What a year, kids! You wait aeons for a good film, then six dozen show up at once. 2013 is being roundly hailed as a fine cinematic vintage and The Sloth has to agree. After much head scratching (partially solved by a good dousing of flea powder), in reverse order we’ve settled on the following as our top 10. What made your list?
10. Enough Said. We said goodbye to James Gandolfini and this showed why he will be sorely missed. Normally the words ‘romantic’ and ‘comedy’ in the same sentence bring The Sloth out in a cold sweat, but this was sweet, honest and truly funny without ever being sickly. A treat.
9.Mud. The unstoppable McConaughaissance continued with Dallas Buyer’s Club rounding off a spectacular year. But for sheer Boy’s Own exuberance, Mud gets our vote for almost persuading The Sloth that camping out in the wilderness is a fun idea. Almost.
8. The Place Beyond The Pines. No Top Ten would be complete without The Gosling. He peaked early in this audaciously cool three act tragedy – best forget about that other Only God Forgives nonsense. Also features Man-On-A-Roll Bradley Cooper, proving he was more than just a hungover face.
7. Prisoners. Jake Gyllenhaal with a nervous twitch and potty-mouth! Hugh Jackman as a closet psycho! Paul Dano barricaded into a shower! Way darker than Hollywood normally ever ventures, Prisoners was a properly chilling slice of neo-noir.
6.Behind The Candelabra. Funny, sad, camper than a row of pink polka dot tents and with outstanding performances, the only downer was that homophobic Hollywood refused to give it a theatrical release. Thankfully the UK is more enlightened. And did we mention Matt Damon wears sequinned budgie-smugglers?
5. Filth. Oh yes, this is what we want. Gleefully outrageous from start to finish, James McAvoy’s career best performance leaps out the screen and punches you in the face. The Sloth nearly passed out from the alcohol fumes but doggedly hung in for the sex & drugs.
4. Philomena. Steve Coogan’s been busy. With this, The Look Of Love and Alan Partridge Alpha Papa he was hardly out of our bi-focals. But top of his pile is this funny and angry tale of Catholic Church wrongdoings. AND you get Judi Dench to boot.
3. Rush. Cars! Noise! Adrenaline! Excitement! Big Crashes! Far more than the sum of its parts, Rush captured the intensity and exhilaration of the race track as well as the devastating danger. With sporting rivalry drama thrown in. We left the cinema reeling. Then drove home way too fast making brmm brmm noises.
2. The Selfish Giant. We surprised ourselves by putting this at number 2, it’s so painfully, grimly bleak. But we remember sitting in stunned silence at the end, unable to get up from our seat. Devastating. The year’s most affecting film by a country mile.
Drum roll please…. at Numero Uno we have…. Gravity! Yes, we’ve banged on about it forever, but it’s SO GOOD. Thrills, spectacle, emotion, humour, what more can you ask? AND you needn’t bother learning to be an astronaut to see what space is like. Bonus.
So that’s all folks. 2013 has been good to us but there’s plenty more to come in 2014: 12 Years A Slave; Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom; The Wolf Of Wall Street; Foxcatcher. Don’t know about you, but The Sloth can’t wait!