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2014’s Best and Worst

February 10, 2015

The time has come to post the proverbial “Best of” and “Worst of” lists of 2014. Although I watched a fair amount of films in the past year, my personal tastes have inadvertently caused me to steer clear of most the films gumming up current lists circulating the internet. I admit, I should have made time for the likes of American Sniper, Foxcatcher, The Imitation Game, and Night Crawler (they will all be watched in due time), but instead I spent much of 2014 falling in love with 90s black cinema, watching a shit load of “The Wire” and forever being entranced by Jean-Luc Godard and noir films. Regardless, for the sake of relevancy I now present my favorite films that were produced and released in 2014. Be sure to click the links below each list to read how the films of 2014 ranked among my fellow film nerds at Movie Boozer.

“Best Of”

boyhood1

Boyhood: A masterpiece from my perspective. Not only is the scope of Richard Linklater’s expansive feat impressive, but everything from the acting to the editing is just on point in this slice of life tale.

22 Jump Street: I loved the first one and laughed almost just as hard in the sequel.

Birdman: While I can do without the ambiguous ending, Birdman is Alejandro González Iñárritu’s reminder to the masses why he’s a visual mastermind and Michael Keaton blew the roof off with his performance.

Top Five: Chris Rock being Chris Rock inspired a little by Martin Lawrence. What’s not to love? Top Five is raunchy, sophisticated and smart.

Wild: Though it’s not a cinematic feat and is admittedly cheesy and underwhelming at times I had an emotional breakthrough with Wild. As a female wanting to hike the Appalachian Trail, this was a kick in ass to get on it.

Obvious Child: Definitely one of my favorites of the year and one of the most important films surrounding women. Never has the topic of abortion been so relaxed and funny.

Mr. Peabody and Sherman: Witty and hilarious, it’s a great film for history buffs, children, and people who like poop jokes.

Beyond the Lights: I was extremely impressed by Beyond the Lights. A social commentary on pop divas complete with beautiful cinematography and great performances. It’s a great romance story that’s different and bold.

Selma: Nothing can top the 1978 miniseries King when it comes to capturing the essence and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, but Selma comes close. If this doesn’t pull at your heart strings, then you have no heart.

The Lego Movie: Am I the only one who finds the existential relationship between God and man explored  in The Lego Movie truly mind-blowing? I am… well yeah.

Further Reading From Movie Boozer


 

“Worst of”

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The Grand Budapest Hotel: Wes Anderson, suck it.

Under the Skin: What the hell was this movie? Seriously? Following Scarlett Johannsson playing a black widow of sorts with no explanation for anything at all. Too meta and lazy for my taste.

That Awkward Moment: That awkward moment when you’re dying to see That Awkward Moment only to have the best moment of the film happen 5 minutes into the closing credits when a cast member ofThe Wire appears.

Sex Tape: Jason Segel is perhaps the unfunniest I’ve ever seen him in this over indulgent iPad advertisement. Rob Lowe’s guest appearance is the best scene and even that is only a giggle’s worth.

Bears: John C. Reilly narrating the life of a family of bears in a nationally protected habitat. It’s as corny as it sounds.

Further Reading From Movie Boozer


oscars+2015

For the hell of it why not throw up a list for My Pick in the Oscars this year? For every win I predict correctly I will drink. For every prediction I get wrong, I will drink. As should you! It’s a win win.

Best Picture

American Sniper, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything, Whiplash

My Pick: Boyhood. Though I project American Sniper and all of its projected values will push it to win.

Best Actor

Steve Carell in Foxcatcher, Bradley Cooper in  American Sniper, Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game, Michael Keaton in  Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything

My Pick: Michael Keaton is brilliant and deserves the award. However, $90 million on opening weekend and critical acclaim makes me think it’ll go to Bradley. 

Supporting Actor

Robert Duvall in The Judge, Ethan Hawke in Boyhood, Edward Norton in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Mark Ruffalo in Foxcatcher, J.K. Simmons in  Whiplash

My Pick: Quit playing games and give Ethan Hawke his award! I wouldn’t be surprised if all of J.K. Simmons’ unneccesary shouting and ripped pectorals will land him the Oscar though.

Best Actress

Marion Cotillard in Two Days, One Night, Felicity Jones in The Theory of Everything, Julianne Moore in Still Alice, Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl, Reese Witherspoon in Wild

My Pick: Reese Witherspoon’s performance in Wild is phenomenal and inspiring. Next to Election it just might be her best. 

 
Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette in Boyhood, Laura Dern in  Wild, Keira Knightley in  The Imitation Game, Emma Stone in  Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Meryl Streep in  Into the Woods

My Pick: Patricia Arquette all the way!

 
Animated Feature

Big Hero 6  Don Hall, Chris Williams and Roy Conli, The Boxtrolls  Anthony Stacchi, Graham Annable and Travis Knight, How to Train Your Dragon 2  Dean DeBlois and Bonnie Arnold, Song of the Sea  Tomm Moore and Paul Young, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya  Isao Takahata and Yoshiaki Nishimura

My Pick: Big Hero 6… though it’s really strange The Lego Movie wasn’t even nominated.

 

Adapted Screenplay

American Sniper Written by Jason Hall, The Imitation Game  Written by Graham Moore, Inherent Vice  Written for the screen by Paul Thomas Anderson, The Theory of Everything  Screenplay by Anthony McCarten, Whiplash  Written by Damien Chazelle

My Pick: Can’t say as I’ve only seen 1 of 5, but my money is on The Imitation Game.

Original Screenplay

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)  Written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo, Boyhood  Written by Richard Linklater, Foxcatcher  Written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman, The Grand Budapest Hotel  Screenplay by Wes Anderson; Story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness, Nightcrawler  Written by Dan Gilroy

My Pick: Birdman’s screenplay is on point, but I can’t comfortably say having not seen Nightcrawler or Foxcatcher.

Cinematography

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)  Emmanuel Lubezki,  The Grand Budapest Hotel  Robert Yeoman, Ida  Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski, Mr. Turner  Dick Pope, Unbroken  Roger Deakins

My Pick: The Grand Budapest Hotel. Though I abhorred everything about it, the cinematography is flawless as always with Wes.

Director

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)  Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Boyhood  Richard Linklater, Foxcatcher  Bennett Miller, The Grand Budapest Hotel  Wes Anderson, The Imitation Game  Morten Tyldum

My Pick: Such a difficult choice between Boyhood and Birdman . One is a brilliant testament to the extent of film’s scope while the other showcases the ingenuity of filming techniques. Both honestly deserve it.

 

Film Editing

American Sniper  Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach, Boyhood  Sandra Adair, The Grand Budapest Hotel  Barney Pilling, The Imitation Game  William Goldenberg, Whiplash  Tom Cross

My Pick: Boyhood.

 

Makeup and Hairstyling

Foxcatcher  Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard, The Grand Budapest Hotel  Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier, Guardians of the Galaxy  Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou and David White

My Pick: Guardians of the Galaxy though I think it’s a bit unfair that a Sci-Fi film is in the ranks among dramas.

 

Visual Effects

Captain America: The Winter Soldier  Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill and Dan Sudick, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist, Guardians of the Galaxy  Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner and Paul Corbould, Interstellar  Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher, X-Men: Days of Future Past  Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie and Cameron Waldbauer

My Pick: Interstellar. Despite the mediocre execution, the visuals are breathtaking. 

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