Gravity (US/UK) – unlike Roy I wasn’t bothered by Ryan’s (Bullock) backstory, maybe I was busy being ‘blown away’ by the visuals. It has the best use of 3D I’ve seen, when the tears come into focus as they drift towards us was particularly effective. Clooney’s paternal voice, I think, worked brilliantly to emphasis Ryan’s task when she’s left alone to survive.
Before Midnight (US) – like Gravity, Richard Linklater excels in his use of long takes enabling us to wonder at Julie Delpy’s and Ethan Hawke’s embodiment of their characters. The only downside to anticipating the next film is I will be so much older.
Philomena (UK) – it was fascinating to see Steve Coogan’s persona inhabiting the Martin Sixsmith character adding real wit to what might have been ‘simply’ a grim indictment of the Catholic Church.
McCullin (UK) – an insight into one of the greatest war photographers. McCullin’s humanity is juxtaposed with the inhumanity of what he has photographed.
Lore (Aus-Ger-UK) – Cate Shortland’s brilliant ‘arty’ direction enhances this story about the fate of children of Nazis in the immediate aftermath of the war.
The Impossible (Spain) – a combination of gripping story-telling, the tsunami disaster of 2004, and fabulous special effects made this the roller coaster ride of 2013.