2014 In Review

Top 10 Films of 2014 - Si

1   - Only Lovers Left Alive (Jim Jarsmusch)

What we said at the time: 'Easily [Jarsmusch's] funniest film to date, Only Lovers Left Alive is a wonderful creation. Filled with a typically vibrant, sonorous atmosphere, you feel enveloped by Adam and Eve’s world.....Populated with superb characters and blessed with an intelligent, witty script, this is a movie that will bear watching far more than once.

Why it's here: Ah, we love Jim. We really do and this is him at his scurrilous best. Perfect casting all round, especially in the central pair of star cuxifix'd lovers, this is a down right joyous, existential masterpiece. Also, the soundtrack (by Jarsmusch's own SQÜRL) is superb.

2   - Boyhood (Richard Linklater)

What we said at the time: 'Boyhood adds up to far more than the sum of its experimental, run of the mill parts. It isn’t going to hit you with any stunning set piece revelations but what it does brilliantly is give you a young boy’s eye view of memories collected over his most formative years. All the little things that gradually accumulate in the background - some half forgotten, some blazing bright in your past - until you get a wonderfully touching view of adolescence.'

Why it's here: It's been a good year for our favourites and Rick Linklater may well have produced his best individual movie to date (I refuse to let go of the Before... trilogy as his best work). A director at his very best and a cast that works perfectly. I said it at the time and I'll say it again here: Patricia Arquette - Oscar. Or else. Her performance is heart breakingly brilliant and the entire movie just grows and grows on you.

3   - The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson)

What we said at the time: 'The Grand Budapest Hotel may be the perfect Wes Anderson film. And if that fills you with dread, you aren’t going to be converted here. If you want to spend 99 minutes inside a mind-bendingly brilliant imagination though, this movie is an absolute treat. Every single (variously ratioed) frame of this movie has been agonised over and filmed to absolute perfection. The script crackles with superb absurdist humour and brilliantly unnecessary verbal flourishes.'

Why it's here: Simply the funniest movie I've seen for quite some time. Anderson has no idea when to stop with madcap detail and this is all the better for it. Filled with whimsy and subterfuge, it also features an astonishingly complete comedic performance from Ralph Fiennes.

4   - Winter Sleep (Nuri Bilge Ceylan)

What we said at the time: 'Ceylan's movie is akin to sitting down with a few glasses of wine with friends you haven't seen for a long time. The dialogue pours over you and you have no choice but to become entrapped by it. As the snow closes in and the wind whistles through the wonderful scenery, you'll find yourself completely swept up in this isolated world.'

Why it's here: Not so much a movie, but a total immersion in one man's life. Pages and pages of dialogue slip by as you are hypnotised by the subtitles. Three hours plus later, you feel just like you've been a part of Haluk Bilginer's difficult to like hotelier's existence. Another movie that grows the more you think about it, the magnificent cinematography and devastatingly beautiful landscape do it no harm either.

5   - The Lego Movie (Phil Lord / Christopher Miller)

What we said at the time: 'Packing more ideas into 100 minutes than I ever thought was possible (The Millennium Falcon turns up at one stage out of nowhere, only to have it’s power source stolen leading to hilariously disastrous consequences) and keeping up an utterly crazy pace, the movie manages to be funny, heartfelt, bonkers, knowing and touching without ever resorting to base humour or sentimental tosh. It is a triumph on all levels.'


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