Welcome to the beginning of my 2023 recaps! In the past, I’ve done these posts on my Patreon, but I’ve shifted focus over there to behind-the-scenes looks at process, and you’re getting more of what I posted on there on here, for free. If you like what you see here, subscribe to my Patreon and get older versions!
This post isn’t my main movie wrap-up; I’ll do a more-specific 2023 movie post before the Oscars ceremony, in early March. (The ceremony this year is March 10th.) I find it easier to keep up with a year’s particular film offerings than I do any other medium, but I don’t have easy access to a movie theater, and the closest one mostly has the big-budget productions even if I could go. (2023 was my biggest year at the theater since 2020; I saw two! Two whole movies!) In particular, having access to likely Oscar contenders can take a while, since so many deliberately release at the tail end of December.
Still, there’s some stuff my main 2023-in-film post won’t catch (like the new-to-me movies that released before 2023), and it makes sense to have something closer to the bulk of my other posts, so here’s a interim look back at 2023 in film, largely tied to Letterboxd because I had a great time on there this year. Go follow me. (Hashtag not sponsored.)
1. My favorite recap of the year dropped January 8th! David Ehrlich’s 25 Best Films of 2023: A Video Countdown. This year’s was super funny at the start and left me completely devastated at the end. I couldn’t tell you for sure if the full emotional journey works if you don’t know the basic conceit of the big movies of the year, but I think it does? Either way, I do think some of the jokes will land, and the physical movement of the video and the energy with it is always worth a look. (Don’t be like me and look at the Letterboxd list in advance, but make sure to check it out after if you want to populate your watchlist.)
And very important: Usually, David Ehrlich gets in contact with the director of the number-one film and does a fundraiser off a charity they pick. This year, he picked the charity: Palestine Children’s Relief Fund.
2. Letterboxd’s greater social media presence has been a lot of fun lately! I was going to put this in a greater linkspam, but let’s do it here: a TikTok where they ask where people like to sit in theaters. It’s so granular, but everyone who sees movies has an opinion on this (even if their opinion is “no opinion”), and I’m sure people who make films care more than most. The right seat in the right theater with the right movie? I’m sure more than one career started from that moment.
In a bigger way, Letterboxd’s full 2023 year in review is worth a look. The page design is fun, and it’s a different slice of film lovers weighing in than you get with things like the Oscars. Plus, their system of likes and star ratings means you can look at things with more nuance than just binary best and worst. If that doesn’t sound interesting, you can spend a minute and a half watching a dance montage they commissioned.
3. I don’t subscribe to Letterboxd and get full access to stats, but I got a mini 2023 recap! Here are some interesting notes:
a) I thought Ayo Edibiri was going to be most-watched actor of the year: I watched Bottoms, Theater Camp, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem this year. Certainly, Ayo Edibiri was my 2023 favorite (and her Letterboxd is also great, fingers crossed reporters stop being weird about it and she doesn’t delete). But my actual most-watched actor was Kristen Stewart because I rewatched the Twilight series this year, and I did a first-time watch of Underwater. I probably don’t need to tell you this, but if you haven’t seen any of them, skip Twilight and watch Underwater. (I also watched Kristen Stewart at the beginning of this year in Certain Women, which is another rec.)
b) Most-watched director was Jordan Peele! I like his movies more with each rewatch. Nope is still my favorite.
c) Most-watched week of 2023 was the week of June 26-July 2, which reflects a lot of my Pride Month watches. I watched thirteen films that week! I thought the last week of 2023 would have won out, but that was only eight.
d) The day of the week I watched movies the most was Fridays, which pleased me. (One of my 2023 resolutions was to do a Friday movie night. It worked!) Sundays were my lowest, which makes sense because I do a lot on Sundays, and my second lowest was Thursday, which also makes sense if I knew I was going to watch movies on Fridays. I was a bit surprised that Tuesdays were second place, but I suppose something had to be!
e) 50th movie of the year was a rewatch of Moon, 100th movie of the year was a rewatch of The Invitation, and 150th movie of the year was a first watch of Polite Society. All great watches, although I would caution everyone that Kevin Spacey does voice work in Moon, if you think that might be a problem for you.
f) Most-watched theme: Bloody vampire horror. No one is remotely surprised. (This wasn’t even like 2022, when I did specially themed my Halloween watches around vampires!)
g) Most-watched nanogenre: Delightful, chemistry, adorable. I love a good romcom, what can I say?