Monday, January 5, 2015

Top 10 Favorite Films of 2014

Disclaimer: This is NOT a list of the best films of 2014. This is a list of my personal favorite films of the year. These are the films I liked well enough to see multiple times. Sometimes there are great films that are very worth seeing, but generally one time is enough, and I don't see myself seeing it again anytime soon. While many times those films are mentioned among the best films of the year, and rightly so, but they won't make a personal favorites list over a film I liked well enough to buy and watch multiple times.

2014 was a good year for movies. There was perhaps an unusual amount of films about doubles: The Double, Enemy, Muppets Most Wanted, and The One I Love to name a few. There were also big name directors releasing new films: Wes Anderson, Christopher Nolan, Woody Allen, Michel Gondry, Paul Thomas Anderson, Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam, Darren Aronofsky, Richard Linklater, Jim Jarmusch, and David Gordon Green just to name a few.

This year also had perhaps the best summer of blockbusters in years. There are always a couple of good ones mixed in with a lot of overdone and overall lacking films, but this year had quite a few big budget films that made tons at the box office that were also good!



Favorite film of 2014: Grand Budapest Hotel
Wes Anderson is a director with a keen eye for artistic production design, wardrobe, and cinematography. He's a meticulous planner, and it shows in the detail in just about every aspect of his films. He's a writer with a certain way with words that ends up at times beautifully idiosyncratic and at others uniquely humorous. He has an attention to detail that few filmmakers ever truly match.

All of this make his latest film The Grand Budapest Hotel one of the finest cinema going experiences I've ever had. It's truly a standout not simply in terms of its wit, and charm, but in how it's stylistically different from anything else produced in the year of 2014, and then some. Perhaps I'm biased in my fandom of Wes Anderson's work, but even I was a little disappointed in his previous effort Moonrise Kingdom. Not that I think it's a bad film, but not up to the quality of the rest of his filmography. The Grand Budapest Hotel, however, at least for me, instantly jumped up there in the conversation for my favorite of all of his films. Read my full post on it here.

Honorable Mentions: (Underrated or perhaps under appreciated)

Disappointments:
Some of these, particularly Monuments Men and St. Vincent weren't necessarily that bad, but were not up to the expectations considering the names involved in the project.
Best Soundtrack:
Guardians of the Galaxy

Of course there is also always a number of films I couldn't get around to for one reason or another that I still very much want to see. Obviously these make up the list of films that could have made my top 10:

Unbroken
Life Itself
Whiplash
Big Eyes
Listen Up Phillip
Exodus Gods and Kings
Magic in the Moonlight
Birdman
Foxcatcher
Inherent Vice
Night Crawler
Wild