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推荐2013年十部优秀电影

2013年,中国电影市场毁誉参半,一面蔚为壮观,一面也将因“烂片”当道而载入史册。从票房和口碑看,纵然不能说“烂片”主宰荧屏,那至少也堪称与“佳片”平分秋色。在此,我们披沙拣金,从影院漫天的浮华与垃圾中搜寻出一些值得一看的影片。

《无人区》

宁浩这部黑色荒诞作品描绘的是处在极端阶段时人的动物本能,因审核而搁浅了四年后终于面市。眼尖的影迷一定能看出最后三分钟的场景很明显是导演做出妥协而修改的。

一位雄心勃勃的律师远赴中国西北腹地为穷凶极恶的贩隼老大辩护并抓住术语漏洞为他打赢了官司。在回城途中,他经过一个500公里的“无人区”,在那儿法律和道德如同沙漠中只能蒸发的水,荡然无存。他遇到了一系列形形色色的人,包括以前的客户。他们全是坏家伙,但夸张、极具喜感的刻画让人难忘。律师看到了自己身上沉睡的动物性残余,并下定决心从此不再对名利汲汲营求。

2009年拍摄时,徐峥和黄渤刚在影视圈崭露头角。如今,徐峥自己的电影《泰囧》已成为目前国产电影票房的纪录保持者,而黄渤无论在喜剧还是话剧中都奠定了作为中国最好演员的地位。此影片票房达到了2亿元。叫好又叫座是理所当然的。

《西游:降魔篇》

1994年的电影《大话西游之月光宝盒》上映后,周星驰成为电影领域的神话,他在中国大学的校园受欢迎程度与英国的《蒙提·派森的飞行马戏团》无异。周星驰重拾孙悟空题材,带观众体验了一场纯粹的3D冒险之旅,品味他独有的周氏幽默。此电影没有花太多笔墨重新阐释和分析。

电影选取文学经典中的一小节片段,即唐朝(公元618到907年)一位高僧收取三个门徒开始了师徒四人前往印度拜佛求经的宏大征程。在此简单框架下对细节大力渲染。与其他此题材作品在口吻和长度上差别很大,但那又怎么样呢?影片笑料不断,与原著作者吴承恩相比,它更接近周星驰,尽管这次他仅作为导演身在摄像机后面。

《北京遇上西雅图》

北京遇上西雅图》的英文片名直译为“找到白马王子”,相比这个笼统的名字,中文片名要更加引人入胜而富有表现力。影片讲述了一个发生在西雅图的浪漫爱情故事,却拍摄于温哥华,其中少数镜头在北京和纽约拍摄。此片不是翻拍《西雅图不眠夜》,而是向其致敬,只是多了些对这个镀金时代的唏嘘。

一位年轻中国女子被她的有妇之夫男友送到了美国生孩子。期间,她渐渐爱上了一个离了婚的正直男人,于是重新审视自己因“拜金”而丢弃的价值观。作为一部极具好莱坞特色结构紧凑的爱情故事,此片又不乏中式细节的叙事风格。但充满异国情调的场景给作品带来的国际范儿很容易迷惑大家的眼睛,让人忘记它是纯粹的中国制造,同时也是今年中国电影市场最大的黑马。

《全民目击》

半法庭、半悬疑的电影题材紧密交织,构建于虚拟的法律框架。换句话说,本片纯属虚构。只有接受了这一前提,观众才能品味片中那跌宕起伏的剧情和角色错综复杂的动机。

富豪十几岁的女儿被指控杀害其父亲的歌星女友。真相层层揭开,慢慢浮出水面。影片要表现的似乎是超越法律更而触动人心的强大力量。三大主演的表现堪称完美,作为新人的编剧兼导演非行也为自己交了份成熟的答卷。

