August 23, 2013

NYFF 2013: Excitement, Disappointments, and My Must See List

To say that I was anxiously waiting for the lineup for this year's New York Film Festival would be an understatement. The start of the film festival season is always an exciting time for me; especially living in New York. Since, I'm too poor for Cannes, too far from SXSW, and can't travel to the Toronto Film Festival, NYFF is my only saving grace (until Tribeca next year.) Last year my schedule was so busy, that I was only able to catch a few films (one being the secret screening of Lincoln where I later shook the hand of Mr. Steven Spielberg.) This year my schedule is set and I'm happy to say that I will be able to see a handful of films from this year's selection. When the list was released I was both excited and a tad disappointed. I think most would agree that the selection this year is very impressive and any film-y would be in heaven (and trust me, I am.) However, there were a few films that I was really hoping would come our way (mostly from Toronto.) Most of the films showing at the NYFF were also shown at Cannes, which is pretty exciting. Sure, it was probably a bummer for the lucky people who went to Cannes and saw these films already, but for us this is a real treat.

I'll get my disappointments out of the way because it's very small and insignificant.  I have been moaning about not being able to attend the Toronto Film Festival. Every year around the time of the festival I am back in NY starting my classes. This year is no exception and it is killing me. The selection is so good and I really did have my heart set on a few films coming to NYFF.  The few films I was hoping to see overall were:

  • 12 Years A Slave- When it was mentioned that a few returning directors would be showing their films at NYFF I immediately thought of Steve McQueen. I was in attendance when Shame made its US film debut at NYFF 2 years ago, and was really hoping 12 Years a Slave would be there this year.
  • The Wolf of Wall Street- Some people still think this might be the secret screening (I doubt it, personally....) but I thought this would've been nice to see. Considering the subject matter, it would make for the film to make its grand debut at NYFF to generate some buzz.
  • American Hustle- I know, I know, it was a long shot. A girl can dream, can't she!?
  • Foxcatcher- This film is getting so much attention and I was crossing my fingers that it would pop up on the list. Again, it was a long shot, but I am pretty sure it will play at a festival sometime soon.
However, I am not all that bothered, because we have an excellent lineup with a record breaking 32 films!  After reading through all of them here are my list of must sees at the NYFF 2013:

Blue is the Warmest Colour
This one was a no brainer. Critical acclaim and won the Palm D'Or at Cannes. I was hearing incredible things about 'Blue' and how it made people feel afterwards. It just received a NC-17 rating so this will definitely be the hottest ticket at the festival.

Captain Phillips
Have you seen the trailer for Captain Phillips? It is very exhilarating and I predict there will be a stellar  performance from Mr. Hanks. This will definitely start the awards buzz, so I'm pretty excited.

There are actors who are just so good and talented that it kind of freaks you out a bit. Joaquin Phoenix is one of those actors for me. The amount of attention this film is getting based on the trailer alone is outstanding. I feel like this film in particular is really going to be the highlight of the festival.

Only Lovers Left Alive
I want to see this one badly. I love Tilda, I love Tom.  I feel that they will redeem this poor vampire genre, that has been so badly abused by young adult films, books, and TV shows. Tilda is the Queen of weird, and this definitely looks weird, cool, sexy, and strange. I mean, how can you pass up a film like that?

I didn't know a lot Nebraska before this was announced, but from what I've heard (and read) this is a must see when it comes to the actors' performances. I am a fan of Will Forte from SNL fame and I love when comedic actors' break out into other genres.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
When I was in middle school I had to read The Secret of Walter Mitty. My assignment afterwards was to write a story about an adventure Mitty would dream about (since he has such an active imagination.) I made Walter become a Clark Gable type movie star who was walking the red carpet of his own premiere. It was good. I got an A. I was always intrigued by the story and I like that they've updated the story to make it fresh and new. Again, this will be a big seller. 

Alan Partridge
While I was in London this summer I would see a lot of this character named Alan Patridge. Had no clue who Steve Coogan was playing, but apparently this character is pretty popular in the UK. So much so that it is now coming to the festival. It's an interesting choice and one I was surprised to see on the list. However, I love British comedies and I am missing London at the moment.

About Time
All Is Lost
Child of God
The Imigrant
Inside Llewyn Davis
The Invisable Woman
Like Father, Like Son
Stranger By the Lake
Le Week-End


  1. Nice post and I share you sentiment about being jealous of all the people going to TIFF. This is a cool lineup for New York though.

    What do you think is happening on the last day? It seems strange that Her is playing on the Saturday.

    1. Maybe the Secret Screening, but I think it's going to be some kind of surprise.