Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Films of the Year ....

Yes its that time again when we look back at what we enjoyed the most this year, at the cinema, on dvd and movies seen for the first time.

Any best list of the year has to include Wes Anderson's THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, perhaps the film I enjoyed the most and want to return to, as I do to Sorrentino's THE GREAT BEAUTY (right), BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOUR and UNDER THE SKIN.  (Reviews at 2000s label).

I have yet to see BOYHOOD - which should top a lot of lists (and will have to factor in my next year's list), or BIRDMAN, THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING, MR TURNER, SELMA, FOXCATCHER, NIGHTCRAWLER or INTERSTELLAR, so they may factor higher later. We also highly rated THE IMITATION GAME (and despite a better than average year, I am still expecting Cumberbatch to win the Best Actor Oscar, and Rosamund Pike for GONE GIRL which we enjoyed too. Award season should be quite interesting this year with so many deserving choices ...
We also highly liked PRIDE and PADDINGTON, and those earlier hits of the year: INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, and were amused by SAVING MR BANKS, then there was 12 YEARS A SLAVE and the gripping CALVARY and Scorsese's razzle-dazzle WOLF OF WALL STREET. I am afraid THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY did not quite thrill enough. Reviews to follow on some of these ...

My television event was the HBO THE NORMAL HEART, and best documentary, that new HOCKNEY, plus some terrific series like TRUE DETECTIVE.

My discoveries of the year were Pedro's THE SKIN I LIVE IN, Bolognini's 1960 FROM A ROMAN BALCONY and Tati's 1967 PLAYTIME, plus now Bourguignon's 1962 SUNDAYS AND CYBELE (see review below), plus Marcello with Monica Vitti in THE PIZZA TRIANGLE, and with Romy in FANTASMA D'AMORE, as per reviews. Those early Frank Borzage silent films like STREET ANGEL and SEVENTH HEAVEN with Charles Farrell and Janet Gaynor were delightful pleasures. The Saudi Arabian film WADJDA was a marvellous discovery as well. 

And my year's worst? A toss-up between BAD NEIGHBORS and STRANGER BY THE LAKE

We enjoyed some stunning performances too: Derek Jacobi as Francis Bacon, Michael Douglas as Liberace, Helena Bonham-Carter's approximation of Elizabeth Taylor ... On the Trash front it was amusing to re-visit Alan Bates as Diaghilev in NIJINSKY and Nureyev as VALENTINO and even Roger Daltry as Liszt in Ken Russell's abomination LISZTOMANIA ..(see Trash label!).

Films to look out for, as per the "Sight & Sound" Top 20, include LEVIATHAN and IDA.
We are looking forward to LOVE IS STRANGE (the Molina-Lithgow one), and Todd Haynes' CAROL (filmed over a year ago) from Highsmith's early lesbian novel and should be another Cate Blanchett event. 


  1. Shame, shame, shame on you for not seeking out BOYHOOD (probably my runner-up best film), MR TURNER (currently my numero uno) and NIGHTCRAWLER! I'm almost inclined to pick THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL as my most overrated film, not because I didn't think it excellent but too many people are choosing it as the year's best film which it certainly wasn't. I also think you are being unnecessarily hard on STRANGER BY THE LAKE, over-praised perhaps but still well worth seeing. Otherwise, no complaints! :)

  2. Thank you. BOYHOOD opened only recently and I must have missed its brief run at our local multiplex, but the dvd arrives mid January.