For two years now I have chosen to end the year not with a list of favourite films or scattering of novelty awards (at least not entirely) but to instead try to adapt the year itself for the big screen. Here to round out the trilogy, then, is 2013.
If 2013 were a movie it would be based on a true story. As such, it would reflect the birth of a new prince, the death of an ex-Prime Minister and Andy Murray’s victory at Wimbledon. It would be unable to shy away from the Boston marathon massacre, the tropical cyclone that tore through the Philippines and the loss of Nelson Mandela.
If 2013 were a movie it would be black and white, not quite a sequel, not quite a remake, and adapted from a Young Adult novel. It would be an ensemble piece comprising very different stories, and would trace the journeys of Princess Diana, Julian Assange and Ron Burgundy. It would have been originally slated for release last year, but postponed so that more scenes could be shot with Channing Tatum.
If 2013 were a movie it would star Steve Coogan as Twerk, Halle Berry as Selfie and Ryan Reynolds’ voice as Candy Crush Saga. Bruce Willis would be contractually obliged to appear, Saoirse Ronan would be on the run and Chloe Grace Moretz would have a rough time with puberty; Ryan Gosling probably wouldn’t make it to the end. The villains, meanwhile, would be slavery, gravity and SeaWorld Orlando.
If 2013 were a movie it would be set on post-apocalyptic Earth, but shot in present-day Glasgow. The White House would be invaded by Olympus-felling terrorists, London would be destroyed by extraterrestrial vehicular warfare and the moon would hang shattered in the sky. No pub, celebrity or wall would be safe. God-like aliens would clash, Jaegers would crash, and Brad Pitt would be decanted to Wales.
If 2013 were a movie it would have a silly name and be missing important punctuation. It would be called Oz The Way Way Way Beyond Les Pines Into Darkness: Upstream Is The Warmest Colour, And Furious 43Z. It would be a good day to die hard, much ado about nothing and before midnight. The film would be simulcast in cinemas, on television and online, on the day of the doctor in a field in England.
If 2013 were a movie it would be a small, personal film from Michael Bay, a superhero movie from Shane Black, a Scottish musical from Dexter Fletcher or a Western from Gore Verbinski. It would be written by Wentworth Miller, directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, remade by Spike Lee and plagiarised by Shia LaBeouf.
If 2013 were a movie it would disenfranchise fanboys, divide audiences and differ drastically from the source material. It would be a belated sequel, an unnecessary prequel or a re-adaptation of the original book. It would also look an awful lot like that other film, starring that same guy, that everyone saw the month before. It would be deemed a flop.
Nonetheless, it would receive strong reviews, be championed by a small number of viewers and eventually earn its money back on DVD. It would stand up to repeated viewings, pander to the Chinese and open in the UK first. Overall, it would be a pleasant surprise, and far better than the trailer made it look. And it would have a post-credits stinger worth sticking around for.
If 2013 were a movie it would be great, but not quite as great as Cloud Atlas.