As awards season approaches, we look back on the films that deserve recognition at the many ceremonies to come in the new year.
Scroll to see the best films of the year
Gravity, an 'intimately personal' mega-production blockbuster, is being touted as a possible Oscar contender despite its apparent lack of plot.
But the technical wizardry and astonishing cinematography blinded some to what a bold and stark piece of storytelling it really was.
In the past three years, the Best Picture nominees have varied between historical dramas and more manipulated films like Life of Pi.
Although the decision has often come down on the side of the historical pictures, the buzz generated by Gravity suggests it could win.
Blue Jasmine, Woody Allen's glorious return to form, is also being seriously discussed as a long-shot contender for the role of Best Picture as critics have heaped praise on this director's latest film.
See below for The Independent's best films of the year
Top five films of 2013
Top five films of 2013
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.
2/6 Blue Jasmine
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.
3/6 All Is Lost
JC 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.
4/6 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.
5/6 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.
6/6 Turkey of the Year: Bula Quo
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.