December 29, 2013

Alfie's Favourite Things, 2013...

Yet again the year is winding down and I am behind on movies -- so while I still haven't seen Philomena or 12 Years A Slave or American Hustle or Before Midnight, there have been great flicks and other pop culture hits this year. 

Here are my faves, leave yours in the comments so I know what to focus on next!


With honourable mentions to Gravity, World War Z, Now You See Me and The Way, Way Back, the film that touched me the most this year was Bridegroom, which I wrote about here. This sweet and smart and sad documentary was about a young gay man who has to deal with the death of the love of his life… and then the shunning by that man's family. True and touching and a must-see.


I wrote about four of my favourites here -- and yes you should absolutely read them all. 

My #1 favourite of the year was Hellgoing,  the collection of short stories by my fellow Canadian Lynn Coady. These unforgettable and uncomfortable tales of people's love and loneliness and missed communication range from the timid to S&M -- these are smart touching stories that will make you squirm.

Most memorable were tales of a young nun charged with talking an anorexic out of her religious fanaticism, which looks at the distance between practicality and blasphemy, and the story of a shy bride-to-be with a thing for nocturnal bondage who can’t seem to stop bashing herself up in the light of day. Shocking and touching stories.


This year outspoken Dixie Chick Natalie Maines brought out her folky solo debut Mother, consisting mostly of cover songs from Pink Floyd to Patty Griffin and I love it. I listen to it obsessively in the car. Best track of the album -- and of the year -- is her version of Jeff Buckley's "Lover, you should've come over."

Other great albums were Elton John's lyrical The Diving Board, Cher's diva-tastic  sadness-tinged Closer To The Truth, and Celine Dion's surprisingly edgy Loved Me Back To Life. And yes I realize how truly gay this list is.


Disclaimer - I am behind on Breaking Bad (way behind, full series behind)… but this was the year I got totally hooked on soap-tastic Scandal, binge watching seasons one and two and now obsessively waiting every Thursday for new episodes.  

Other great series were modern classic The Good Wife, Downtown Abbey, Kevin Spacey in Netflix's addictive House of Cards, my perennial favourite The Big Bang Theory, and uber cool Orphan Black. Too much TV, too little time...


Standout episodes and other favourites… the Cory Monteith tribute episode of Glee, the song Wake Me Up by Avicii, Stephen Colbert's version of Daft Punk's song Get Lucky, Jimmy Fallon hosting SNL, Celine Dion's underrated Breakaway single, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosting the Golden Globes, Jennifer Lawrence becoming a superstar, Allison Janney in The Way Way Back and Mom, and Beyonce breaking the internet with her surprise album release on December 13th.

What were your favourites of 2013?