Top Ten


The Oscars are Over, Now on to 2013!

By Tyler Malone

Winter 2012-2013

The Oscars are over. The winners won, the losers lost. And who really cares? It’s time to move on to 2013, and let history be the ultimate judge of what the best films of 2012 were. So, without further ado, here are the ten films your friendly neighborhood film critic is most excited for this year.

10. The Look Of Love - Put Michael Winterbottom and Steve Coogan together, and I’ll likely get excited. Individually they’ve sometimes missed the mark (Coogan was in that Percy Jackson film, and Winterbottom did direct that pretty terrible adaptation of The Killer Inside Me), but when they work together, they always hit it out of the park. I think all three of their collaborations are perfect films: 24 Hour Party People, Tristram Shandy: A Cock & Bull Story, and The Trip. So will this new film where Steve Coogan plays real-life British pornographer and night club impresario Paul Raymond live up? Who knows? But I can’t pretend I’m not excited about the possibility that it might.

9. Inside Llewyn Davis – The Coen Brothers are always interesting, even if they’re not always great. So, at the very least, this film set in the ’60s NYC folk scene, starring Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, and Garrett Hedlund, has piqued my interest. It’s piqued my interest much more so certainly than the Coen-penned remake of Gambit also set to be released in 2013 in the U.S. (since that one was critically panned in the U.K. where it was released last year). My favorite Coen Brothers film is still Raising Arizona, and though I doubt this material will be anything that zany and awesome, it could potentially be up there with No Country For Old Men greatness.

8. Her – Two of Spike Jonze’s three movies (Being John Malkovich and Adaptation) are in my top fav 50 films of all time, and though I wasn’t as enamored with his third film (Where The Wild Things Are), it’s not like it wasn’t good, it just wasn’t, well, Being John Malkovich / Adaptation good. So you can imagine when I heard he’ll finally be releasing his fourth film about “a man who falls in love with a computer,” I got a bit excited. The drawback, of course, is that once again he’s not working from a Charlie Kaufman script (which may have been the problem with Where The Wild Things Are, it’s certainly what set it apart from Jonze’s first two films). But with Annapurna Pictures behind him, I trust Spike Jonze to make, at the very least, a good, weird flick.

7. Nymphomaniac – Lars Von Trier has amassed a huge, and hugely talented, cast that includes Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgård, Uma Thurman, Christian Slater, Udo Kier, Shia LaBeouf, Jamie Bell, and Connie Nielsen, in a film (or maybe two films?) where a nymphomaniac (Gainsbourg) recounts her life from birth to age 50. In addition to the film possibly being split into two films, there will also be two versions of the film(s): one that’s explicit and almost certainly rated NC-17, and one that’s more palatable and for wider release. No one can say Von Trier doesn’t have some big balls–and as far as the size of Shia LaBeouf’s balls, don’t worry ladies, if you haven’t already figured out the size of everything down there from watching him bare it all in that Sigur Ros video, you definitely will when he supposedly performs real sex scenes with Gainsbourg in this film.

6. Star Trek Into Darkness – As far as the big tentpole franchises go, there will be a number of releases in 2013. Most, as usual, look disheartening. Do we really need another Fast and Furious? Another Percy Jackson? Is another Thor film really necessary or is it just a lead up to the second Avengers? But there is at least one big Summer blockbuster I’m looking forward to, and that is the sequel to J. J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot. J. J. Abrams’ first was so surprisingly on point that this second one has a lot to live up to, but even if this doesn’t eclipse the first film, I have a sneaking suspicion that it’ll still be a rip-roaring good time and perhaps one of the better cinematic experiences of the Summer.

5. Gravity – My reservations about Sandra Bullock’s acting ability aside (no, but seriously, can you name any movie she’s actually been good in? and please don’t say The Blind Side), I have been genuinely excited for this 2013 space odyssey for a number of years now. Originally slated for a late 2012 release, people have been raving about how visually this Alfonso Cuarón film might just be the next Avatar. If it melds the visual prowess of that James Cameron world with the brilliant storytelling of Cuarón’s previous work, then we’ll have a major movie achievement on our hands. Cuarón’s friend and fellow filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro has been on set and called the movie “completely mind-blowing.” If it can blow a mind as wacky and wild as Del Toro’s, I don’t even want to know what it’ll do to the average viewer’s brain. This is your brain, and this is your brain on Gravity.

