The Best Movies of 2014
For my first attempt at a list, I shall do one that would have been relevant 10 months ago!!
- •The Lego MovieComedies don't get top spot enough. Animated comedies almost never do, unless they're occasionally funny emotional wrecking balls like Wall-E. But this is a pure comedy with A-grade jokes and a third act twist that doesn't leave you once you leave the cinema. What a remarkable achievement.
- •Gone GirlThose opening and closing shots are a director working at the peak of his powers. I'll even forgive the board game Mastermind appearing in frame as Fincher's name turns up in the credits. Affleck's best performance, Pike is sublime, direction is peerless.
- •FoxcatcherHaunting at the time, even more haunting now. In a film full of fantastic performances, perhaps the one that stays with me the most is Vanessa Redgrave as the most quietly terrifying mother in recent cinema history. If this list gets a new number one any time soon, it'll be Foxcatcher.
- •SelmaAva DuVernau's combination of inspirational words and painstaking acts is still with me. Oyelowo is absolutely brilliant, and the fact he didn't get an Oscar nomination still stings. Plus: a seriously good Best Original Song winner!
- •NightcrawlerJake Gyllenhaal's best performance, and that's increasingly saying something.
- •The Imitation GameI loved this when I saw it, but it hasn't quite stayed with me the way the others did. Some problematic elements, but great dialogue and performances abound!
- •Guardians of the Galaxy/Captain AmericaMarvel at the top of their game, in many ways. These movies might lack the might and power of the Avengers, but there's something to be said for crafting excellent popcorn entertainment with such dramatic consistency. It's really, really hard to do. Ask DC.
- •The Skeleton TwinsFor the lip-sync scene alone!
- •CalvaryFor the opening scene alone!
- •Into the WoodsNot the best version of the material, but the material is so good it didn't matter.