Sunday, 2 March 2014


      And finally, we have arrived to the ultimate "Best of 2013" list where I talk about 25 movies that have entertained, inspired and educated me from last year, which is why I love them so much.

Honourable mention:
The Day of the Doctor
I know this is technically a TV show but it was screened in 80 countries (not in mine but what's new about that) and it was almost movie length and well, it was awesome. I regret not writing a big post on it (I was too busy watching it again and again and again). To make an episode that not only pays tribute to the Doctor Who tradition but also paves a new path for the future, bringing together two of the most popular modern Doctors and one superb John Hurt as the War Doctor, giving us action, humour and heartbreak in equal amounts, and at the end of the day make it all about the children because it is a show for children- so many proper feature films are incapable of achieving that "The Day of the Doctor" does, and with such success.

 Beautiful Creatures
Yes, I liked it more than probably everyone in the world. It just makes me happy to see two normal teenagers in love, even though one of them might technically be a witch or whatever. Plus, Emma Thompson and Emmy Rossum are a blast!

 Ernest and Celestine
One of the most beautiful looking films of the year with such a special story about artists and true companionship at heart.

 Pacific Rim
'Cuz it's fucking awesome.

 Captain Phillips
The most thrilling movie of the year with a surprising debut and career-best work by an acting giant.

 20 Feet from Stardom
Incredibly inspiring. When true talent doesn't get the due it deserves but people continue making art in spite of everything. Also, I wish I could sing! :'(

Yes, the singing thing again. Also, great to see Disney breaking away from its own tropes and embracing more human princesses while retaining all the splendour from its classic era. Hilarious, beautiful and in spite of the name, heartwarming.

 Short Term 12
Such a delicate story told with such control and balance and insight. Short Term 12 was nothing like I had expected to be and it really blew me away. Excellent performances by everyone, from the adults to those amazing kids.

The Bling Ring
"Only the shallow know themselves." People were put off by the hollowness of the teenagers depicted in the movie, but what we see is really what they are made off. One of the most biting portrayals of modern celebrity-obsessed culture but shown with such a patient, observant eye that we almost don't see the satire and get swept away by its exquisite look.

Blue Jasmine
While this year has been full of figures who absolute greed has corrupted absolutely, none have been as tragic as Cate Blanchett's Jasmine. A perfect balance of comedy and drama, with fantastic performances by Blanchett and Sally Hawkins.

 The World's End
Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost end their Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy with another genre-bending near-masterpiece about the dark effects of personal stagnation and alcoholism hidden under the facade of an apocalyptic comedy. I still have issues with its ending, but it honestly keeps getting better and better for me with every rewatch.

 Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
I had intended to make a post on why YJHD is one of my favourite movies of the year but if I were to narrow it down to one reason only, it would be because it is the closest thing to a 90s Bollywood movie I have seen in years. No, it's not perfect but it's thoroughly enjoyable, has addictively fun songs and Ranbir "Sex Eyes" Kapoor has never been better.

There is a sense of nostalgia that runs through Nebraska that really touched my heart. It could've been a really harsh comedy about the kind of people shown in the movie, but instead the film is incredibly human and gentle in the way it treats the chief characters.

This is the End
Just so freaking hilarious. Did not see that coming at all. It is kind of a spoof but it transcends that with a properly sensible plot and what it does with it. Kudos to all the actors playing madder versions of themselves too. Just look at Cera! If looks could kill...

 The Blue Umbrella
At one point during last year, I was convinced this will end up topping my year end list. I have a special place in my heart for Pixar shorts and this is one of their best. They take a simple idea and just make something extraordinary out of it. The path of true love for our little blue umbrella is not smooth and it has to get to its beloved, the red umbrella. All of this is shown in splendid animation.

A cross between a coming of age movie, a fairytale and a thriller, Mud moves with such an assured pace, interweaving these elements effortlessly. Of course none of this would have been possible without its perfect cast- Tye Sheridan, Matthew McConaughey and Jacob Lofland.

 Blue is the Warmest Colour
My film studies professor said that he was disappointed by Blue because he felt it was too conventional. The only reason the story seems conventional because it has happened to most of us. The film captures the pleasures and pain of first love better than I have ever seen in this medium. Of course, the film's life resides in its two actresses, Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux, who are both stunningly good in it.

 Spring Breakers
It is the most wildly original movie I saw in 2013. It has so much to say and so much to show that even trying to define it in any way seems pointless and kind of insulting to the grand scheme of Harmony Korine. Just take it all in and spring break forever, bitches.

I love simple stories that have something important to say. Wadjda, in a sentence, is about a girl in Saudi Arabia who wants to ride a bike. It is as uncomplicated and as profound as that.

