J-Law Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence at the Festival de Cannes earlier this year.
Lucire’s news-makers of 2013
Who were the significant people of the year? Jack Yan looks at Lucire’s top six, mercifully free of Miley Cyrus and twerking
When compiling this list at Lucire, we considered people in 2013 who might be remembered in years to come, while contributing to our cultural dialogue. But, you argue, where is Miley Cyrus? Didn’t twerking get into the vernacular in 2013?
Perhaps the term did, but an MTV VMA controversy seemed to be nothing new: every year, the producers tried to push the envelope, and, predictably, it has become less about the music (which surely is why most people tune in) than the spectacle. We always thought, too, that Cameron Diaz had twerked enough in the Charlie’s Angels films, even if the term had not been coined then.
Instead, we wanted to look at people who reached a little more deeply into our psyches than rehashing the same ideas. Our top six, in no particular order, follow.
Laura Poitras/Praxis Films
It’s no exaggeration to say that former CIA employee Edward Snowden changed the global dialogue on privacy. Thanks to his brave stance—his conscience demanded that “enough is enough”, Snowden began leaking classified information on how the US gathers data about private citizens, with the cooperation of firms such as Google and Facebook. His act has since kick-started similar dialogues in other democracies, including Australia and New Zealand, on who spies on whom? It’s since been revealed that the US has monitored the German chancellor, too. Without Snowden, none of these revelations would have surfaced. Opponents call him a traitor and he is technically a fugitive under US law, supporters deem him a hero.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Most politicians in the UK and the US have let the banks off for crashing the global economy, but for Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Not only had she broken the gender glass ceiling in Massachusetts as the first female senator, she tells it like it is when it comes to the banking industry’s failures. Among the gems, when criticizing HSBC for its money-laundering (for which no criminal charges were brought): ‘If you’re caught with an ounce of cocaine, the chances are good you’re going to go to jail … But evidently, if you launder nearly a billion dollars for drug cartels and violate our international sanctions, your company pays a fine and you go home and sleep in your own bed at night.’ She’s also comfortable defending herself against the remaining media who haven’t figured out that they’re dumber than she is. Democracy might have a chance while Sen. Warren speaks for her people.
She may have won an Oscar, which would usually put her into that class of glitterati that henceforth will do work for the UN because of the halo effect it would bring her, but Lawrence has remained refreshingly down-to-earth and real. She may be dressed by Christian Dior but there’s no wank when it comes to talking about it. She hates retouching, unrealistic expectations for women, and the labelling that shows such as Fashion Police engenders, and she actually is a great actress. We see her as the one most likely to have a Meryl Streep-like career at this point in 2013.
Kiwis have known about Lorde for quite some time, but we’re willing to bet that few predicted ‘Royals’ would become one of the great hits of 2013. Or that it would be the first New Zealand single to get to number one on the Billboard chart. For all that, Lorde (born Ella Yelich-O’Connor) understands the conceit that celebrity brings—after all, it’s in her song—and she’s come from a family that has raised kids who have been encouraged to excel. When you read her interviews, she’s fully aware of the tossiness of celebrity culture, and it really seems unlikely that she’ll fall into the trap. Lorde has been smart enough with her pace of releases as well, so we’ll likely still hear of her in 2014. She has her detractors, too, but that just means she’s hit the public consciousness and is generating plenty of dialogue.
The coolest actor on earth, who went from Stringer Bell on The Wire to the Wellington, New Zealand-penned Luther, and then to Nelson Mandela. Anything you see Elba in, you realize: the guy is deep. We’ve seen the interviews on Lucire TV for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom along with the previews, and the man is convincing as Madiba. He’d still be up there even without the former South African president’s death, and if he wasn’t appreciated already, 2014 will make him even more noticed for this potentially award-winning performance. If there’s someone who shows us how good actors can get, it’s Idris.
We thought long and hard about this one because it seemed odd that a fashion magazine didn’t have anyone from the industry represented. While many designers did well in 2013, there wasn’t anyone who took the public imagination in the same way Tommy Hilfiger did in 2000, for instance. Or in the modelling world, for that matter. So we’re making a call on Steph ‘Bambi’ Northwood-Blyth, not just for hitting the modelling scene (which she did a few years back), but for getting into the fashion design business and having younger trend-setters notice. Her B.BAM line, released earlier this year, has style and a sense of levity, and among all of that, she still managed to keep her international modelling career going while getting engaged to Dan Single (formerly of Ksubi). It’s the prospect of ‘What’s next?’ that got Northwood-Blyth noticed in ’13. •