Last day of 2014 and time to take stock of films released this year. Yup. It’s list time.
My 19 year old has taken to giving me CD mixes for gifts. It’s an honest and much appreciated attempt to keep me current. She tells me she thinks she’s figured out my taste and now looks for music I will actually play in my car stereo, at the gym, or blaring while I bake. Exactly when I became so predictable is unclear but there’s no use pretending to be inscrutable.
Even regular Red Chronicle readers know what I look for in my favourite art form and yes, film offered up some gems this year.
Many of these are now available without leaving your couch. Pity. This fangirl still believes the best place to see them all is in a big theatre, surrounded by a bunch of strangers, gasping in unison or laughing at the goofy pratfalls.
Get out and see movies in 2015.
Look up at a screen bigger than your palm.
My favourites from 2014 (in no particular order) and no, I can’t fit them into a tidy box of 10.
( highlighted films are those I’ve written about before here)
Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow: Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt are fantastic in this surprise-I went in, not expecting story but just hi-tech fireworks. But, story is good here in an unpredictable winner.
Dawn of Planet of the Apes: I fell for the apes and the gorgeous set designs. I didn’t want the humans to get involved-could have watched the apes alone for the rest of the movie.
The Immigrant:Weeped at this one, mostly because Marion Cotillard is outstanding. Is there anything she can’t do? A great story with sumptuous cinematography.
Snowpiercer: Everything about this should be something I hated: a violent sci-fi. But as improbable as the plot is, the film is gripping and glorious as a whole.
Wild: This film was one of my favourites from TIFF. Profound and utterly absorbing, Wild the movie is as good as the kick-ass punch of the original novel. Superb direction from Montreal’s Jean-Marc Vallée. Loved Reese too.
Leviathan: Nothing short of operatic, here is a dark parable about the Russian soul. Watching it reminded me of immersing myself in a big, chunky novel with a thousand layers for a weekend. Fantastic stuff.
Starred Up: Brace yourself for a fierce thriller set inside a real Belfast prison. Starring Jack O’Connell, a thrilling actor to watch in every frame, the story swirls around Eric, a “starred up” convict ( moving from a juvenile jail that can’t handle him to adult prison) and the intense journey to enlightenment.
I’ve saved my favourite three of the year for last:
Pride: Inspired by a true story, this is one of those scrappy little British films that scores massive points on authenticity and heartfelt emotion. I dare you not to be moved. I dare you not to dance.
Mr. Turner: My TIFF pals abandoned me in the theatre half way through this. I too was sleepy- such is the pace of this bio-pic-but just couldn’t drag myself away from director Mike Leigh’s sublime set pieces that left me gasping. The visuals are stunning.
I know. It’s December 31st and predictions and resolutions are what you’re expecting. Too bad you won’t find any here. I’m too busy whipping up some hope for daily bread.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!