|Under the Skin is one of last year's best films.|
Last year was an amazing year for film. I loved a lot of great movies, and I really liked even more. But I've put this list off long enough. I've finally narrowed it down to ten and settled on an order. Watch out for the 2014 CinSpec Awards tomorrow.
Note: I haven't seen films like Mommy, Leviathan, Winter Sleep, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Miss Julie, Goodbye to Language, Song of the Sea, and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya yet.
30 Honorable Mentions:
We Are the Best!, Locke, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, The Homesman, A Most Violent Year, Whiplash, Noah, The Raid 2, Begin Again, Only Lovers Left Alive, Snowpiercer, Enemy, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Virunga, The Guest, Ida, Fury, Palo Alto, Life Itself, Force Majeure, The Drop, Abuse of Weakness, Mr. Turner, Le Week-End, Nymphomaniac, Young & Beautiful, Stray Dogs, Cold in July, Foxcatcher, and The Skeleton Twins
10. A Most Wanted Man (dir. Anton Corbijn)
Corbijn does it again. His films feature subtle, detailed performances, and this slow-burn political thriller is no exception, offering some of Philip Seymour Hoffman's best work.
9. Starred Up (dir. David Mackenzie)
Prison dramas are rarely as gritty, real and compelling. Jack O'Connell and Ben Mendelsohn give beastly performances in some of the most brave, honest work of the year.
8. Interstellar (dir. Christopher Nolan)
Nolan's ambitious undertaking deserves any praise it can get. A technical marvel, it's a powerful cinematic experience with solid performances and a wealth of overwhelming emotion.
7. Under the Skin (dir. Jonathan Glazer)
This film was a long time coming, but Glazer's third outing is a fascinating exercise for the director. Scarlett Johansson is superb in this chilling sci-fi drama.
6. Tom at the Farm (dir. Xavier Dolan)
Arguably Dolan's most mature film, this throwback to Alfred Hitchcock and Brian De Palma is a mystifying thriller that is lean, dark and very suspenseful. (Again, I haven't seen Mommy yet.)
5. Inherent Vice (dir. Paul Thomas Anderson)
Like the best of Anderson's work, this is a film to be watched multiple times, especially since it's his most enjoyable work yet. Joaquin Phoenix leads a fine cast, which propel this insane narrative forward.
4. The Immigrant (dir. James Gray)
A triumph in formalism, this melodrama is almost perfect. Each frame is beautifully captured, the performances sing, and Gray's direction is glorious. It might be a masterpiece.
3. Two Days, One Night (dir. Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne)
The Dardennes have delivered their most startling work since L'Enfant. Marion Cotillard, appropriately Oscar-nominated, is spectacular, giving her greatest performance to date.
2. Calvary (dir. John Michael McDonagh)
McDonagh's intimate, haunting film features sublime work from Brendan Gleeson. It's a small but resounding gut-punch that still lingers after two viewings.
1. Birdman (dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu)
In Iñárritu's dizzying display of dark wit and searing drama, the phenomenal cast, flawless cinematography and banging score make the ride a complete joy from start to finish. It's brilliant from top to bottom.
Yaaay love for Calvary! I love other films in your list too like 2D1N, Birdman, Starred Up and Under the Skin but Calvary has been so lacking from everyone else's lists. Tom at the Farm is technically my least favourite Dolan yet but I still liked it a lot.ReplyDelete
So glad you appreciate the Calvary love! It was so overlooked. Tom at the Farm is a different kind of film from Dolan, but I loved it.Delete
Nice list! You have quite a few I haven't gotten around to watching yet, but I can't argue with Birdman being #1 I wish I would've liked A Most Wanted Man as much as you did. I was kind of let down by it.ReplyDelete
Thanks! Birdman is awesome! I was surprised how much I loved A Most Wanted Man, and it held up very well on a second look. Still, I can totally see it being a letdown.Delete
Awesome to see Birdman at the top!ReplyDelete
Knew you'd like that! ;)Delete
Great seeing Starred Up and Under the Skin so high, both are in my top 10 as well. I'm curious to rewatch Calvary, I currently have it in my top 15.ReplyDelete
Inherent Vice would make my worst of the year list LOL, nice soundtrack though. What about Gone Girl and Boyhood?
Oh, it's great that Starred Up and Under the Skin make your list as well. Calvary was just as powerful for me on a second viewing as it was on the first. Maybe you'd like it more after a rewatch.Delete
Haha, I kinda love that Inherent Vice would make your worst list. It's divisive, but I ate it up. Loved it both times I saw it. :)
Gone Girl and Boyhood would probably make my top 50. This post was essentially my top 40, but I still had films with an A- grade that missed, like Boyhood, incidentally.
I personally found aspects of the score of Birdman to rather annoying, however the camera work, script and performances were top notch.ReplyDelete
My favourite film on this list is Interstellar which I thought was flawed but a breathtaking experience.
Under the Skin was certainly interesting, I think the shot of the silhouetted bodies against the white background was an incredible one
Yeah, I can understand finding some of Birdman's score annoying, but I thought it worked like a charm. It gave the film an added energy, complementing the impressive camera work.Delete
Oh, Interstellar is great! It's breathtaking, indeed.
That's a wonderful shot from Under the Skin. The visuals were quite striking in that film.
Cool picks, Josh!ReplyDelete
YAY! We share our #1, Josh, happy to see that! Lots of my top 10 picks are on your Honorable Mentions, and I'm looking forward to seeing Two Days, One Night and Calvary soon!ReplyDelete
Ooh, hope you like Calvary and Two Days, One Night, Ruth! I love them so much! :)Delete
Glad to see Interstellar make your list! The lack of love from the Academy is so unsettling to me...ReplyDelete
Interstellar was a very powerful film. It's a shame the Academy couldn't nominate it for Best Picture. I actually prefer it to Inception.Delete
Great list. Love that double Marion love. She really killed it in 2014. Also love that Calvary is ranked so high, I thought that one would stick around longer. Shame it didn't.ReplyDelete
Thanks man. Cotillard had a phenomenal year, no doubt. Calvary kind of disappeared, which is shame. Oh well. It's still a great movie.Delete
Interstellar was a very powerful film. It's a shame the Academy couldn't nominate it for Best Picture. I actually prefer it to Inception.Lincoln BrixiusReplyDelete
Yeah, I loved Interstellar. Since posting this list I've seen more 2014 films, and it now misses my top 10. I'm still a big fan of the film, though.Delete