To be a voracious and discerning cinephile living in a country that has very discouraging limitations when it comes to releasing certain films really doesn’t bode well for my screen junkie soul. While living in the Philippines certainly has its merits in many aspects, a diverse and unfettered moviegoing experience perhaps isn’t one of them. While we may get the usual mainstream Hollywood fare during the summer blockbuster season, the local theaters in my country barely show any love for indie films or movies that are usually promoted or featured at the top international film festivals such as Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Sundance, and Toronto; films that would often end up in the radar of award-giving bodies such as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), the industry consortium responsible for presenting the highest achievement within the filmmaking world—the Academy Award.
But just because I haven’t seen many movies in the past twelve months because of my country’s ridiculous theatrical release hang-ups doesn’t mean that I haven’t enjoyed those select few I’ve managed to see. Whether I’ve seen it inside a movie theater or in my bedroom playing on my laptop screen, I have managed to draw up ten films of 2013—in no particular order, mind you—that have made a great impression upon me. Be reminded that because of the aforementioned issues I have with my country’s MO on international film releases, I have not yet seen the crop of critically-acclaimed films which have received serious Oscar attention (i.e. “12 Years A Slave”, “Her”, “Blue Jasmine”, “American Hustle”, etc.). That being said, I hope you will take my Top 10 films with a grain of salt and discover something to broaden your horizons if you haven’t yet seen any other titles on my list.