'Cuz it's so pretty! Yes, there is also disturbing stuff and "finding your true self" stuff and Matthew Goode's sexy stuff but ultimately, I adore Stoker because of the way it looks and sounds. Gorgeous.

 The Lunchbox
Exactly what I said about Wadjda except this also has a romance angle to it and it has a superb cast of Indian character actors. It is the kind of movie Indian filmmakers should focus on making.

I occasionally suffer from movie-induced depression and I swear I went through that after watching Her. It is so lovely and so sad. As I read somewhere on Twitter, "it is both a timely and a timeless romance." This is the most perfect description of Her that I have seen. Also, the world that Spike Jonze has created in this film, along with the performances by Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson- all of it just floored me.

Many people are scared that Gravity won't be as good when seen on small screen and I disagree because though we definitely don't get the total movie theatre effect, this film expands far beyond the idea of  "visually spectacular blockbuster". There is such heart in the movie and a very important theme about the strength of human spirit that can strive against all odds, and once you do see that, the film is revealed to be a cinematic treasure for doing the things it did and being so deceptively powerful.

Frances Ha
It's one of those movies that I love because I can relate to it. No, I'm not 27 or a dancer and I don't live in New York either. However, the idea of being directionless and confused is something I know far too well. Again, it is not on the level of Frances, but I have my days, and she has become an almost role model in the sense that she she still manages to remain funny and charming throughout it. It is altogether a delightful movie that is full of unforgettable moments and one wonderful performance by Greta Gerwig.

The Wolf of Wall Street
The most fun I have had in the theatres in the longest time. The film is outrageous, crazy, obscene, astonishing and I love every second of it. From the direction to the writing to all those brilliant actors, lead by Leo DiCaprio who surpassed all my expectations of him and then some in this movie, to the bleak truth that it confronts its audiences with, WoWS is basically amazeballs and I want to see it over and over again.

 Stories We Tell
There were moments in Sarah Polley's Stories We Tell where I just wondered about how awkward it must be for her to dig into her own past in this way. But then, the film reveals its main ploy and it becomes something more than a film about personal discovery- it becomes an exploration about memories and stories and how they are universal things that all human beings can relate to. But at the same time, the heart of the movie remains very much with these loving people in Polley's family and their feelings and thoughts. It is that balance that Polley manages, never losing the emotional gravity of these personal memories while also intellectually investigating this common human trait, that impressed me most about this film. It is one of the best films I have ever seen.

      And that's it. I hope you liked my choices. You can also check out my: 
  1. Favourite Performances
  2. Favourite Shots
  3. Favourite Scenes
  4. Favourite Everything Else including Characters, Villains, Objects, Ensembles, Accents and Quotes

     Now to move on to 2014. Anyone wants to make bets on whether or not The Lego Movie will remain in my top 10 of 2014? Too soon? :/


  1. I very much enjoyed reading your list. It will look a lot like mine. I just have some films I need to see before doing my list.
    Stories We Tell is my favorite documentary of last year. It is just fascinating and much more ambitious than The Act of Killing which relies a lot on shocking us with its horrible story. This is top 10 material for me, maybe even top 5.
    I didn't see Before Midnight on your list. What did you think of it?
    I have not seen The Lego Movie yet but is was sure nice to see it is a critical and commercial surprise.

    1. Oh cool. I shall check out your list.
      I think Stories We Tell and Act of Killing are two extremes of ambitious, and they both achieve what they set out to do, but I like feeling of humanity in the former than all the hatred towards inhumanity in the latter.

      I really appreciated Before Midnight on a cerebral level, but it broke my heart and I can't be objective towards it.

      The Lego movie is AWESOME! (I know that's a cliche now but seriously, it totes is)

  2. Stories We Tell at #1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Freaking love the hell out of that movie. It's currently my #3 (behind Laurence Anyways and Blue is the Warmest Color) but MY GOD am I happy to see it top your list!

    1. Yaaaayyyy!!

      Ooo I love that you loved Laurence Anyways so much. It just missed out from being in this list but I loved it still.

  3. Great list! I have seen most of your picks, and the films were great.

  4. i have been constant reader of your awesome blog since i found it . . . . Kudos to you :)

    such a great list you created & the previous series too .[ but i quite didn't like YJHD & yet to watch The Lunchbox . . . did you see Ship of Theseus & Shahid ? these are such a strong indian cinema . ]

    Nirav / India .

    1. Aww thank you so much :)

      I was unable to watch Ship of Theseus but it's on my watchlist.

  5. Woo hoo! Gravity and WOWS in the top 5! I was a little underwhelmed by Stories We Tell, but it's great that it tops your list.

    The Lego Movie will make your list because everything is awesome!

    1. Those two are awesomesauce!

      YESSS it will be!