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.
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
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Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant