The Best of the Best of 2013

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As we wind down 2013, we’re all being bombarded with the “Best of”, “Worst of”, and “[Just wish it would go away already]” 2013 lists that always come around this time of year.  Many, however, are at least mildly entertaining, useful, or otherwise worth the read.  Here are a few lists that I’ve deemed the “Best of the Best of 2013”:

Wishing a happy and healthy New Year to you all! I hope you’ll come back to visit in 2014! xo

2013: Year of the Criterion Challenge

Happy New Year to all of you!  I am sending my best wishes to my readers for a happy and healthy 2013!

Part of my goal for this year is to spend more time with this blog.  It has definitely been a transition period these past 9 months adjusting to my full time job after a lifetime of being a student and having a student’s schedule. Since my job has taken most of the time I used to have to cook or craft, I haven’t been able to create a lot in the way of content this past year.

But, I believe I’ve found a way to offer something new and original in the coming year to my readers while simultaneously creating more quality time with my husband and expanding my own horizons – what I am dubbing “The Criterion Collection Challenge.”

A some of you know, my husband is a film buff.  I’m not even on the same planet as him when it comes to knowledge of all things movies.  He spent four years of college discussing films in his seminars while I studied for the LSATS.  He works in TV, and I think Mean Girls is one of the best movies ever.

As part of my recent film education, Josh has told me a lot about The Criterion Collection, a company that distributes only movies which it feels are “important classic and contemporary films.” Each year, only a few films are selected to become part of the collection, but they can be films from any era, any country, and of any subject matter.  To see a complete list of the movies, visit Wikipedia.

Lucky for us, our Hulu Plus subscription (purchased for my Downton Abbey addiction) includes access to all Criterion Collection Movies.  You see where this is going.

Each week, Josh and I will be having a private screening (I’m told that’s industry speak for watching a movie) of one Criterion film.  Josh and I will also be taking turns picking, which guarantees a broad range of content from Japanese horror flicks to foreign romances.  After each screening, we’ll both write a little bit on our thoughts, which will save all of you from what will surely be my pedestrian reviews and offer a bit of intelligent insight to the discussion.

I promise promise promise this will not turn into a Criterion-only blog, and I will try to keep up the cooking/baking, crafting, design, and lifestyle element of this blog for my loyal readers. However, I really feel this will help to bring me the motivation and purpose I seem to be lacking these days, and give me a new way to connect to all of you.

I’ll be announcing the movie each week at the beginning of the week, in case any of you out there would like to also watch the movie during the week and leave comments on our review posts.  I will try to work on a Monday to Monday schedule, so from here on out each Monday I will post our review and announce the movie for the following week. Naturally, as this is my blog, I get first pick. For this week’s film we will be viewing:

La Promesse

La promesse is the breakthrough feature from Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, who would go on to become a force in world filmmaking. The brothers brought the unerring eye for detail and the compassion for those on society’s lowest rungs developed in their earlier documentary work to this absorbing drama about a teenager (Jérémie Renier) gradually coming to understand the implications of his father’s making a living through the exploitation of undocumented workers. Filmed in the Dardennes’ industrial hometown of Seraing, Belgium, La promesse is a brilliantly economical and observant tale of a boy’s troubled moral awakening.

Again, wishing you all a blessed new year! xo