Welcome to the halfway point in this year’s proceedings! In honour of such an event, I have compiled my Top 10 of the year so far for your viewing delight! Enjoy…
5. EnemyThe only film on this list I have not reviewed, Enemy, from director Denis Villenueve (Sicaro), is a remarkable film which features two remarkable performances from Jake Gyllenhaal. The 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. It is, at times, absurd and always psychologically thrilling. Enemy is a film severely unappreciated film and is Denis Villenueve’s finest to date.
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.
If you let Mad Max: Fury Road whisk you away in its thousand-horsepower hurricane then its foot-to-the-floor vehicular madness will leave you endlessly entertained. Fury Road is a masterclass in post-apocalyptic action filmmaking and writing. It is relentless, exhausting and most certainly, Mad.
2. Ex MachinaEx 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.
1. WhiplashIs Whiplash the best film I’ve seen since the advent of Wilson Reviews? Undoubtedly. Is it the best film I’ve ever seen? Potentially.
After my first viewing, I couldn’t find a reason why Whiplash wasn’t perfect. After the second, I was splitting hairs. Perfection is a strong word, but Whiplash is a strong film.