Film Reviews

James Janowsky’s Top 2013 Films

By • Feb 28th, 2014 •

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Best Film: 12 YEARS A SLAVE (GRAVITY, runner-up)

Best Actor: Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 YEARS A SLAVE)

Best Actress: Cate Blanchett (BLUE JASMINE)

Best Supporting Actor: Michael Fassbender (12 YEARS A SLAVE)

Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong’o (12 YEARS A SLAVE)

Best Animated Feature: FROZEN

Best Cinematography with little or no CGI: Bruno Delbonnel (INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS)

Best Cinematography with extensive use of CGI: Emmanuel Lubezki (GRAVITY)

Best Costume Design: Michael Wilkinson (AMERICAN HUSTLE)

Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón (GRAVITY)

Best Documentary Feature: THE ACT OF KILLING

Best Film Editing: Dan Hanley, Mike Hill (RUSH)

Best Foreign Language Film: OMAR

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Debra Denson (LEE DANIEL’S THE BUTLER)

Best Original Score: Steven Price (GRAVITY)

Best Original Song: “Ordinary Love” (MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM) Music by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen; Lyric by Paul Hewson

Best Production Design: K.K. Barrett, Gene Serdena (HER)

Best Sound Editing: Glenn Freemantle (GRAVITY)

Best Sound Mixing: Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro (GRAVITY)

Best Visual Effects: Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk and Neil Corbould (GRAVITY)

Best Adapted Screenplay: Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope (PHILOMENA)

Best Original Screenplay: Spike Jonze (HER)

Here are several 2013 films not mentioned above that I think people should see:

AFTERNOON DELIGHT (interesting exploration in marriage, LA, and sex)

BEFORE MIDNIGHT (a fitting third film in the trilogy)

BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR (for the perfomances)

CAPTAIN PHILLIPS (Tom Hanks performance is spectacular)

CONCUSSION (exploration of suburban boredom and sex)

CRASH REEL (doc) (Lucy Walker is a great filmmaker)

CUTIE AND THE BOXER (doc) (explores the NYC art scene and marriage)

DALLAS BUYERS CLUB (for the perfomances)

DON JON (looking forward to seeing Joseph Gordon-Levitt next film)

ENOUGH SAID (every rom-com should be this mature and funny)


GLORIA (a foreign film that explores the life of an older woman)

GO FOR SISTERS (one of John Sayles’ best)

THE GREAT BEAUTY (good, but Fellini lite)

THE HUNT (could win a Best Foreign-Language Oscar on Sunday)

IN A WORLD… (wonderful first feature by Lake Bell)

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (Joss Whedon’s adaptation was great!)

MUD (a really great film!)

NEBRASKA (really loved Alexander Payne’s film. Wonderful and real performances)

THE PAST (director Asghar Farhadi is a modern master)

THE PATIENCE STONE (underrated foreign film)

THIS IS MARTIN BONNER (a wonderful indie film)

SHORT TERM 12 (good first feature. Brie Larson is great in the film)


SIMON KILLER (director Antonio Campos is someone to watch)


STORIES WE TELL (doc) (Sarah Polley made one of the best docs of 2013)

THE SQUARE (Doc) (one of the best docs of the year)

A TOUCH OF SIN (very violent, but interestingly compelling)

WADJDA (a groundbreaking film)

THE WAY, WAY BACK (funny film, Sam Rockwell is great!)

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (for Leo and Jonah’s performance and the film’s energy)

THE WORLD’S END (so clever, so funny, so good)

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