For a self proclaimed pop culture addict such as myself, there’s been so much to love about 2013. Over the past few weeks I’ve created lists of my favorite music and television, and have added countless albums, shows, and movies to the ever growing cue of shit to pay attention to. And I do believe I saved the best for last. I jokingly use the phrase “cinematic adventure” with my friends, (mostly because it drives Estevan crazy,) but truly, it’s the most apt description in my mind. For a few short hours you can escape the outside world, slip into a dark room, lean back in a comfy chair (our new theater has recliners thus I’m never leaving,) and lose yourself in a story. I can’t say that I saw even a quarter of what came out, and I know that I’m missing some stellar pieces of cinema, (I still haven’t seen The Spectacular Now and Before Midnight has been sitting next to my dvd player for weeks now,) but I tried to choose some of the things that I saw that really reached stuck in my mind throughout the year. Here are a few of my recommendation…
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My straight up faves…
Just before viewing Payne’s latest film, I overheard my local indie movie theater telling a patron “The reason you didn’t like this movie is because you’re under 30.” An apt summation, in that this film isn’t necessarily for everyone. But those people are idiots. Nebraska is heartfelt and hilarious, sad and serene, portraying an all too familiar picture of small Midwestern towns and the people within them in startlingly beautiful tones of black, white, and all the grey that lies between.
In A World
In A World is a smart, charming comedy about a young woman’s struggles in the male dominated ‘hollywood’ world of voiceover artists. To say that I loved this movie is an understatement. Ladies, go watch this now.
Dallas Buyers Club
In this film about a rough living Texas electrician/bull rider who contracts AIDS during its early stages, it’s true that in some cases, it’s all about the ride. At its start, it’s difficult to find the humanity in the increasingly unlikable lead, which makes Woodroof’s careening and none-too-pure path towards not only his own survival, but in an understanding and empathy of those whom he had earlier reviled, all the more riveting.
We are often told that our twenties are the time in which we decide on the “final version” of ourselves. So what happens when you’re an adult who struggles with adulthood? It’s the clarion call of our generation, and very much the thesis of Baumbach’s latest film. Frances is flighty, exuberant, irritating, and often cringe-worthy, with actress Greta Gerwig at the lead, simply magic.
The Way, Way Back
Start of a description with “A coming of age story…” and you will immediately catch me hook line and sinker. Which is why The Way, Way Back is just another movie that was pretty much made for me to love. Duncan, an introverted and awkward 14 year old, finds himself through an unexpected friend while working the summer at a seaside water park. Definitely don’t pass up this lovely, nostalgic, little flick.
It was good, and I might have hated it...
The Wolf of Wall Street
I’m rarely torn when asked my opinion. On anything. (Hey I’m one opinionated lady.) Then why am I still struggling with my feelings about this movie? The acting was superb. (Seriously I’ve never seen Jonah Hill in a better role.) I laughed out loud. I was fully engaged and thoroughly entertained for the entirety of the (albeit too long,) three hour film. And all that being said, I can’t bring myself to tell anyone I liked it. I was uncomfortable with the life that was being portrayed onscreen. I found myself thinking that instead of being a cautionary tale of greed and substance abuse, this movie seemed to glorify, and might I say, even come across as inspirational to the next round of yuppies to take their place on the Wall. Can I give credit to those who made it? Absolutely. But do I want to see it again? Nope.
Because true stories are important too…
In this riveting and often emotionally wrenching documentary, Blackfish questions the justifications of keeping highly intelligent mammals in confinement for our entertainment. While it will definitely shatter all of those loving childhood dreams of being a marine biologist, (just me?) this film helps to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. You’ll never buy another ticket to SeaWorld again.
The Midwest doesn’t get everything immediately (but I’m pretty positive that I’ll love these)…
Inside Llewyn Davis
12 Years A Slave
And because sometimes I’m just a hater, the worst movies I saw this year…