Can you feel it? The end of 2013 is hurtling toward us like a stampeding rhino. And as our year-end wind down is winding down, we're letting ourselves off the leash a little and assembling this unwieldy monster—an unashamedly scrappy and random list of The Most Memorable Movie Moments of the Year aka Every Damn Thing That We Couldn't Find Anywhere Else to Talk About. Those of you who like a little more formal rigor in your year-in-review programming may wish to check out Best Shots, or Best Music Moments, or Best Documentaries, or Best Soundtracks, or Best Scores or Action Sequences, Child Performances, TV Episodes, Worst Films… or really any of our other 2013 wrap-up features (just hit our "Best of 2013" tag) all of which were put together with about 83% more discipline than this one.
Because here we find ourselves nearly washed up on the far shore of 2013 and there are still a bevy of niggling details (from hairpieces to spectacular deaths to eyeroll-inducing plot turns to questionable nudity) that, good or bad, haven't slotted neatly into one of our other features, but deserve at least a pithy line or two before we lay the year to rest. Here then, in no discernible order, with a glorious, liberating lack of logic and fair warning of SPOILERS liberally dotted throughout, is our grab-bag assortment of the 2013 Movie Moments that are still rattling around our brains.
Sex/Nudity (AKA let's cut to the chase; we know what's most interesting)
Best Mentally Scarring Sex Scene With A Car
Everyone might have been talking about the "Blue Is The Warmest Color" sex scene this year, but the one that we can't stop thinking about—not necessarily in a good way—is that moment in Ridley Scott's "The Counselor," when Cameron Diaz has sex with a car. It's mostly off-screen, but the uncomfortably-turned-on shock on the face of Javier Bardem's Brian Grazer-haired drug dealer, as he describes the, uh, 'catfish' on his windshield pretty much gets the whole thing across. Some have thrown claims of misogyny at the film, but Bardem makes it clear that these are men who are terrified of female sexuality. And to be honest, many of the females on staff find this scene terrifying too. You can catch a glimpse of the scene at the 30s mark here and trust us, a glimpse is all you need.
Best Phone Sex
In a brave move for any filmmaker Spike Jonze chose to communicate the transcendence of the first sex (via voices only) scene between the romantic leads “Her”-- Samantha (a seemingly omnipotent but bodiless operating system AKA OS) and Theodore Twombly (the OS’s owner)—as a fade to black, with just the ecstatic pants and moans of the two leads echoing around the theater. If anything was going to pull the audience any deeper into the romance between a bodiless artificially intelligent OS (but breathy voiced via Scarlett Johansson) and the emotionally damaged Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) it was this dark screen, which put us right in their shoes.
Most Unabashed Nudity
The top prize, purely because a few more people will have seen it (if only a very few) probably goes to Gaby Hoffmann for "Crystal Fairy" and the pubic hair which we've been summarily informed is, in fact not a merkin. But on a more serious note, Ulrich Seidl's grim but compelling "Paradise Love" may not have gained a wide audience outside cinephile circles, but the astonishing, frequently unclothed performance of Margarete Tiesel deserves broader recognition. Playing the pretty loathsome character of an overweight, overprivileged white woman on a sex tourism holiday to Kenya, Tiesel's absolutely fearless performance is remarkable for how she allows herself to be photographed in unflattering, and often downright degrading situations, especially since she is a first-time actress. In fact the nudity is only one facet of one of the most overlooked performances of the year (though it did get a shout it out last year from our writer in Berlin).
Most Gratuitous Female Nudity or Partial Nudity
Oh My LORD, okay we get it, we get it, Jennifer Aniston's super hot and has a rockin bod that a chick half her age would envy (bro-talk chestbump headbutt, everybody!). But seriously, the "We're the Millers" script requires her to prove to the assembled gentlemen that she's a stripper? By stripping? Because it's such an arcane and delicate profession that only someone with years of training and diploma in Thong Studies could ever hope to carry it off? Look at how she kinda takes off her underwear—btw is that 2 pairs?—she's clearly a fully qualified stripper like she said! The next time (and there will be one) we need to be reminded that Jen Aniston is super hot, rockin' etc., please spend, like 90 seconds more thinking about the scenario. You know, the same amount of time the writers spent working out how to have a handy shower of sparks rain down on her in slo-mo this time out (also, just let it be said this movie is terribly unfunny). Our runner-up shout-outs go to Alice Eve's unnecessary strip down in "Star Trek: Into Darkness" and Rosario Dawson in "Trance." You'll all catch your death.
(Over)Longest Lesbian Sex Scene
Well, it had to be here somewhere—one of the biggest controversies of the movie year was over the Palme-d'Or-winning Abdellatif Kechiche film "Blue Is The Warmest Color" and specifically its long, long graphic scene of lesbian sex. As we noted in our review, the scene's overlength is really the only fly in the ointment of what is otherwise a tremendous film, and we can't help but think that a lot of subsequent debates about the position of the 'gaze' and heteronormativity and whatnot, would have been headed off at the pass had the scene simply run, as graphically as it does now, but shorter, not giving anyone time to leave the film's spell. Because that's really what it does—the suddenly awkward pacing breaks the spell of what is otherwise a spellbinding movie. And that's just a shame.
Best Cocaine & Stripper Permutation
What’s to say here other than Scorsese’s “The Wolf Of Wall Street” has a scene where Leonardo DiCaprio blows (sucks?) cocaine into (out of?) a stripper's ass and a call girl shoves a candle into one of the character’s butts. Oh, right and there’s tons of snorting cocaine off desks, tits, butts, orifices, etc. Tony Montana would be proud. Your parents will be scandalized, so don’t see this one with your family at Xmas. There's also the best ever quaalude scene of all time, but you can't really discuss it other than to spoil it so, we'll just say we're envious of your first time experience (and the image here above is a little teaser taste for you).
Wrongest Sexual Reveal Of The Year
SPOILER A young girl in "Bastards" gets debased and deflowered by sexual deviant sleezebags using raw cobs of corn. Claire Denis, you are sick.
Most Unintentionally Funny Masturbation Scene
Oh, “Stoker,” you divisive mistress, you. Half The Playlist hates you (the good half), half The Playlist loves you (the bad half). Say what you will about its style-over-substance approach, however—that it's ghoulishly delightful a la Hitchcock or DePalma—what excuse is there for the masturbation scene/montage where Mia Wasikowska rubs one out in the shower while her creepy uncle kills her boyfriend and she climaxes just as he’s beheaded? It was an effort to contain our laughter in the theater.