Showing posts with label Lincoln. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lincoln. Show all posts

Friday, 24 January 2014

Top 10 of 2013

January 25th 2014 marks the second birthday of this blog and following on from last year, I've again chosen the day before this anniversary as the day to post my Top 10 films of the previous year. The extra month from December has given me the chance to catch up on some of the cinematic releases I missed earlier in the year as well as see some of this year's crop of Oscar nominated films. I saw a lot fewer films in 2013 than in 2012, partly thanks to a new job and partly because of a mid year blip during which I briefly lost the love of writing and subsequently watched fewer movies. Nevertheless I saw a total of 271 films of which 94 were eligible to be included on this list. (Last year's numbers were 391 & 100). To be included, I had to see a film that was released in UK cinemas between 25/01/13 and 24/01/14. Because of the slightly odd timing for an end of year list and crappy cinema release dates in the UK, a few of last year's Oscar nominated films were eligible for this list and films such as Her, Dallas Buyers Club and Inside Llewn Davis, which haven't been released yet cannot be included. The films below begin at my 10th favourite of the year, progressing to my favourite and I've also included my girlfriend's top 5 for a female/weirdo perspective. There's no bottom 5 this year because I didn't see enough of the truly awful films. As always, click on a film's title for a full review (if I wrote one).

10. Rush. As a huge Formula One fan I had my doubts about an American director taking on one of the sport's most fierce rivalries but Ron Howard captured the two personalities of Hunt and Lauda brilliantly. He also captured the speed, danger and to some extent noise associated with the sport as well as the grease and glamour that accompanies it. As a fan of the sport, I felt that the film stayed true to the routes of the story yet entertained and my girlfriend was enraptured by the movie as much as I was despite only enjoying the sport for Jenson Button's face. The movie looks great and sounds incredible while it allowed one of my favourite actors, Daniel Bruhl to give a fantastic performance that helped him reach a larger audience than ever before.

Saturday, 26 January 2013


Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln takes a small chunk of Abraham Lincoln’s remarkable life and brings to the big screen a momentous moment in American history. Set in the early months of 1865 with the Civil War still raging after four years, US President Abraham Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis), fresh off the back of a second election win is trying to pass the 13th Amendment to the Constitution which will abolish slavery for good from the United States. The issue, which was one of the reasons America became divided in the first place is just as divisive in the House of Representatives where Lincoln and his Republican Party need a two-thirds majority for the Amendment to pass. Through rhetoric, barter, pleading and persistence, Lincoln and his staff try to sway the votes of twenty lame duck Democrats before the session comes to a close.

Lincoln is a fascinating film which treats its audience as intellectual equals and doesn’t shy away from long passages of legal and political spiel. Having studied Politics and University and with an interest in the American Civil War, the film was always going to grab my attention but even those who know little of the period will find some interest in the deeply woven script and fantastic performances.