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Louise’s Pick: The Double
Honourable Mentions: Stoker, The Sacrament, Willow Creek
Honestly, 2013 has probably been the most difficult year we’ve had so far in this retrospective. Every other article so far has had a movie that just leapt out at me; one that just made this choice an easy decision. But 2013 has a lot of good, not a lot of great – lots of movies that I enjoyed, would recommend, but not many that made me go “Oh, yes.”
That said? This might be the exception to this rule. Richard Ayoade came on to the cinema scene with the brilliant, bizarre little coming-of-age story Submarine, and that would have been good enough to cement his place in the indie auteur category – but The Double stepped that up and then some. A loose adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s novel of the same name, starring Jesse Eisenberg as the titular Double(s), it’s a pitch-black nightmare of a comedy that’s somewhere between Terry Gilliam’s masterpiece Brazil and the industrial terror of Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy. And it’s fucking brilliant.
The Double is a film for film lovers; the nerds like me who want to read poetry in the language of cinema. The dynamic direction, electric central performance(s) from Eisenberg, the pin-sharp script – everything is built to indulge everything you know about the way stories are told on the big screen. Carefully controlled chaos, it’s the sort of movie that will have you gnashing your teeth in irritation that this is the last movie that Richard Ayoade ever directed. 2013, in a lot of ways, isn’t my favourite year for film – but The Double makes a damn good case for itself, and, as a film for people who just can’t get enough geeky film minutaie, it earns its place as my pick of the year.
Kev’s Pick: The World’s End
Honorable Mentions: Stoker, Prisoners, Before Midnight
For myself, picking my best movie of 2013 was really easy. My honorable mentions are filled with films I loved but wouldn’t rush to watch again. In comparison, The World’s End is a film I could watch every single day.
The final edition of the Cornetto Trilogy, The World’s End is by far my favorite. Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are classics, one a brilliant send-up of zombie films (while also being better than most of them), and Hot Fuzz is what happens if you cross a Michael Bay movie with The Wicker Man. They are a treasure to any film fan, but I feel that The World’s End elevates what Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Wright have achieved with the two previous entries. While Shaun and Fuzz had stories about relationships, romance, and friendship, The World’s End is the first in the series that transcends the parody to drive home a powerful emotional story.
The Oydessy of a pub crawl taken on by Gary, Andy, Steven, Oliver, and Peter is a story of friendship’s destructive affect, the battle to reclaim youth, substance abuse, and mental illness, while still being one of the funniest films of the decade. The cast is brilliant, particularly Simon Pegg as Gary, and Edgar Wright is firing on all cylinders, combining the excitement and terror of Invasion of the Bodysnatchers with the glorious mundanity of modern life and it’s emotional trials and tribulation. Oh, and the action is the pre-John Wick mark to beat. And what more could you want from that?
By Kevin Boyle
(header image via Time Out)