Best film discoveries and fiction of 2023

Some film stats in the abstract.

Using my Letterboxd stats, I have an excellent view of every film I’ve watched this year, as well as a score for each. (In hindsight, I disagree with some scores, but that’s the risk when you give a rating in the heat of the moment.)

I watched 148 films, three of them twice (Asteroid City, The Killer, Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part 1). I gave thirty films 5 stars and only two films 1 star (Deep Blue Sea 3, The Haunting of Margam Castle). I skew high because I choose films I’m probably going to like. I also gave 30 films a heart, some of which were not 5-star films (Bergman Island, An Impossible Project, Lake Placid, The Lair of the White Worm, Pieces, We’re All Going to the World’s Fair, The Game)

Anyway, here are my ten favourite film discoveries of 2023:

  1. Asteroid City
  2. The Killer
  3. The Souvenir: Part 2
  4. The Menu
  5. Aftersun
  6. Enemy
  7. The Relic
  8. Last Year at Marianbad
  9. Moonage Daydream
  10. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

I’m surprised how many of those are films that came out in 2023, considering the range of films I’ve seen this year.

And with less sexy stats available, my ten favourite books (in order of reading, not preference):

  • The Day of the Triffids, John Wyndham
  • Play It As It Lays, Joan Didion
  • Dreams of Sleep, Josephine Humphreys
  • The Bloater, Rosemary Tonks
  • Scent of a City, Aki Gibbons
  • Eastmouth and Other Stories, Alison Moore
  • Mrs Dalloway, Virginia Woolf
  • Brother of the More Famous Jack, Barbara Trapido
  • Children of Paradise, Camilla Grudova
  • My Phantoms, Gwendoline Riley