Top 5: January Favourites

What a month. January was almost too good. I went to the cinema eleven times last month, seeing ten films, all of which were really good. Ordering them has been a real challenge and by no means does a low placing mean a film is poor. All ten films I saw this past month are great and I would implore you all to try and catch as many as you can.

Those that missed out on the top 5 are: (in alphabetical order)

American Sniper – https://wilsonreviews.wordpress.com/2015/01/16/american-sniper/

Big Hero 6 – https://wilsonreviews.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/big-hero-6/

Birdman – https://wilsonreviews.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/birdman-or-the-unexpected-virtue-of-ignorance/

A Most Violent Year – https://wilsonreviews.wordpress.com/2015/02/02/a-most-violent-year/

The Theory of Everything

 

But those that made the cut are as follows:

5. Selma – https://wilsonreviews.wordpress.com/2015/01/25/selma-dissatisfyingly-snubbed/

I was very disappointed that Selma didn’t get more Oscar nominations. The two it received were wholly deserved, but nods for Oyelowo and DuVernay would have also been fair. The film is a special tribute to a seminal moment in American history, and featured a couple of splendid performances (Oyelowo, Stephan James). Selma dealt perfectly with the portrayal of the American ‘hero’ and steered away from painting any character as an outright villain. Selma‘s pain is your pain, each beating hits you just as hard, and each victory feels like your victory.

Image courtesy of cinemaviewfinder

Image courtesy of cinemaviewfinder

4. Ex Machina – https://wilsonreviews.wordpress.com/2015/01/29/ex-machina/

Ex Machina is another fine example of the heights British Sci-fi can reach. Ex Machina is the superb directorial debut of Alex Garland and is both smart and terrifying. Though the film is somewhat predictable in its fashion, it is packed full of tension and suspense. Its excellent cast is the film’s crowing glory; Oscar Isaac is in inspired form and Alicia Vikander’s hypnotising performance shows why she’s one of the hottest upcoming actresses today. Ex Machina isn’t perfect, nor is it totally original, but it’s a damn good film.

Image courtesy of IMDb

Image courtesy of IMDb

3. Enemy

Denis Villeneuve’s sepia-toned Enemy is an film based off an adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s The Double. The Canadian world of Adam Bell is fragmented and distorted as he sees someone who looks exactly like him. Unlike Richard Ayoade’s The Double, Enemy shows the side of both doppelgangers in several intense scenes. The film is a stylish thinker and a further example of Jake Gyllenhaal’s undeniable quality. It didn’t have a widespead cinematic widespread release, but is available on demand now. Rent it now here.

Image courtesy of tumblr

Image courtesy of tumblr

2. Foxcatcher – https://wilsonreviews.wordpress.com/2015/01/10/foxcatcher/

Foxcatcher is not a fast-paced thriller, Bennett Miller chose a slow, oozing building of tension that worked masterfully. Miller’s style was effective, giving the film a tangible power that radiated throughout. Foxcatcher drips with power, from the looks Carell would shoot to the intangible air of power he had over all those around him, you were constantly overwhelmed. The film was rarely loud and never brash; Foxcatcher never chose to bully you into submission. Several awe-inspiring performances cap off what is a stand-out picture.

Image courtesy of wegotthiscovered.com

Image courtesy of wegotthiscovered.com

1. Whiplash – https://wilsonreviews.wordpress.com/2015/01/22/whiplash/

Whiplash is as close to perfection as I’ve ever witnessed. Is Whiplash the best film I’ve seen since the advent of Wilson Reviews? Undoubtedly. Is it the best film I’ve ever seen? Potentially. My review above will tell you more but simply, Whiplash became my first ever ★★★★★ review. See Whiplash at all costs.

Image courtesy of andsoitbeginsfilms

Image courtesy of andsoitbeginsfilms

 

If you need any more advice on the best movies to see, check out my Top 5 films of 2014: https://wilsonreviews.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/top-10-best-of-2014-part-2/

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