I watched about 100 movies in 2013 and liked many of them for the quality of the story and/or themes. However, looking back, I could not even remember seeing some of them until I checked my blog.
My original idea was to revisit the films of 2013 by writing a review of each one as if it were for Twitter — 140 characters or fewer. I will practice more and try again next year. I am including links to my longer reviews of the film where available. (Note: Some of the films I saw during 2013 have not yet been released, so I have not included them here. Also, access to the reviews posted at St. Anthony Messenger require a digital subscription.)
The films are grouped according to general themes.
Sr. Rose’s five favorite films from 2013 that all deserve awards:
“42” — Baseball’s first black major-league player Jackie Robinson, with Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey, who signed him. This is history to be savored and remembered. Read the full review.
“Blue Jasmine” — Woody Allen’s neurotic character reincarnated in a female character and brilliantly played by Cate Blanchett and is Oscar worthy. One of Woody’s best screenplays in a long time. Read the full review.
“Fill the Void” — Engaging story of an Orthodox Jewish girl in Israel who must choose — and deal with an unmarried older sister — to marry her deceased sister’s husband or a new beau. Jane Austen-esque qualities. Award-worthy. In Hebrew with English subtitles. Read the full review.
“Philomena” – Based on a true story, a girl becomes pregnant in 1950s Ireland, is placed in a stark convent home where she works in a Magdalene-like laundry. The mother and a journalist look for the baby 50 years later. No, the nuns do not come off well, but this is a brilliant film, gentle, humorous, forgiving. Oscar-worthy in several categories.
“Way Way Back, The” — Gentle and funny coming-of-age summer movie about a boy whose family is in flux until he finds new friends at a water park. Sam Rockwell deserves as Oscar. Read the full review.
“12 Years a Slave” — Chiwetel Ejiofor deserves an Oscar for his performance in this true story that follows ex-slave Solomon Northup’s autobio closely. Harrowing and very violent. Read the full review.
“20 Feet from Stardom” — Revealing doc about the amazing unheralded, often unappreciated, super talented black women who sang and still sing backup for major vocal talents.
“American Hustle” — A naïve, ambitious ’80s FBI agent convinces a hustler and his mistress to cooperate to bring down the governor of N.J. for fraud. I expected more, but Jennifer Lawrence just keeps racking up Meryl Streep points with her performances.
“Blackfish” — Claims to tell the real story about Shamu and SeaWorld’s cruel practices….