《美姐》

郝杰的第二部专题电影还是难逃文艺片票房惨淡的魔咒。他的首部电影《光棍儿》斩获国际大奖无数,而在国内却难以得到认可。尽管这样,它并没有删除可能让审片员为难的镜头。

两部电影中,郝杰都描绘了懵懂少年对性的好奇。《美姐》中的男孩爱上了比他大很多的女邻居,多年后又爱上了她的女儿。故事情节流畅,充满有关情欲的元素,而对细节的处理不如《光棍儿》来的清新明快。这两部影片都没有触及意识形态敏感区,而青少年对性的认知也不是所有人都觉得自然的话题。因而故事好坏在当前环境下很难去衡量。

《青春派》

一直走文艺路线的导演刘杰突然急转弯转战商业电影,但这次他走了中间路线。他总开玩笑说自己上了年纪,可在片中选角上还是很年轻大胆的,除了女老师是知名演员,其他都是新人。在片中秦海璐说了很多鼓励高中生为通过高考[微博]冲进理想学府而努力学习的搞笑励志名言,比如“累死你一个,幸福你一家!”

刘杰在影片中花大笔墨描述青少年学生追求爱情,这可是现在电影内容中的雷区,他碰触了底线。但通过巧妙的安排剧中男主角因追求爱情而高考落榜的结局又回归到励志的主旋律。董子健,这个中国娱乐圈著名的金牌经纪人王京花之子并没有让他妈妈或者观众失望。业内人士也普遍认为他的处女作表现不俗。

《团圆》

导演王全安早在2010年就凭借此电影获得柏林国际电影节最佳编剧银熊奖。不管出于何种原因,三年后才在中国重见天日。制作人解释说“没有任何删减和改编”,但并没有获得丰厚的票房回报。

影片巧妙叙述了上海一对新婚夫妇在1949年政治巨变的极度混乱中被分离。平淡的家庭生活偶然出现有趣的戏剧性转折。镜头语言平缓从容,卢燕、凌峰两位失散后重聚的恋人扮演者表现不俗、堪称一流。但片中没有戏剧性的高潮,也没传达任何政治的或其他方面的信息,让一些电影爱好者对故事的寓意深感困惑。也有值得赞的一面,就是留给你哲学深思的空间。

《毒战》

杜琪峰是香港警匪题材电影的大师,长久以来,他都拒绝进入内地电影市场。而最终进来后也没有做太多让步。实际上,这部在内地取景拍摄、由内地投资发行的影片在丰富了内地荧幕上犯罪片的描述套路上功不可没。

影片不仅仅是对吸毒的场景做了写实的描绘,警察的英雄形象比同题材的刻画更加立体生动。片中的败笔就是反派角色香港大毒枭在一开始就被抓了。导演保持了他一贯明快的节奏,而他招牌式的暴力场面也完整的保留下来。但故事在心理深度上似乎还不大让人满足。

《致我们终将逝去的青春》

这部作品是赵薇作为导演的处女秀,从商业角度看是巨大的成功,带来了7亿票房。前100分钟发生于上世纪90年代的大学校园,其特色是叙事流畅甚至有些犀利。爱情故事带有那个年代的芳香和怪异。女主角是个新人,很容易让人看到当年让赵薇一鸣惊人的“小燕子”的影子,都是那样敢爱敢恨,勇敢坚强,天真活泼。

10年后的同学聚会上,这群大学的小伙伴重聚,并莫名其妙的继续他们当年未竟的爱情。这一戏剧化的、突如其来的转变在风格上有点不一致。似乎是另一个人拍的这一部分,或是从其他电影中提取的情节,如果不是这一令人失望的结尾,这一定会是完美的怀念旧时光的佳作。

《一代宗师》

王家卫镜头下的功夫题材电影要么是绝世经典,要么是超出他掌控范围而有硬伤的习作。这部电影在功夫表现上的漏洞足够武术界的人集体游行,而从电影艺术的角度看,叙事拖沓而催眠,让人忘了要说什么。主人公中途一度消失。但在一点上大家是一致的:章子怡的惊艳表现盖过了主角的风头,可以说喧宾夺主。现在,该影片入围了奥斯卡最佳外语片的九强。

