The final days of 2013 are almost here, which means it’s time to assess the world of awesome and suck that was 2013. Though I’d rather focus on the awesome, right? Cause who needs any more suck in their life? With civil wars raging in Syria and the Central African Republic right now, I really don’t have sh** to complain about, anyway, so let’s commence with the awesome.
Here are the best movies I got to see this year. (And this was a great year for movies!)
First on my list–
This movie was perfection! Screenwriter Peter Morgan and director Ron Howard have created another masterpiece here, just an epic burst of magic that made me leave the theater saying, “Oh my God, that was SUCH a good movie!!” about two hundred times, until my husband lost it and said I had to find something else to say or he would go crazy. I love my hubby, so I stopped with the repetitive gushing for at least like, ten minutes. But it was hard.
I don’t know anything about Formula One racing, and was reluctant to even see this film– I thought it would be another Days of Thunder or something– but this movie adheres to the true story of these two drivers, and it is such an amazing, compelling story, so beautifully told, that Rush is easily my favorite movie of 2013. LOVED it!
Coming in at a Very Close Second–
Oh my dear God how I loved this movie! The writing, the filming, the acting– YES. And then there is all the sweetness and adorable that is Frances– MORE YES. This movie was like getting a big warm hug from the universe. A valentine for all of the struggling millennials out there, the closing lines just melted my heart.
Pick Number Three–
This gripping documentary about the dirty secrets of Sea World and the horrible treatment of killer whales in captivity made me so emotional that I cried (and cried) and swore to myself that I will never, ever visit Sea World or put any of my money into this company. The fact that Sea World lies to the public (and its employees) by claiming that what they are doing is “research” and that keeping these animals in captivity has “expanded our knowledge of them” is– as this film proves– total bullsh**. This movie has so many powerful lessons to teach, not just about darkness and cruelty, but about the incredible magic and majesty of the natural world. Truly a powerful film.
Fabulous Number Four–
There are times when Hollywood gets things so right that you have to just sit back in awe and amazement. This was one of those times.
Captain Phillips is based on the memoir of ship captain Richard Phillips, and I think people should be aware that members of his crew have made other statements concerning what happened on that boat during the fateful days captured in this film. Namely, that Richard Phillips was a jackass who failed to take his ship to safety when warned, among other things. So I don’t see this movie as fact. It’s so much better than that.
This movie does something that the real-life Captain Phillips never did– it makes you empathize with the plight of these impoverished Somali pirates. It makes you see them as human beings. And the ending of this film is meant to shatter you. It’s meant to make you feel something so much deeper and darker and honest than just, “Hooray! The good guys won!” The end of this film took my breath away. I stayed in my seat through the credits. Not because I wanted to watch the credits. I just needed time to return to my senses and stand. Cause the ending shattered me, and I had to put myself back together. This movie was so incredibly good.
Amazing Number Five–
THE GREAT GATSBY
What I loved most about seeing this film was that I got to watch it with my sister. And my sister had never read the novel. She didn’t know how it ended. She didn’t know what was coming. And she fell in love with Jay Gatsby while watching this movie. Just totally fell in love. Because Jay Gatsby is Jay Gatsby– the man who loves Daisy Buchanan so much it defines him. He’s just total hotness.
And this movie is exquisite. So rich, so perfect. And it made my sister want to read the book. Baz Luhrmann has created a fabulous work of art– and when it came out on DVD, my sister was ON IT. She saw it more than once in the theater, but, you know, it’s just one of those movies. The kind you gotta see way more than once.
And closing my list, last but not least, at Number Six–
12 YEARS A SLAVE
This movie ripped my heart out, sliced it to pieces, burned the pieces to ash, and when I left the theater, I had a gaping hole in my chest. This is not an easy movie to watch. Nor should it be.
The reason this film is not Number One on my list? I’m an emotional wuss. I honestly don’t know if I can ever bring myself to watch this movie a second time. The absolute pain and horror of slavery, so powerfully conveyed in this movie– I’m just not tough enough to withstand re-watching movies that tear me up this bad. I bit my knuckles, I hunched down in my seat, I winced, I cried, I listened to other people cry, I wanted to close my eyes, I wanted to run away. This movie burned itself into my brain the way few films ever do. And it was one of the biggest reasons why 2013 was such a great year for movies. This year brought us 12 Years a Slave, and it was phenomenal.