2013 - the year in review: The best films of the year
This late masterpiece from Woody Allen boasted an extraordinary performance from Cate Blanchett as a delusional, Scarlett O’Hara-like heroine, clinging desperately to symbols of wealth and status even as her life unravels around her. After the relative feebleness of some recent Allen fare (Match Point, Cassandra’s Dream), it was heartening to see the director back at his very best.
All Is Lost
J C Chandor’s epic, existential survival story is likely to suffer by comparison with Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity but is a brilliant piece of work in its own right. Robert Redford excels as the rugged, solo sailor whose yacht is slowly sinking.
The Selfish Giant
Clio Barnard’s reworking of Oscar Wilde’s fairy story as a gritty realist drama is bound to be seen in future years as a classic to sit alongside Ken Loach’s Kes. It, too, shows the defiance, humour and dignity of young characters completely marginalised by mainstream society.
Gravity is a big-budget Warner Bros movie that feels as personal as the most idiosyncratic art house film. The technical wizardry and astonishing cinematography blinded some to what a bold and stark piece of storytelling it really was.
Blue Is The Warmest Colour
The subject matter – a lesbian affair between two very young women – predictably caused controversy but what made Abdellatif Kechiche’s drama so striking was its extraordinary technique. This is drama but Kechiche comes far closer to his characters than even the most probing and prying fly-on-the-wall-documentary director.
Discovery Of The Year
BFI Player Vod Service
The delight of the new BFI Player is the sheer variety and eccentricity of the fare on offer, everything from ancient Mitchell and Kenyon footage of obscure cricket matches – “Arthur Mold Bowling to A.N. Hornby” (1901) – to interviews from the archives, documentaries and new films. It helps that most of the material is free.
Turkey Of The Year
This engaging awful comedy adventure/murder mystery featured Status Quo’s venerable front men Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi roaming haplessly around a tropical island, bursting into song now and again and getting embroiled in games of Russian roulette. Ineptly made, atrociously acted, it nonetheless had a bovine cheeriness about it that made it very hard to dislike.
Glastonbury Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend will perform with Paul Weller as their warm-up act
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Katie Hopkins gives rare glimpse of sensitive side with heartfelt open letter to her children penned in case she dies from epilepsy
- 2 Rihanna's Met Gala dress took one Chinese woman 2 years to make, was reduced to omelette meme in 2 seconds
- 3 Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to replace Jeremy Clarkson and co
- 4 #JeSuisEd: People share photos of themselves eating awkwardly in solidarity with Labour leader
- 5 Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
General Election 2015: Sturgeon claims Scots 'appalled' by Ed Miliband's refusal to work with SNP