performances of the young year as it’s simply never too early to look toward awards season this Fall. Each year, there seems to be a film or performance that sneaks through the cracks and somehow, someway stays relevant long enough to take the Academy by storm (i.e. The Hurt Locker in 2009). There are also those films that I didn’t have much expectation for, but that took me completely by surprise. With that in mind, it’s time to take a look at a few films and performances that struck a chord with me and may just end up on my year-end list come early 2014.

Best Surprises

Fast & Furious 6

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A film that I had absolutely no expectation for until the positive critical notices started rolling in was Justin Lin’s latest entry in the Vin Diesel led Fast & Furious franchise. I had been fooled once before with Fast Five, so it was to my great surprise that this entry finally backed the critics up. With a simple yet effective story and some of the most absurd stunts ever committed to film, Furious was quite simply an entertaining time at the cinema. While not a great film, it’s a whole lot of fun, even for an automobile amateur such as myself.

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The List: Best Portraits Of Romance on Film

This weekend, I will finally have the chance to see Richard Linklater’s Before Midnight, the believed-to-be final entry to what may just end up being my absolute favorite film trilogy. In 1995, Linklater brought the world Before Sunrise, a film focused on a chance meeting between Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) on a train to Europe that leads to one romantic evening spent together in Vienna. Based on a personal one-night encounter Linklater had with a woman whom he never saw again, the film was an achingly real portrait of young love between two individuals who don’t quite know what their next steps are in life. Nine years later, the sequel Before Sunset hit theaters with Jesse and Celine now older, but not quite perhaps as romantically wiser as either had expected. And now, once again nine years later, Before Midnight brings us back into their world.

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Counting the Before films among the greatest on-screen portrayals of romance that I have seen, I felt it was fitting that I list some of my other favorite film romances. Now, you won’t see any typical romantic comedies on this list because for me, the more real a given relationship is the more invested I am in seeing the story of that film unfold. Unfortunately, nobody can really accuse the modern romantic comedy of capturing anything close to the realm of realism. Instead, I’ve decided to give you a list of films that range from the depressing to the absurd, but that all contain some aspect of romantic truth. Given that the film genre of depressing romantic relationship dramas is one of my absolute favorites, it should come as no shock to you that these films rank fairly high on my absolute favorite films list. And now, onto The List.

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The List: Most Anticipated Films of Summer 2013

The List. It’s a way of organizing our thoughts on a certain topic into an easily digestible post. Topics may range from ranking the films of a certain actor who has an upcoming release, to even something as simple as listing our breakfast cereals of choice. Anything is game. Length may vary depending on the individual writing said list, and jumping from one topic to the next may leave you a little dizzy, but FUN (from the writer’s perspective at least) is our weapon of choice. Welcome to The List.  

We are now officially less than three weeks away from the start of summer movie season. Running each year from the beginning of May through the end of August, filmgoers worldwide get excited each year at the prospect of their favorite superheroes, not to mention sequels, swooping into theaters.  I am certainly one of these people but, while my geekdom often threatens my sanity whilst anticipating each May, I also just as intensely anticipate the releases of some lesser known, dare I say the word ‘independent’, films. Some will come and go without much fanfare, but some will catch fire which could lead to a buzz heading into awards season this fall.

Now, for my list of my most anticipated films of the summer.

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