You’ve seen part one (http://wp.me/p4GEiZ-6a) so lets get straight into it. My Top 5 films of 2014 are:
5. Dallas Buyers Club
I really love this film. DBC is the true zenith of the McConassaince.
A special film about a delicate topic, Dallas Buyers Club hits home emotionally and mentally. Not only is McConaughey’s physical transformation comparable to that of Bale in The Machinist, but Leto’s transgender companion is nothing short of stunning. McConaughey and Leto rightly deserved their Oscars for their remarkable performances. Jean-Marc Vallée should be very proud.
4. Under the Skin (http://wp.me/p4GEiZ-25)
Never have I seen a film like Under the Skin. It is an eerie film that shouldn’t be called a drama, a thriller or a sci-fi picture, though it has elements of them all. This calm, disconcerting film will certainly solidify Johansson as one of the top female actors working today. Had her performance been any different, the film wouldn’t have worked. Her near-perfect performance is the corner-stone of everything that works in Under the Skin. The strength, weakness, nativity and curiosity she portrays as the other-worldly entity is remarkable.
The stylistic theme of Under the Skin is also a feat of marvel. The empty white and the full black Jonathon Glazer employs as the backdrop for some of the film’s most striking scenes will leave you with a chill down you spine and a lingering haunting feeling.
3. Nightcrawler (http://wp.me/p4GEiZ-3S)
Whilst the McConaissance may draw more attention, the revival of Jake Gyllenhaal’s career has been just as impressive. After stumbling with the Prince of Persia, a stream of serious, dark movies have followed for Gyllenhaal. Prisoners, End of Watch and Enemy all highlight Gyllenhaal’s mature new phase. However, it is Nightcrawler that stands head and shoulders above the rest.
In this cynical picture, Gyllenhaal plays a sociopathic anti-hero, the likes of which we haven’t seen since American Psycho. Gyllenhaal’s status alongside Bale is ensured as his character learns how to act in his new venture, and how to get ahead. The film is tense and at times twisted, but never anything short of tremendous.
2. Gone Girl (http://wp.me/p4GEiZ-3v)
Rarely are book-to-screen adaptations as successful as this transition has been. A reason for this is that Gone Girl hasn’t been made as a fan-pleaser. As fan of the book, it wasn’t made simply in the image I had envisioned. However, I still preferred the film.
Never have I been caught up in the psychology of a film to the extent I was with Gone Girl. Rosamund Pike is a huge part of the film’s success, in a mesmerising performance. NPH and Affleck also do their part to ensure this thrill ride is a journey you’ll never want to end. This thriller will put you through the emotional ringer, and rob you of your fingernails.
1. A Most Wanted Man
A Most Wanted Man is the perfect send-off to a brilliant talent. Phillip Seymour-Hoffman has given himself an amazing legacy. From Capote to The Master, he was constantly exceptional, and never more so than this rousing crescendo.
Sporting a brilliant German accent, Seymour-Hoffman is thrown into a metaphorical snake-pit, as several governments and local forces watch his every step. Not only does the film push through several morally-shaky areas, Seymour-Hoffman’s character is also in the grey. A broken man, Seymour-Hoffman’s character has to do anything he can to prevent splitting at the seams.
Dafoe, McAdams, Wright and Bruhl are the perfect supporting cast, and help produce a deep, chilling look into modern espionage. Based off the John Le Carre novel of the same title, the story has more twists than a country lane and I didn’t see any of them coming.
Don’t expect a fast-paced shoot-em-up, but trust me, this political thriller has it all. A Most Wanted Man and will put you through a mental obstacle course, with little chance of providing the cathartic pay-off you’ll be itching for. A film has seldom had me so worried, invested and anxious. The edge of my seat has never been so well used. A Most Wanted Man may not have made a huge buzz and may miss out come Oscar season, but it was, in my opinion, the best film of 2014.
And there you have it! A Most Wanted Man is the best film of 2014. Have an opinion on any of that? Let me know below, and by voting in the poll!
Thanks for reading, I really appreciate the support. Here’s to a cracking 2015!