The year’s trips to the State, with a very few to other movie houses thrown in, was bookended by two sensational films directed by David O Russell. In between there was so much presented to enjoy, so much presented to ponder on. In the last category there were some stand-out cinema offerings concerning the journey ahead for us baby boomers of a certain age. The best of these included the depressingly powerful ‘Amour’, a film that delved into your mind and lodged in there. There was the sublime tale of a relationship of extreme youth and extreme age in ‘The Artist and the Model’ and the uplifting ‘Song for Marianne’. The acting combinations in each – Emmanuelle Riva/Jean‑Louis Trintignant, Jean Rochefort/Aida Folch and Terence Stamp/Vanessa Redgrave were brave, with bravura performances from all. We can add the James Cromwell/Geneviève Bujold double-hander from Canada, ‘Still Mine’, as this year’s ‘Away From Her’. Here there is what happens when the deadly combination of the stubbornness of advancing age and the inhumanity of petty bureaucracy come into collision.’Quartet’ deserves a mention too. ‘Blue Jasmine’ saw Woody Allen back to his best with stellar acting from Cate Blanchett. Greta Gerwig, in ‘Frances Ha’, was gorgeous and may even find a place in my ‘Alluring Women’ come 2014. Spain’s ‘The Impossible’ was an accomplished movie about a terrible disaster and ‘Twenty Feet From Stardom’ was a most affecting documentary on the forgotten people in the pantheon of popular music. Highlighting, in a very human way, the tensions in the Middle East was ‘The Other Son’, with ‘Lovelace’ doing a better job of transporting us back to another time and place than it was given credit for. Ditto for the Paul Raymond biopic ‘The Look of Love’ with Steve Coogan. Also immensely enjoyable was Joss Whedon’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ and the James Gandolfini wonderfully dominated ‘Enough Said’. The staging of the latest version of ‘Anna Karenina’ was another highlight. Methinks this was a vintage year.
But the above, although individually terrific, didn’t make the cut. For better or for worse, in descending order are, in the view of the Blue Room’s film-addicted punter, the best for 2013.
10. ‘American Hustle’ – I had no bloody idea what was going on in the plot – it lost me about half-way through. But I was having so much fun with that 70’s vibe I didn’t give a hoot.
9. ‘Behind the Candelabra’ – could this be the movie Michael Douglas is remembered for? It was quite an amazing turn from Matt Damon as well. We’ll never see the likes of Liberace again.
8.’ The Hunt’ – Mads Mikkelsen brings home to this old chalkie a teacher’s worst nightmare as he spirals into the abyss and drags himself back up again.
7. ‘Stuck in Love/A Place for Me’ – why a change of title was needed to release it in Oz is beyond me, but this is 2013’s ‘The Door in the Floor’ with Greg Kinnear and gang superb.
6. ‘Lincoln’ – unlike many I seemed to be able to follow the Machiavellian machinations of this and loved its periodness – I know, there’s no such word – but there should be.
5. ‘Life of Pi’ – to DLP’s (Discerning Loving Partner) surprise I was enraptured. For once she jumped when I didn’t. I knew the tiger was coming.
4. ‘Rust and Bone’ – simply a mesmerising film from France with the screen presence of unlikely hero
Matthias Schoenaerts riveting.
3. ‘ The Great Gatsby’ – Luhrmann hits back doing what he does best – so much razzle dazzle and the two diverse, but magnificent, party scenes – simply incredible.
2. ‘Happiness Never Comes Alone’ – What is it about the French and rom-coms – pure froth, but Sophie Marceau shimmers and shines..
1. ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ – I fell in love with Jennifer Lawrence. I fell head over heels for this gloriously quirky, funky romp.
David and Margaret’s choices for 2013 = http://www.abc.net.au/atthemovies/txt/s3908586.htm