Last weekend, we finally got a chance to record and release Episode 46 of our InSession Film Podcast, where we discussed our Top 10 Movies of 2013 as well as our first ever InSession Film Awards. And let me tell you, it was an amazing time. Not only did we break down the best and worst of 2013 in our Awards but diving into our Top 10 was really fun. Coming up with my Top 10 was a nightmare for me since there were so many great films in 2013, so really I have a Top 30.
It was great having Jon (Second Rate Report) on the show as he’s been an amazing partner and supporter of InSession Film. As usual Scott was fantastic too, although I’m sad to say that Episode 46 was his last appearance on our main show as a co-host. He will surly be missed. But if you haven’t, be sure to see Jon’s Top 10 list and Scott’s Top 10 list as well. There were many great films to consider for mine and any movie in my 11-20 is interchangeable with my #10. That’s how close they were to making the list and how much I adore them.
That being said (after the jump), let’s get into it and go over JD’s Top 10 Best Movies of 2013.
JD Duran’s Top 10 Movies of 2013:
10) About Time
About Time is not your typical rom-com by any means as it explores the possibilities of time travel to make your life as beautiful as you want it to be. Sure, some of it is stereotypical but the second half of the film was devastating. The script turns from romantic comedy to a father-son relationship that is charming, yet heartbreaking at the same time. It was moving, emotional and extremely captivating. And for that, it deserves to be on this list. Click here to read our full review.
Rush is the year’s biggest surprise that almost feels like it came out of left field. For a sport that is anything but popular in the U.S., Ron Howard captures the thrill of Formula-1 racing is the best way possible. Daniel Bruhl is incredible and has a great chemistry with Chris Hemsworth. Hans Zimmer’s score is also the best of the year, for me anyway, and adds a whole different layer to the film that was vital. It’s not just a surprise movie, but one of the best made films of 2013. Click here to read our full review.
If you like father-son stories, then Nebraska is the movie for you. Amazing performances from Bruce Dern and Will Forte make this story incredibly captivating to watch. The script is funny and has some very well-written characters and the family dynamics explored here are too familiar if you’re a mid-westerner. However, it’s the father-son relationship and the deep layers that Alexander Payne explores that is moving and sure to pull out some emotion. The black and white aesthetic is also appropriate here. Click here to read our full review.
7) Spring Breakers
Somebody please nominate James Franco for some sort of award. His character of Alien in Spring Breakers was perhaps the most entertaining character we saw all year. He probably has the most quotable moments as well. He was absolutely hilarious alongside co-stars Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens. The style Harmony Korine brought was incredible as he explored Spring Break and the indulgence people have within it. The repetition he uses was perfect and purposeful which set the tone really well. The score by Cliff Martinez and Skrillex was amazing and fit the movie flawlessly. How can you not like this film? Absolutely amazing. Click here to read our full review.
6) Before Midnight
It’s not often that a trilogy seems to get better and better with time but Before Midnight is the cornerstone for this. Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawk continue their amazing journey with Celine and Jessie in new and deeper ways. This time around, we see new characters and the tone of the film is very different than the first two in the trilogy. However, the long tracking shots are familiar and the realism they are going for only transcends the first films. The dynamics we see with Hawk and Delpy are as good as they’ve ever been, which makes this film really fun to watch. Click here to read our full review.
5) 12 Years A Slave
12 Years A Slave is one of the most arduous films to watch in 2013 but also one of the more powerful and moving films as well. It’s hard to believe this is a story most of us have never heard before, which is a testament in itself. However, Steve McQueen brought it to life and didn’t hold back from intensity this story has at its foundation. Incredible performances from Chewitel Ejifor and Lupita Nyong’o carry this film through all the tough territories it goes down. And once again Hans Zimmer brings an amazing score that is appropriate as well as moving. Click here to read our full review.
Gravity is arguably the best 3-D movie of all-time and it’s an experience we’ve never seen before at the theater. This film is a great example of why we still go to the cinema. The thrill ride that Alfonso Cauron brought us is one-of-a-kind as you floated helplessly with Sandra Bullock through space. The camera work was flawless and the intensity never stopped. From the very beginning you feel like you’re a part of the movie, holding your breath and hoping you make it back to Earth. Bullock and George Clooney’s performances were wonderful. Not to forget that Steven Price’s score add some much crucial layers to the film. Click here to read our full review.
3) Inside Llewyn Davis
Joel and Ethan Coen already have a stellar resume and Inside Llewyn Davis just may be their best yet. It’s a great film about loneliness and the endless pursuit of our ambitions, notions that come alive in both the Coen’s steady hand over this story, but also in Oscar Isaac’s career performance. He is magnificent in every way. He’s funny, he’s charming, he’s an a-hole sometimes, but most importantly, he’s a great musician. The scenes of Llewyn playing his music creates such great irony that becomes palpable by the end. And boy oh boy, is the music of this film remarkable. I will probably listen to the soundtrack on repeat for the next four months. I cannot wait to see what Coens and Isaac do next, Inside Llewyn Davis is a gem of a film and easily one of the best of 2013. Click here to read our full review.
2) Blue is the Warmest Color
I haven’t fallen in love more with a character as I did with Adele in Blue is the Warmest Color. What Edele Exarchopoulus did in that film is truly stunning and beautiful. She was raw, intense and gave everything she had into that performance. Lea Seydoux was also great and had a fantastic, and crucial, chemistry with Exarchopoulus. The sex scenes, while graphic, were a vital piece that makes this story realistic in carrying the story forward. The story itself is captivating but also heartbreaking and emotional. It’s one that everyone can relate with, despite sexual preference. Click here to read our full review.
The world that Spike Jonze brings us is absolutely incredible. The technology they invent is fun and absolutely entertaining. It’s an obvious personal film to Jonze as the story deals directly with divorce and heartache. However, it’s the way he explores the healing process that sets this film apart. To go along with that, the satire on the over use of technology is compelling and the relationships started because of it, is an incredible depiction. The film is beautifully shot and only makes you want to be in this world more. Joaquin Phoenix is amazing as usual but Scarlett Johansson gives arguably the best performance of her career. It’s an absolute gorgeous film. Click here to read our full review.
We have yet to review Her on our podcast, but Scott and I will be doing an Extra Film segment on it, so be on the lookout for that as it will be coming very soon.
To round out the rest of JD’s Top 20, here is the rest of his list:
11) The Act of Killing
12) Upstream Color
13) Short Term 12
14) Captain Phillips
15) American Hustle
16) All is Lost
17) This is the End
18) The Wolf of Wall Street
20) The Great Gatsby
Let us know what you think. Do you agree or disagree with JD? We’d like to know why. Leave a comment in the comment section below or tweet us @InSessionFilm.