Best Overlooked Films of 2013

2013 was without a doubt a great year for films and has seen huge releases like Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, Gravity and Catching Fire. However there were certainly some films that slipped under the public’s radar that were just as good, if not better than this year’s blockbusters. Here’s a list of seven films that were overlooked this year and that you need to see.

The Kings of Summer
Coming of age film about three boys who build a house in the woods and vow to live off the land. It premiered at Sundance and was nominated for their grand jury prize but only had a small, selected, release in the UK. However with its clever and witty humour, beautiful cinematography and addictive soundtrack, it’s one of the best comedies to grace 2013. It has the feel of a modern day John Hughes film and it perfectly captures the feeling of adolescence, making you nostalgic…and very glad you’re not fifteen anymore.

Much Ado About Nothing
Let’s be honest, when did you last see a great, modern, Shakespeare, film adaption? Most tend to miss the mark or use the term ‘loosely adapted’ to get away with destroying Will’s work. But fear not, Joss Whedon (The Avengers, Buffy) has cured this with his stunning and simplistic rendition of Much Ado, which was impressively shot in just 12 days at his house. Filmed in black and white with a simplified setting and Shakespeare’s original language it feels timeless. One of the most impressive feats of this film is the use of comedy, Whedon manages to highlight the original comedy of the play and bring. it to life in modern way without downplaying the audience’s intelligence. A no-fuss film, with outstanding performances, that brings Shakespeare to
life on film.

Before Midnight
The third film in Richard Linklater’s ‘Before’ trilogy. Set nine years after the second film Before Sunset it follows the couple on holiday in Greece struggling with their relationship. One of the reasons it’s such a spectacular film is its ability to capture such an honest and realistic snapshot into a relationship. Its long takes, naturalistic dialogue and fantastic performances leave you feeling as if you know the characters. However, this isn’t to be watched as a singular film, whilst it can hold up by itself, the knowledge of the last two films is important, if not vital. Watching the entire trilogy is strongly advised, maybe with a glass of wine, or a bottle, to numb all the feelings you will feel.

Spring Breakers
Four college girls go on spring break and embark on a crazy adventure filled with booze, sex, drugs and guns. A somewhat controversial pick. I like to call this a marmite film; you either love it or hate it. The trick with this film is to go in with no expectations, ignore the Disney stars (Vanessa Hudgens & Selena Gomez) and the reputation of the director (Harmony Korine) and allow yourself to go along with it. Because what this film does very well is it captures an atmosphere and energy. Its high charged colours, loud, unavoidable soundtrack and repetitive, offbeat narrative give it a life of its own. Also, don’t take it too seriously, it’s an art film but you can tell the director is very tongue in cheek. He did after all put in a 4 minute sequence of the girls robbing people, to ‘Every Time’ by Britney Spears.

Filth
An adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s novel about a reckless police man trying to secure a promotion at his job, whilst juggling his inner dreams and drug addiction. A dark yet very funny film which pushes your expectations and delivers a brilliant film with James Mcavoy’s best performance to date. With constant twists in style, tone and narrative it will keep you guessing and it isn’t afraid to take the audience on a journey into the protagonist’s dark, twisted mind. If you loved Trainspotting, this film is it’s even more off kilter friend that you have to meet.

Honorable Mentions:

Stoker
India’s father dies, leaving her with her unstable mother. Her uncle Charlie moves in and she becomes both suspicious of, and infatuated with him. It’s like a modern day Hitchcock with even more eroticism.

Frances Ha
A comedy drama about Frances, an intern at a dance company, whose life begins to unravel. Set in New York and shot in black and white, it has the makings of a pretentious mumble-core film; instead it is honest, awkward and endearing.

The Way Way Back
Another coming of age film about a boy working at a water-park during his summer vacation and his unlikely friendship with the park’s manager. A beautifully awkward film about growing up and taking charge of your own life.

NATHALIE GRACE SAUNDERS

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