Top 10 British Films Of 201316.12.13 # British Films # 3 Comments
So let’s delve into my top 10 British films of 2013. Ah, Great Britain. Grande Britannia. We gave Shakespeare to literature. The Beatles to popular music. And to cinema, we bequeathed an enduring icon of masculinity who happens to be star of one of the most popular series in motion picture history.
But that’s enough about Harry Potter. In 2013 British cinema delivered the usual mix of crackers and crapulence. How are we defining the term ‘British film’? A movie made in Britain, set in Britain, and/or with lots of Brits in it? That’ll do nicely. Here are my picks….
10. The World’s End
Okay, so yes, it was a disappointing finale to an adventure which had transported stars Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and director Edgar Wright from cult telly fave Spaced to playing with the big boys in Hollywood.
The fast-cutting, high octane filmmaking might have all been present and correct – indeed, even augmented further by some thunderous terrestrial vs. extraterrestrial barroom roughhousing – but the jokes were in short supply and the last 20 minutes of yuk-free yakking made you wish the world would hurry up and end that bit sooner.
9. The Rise
Take one intricate heist scenario and lather with lashings of manly banter and what do you get? Only The Rise, a young northern drama which aspired to be something like a Stone Roses record given celluloid life, but came in more about Shed Seven level.
Still, the Sheds were popular enough in their day (hi American readers) and The Rise served as a promising-enough debut from writer-director Rowan Athale, whose subsequent movies will undoubtedly show signs of him ‘getting better’ (groan, etc. – is that enough Shed f**king Seven yet?).
8. In Fear
Another feature debut, In Fear saw director Jeremy Lovering successfully spin a tense, claustrophobic tale of on-the-road torment in rural Ireland, he apparently denying his young cast access to the film’s full script in order that their fright appear as genuine as possible.
And while you ponder the probability and practicality of that titbit, also mull over the fact that the two male roles were filled by Iain De Caestecker and Allen Leech – meaning that Lovering should have called his movie Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. vs. Downton Abbey if he was REALLY serious about getting folks to go see it.
7. The Railway Man
Colin Firth stars as Eric Lomax, who meets his dream girl (played by Nicole Kidman) on a train and promptly marries her.
Blimey, 10 minutes in and the movie’s over – who’s up for a pint?
Er, not so fast, chugalug. From that starting point we proceed backwards, delving into Eric the Younger’s experiences as a wartime POW (played by Jeremy Irvine, who does a decent impersonation of older-ego Firth), toiling on the Burma-Siam railway.
Based on the best-selling memoir by Lomax (who died in 2012), The Railway Man offers a solid, well-made WWII story, while feeling a bit too much in the best possible taste to truly distinguish itself from similar tales told previously on the silver screen.
6. The Borderlands
A miracle occurs and the first reaction of the Vatican is to debunk it, sending a sozzled priest and a banter-loving cameraman to gather the evidence to do so. Yes, that’s right – found-footage film ahoy!
But hold on! For those able to put aside their prejudices, The Borderlands was a witty treat, with a surprisingly large amount of laughs in the early stages and ample scares in the latter, as the investigators came into inexorable conflict with the malign force behind that original ‘miracle’.
Top British Films 2013 – 5th to 1st >
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