4. Goodbye To Language 3D – When I first read the news item that Jean-Luc Godard was making a 3D film, I thought it must be a headline from The Onion. But no, Godard is actually making a film called Goodbye To Language 3D. If you’re unfamiliar with his recent work, I would say definitely proceed with caution, but if, like me, you loved Film Socialisme, then how could you not be stoked that Godard is continuing to make movies and only going further into uncharted territory? Here may be dragons, but here also may be genius.

3. Spring Breakers – Harmony Korine, love him or hate him, is one of the most unique voices in contemporary cinema. And in a time when everything is so homogenized, I look forward to his askew world view. Turning “good girl” Disney actresses (Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens) “bad” for his newest film, Harmony Korine has said this Spring break excess movie is about the “poetry of surfaces,” and on the surface, let’s face it, this looks like it could potentially finally be Korine’s masterpiece.

2. Like Someone In Love – Abbas Kiarostami is one of my favorite directors working today, and Certified Copy, which was released in the U.S. in 2011, was my favorite film of that year. Like Someone In Love, which will rework themes that Kiarostami explored in Certified Copy, has me hoping for a repeat of that film’s brilliance. It’s not a bad bet, there’s little risk involved, since most things Kiarostami does are pretty damn brilliant. Hence why he has people like Marty Scorsese saying: “Kiarostami represents the highest level of artistry in the cinema.” (Note: I wrote this before having seen Like Someone In Love. I have now watched the film, and I can report that I was not disappointed in the least. High expectations warranted and fulfilled. Review forthcoming.)

1. To The Wonder / Knight Of Cups / [Untitled Third Terrence Malick Project] – I’m cheating here because these are actually three separate films, but the fact that there may potentially be three Malick movies released this year is absolutely absurd (since he only released five films in his first forty years as a director). Of course, this could be the year where Malick finally releases something I’m not in love with–so far he’s batting a thousand–but even if one of these movies does fail to live up to expectations, I’m sure the other(s) will. I feel confident in saying that if Malick releases three films in 2013, one will almost certainly make my year-end top ten list.

Other films on my radar in the upcoming months are Scorsese’s The Wolf Of Wall Street (which, regardless of how good it is, sadly solidifies the director’s conversion to the digital format); the movie whose trailer made it look like a possible fourth Malick project, but was really just Zach Snyder’s new take on Superman: Man of Steel; an adaptation of the fantastic novel At Swim-Two-Birds by first-time director, actor Brendan Gleason, which may finally get made this year; Quentin Dupieux’s Wrong, a follow-up to his brilliant tire serial killer b-movie debut Rubber; A Most Wanted Man from director Anton Corbijn, based on the John Le Carré book of the same name; Michel Gondry’s Mood Indigo, which hopefully will be a huge step up from The Green Hornet; Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, sporting one of the most diverse casts I’ve ever seen (including Louis C.K., Andrew Dice Clay, Cate Blanchett, Bobby Cannavale, and Michael Stuhlbarg); Terry Gilliam’s promising return with The Zero Theorem, a movie about a man in an Orwellian future trying to solve a formula which will determine once and for all if life has any meaning; Chan-wook Park’s Gothic thriller Stoker; Danny Boyle’s art thief movie Trance; The Monuments Men from the always great (with the exception of Leatherheads) actor-cum-director George Clooney; a Jim Jarmusch vampire movie titled Only Lovers Left Alive; Ridley Scott’s The Counselor penned by Pulitzer prize-winning author Cormac McCarthy; Nicolas Winding Refn’s follow-up to Drive in the form of another Ryan Gosling-helmed film, Only God Forgives; Best Foreign Film Oscar-winner Asghar Farhadi’s new film The Past starring Berenice Bejo of The Artist fame; Steve McQueen’s follow-up to Shame with 12 Years A Slave (which also, thankfully, features my favorite actor du jour Michael Fassbender); Wong Kar Wai’s Yip Man bio The Grandmaster; and, though it was critically panned at Cannes, I’m also still curious to see Carlos Reygadas’ expressionist Post Tenebras Lux.

By the looks of things, 2013 could turn out to be a great year for movies. And who knows what could be lurking around the corner that isn’t even currently on my radar yet? I guess we’ll just have to watch and see. See you at the movies. Save me some popcorn.

Tyler Malone is the Editorial Director of PMc Magazine. He is also working on a novel and freelances for various magazines.


2013 in Film on Wikipedia

Written & Compiled by Tyler Malone

Photography Courtesy of Annapurna Pictures

Design by Jillian Mercado


Film Still from Spring Breakers, Photography Courtesy of Annapurna Pictures

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