13 December 2013 11:46 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

If James Franco’s “Look at my shee-yit!” scene in “Spring Breakers” was one of 2013′s funniest movie moments, it was also perhaps the most emblematic of a year that, as many others have pointed out, was all but overrun by spectacles of consumerist excess — from “American Hustle” to “The Wolf of Wall Street,” from Baz Luhrmann’s not-so-great “Great Gatsby” to Paolo Sorrentino’s genuinely great “Great Beauty.” This may not be exactly what Susan Sontag meant when she described the cinema as “a decadent art” some 18 years ago, but if the Jimmy Choo fits, wear it: Rarely has the camera’s natural affinity for beautiful, shiny objects been so lovingly indulged, whether the objects in question were the gleaming treasures in Smaug’s vault or the designer fashions in Paris Hilton’s closet.

Still, for every movie that turned the bigscreen into the functional equivalent of a mall »


- Justin Chang

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