Dec 182013

And so, it’s that time. I’ve curated/obsessed over my best of the year list since late 2012 when I started seeing some of the 2013 releases early. I am really such a list nerd (really, it’s quite sad). This list is based exclusively on films which had a cinema release in Australia in 2013. It could have been a single cinema, but it had to have a release. Festival only titles, direct-to-dvd and films I have seen this year which don’t release until next year (such as 12 Years a Slave and Nebraska) were not included. I will release a second list in March 2014 which is all 2013 films (films released here between March 1, 2013 and Feb 2014, festival titles and anything I saw which didn’t get a release).

Without further adieu, my list of the best films of 2013 (based on Australian cinema releases) is after the jump!

30. Stoker (Chan-wook Park) 29. The Best Offer (Giuseppe Tornatore) 28. The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, Anonymous, Christine Cynn) 27. Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell) 26. Mystery Road (Ivan Sen) 25. Pacific Rim (Guillermo del Toro) 24. Amour (Michael Haneke) 23. Prince Avalanche (David Gordon Green) 22. Only God Forgives (Nicolas Winding-Refn) 21. Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino)


20. Captain Phillips (Paul Greengrass)


19. Laurence Anyways (Xavier Dolan)


18. The Rocket (Kim Mordaunt)


17. The Way Way Back (Jim Rash, Nat Faxon)


16. 20 Feet From Stardom (Morgan Neville)


15. Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach)


14. Drinking Buddies (Joe Swanberg)


13. Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler)


12. Prisoners (Denis Villeneuve)


11. The Spectacular Now (James Ponsoldt)


10. Before Midnight (Richard Linklater)


9. West of Memphis (Amy Berg)


8. The Hunt (Thomas Vinterberg)


7. Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow)


6. Much Ado About Nothing (Joss Whedon)


5. Short Term 12 (Destin Cretton)


4. Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón)


3. The Place Beyond the Pines (Derek Cianfrance)


2. The Imposter (Bart Layton)


1. Cloud Atlas ( Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski)


Funny how my favourite film of the year ended up being one I saw back in February – that says a lot considering how much I’ve loved this year. I admired Cloud Atlas immensely the first time, but it was the rewatch which cemented it as my number one. A film with this many timelines, characters and stories shouldn’t work, but somehow it does. The themes and music (the film has my favourite original score of the year) ties everything together seamlessly. 2013 has been an amazing year for film; I really don’t understand anyone who says they haven’t liked much. I figure, they just haven’t seen enough. Bring on 2014!

By Sam McCosh