For someone who has read the book, I have high expectations for this film. Thankfully it doesn't ruin the said expectation (yet). While it takes the route of usual romance trailers, I like how it doesn't spoil anything for the non-reader, but it gives life to those pages we've all read, leading to that end. Shailene Woodley does look the role, and she has good chemistry with Ansel Elgort. Elgort does look like he's going to nail the role, as Augustus is supposed to be charming and well-liked. Hopefully the film does not disappoint.
It's been some time since a film has a profound meaning in my life, and after watching Frances Ha, I found myself staring at a film version of me: a twenty something year old who hasn't got her shit together in life. I'm a firm believer that at 25 you should have some kind of direction in your life. Frances Ha pretty much reminded me of that, and even if I'm still a couple of years away from that, I actually feel freaked out. Realizing something about yourself in a 90 minute film does say something about the work, doesn't it?
How far would we go for a friend? When is the line between genuine friendship and obsession crossed? Barbara is a teacher who always felt alone, especially after her only friend has left. She meets the new art teacher Sheba Hart, and determined that she would be her new friend, the replacement for her old one. The relationship works to her advantage when she seizes an opportunity to hold on to Sheba after uncovering her secret. What follows is Barbara's prodding into Sheba's life wanting to be part of it, that she would go to a different extent that would eventually threaten the relationship.
Working like a simple yet complex poem, Closer embarks on the joys and pains of romantic relationships, entwining itself among four people from different stances of life. There's Dan, a wannabe writer who writes eulogies. He's in a relationship with Alice, a stripper who went to London to get away from things. Then there's Anna, a photographer who later on embarks in a relationship with Larry, the doctor. While not a stand-off work, its beauty comes from its flowery dialogue, the sharp cinematography and the stand out performances of two of its actors. It flows in a span of years, giving glimpse per glimpse of how love can make or break people.
The first Zoe Kazan feature I've seen was Ruby Sparks, and she was delightful in it. Now teaming up with New Girl's Jake Johnson (whose film work I appreciate better than his sitcom stuff), Kazan brings to life two sisters who could have been nothing alike. While the trailer pretty much explains everything that's going to happen (leaving nothing to the imagination), it looks charming. Let's just hope it doesn't disappoint.
I've seen bits of The Departed maybe once or twice, but I've never seen the whole movie until recently. The inkling to see it definitely paid off, as I was treated to a work with growing momentum, great performances and a smashing finale. It wasn't just a good cop, bad cop movie, but the characters had an identity that became their facade for deception, and they were a deceiving bunch indeed.
In a way, 2013 can be considered a good year for film, as there were obvious stand-outs from a roster ranging from really awful to cinematic classic. Even so, I haven't seen my share of releases this year, my count barely going over 50, and not all of them with quality. Still, there were some that have managed to make it to my favorites this year, albeit just a handful of them. I decided not to make a top list simply because there's so much I have yet to see. Here are my favorites from this year. The list is arranged alphabetically.