Monday, 6 January 2014

All at Sea in 2013

While I was sitting watching All is Lost the other day, I got an unshakeable feeling of deja vu. This was the fifth film I had watched this year that was set at sea and involved ships being wrecked or Somali pirates trying to take down a boat. I'm tempted to add The Impossible to this list as even though that film is not set at sea, it is also about how dangerous and unforgiving the ocean can be which is a factor in at least three of the below films.

Anyway forget the stars like Robert Redford and Tom Hanks, it seems to me that the biggest star of 2013 is the big blue, vast ocean. I loved all of these films and I see that many people have been putting Captain Phillips and All is Lost on their top 10 lists of 2013 so I thought I would give a shout out to a few other examples of sea-faring adventures in the modern world.

I've decided also that I just love a good survival story, especially true stories. That is another reason that The Impossible would kind of fit nicely onto this list. But also in recent years we have had Gravity (sadly not a true story) and 127 Hours, Touching the Void and World Trade Center. Perhaps I may have to make a list of my favourite survival stories next!

For now, please give these films a try if you're not sick of the sight of salt water already!


All is Lost

'If you found Gravity's cliched characters underwhelming then All is Lost is a welcome blast of fresh sea air.'


The Deep

'The Deep elevates the ordinary man into an extraordinary subject. It might not excite as much as a Hollywood version but it captures the drama of the sinking and subsequent survival with commendable restraint.'


Captain Phillips

'Contrasting the pirates' homes with the container yards makes for a sickening comparison of first world wealth hoarding and third world desperation. It really does not feel like the Somalis have much choice in what they do in life. They have been stripped of all opportunities and must take something back if they are to survive. The young actors give life and breath to the tragically young men that tangled with the far superior American forces. Captain Phillips is an underdog story of epic proportions where the underdogs never stand a chance.'


A Hijacking

'A Hijacking might not have the explosive action its title might suggest in a Hollywood film but it has high tension, high drama and high stakes. Though it skips the actual moment of hijacking, it never flinches from the psychological repercussions on the main players. For the 120 plus days depicted, it is completely captivating.'


Life of Pi

'Life Of Pi has taken eleven years to get from page to screen but is absolutely worth the wait. Ang Lee has created an unbelievably cinematic treatment of the novel. Though the film itself takes its time getting to the heart of the story, the cinematography is spellbinding, the score is stirring and newcomer Suraj Sharma gives a heartfelt and compelling performance as hero Pi.'

Any other examples I should see?

Why don't you stay awhile? More 2013 lists from I Love That Film:

Best British Films of 2013

TV in 2013: Breaking Bad, Dexter, The Walking Dead, Homeland and more

World Cinema in 2013

Best books I read in 2013

Top Documentaries of 2013

2013 List of Shame or 25 films I should have seen this year

2013 Top 10 Horror, Fantasy and Science Fiction

2013 Top 10 So Far (written in July)

Top 25 Films to see in 2014