In the lead-up to the unveiling of our definitive Top 50 Films of 2013 list, we’ve asked some friends of Paste to tell us their favorites of the year. Tune in for a different list each day. Today’s contributor is Karin Hayes, who directed last year’s We’re Not Broke (pictured) as well as Pip & Zastrow and The Kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt, among others.
Here are some top films I saw in 2013. in no particular order.
Director Lucy Mulloy’s debut film fully immersed me in the sights and sounds of Havana, Cuba, and took me on a heart-pounding journey through the compelling characters.
A purely fun romantic comedy with Vera Farmiga and Andy Garcia. I’m always thrilled to find a film that actually makes me laugh.
These Birds Walk
A beautiful and moving documentary film by Omar Mullick and Bassam Tariq.
Dallas Buyers Club
The story drew me in, and Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto’s outstanding performances made it come to life.
The Place Beyond the Pines
Great performances by Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper and Eva Mendes. This story made me reflect on generational cycles of violence, those with the courage stand up for what’s right, and unintended consequences of decisions.
Hank and Asha
A sweet fictional love story told through video conversations between the couple, like a modern-day diary. I enjoyed being a voyeur to their tale.
The Dark Matter of Love
I saw this at the Toronto Film Festival. This documentary follows a family with one biological child through the adoption of three children from Russia. The year in the life shows the challenges, heartache and ultimate bonding that finally occurs with the integral help of two developmental psychologists and the parents’ commitment. An ultimately heartwarming film that shows potential deep challenges of family bonding.
I loved the colors and design of the film. Joaquin Phoenix’s character made falling in love with a computer seem to be a realistic, yet bittersweet future possibility.
Only Lovers Left Alive
Jim Jarmusch’s film combined humor with centuries of history and love for an original take on vampires in a modern world.
The fact that this film was based on a true story (and that the real Philomena spoke after the screening I attended) made it even more powerful. Even with the years of pain she endured, Philomena’s incredible grace has stayed with me.
Lists from other friends of Paste:
Director Lynn Shelton
Director Megan Griffiths
Producer Natasha Giliberti
Author Kayli Stollak
Actor Josh Radnor
Author Anna Goldfarb
Director Dan Mirvish
Director Paul Rachman
Producer Anne Hubbell
Director Stacie Passon
Actor Sophia Takal
Actor Beth Grant
Actor Tallie Medel
Director Adam Leon