2015 is over. Damn. That came around quickly. No, like, it actually did. Everyone says that at the end of every year, but I'm really not exaggerating. It still feels like September. I'm just a confused little boy who's not actually a little boy and is very sorry for referring to himself as a little boy. Okay, I'm just going to forget that ever happened. But yes, 2015 is over, and like every year it's time for my best and worst of lists. Like always, starting these lists off is my Top 2014 Releases Not Released In Australia Until 2015.
So, why this list? Well, this list is to give recognition to all the films I couldn't put on my 'Best of 2014' list this time last year as none of these films had been released in Australia yet. Over the January/February (and in some strange cases, even March) period we're given all of the leftover releases from the year before. This year it's going to be The Hateful Eight, Steve Jobs and The Revenant, amongst many others. I'm not saying those will definitely make my list next year, but there's still plenty of films I won't see until the following year because of where I live. So do enjoy my list and stay tuned over the next two days for my best and worst films of the year. They'll be up on this page.
Kicking off the list is Big Eyes, the Tim Burton directed biopic of Margaret Keane (Amy Adams), the famous painter whose husband took credit for all her work. When you go into a Tim Burton movie, one of two things will go down. You will either absolutely despise it, or you will be drawn into his weird and wacky world and have a good time. With Big Eyes, Burton managed to hold back on going full Burton, resulting in a film that works. And it works well. It's delightful and the performances are great, and Burton turns out to be the ideal director for this type of movie. READ MY REVIEW HERE
It's a film that took the world by storm. Birdman (Or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance) managed to be so awe-inspiring that it snagged a Best Picture win at the Oscars back in February. In my opinion, and many others, the film is slightly overrated. It's not necessarily a bad movie and there's a lot to like about it, but it's nowhere near my favourite film of 2014. This film is a work of art, though. I'm not saying that because I'm trying to call it amazing, but this really is art. I can appreciate just how spellbinding it is and why so many people adore it. On a technical level, there are no comparisons. Everything just works. It's ambiguous and has a lot to say, although I'm still #TeamBoyhood at the Oscars. READ MY REVIEW HERE
If you're interested in watching a film that's consistently emotional from the first frame to the last, Still Alice is for you. It's the film that won Julianne Moore her long-deserved Oscar and she needed it. The plot isn't all that complex, merely following the progression of this woman's disease, something The Theory Of Everything tried to do, but failed. I really don't like that movie. Still Alice I like, though. Still Alice I like a lot. It made me tear up. Good on you, movie. Good on you. Star Wars: The Force Awakens didn't even do that. I mean, I do cry in just about everything but let's not talk about that. READ MY REVIEW HERE
Clint Eastwood's filmography is rather strange. It's not that he makes strange movies, but it's more so that he's constantly going from making one okay movie to making one great movie to going back to making one okay movie and then another great one. American Sniper, thank god, is pretty damn great. It's the true story of Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper), a solider who acts tough, but deep down inside is being torn apart by his job. Cooper is great, and the film is too. It's not flawless, but it had me hooked from beginning to end, and that's all I wanted. READ MY REVIEW HERE
I don't care how old you are, where you live or what your interests are. If you are a human being, you need to watch Selma. The three films I've listed after this may be better movies, but Selma is the most important one, and it's the only one on here that's necessary viewing. It's the story of Martin Luther King (David Oyelowo), and I'm guessing you already know how that goes down. And if you don't, maybe it's about time you saw this excellent piece of cinema. READ MY REVIEW HERE
I'm a very big fan of gangster movies and crime movies, in particular that of Scorsese. Goodfellas is my favourite film of all time, and The Godfather: Part II is also up there. A Most Violent Year, which is a film not a lot of people seem to know about, just oozes with classic mob movie vibes. It's a slow burning and action-less film that's quiet in the way it tells its story, but incredible in execution. There isn't a dull moment in the entire thing. A Most Violent Year may just be my favourite performance from Oscar Isaac, and it's safe to say it's pretty close to being my favourite Jessica Chastain performance too. The more I think about this movie, the better it gets. It's easily one of the best films of 2014, and even 2015 if I were to put it in that list. READ MY REVIEW HERE
Just missing out on the top spot this year is Foxcatcher. From Bennett Miller, the Oscar nominated director of Moneyball, Foxcatcher is a dark and depressing movie that just drains the life out of you, but I loved that it did. I can pinpoint the exact moment that I fell in love with this movie. I won't spoil the scene as it's best to experience it for yourself, but it does involve a celebration and a very famous song. It just hit me at that moment that this film was the film for me. I will say this about Foxcatcher, though. It's haunting. It's a film that will certainly stick with you, and while the slow pace may be too much for some to handle, I fell in love with every second of it. READ MY REVIEW HERE
If you've been following my film adventures over the last year, you will know that I love Inherent Vice. I saw the film four days in a row. I mean, that was impressive at the time, but I have since seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens three times in one day so that's nothing. But back to Inherent Vice. Not only is it my favourite 2014 release not released here until 2015, but it's also my second favourite film of 2014 and it's one of my all-time favourites. 2014 was a great year for movies. Inherent Vice helped with this. I watched the film, read the book, read the script and even started to analyse it with the hope of writing an article that explains the entire plot. I managed to understand it all, but putting it into words just wasn't working out. It still wouldn't have made sense to others. But I really do adore this film. It's hypnotic. Paul Thomas Anderson, many seem to disagree, but I honestly believe that Inherent Vice is the best film you've made yet. READ MY REVIEW HERE