North Texas Daily

Five 2013 Films You May Have Missed

Five 2013 Films You May Have Missed

Five 2013 Films You May Have Missed
November 22
16:12 2013

Cole Clay / Intern

Hundreds of films have been released in Dallas-Forth Worth this year. Some have been good, even fewer have been great and most have been bad. Naturally it’s a gamble to take a risk on minuscule independent films when cuddly Smurfs and ravenous Zombies are eating up your precious time at the movies. These are the films that you should have seen this year, but likely didn’t. These are the films that should receive Oscar recognition, but won’t.

5. “In A World”

Director: Lake Bell

Starring: Lake Bell, Demetri Martin, Rob Corddry

Why Is This Worth Your Time? The multi-hyphenate starlet Bell (“It’s Complicated,” 2009) wrote, directed and stars in this insightful story about a young woman trying to overcome the obstacles of being a woman in the male dominated profession of movie trailer voice-over work. Although this may seem like an unfamiliar sub, sub culture (which it is), Bell familiarizes the audience with the industry in hilarious fashion.

This is a promising debut feature from Bell, whose snarky personality shines through in her script and confident directing.

4. “Drinking Buddies”

Director: Joe Swanberg

Starring:  Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick

Why Is This Worth Your Time?  Writer-director Joe Swanberg (“V/H/S,” 2012) explores nearly every facet of male/female relationships. He asks, what brings and keeps them together? Why do we act a certain way?  Lastly, he proposes the most controversial question here, can members of the opposite sex be just friends?

This isn’t the fairy tale romance that moviegoers are used to seeing – it is instead a realistic portrayal of the social lives of everyday people. Wilde (“Cowboys And Aliens,” 2011) and Johnson (“New Girl,” 2011) are in the pantheon for the best “will they, won’t they,” since Ross and Rachel, and it doesn’t hurt that Wilde gives the best performance of her career.

3. “The Spectacular Now”

Director: James Ponsoldt

Starring: Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Jennifer Jason Leigh

Why Is This Worth Your Time? The two star-crossed lovers Teller (“21 & Over,” 2013) and Woodley (“The Descendants,” 2011) capture the beauty and intensity of first love with a level of authenticity that doesn’t fall into the usual tropes of high school romances caught on film. This film is sure to be a coming out party for Ponsoldt (“Smashed,” 2012) who brings a semblance of reality to his characters without being overwrought.

2. “Short Term 12”

Director: Destin Cretton

Starring: Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr., Rami Malek

Why Is This Worth Your Time?  There are plenty of positive superlatives to describe this emotional freefall, but none can compare to experiencing this film firsthand. “Short Term 12” is the story of a small group of 20-somethings that supervise a foster care facility for troubled teens who are victims of childhood abuse, depression and suicidal tendencies

Larsen’s (“21 Jump Street,” 2012) tearful performance is unlike anything that has featured on the big screen all year, maybe even the past few. This isn’t portrayed by simply telling you in black and white – Larsen’s performance taps into the shades of grey.

“Short Term 12” is a simple film that delicately weighs in on the human condition. It’s a long shot, but hopefully the Academy will remember this powerfully directed drama come awards season.

1. “Frances Ha”

Director: Noah Baumbach

Starring: Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver

Why Is This Worth Your Time? Set in contemporary times, this black and white darling follows a modern dancer named Frances played by Gerwig (“No Strings Attached,” 2011) as she tries to make a career in the Manhattan art scene. This light-hearted film derives its sense of humor from poking fun at these privileged hipsters, while simultaneously celebrating the culture.

Baumbach (“Greenberg,” 2010) teams up with Gerwig to write a screenplay that is by far the cleverest script of the year. This little flick was just added to Netflix instant streaming, so this is the perfect time to catch the most underrated film of the year.

Feature photo: Graphic by Nicole Arnold / Visuals Editor 

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