Creativity (stories, film, etc.)

The Top Seven Movies I watched in 2013

The top seven movies I watched this year, in no particular order.

  • La grande bellezza (The Great Beauty, 2013) is an homage to Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita”, an homage to Rome and its celeb- and nightlife circus. Beautifully shot and set to intoxicating dance tunes as well as timeless classical music, the movie follows a disillusioned 65 year old author (who wrote one bestseller and stopped after that) in his search for the true beauty in his life.

  • There are few movies that are as surreal yet at the same time ring as true as Holy Motors (2012). (Maybe Terry Gilliam’s Brazil comes close.) I guess at the core of Holy Motors lies the question after why we get up every morning and go to work and how much we should give for “the beauty of the act”.

  • The Tree of Life (2011) consists of scenes in Jack’s (Sean Penn) adult live, memories of his childhood in the 1950’s Midwest with his stern father (Brad Pitt) and kind mother (Jessica Chastain), as well as lots of footage of nature and the beginning of the universe – all set to mesmerizing music and filmed with an ever-searching camera, posing implicit questions of spiritual nature. If you liked Kubrick’s 2001, you’ll most probably like The Tree of Life.

  • Set in London after World War II, The Deep Blue Sea (2011) is an intimate portrait of Hester (Rachel Weisz), a woman who breaks out of a passionless marriage to pursue an erotic relationship with Freddie, an energetic but troubled former Royal Air Force pilot. We experience first-hand how Hester loses her heart, and also her head, so fully that when she realizes that she and Freddie aren’t compatible, it is almost too late.

  • Before Midnight (2013) is the third part in the trilogy started with Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004). Each shows us one night (or day) in the relationship of Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Céline (Julie Delpy) with nine years passing in between, just as the actors have also aged nine years between the making of each movie. The chemistry and the long dialogues are as great as ever. And even though the couple is married now, often Jesse still seems beautifully amazed of Céline and that she is in fact his. It’s simple: if you liked the first two, you’ll like the third part in the trilogy as well.

  • The Past (Le Passé, 2013) is the story of an Iranian man who reunites with his estranged wife in Paris to finalize their divorce. It’s a powerful movie, but the number one reason to see it is definitely the dignified performance of Ali Mosaffa. (Disclaimer: I haven’t yet watched A Separation, the previous film by Asghar Farhadi, which some say is even better.)

  • In Violet & Daisy (2011), two teenage assassins accept what they think will be a quick-and-easy job, until they end up in a heartfelt conversation with their target. While the film is neat, it’s the jaunty performances and the chemistry between Saoirse Ronan and Alexis Bledel that make it a pleasure to watch.

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