英文译文:

The year 2013 will be remembered for the spectacular takeoff of China's filmmarket, and it will also go down in history as the year bad movies ruled, or at leastshared, the box office and public consciousness as often as, if not more frequentlythan, good ones. Here is the result of painstaking scavenging for somethingvaluable from a big pile of cinematic fluff and trash。

No Man's Land

After spending four years in censorship limbo, Ning Hao's dark tale of man at his mostanimal phase finally sees the light of day. The final three-minute scene is so obviously achange for compromise it should be ignored by sharp-eye cinephiles。

An ambitious lawyer travels to China's hinterland to defend a hard-boiled criminal and getshim off on a technical loophole. On his way back to the big city, he passes a 500-kilometerstretch of "no man's land" where any trace of law and ethics evaporate like water in thedesert. He encounters a posse of colorful types, including his former client. They are all badguys, but so indelible in portrayal the exaggeration becomes fun. The lawyer awakens tothe vestige of humanity lying dormant in himself and takes a fatal diversion from hisrelentless pursuit of fame and fortune。

When Xu Zheng and Huang Bo made this Chinese Western back in 2009, they wereemerging stars. Now, one has helmed the country's highest-grossing movie (Lost inThailand) and the other has firmly established himself as China's best thespian in bothcomedy and drama. The movie has grossed north of 200 million yuan ($33 million).Whatpoetic justice!

Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons

Stephen Chow elevated himself into a realm of movie gods when his 1994 A ChineseOdyssey became the equivalent of the United Kingdom's Monty Python a cross collegecampuses in China. Chow's retake on the Monkey King story is a 3-D exercise in unalloyedadventure and typical Chow-style humor. This time, it does not have much room forreinterpretation or tea-leaf analysis。

The movie cuts a very thin slice from the literary classic, i.e. the coming together of thethree disciples of the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) monk before they embark on their epicexpedition to India, but imbues it with a rich tapestry of details. The three parts vary in toneand length, but who cares? The fun is non-stop and it's closer to Stephen Chow than to WuCheng'en the author of the book, even though Chow worked only behind the camera as thedirector。

Finding Mr. Right

Don't be fooled by the generic title. The Chinese title, When Beijing Meets Seattle, is somuch more telling and titillating. A romantic comedy set largely in Seattle but shot inVancouver, with a few brief scenes in Beijing and New York, it is a tribute to Sleepless inSeattle more than a half-bake remake, with more cynicism of a gilded age。

A Chinese woman is sent by her married and obscenelywealthy boyfriend to the United States to give birth. Whilethere, she very slowly falls for a decent divorced man andrediscovers the values she has given up for material gains. Asa tightly structured love story that closely follows Hollywoodgenre conventions it is backed up with nuanced Chinese waysof communication. But the exotic locale adds to theinternational feel which is deceptive as it is a pure Chinese production an became thebiggest sleeper hit of the year。

Silent Witness

H alf courtroom drama, half suspense, this study in genre filmmaking is tautly woven butbased on an imaginary legal framework. In other words, it is not realistic, but is built on anassumption. Once you accept that, you'll be able to enjoy the twists in the plot and themotivations of every character。

The teenager daughter of a rich businessman is widely suspected of killing her father's pop-singer girlfriend. The truth peels off one layer at a time, until we come face to face with thepossibility that there is a bigger power at play than law, something that touches us infundamental ways. The three leads deliver immaculate performances and writer-director FeiXing exhibits a maturity that belies his newcomer status。

The Love Songs of Tiedan

Hao Jie's second feature suffers the fate of a typical art-house film, which means sinking atthe box office without even a ripple. His debut film Single Men (2010) was a breakoutgarnering a basket of international awards but never attempted to gain approval fordomestic release. As such, it did not need to remove the naughty edges that might haverankled the censors。

