Author Kayli Stollak’s Favorite Movies of 2013

Movies Features

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 author Kayli Stollak, who wrote this year’s Granny is My Wingman.

When I asked my Granny her opinion on the movie she said, “It’s ninety minutes of Sandra Bullock making orgasm sounds in outer space.” As always, Granny was more or less right, but the cinematic visuals under Bullock’s groans provoked me to release some pleasure moans of my own.

Captain Phillips
I pounded a bag of baby carrots from the suspense in this movie. A big bag of baby carrots. Tom Hanks is always spot on, but it was the performance of the Somali captor, Muse, that really grabbed me. I blame the pirate for my stomachache, but it was well worth the ride.

August: Osage County
The women in this film remind me of the ladies in my family, only difference is these gals are more articulate in the heat of a fight. Wildly dark yet sprinkled with moments of comedy, this claustrophobic film hit on several themes of womanhood and family that I love/hate to think about.

American Hustle
American Hustle was a film about self-reinvention, and after watching it I wanted to be reinvented into to Amy Adams’ character, purely to get the chance to wear dangerously low-cut dresses and frolic around in furs. Besides the killer Seventies wardrobe, everything from the dynamic cast to the twists in plot made this movie crazy entertaining to watch.

Frances Ha
Frances and Sophie are growing up and growing apart. Yikes. For us single girls in our twenties who are trying to get our lives together, remember to floss, and figure out what we want to be and who we want to love – our best friends are our everything. Frances is twenty-seven and beginning to feel the weight of her future, and it’s a heavier burden to bear when her best bud partners up on a path towards marriage (Double yikes. Aren’t we too young for that?). Best friendships between girls are delicate, complex, and often as, or more, emotional than our romantic ones, but unlike our BFs our BFFs really are forever… RIGHT?

The Bling Ring
Oy, kids these days… This bright, glitzy flick spotlights the dark issues with our consumerist, celebrity-obsessed culture where we’re judged by the façade of our possessions and glamorous Facebook profiles. Part of me wanted to gather these kids in a room for some hugs and hair braiding, the other part of me wanted to be shimmying and popping bottles along side them in the club.

Don Jon
Everyone watches porn, surprise! But Jon loves his porn more than he loves his sex—it’s the only way he can “lose himself”. Ugh. Relationships are pretty much doomed from here on out. Happy New Year!

I love a coming of age story, and I particularly loved the character of Ellis, a young boy with a romantic heart who desperately wants to believe that love is something that lasts forever. Oh, Ellis! Matthew McConaughey was a total stud too, but the story told through the eyes of Ellis was the real draw for me.

Inside Llewyn Davis
From the first shot of the film when Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) opened his mouth to serenade me (or the audience, I guess) I fell in love. Then I got to know this angry guy and my crush began to wane. Llewyn isn’t the most likeable character, but only because he reminds me of the darkness in those of us who call ourselves artists. He’s striving to maintain integrity while make something authentic in the midst of finding success in his art. Sadly this creative road is paved with doubt, contradictions, an impending sense of responsibility, and the acceptance of failure. But let’s be real, I still have a massive crush on him.

Behind the Candelabra
I only have one regret this year and it was not being Liberace for Halloween. Costumes, characters, story, plastic surgery, power, and sex? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! I loved it all.

Lists from other friends of Paste:
Director Lynn Shelton
Director Megan Griffiths
Producer Natasha Giliberti
Actor Josh Radnor
Author Anna Goldfarb
Director Dan Mirvish
Director Paul Rachman
Director Karin Hayes
Producer Anne Hubbell
Director Stacie Passon
Actor Sophia Takal
Actor Beth Grant
Actor Tallie Medel
Director Adam Leon

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