Sight and Sound, Sight and SCHMOUND we say.* It’s list season and the definitive list you’ve all been waiting for is here; Maker’s films of the year. As a self-confessed bunch of friendless film nerds we have had a lot of time to mull over this year’s offerings and therefore feel almost overly qualified to deliver to you the best of this year’s crop. Not the most over-abundant harvest (this is no 2013) there has been some outstanding stuff this year and we’re here to celebrate that. (We realise that we’re starting to sound like the depressed school-governor who gives out the prizes on sports day but we SWEAR we are still super stoked about life and art and science and experience and everything, it’s just that no-one made another Blue is the Warmest Colour this year…)
*We actually have a healthy respect for this publication.
- UNDER THE SKIN
Well duuuuuuh. As predictable as the tides, of course this is our film of 2014, how could it not be?! It was custom made for movie geeks like us to salivate over and dissect (much like an alien with a flaccid sack of man-skin….) Weird, ethereal, original and beautiful with a soundtrack of pure crystalline genius this is our film of the year. We also kind of love that it was ten years in development, we’ve believed in gods for less time than that, never mind creative projects. Inspirational.
Talking of sacks of man-skin Mr. Gyllenhall lost an awful lot of weight and apparently denied himself sleep for the role of media psychopath the Nighcrawler. We liked this film on so many levels, it’s gonna be one of those ones we show our kids to make sure they’re cool, along with The Godfather, Pulp Fiction and all those other incredibly violent cultural touch stones. (We could maybe play them soothing music afterwards?)
- THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
Fundamentally this whimsical romp is about a charming man who likes to shag grannies. A granny shagger if you will. What could be more quaint? A family film for the decades. And Tilda Swinton. Always Tilda Swinton.
- BLUE RUIN
What if Tim from the Office had to get bloody vengeance? What if it wasn’t funny? What if he looked so nervous he was going to puke the whole time? It’s nice when films give you new takes on old themes, like if the avenger isn’t some macho hero but a slightly over-weight, pale sad-sack like you or I. Relatable! It’s given us the self-confidence to violently settle some old scores in a way we couldn’t do before as we thought were were just too…blah, for bloody revenge.
- TURNER- Although our MD hasn’t actually seen this film yet, she feels it’s her favourite because of her Mike Leigh thing. Ok Thea. We broke the rules for you last year, we can do it again this year. Broken windows theory innit.
6. THE WOLF OF WALL STREET – This film left us asking two questions; “What are quaaludes?’ and ‘Where can we get quaaludes?’ A straight-to-the-vain intravenous injection of pure entertainment, this film was silly, funny, punchy and clever. Have your secretary clear your schedule this afternoon if you missed it the first time around.
- GONE GIRL- Ok sometimes it’s just nice to see a film that doesn’t necessarily make sense. It’s like kissing someone you don’t really like or eating a Big Mac or swearing loud in an empty room; it’s essentially meaningless but it feels good. Gone Girl is just one of those thrillers full of holes that let’s you leave the stupid make-sensey world behind for a couple of hours. Cheaper than two bottles of wine and with less repercussions.
- MAPS TO THE STARS
If David Lynch and Billy Wilder had brain sex during a black mass, at midnight, on the shortest day of the year, it would look like this. It’s gross, dark as deepest hell but mesmerizing. Like the scene where Julianne Moore is pooping the entire time, or when Olivia Williams self immolates, or where the creepy little boy beats the other creepy little boy to a pulp. No moment however, can match the sheer blackness of when Moore’s character, failed Hollywood actress Havana, entreats her burns victim assistant to do a little victory dance with her when she finds out her arch-rival’s toddler has drowned in a pool and she can now play the role of her dreams. Hollywood painted Dark. As. Night.
Lars Von Trier returns from the wilderness to which we mentally banished him after he made Antichrist. A less sexy film about sex has never been made. Better even than McQueen’s Shame he makes you see how horrible an addiction can be, even if it’s to something as fundamentally lovely as sex. Twisted, truthful and sprawling, we like it when words and pictures combine to make truth babies.
10.DALLAS BUYERS CLUB
This came out so early in 2014 all we can remember now is that there were cowboy hats, transvestites and amazing performances. Sounds like just another Tuesday night but we swear this time it was different….
So there you have it folks, this year’s round-up. Did we miss anything? Tell us what you think. There’s two things we like doing best; arguing with people about films and crying furtively in cupboards and the one usually follows the other, so please, oblige us.