The 20 Best Films of 2013

12/18/2013 4:00 AM |

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Frances Ha
Noah Baumbach

Baumbach and Greta Gerwig collaborated sparklingly on this black-and-white film about someone realizing (or growing into the realization) that they’re treading water. Cowriting with Gerwig, Baumbach creates more finely drawn cultural portraiture, with quotably apt lines that capture entire milieux in semisatirical miniature.
Nicolas Rapold

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Inside Llewyn Davis
Joel and Ethan Coen

This is a hauntingly muted rendition of the Coens’s entropic picaresque, in which a folk singer trudges through 60s Greenwich Village, stuck at a creative crossroads, managing to still his bitterness only when he picks up his guitar. Here, the brothers, well-known for cracking wise, strike a deep chord: Llewyn Davis is a fresh perspective on a fabled scene, and a tale of artistic dejection, rejection, and self-sabotage suffused with the retiring light of winter. 
Benjamin Mercer