Entertainment

Glam Adelaide’s Best Films of 2023

Our film team round up their personal favourites from what has been a stonking year for cinema.

It’s been an interesting year for film, with the big “Barbie and Oppenheimer” weekend, the first of the newly annual Adelaide Film Festivals, and loads of incredible independent, and non-English-language films hitting our screens.

The Glam reviewers have rounded up their choice for the best of 2023.

From Heather Taylor Johnson

Top Pick:

I reviewed Speedway Boogie for Adelaide Film Fest and I’m still thinking about it. Unlike any true crime I’ve seen, this one recreates the night in question with the actors playing the roles of the victims doubling as narrators, talking us through possible scenarios, giving the deceased teenagers from the 1970s unsolved mystery a sense of agency. I think the concept is pure genius. Plus, the recreated fast food joint (set up on Goodwood Road, no less) and real-life uniforms sourced online are on-screen eye candy.

Speedway Boogie is yet to be released.

Runner-up:

Watching the charming and emotional love story between a man with children and a woman without in the French film Other People’s Children, I hadn’t a clue I’d respond so deeply over the following days to come. The chemistry between Virginie Efira and Roschdy Zem is exceptional, but it’s the quiet unfolding of the narrative that I kept returning to again and again after the credits rolled. Though there’s a strong feminist point to be made, it’s a feeling film and it touched me very deeply.

Read our review here.

Honourable mention:

Also from Film Fest is Club Zero, a surreal, satirical take on our time of conspiracy theories, the motif helped along by a deadpan Mia Wasikowska who leads a group of children into thinking they can live without food. Wasikowska always chooses quality films so she’s trustworthy, and the cultish aspect of wellness industry transported to a high school classroom means the funny side of the concept becomes cringe-worthy. It’s stylised black humour at its driest, and the ending is fabulous.

Read our review here

From Jack Seaton

1. Past Lives

A beautiful film about memory, relationships and what could have been. Debut director Celine Song crafts an emotional journey that hits every note perfectly.

Read our review here.

2. John Wick 4

The franchise just gets bigger and better with even more impressive set pieces and action. It also has a more in-depth story with some weight that harks back to the original film.

Read our review here.

3. What’s Love got to do with it? 

A romcom that analyses modern dating through the story of an arranged marriage. Cultural attitudes about what love really means are explored in this funny and deeply personal script from Jemima Khan.

Read our interview with the director here.

From Tracey Korsten

The Blue Caftan

This exquisite feature from director and writer Maryam Touzani stays with you long after the final credits. Set in an old-style caftan shop, where the embroidery is still done by hand, this film gently explores the many faces of love, and how it can flourish even within an oppressive society.

Read our review here.

Read our interview with the director here.

The Old Oak

What is slated to be Ken Loach’s (sadly) last film. A small pub in a dying, ex-coal-mining town in England’s north, is the meeting place for disgruntled locals. When a bus carrying Syrian refugees arrives in the town, trouble brews. A superb exploration of some of the issues around economic and geographic dispossession, yet ultimately a portrait of hope.

Read our review here.

Cat Person

One of the most talked about films of the year, based on the viral short story, Cat Person explores contemporary dating, within a framework of universal human behaviour. Disturbing and funny in equal measure, director Susanna Fogel has both embodied the story, and made it something more.

Read our review here.

Read our interview with the director here.

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