In both movies, Hao displays the curiosity of a teenage boy who is just discovering thewonders of sex. Tiedan is an adolescent who falls for a much older neighbor and, yearslater, her daughters. The story is very fluent and full of bawdy humor, yet it lacks the smalldetails that make Single Men so refreshing. There is no ideology in either movie, butsomeone growing out of puberty is not really a subject everyone is comfortable with, and thestory is hard to tell well under the circumstances。

Young Style

Art-house auteur Liu Jie takes a swerve toward commercial cinema, but stops at the mid-point. He fills this coming-of-age story with jokes, but insists on casting non-professional inall the roles except the female teacher. Qin Hailu gets a bunch of hilarious linesadmonishing her students to work tirelessly toward the holy grail for every Chinese high-school student, namely passing the all-important national entrance exam and enrolling in aprestigious university. Here is one: "Sacrifice yourself for the happiness of all your family"。

Liu pushes the envelope by dwelling on a teenager's fixation on pursuing his love interest,which is a big no-no under current guidelines of movie content. But he dodges the bullets byhaving the romance as the cause for the protagonists' academic failure hence turning thestory into a cautionary tale. Dong Zijian, son of China's super-agent in the entertainmentindustry, did not disappoint his mother, or the audience. It's a very auspicious debut for aninsider。

Apart Together

Wang Quan'an won a Silver Bear award for best screenplay at the 2010 Berlin InternationalFilm Festival for this film. For whatever reason it did not premiere in China until 2013 - "without any cut or revision" explains the filmmaker - and stil failed to garner any significantbox-office return。

A dexterous account of a newly-married Shanghai couple who were separated in 1949 inthe maelstrom of political upheavals the family drama is full of subtlety punctuated byoccasional bursts of funny melodramatic turns. It features natural dialogue and top-notchperformances all round, especially Lisa Lu and Ling Feng, who play the reunited couple.However, it doe not offer a dramatic climax or any obvious message, political or otherwise,leaving many filmgoers perplexed about the moral of the story. On the plus side, it gives youplenty of room for philosophizing。

Drug War

Hong Kong's reigning king of the gangster genre Johnnie To resisted entering the mainlandmarket for a long time. When he finally did, he did not make too many concessions. As amatter of fact, this film, set and made in the mainland and financed by mainland money,served to widen the boundaries of what a crime drama can depict on mainland screens。

Not only are the drug-taking scenes realistically portrayed, but the heroic cop is more three-dimensional than most characters in this genre. The weakness, this time, lies in theantagonist, the Hong Kong drug-make who gets caught in the opening sequence. Thedirector maintains his fast pacing and his signature violence is also intact, but the storyleaves something to be desired in psychological depth。

So Young

Zhao Wei's directorial debut is a commercial smash, bringing in 700 million yuan at the boxoffice, but it is only three quarters of a good movie. The first 100 minutes, set in a 1990scollege campus, are characterized by fluency and even poignancy. The love story isredolent of the era and its quirks. The female lead, an unknown, reminds one of Zhao'sbreakout TV role Little Swallow, insistent and tomboyish and full of irresistible charm。

Fast forward a decade when the group of college buddies reunite and, strangely, continuetheir unfinished love threads. This part turns melodramatic and wildly uneven in tone. It's asif it were made by a different person or lifted from a different movie, a most disappointingcoda to an otherwise perfect paean to the good old days。
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The Grandmaster

Wong Karwai's outing in the martial arts genre is either a masterpiece or a deeply flawedexercise in exerting control over a story beyond his control. The movie has both narrativeloopholes large enough for the whole martial arts academy to march through andcinematography so lush and mesmerizing you'll forget about the story anyway. The titlecharacter disappears for the middle hour, for one. But one thing everyone can agree on:Zhang Ziyi delivers a knockout performance that steals the show and unseats the titlecharacter. The movie is currently on the shortlist of nine finalists for the upcoming BestForeign Language Film of the Academy Awards。
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