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Favorite Movies of 2013 – Beau’s Flicks & Nix

Favorite Movies of 2013 – Beau’s Flicks & Nix

Hi Friends,

First of all, I would like to thank you for your unflagging support that you have extended me in 2013. I do hope that you have enjoyed the cinema this past year as much as I have.

2013 marks a long list of exceptional and phenomenal films. It has been an exciting year for moviegoers and film critics alike! Out of the 127 films that I watched, my list of top 15 includes films that exhibit Oscar caliber performances and directions; riveting poignancy; stunning visual imagery; a blend of cinematic and technological advancements; well-balanced screenplays; adaptations from books and memoirs; outstanding cast ensembles; and powerful themes that will undoubtedly reverberate in the years to come!

Thanks again for your continued support, and I look forward to sharing with you my film reviews for 2014.

Here are my top 15 films of 2013. Cheers!
~ Beau

  

  
  
  
  
  

  

15. WHAT MAISIE KNEW
Adapted from Henry James’ novel, this film projects the embroiled feelings of a six-year old child, Maisie (Onata Aprile), during the painful custody battle of her parents. Onata Aprile is brilliant as she navigates through the turbulent and scarring nature of Maisie’s experience. Julian Moore and Steve Coogan also star as Maisie’s parents.

    

  

14. THE WAY, WAY BACK
THE WAY, WAY BACK has the wits, charm, and sparkle of a rare movie gem. It coruscates with that heartwarming character resplendent with laughter, sadness, and triumph all captured in that monumental coming-of-age story. At the end, one cannot resist saying “Hooty Hoo!”

    

  
13. SAVING MR. BANKS
Based on the events of how the film, “Mary Poppins”, made it to the silver screen, “Saving Mr. Banks” provides a provocative narrative on how Walt Disney (Tom Hanks), finally convinced author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) to approve the book’s cinematic adaptation. It is not your typical family-oriented movie as it permeates both of Disney’s and Travers’ psychological profiles that were instrumental in reaching a collaborative agreement.

    

  

12. PHILOMENA
PHILOMENA, based on a book authored by Martin Sixsmith, depicts the determination and perseverance of Philomena Lee (Judy Dench) to find her son whom she was forced to give away for adoption because the boy was conceived out of wedlock. The film follows Philomena and Sixsmith (Steve Coogan) as they try to make contact with her son for the very first time. The film’s often gregarious nature brings life to its dramedy, and Dench delivers another Oscar(R) caliber performance.

    

  
11. DALLAS BUYERS CLUB
Set in the early days of the AIDS epidemic, a heterosexual Texas cowboy Ron Woodrood (Matthew McConaughey) is diagnosed as HIV-positive with only 30 days to live. What ensues next is Woodrood’s life’s defining moment as he battles a web of ostracism by his friends and government bureaucracies in obtaining approved medicines. Along the way, he meets a transgender woman, Rayon (Jared Leto), who becomes his strongest ally. McConaughey and Leto are outstanding, and they both deserve to be nominated for an Oscar (R).

    

  
10. BLUE JASMINE
Cate Blanchett portrays a New York socialite who now faces midlife crisis immediately after the collapse of her financial independence.
Blanchett’s portrayal is transcendent, and she is well-poised to get an Oscar(R) nomination for this role.

    

  
9. CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS explores the 2009 hijacking of the U.S freight ship “Maersk Alabama” by Somali pirates. It stars Tom Hanks as Captain Richard Phillips. Directed by Academy Award nominee Paul Greengrass, the film is meticulously suspenseful and introspective. It also shows why Tom Hanks is one of the finest actors of our generation.

    

  
8. INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
Coen Brothers’ (Ethan Coen and Joel Coen) most recent undertaking resonates the trials and tribulations of a struggling musician (Oscar Isaac) in the 1961 Greenwich Village folk scene. The film’s folk songs are laudably soothing and entertaining, and the film bears witness as to why Isaac is taking Hollywood by storm with his outstanding performance.

    

**REDBAND TRAILER**
  
7. BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR
Best Film Winner of 2013 Cannes Film Festival, BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR exudes the rawness of a deep and intricate love story between 15-year old Adele (Adèle Exarchopoulos) and the blue-haired girl, Emma (Léa Seydoux). One can only marvel at its poignancy!

    

  
6. NEBRASKA
It is a black and white movie about an old man (Bruce Dern) who is convinced that he has won a million dollar sweepstakes. As he tries vehemently to get to Nebraska and claim his prize, his son (Will Forte) decides to drive him with a hint of reluctance but with a candor of kindness towards his father. NEBRASKA is not only a road trip, but it is a road trip that traverses one’s life with a powerful message that blood must be thicker than water especially in the confines of a nuclear family.

    

  
5. HER
As the world’s technology is advancing rapidly, HER resonates with burning questions. Is it possible for human beings to fall in love with their computer’s operating system? Would this be accepted by the society? Is this a monogamous relationship? Well, Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) and Samantha (Scarlett Johansson) tackle this mystique as Twombly falls for the virtual Samantha –HER. Johansson’s performance as the voice of the operating system Samantha is mesmerizing and emotive. Johansson does not appear physically in the movie, but we see HER because we can definitely feel her voice. Scarlett deserves an Oscar (R) nomination.

    

  
4. THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
The film is about the story of the notorious New York stockbroker Jordan Belfort who comes from a family of modest means but manages to amass millions of dollars in his early twenties. Leonardo DiCaprio’s portrayal of Belfort is outstanding. Directed by Martin Scorsese, THE WOLF OF WALL STREET bears his usual trademark of nonchalant approach in his filmmaking. This time around, it is in his projection of bombastic decadence of greed, power, corruption, narcissism, and sexual exploitation in the 80’s Wall Street.

    

  
3. AMERICAN HUSTLE
AMERICAN HUSTLE is loosely based on the infamous Abscam scandal that began as an FBI sting operation targeting the trafficking in stolen property in the late 70’s. However, it ended up as a public corruption investigation. It takes you into the realm of consummate con-artistry with that sensational music of the 70’s. Directed by David O. Russell, the film’s potency is invested in the gravitas of its outstanding ensemble cast : Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Jennifer Lawrence.

    

  
2. GRAVITY
What if you are left drifting alone in the abyss of deep space? This is exactly the film’s premise as Sandra Bullock stars as the neophyte astronaut, Dr. Ryan Stone, whose space shuttle is destroyed on her first mission. She is left alone wandering and wondering after her senior officer Matt Kowalsky (Clooney) dies. GRAVITY is about cinematography in its finest moments, and director Alfonso Cuaron exhibits his mastery of bonding breathtaking imageries with Bullock’s riveting performance.

    

  
1. 12 YEARS A SLAVE
Adapted from the memoir of Solomon Northup, 12 YEARS A SLAVE relates the experience of Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man kidnapped and sold as a slave to work in a New Orleans plantation in the 1800’s for twelve years. 12 YEARS A SLAVE has the poignant fervency that strikes a chord in all of us. The film’s depiction of slavery is so raw that its harrowing nature will necessitate the wisdom that, sometimes, history had better
not repeat itself.

  

  
  

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