Editor's Note: December 6, 2013
The space blockbuster (and Oscar front-runner) Gravity is not only a huge technological step forward for cinema, it reminds us that movies are still an art form worthy of giant screens and stadium seating. And yet that’s not what makes the movie great: Director Alfonso Cuarón has the confidence, restraint, and good taste to take all that digital derring-do and use it to serve the story of one woman decimated by grief and reluctantly undergoing a rebirth. That’s where Sandra Bullock — ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY’s Entertainer of the Year — comes in. She’s always been a graceful and reliable movie star, but Gravity is, I think, her first truly great performance as an actress. No actor dominated 2013 the way she did. Besides Gravity (now at $536 million worldwide), she starred in the summer comedy hit The Heat, and though no one’s talking Oscar for that movie, she did exactly what the job called for, which was simply to get the hell out of Melissa McCarthy’s way. Bullock tops our annual list of entertainers beloved by the EW staff. Cuarón’s on the list. So is 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen, whose unforgettable drama raised the bar for any art going forward that deals with the issue of slavery. You’ve also got the repertory company of American Horror Story, Miley Cyrus (seriously, was anything more entertaining?), the team behind Breaking Bad, and the folks at Netflix, who pretty much revolutionized the way we watch television. They proved once and for all that if you build it, we will binge-watch it.