The drama concludes. It’s been an odyssey but one I’ll forever cherish. Glance over the following and bask in the glow of cinematic glory.
Carol is a sweetly tuned duet between a Hollywood heavyweight and a blossoming flower, delicately orchestrated by the marvellous Todd Haynes. Carol’s (Blanchett) clout out-muscles the youthful frame of Therese (Mara) before dropping her fur-coated-veil, which she never truly replaces.
Maturity, honesty and deception, Carol is a sensory Thelma and Louise, that plays out like any well-made pursuit picture. A pair of truly exceptional lead performances combine with the tender source material and one of the finest directing performances of the year to form a real cinematic gem.
Room is savage. Flickering between the unrelenting innocence of youth to the depths of human depravity and desperation, Lenny Abrahamson’s latest feature ensnares you in a cage of emotional fragility.
Room has a haunting ability to prevent you from the cathartic release of full-blown tears or complete revulsion, keeping answers swept under the rug and situations despicably unresolved. It is overwhelming moving to an extent seldom experienced before. Surely the gold of award’s season beckons.
In Mexican, Sicario means hitman. In English, Sicario means atmosphere.
There is a quiet tension that permeates all of Denis Villeneuve’s features. It is searingly obvious in Prisoners, as Gyllenhaal’s police officer contrasts with the irate father played by Hugh Jackman. It dictates the pace of Enemy, as Gyllenhaal’s solemn depression echoes in the silence. Yet, the quiet tension is different in Sicario. It is subtler than both Villeneuve’s previous, silently radiating between each set of characters. The underlying mistrust between Blunt and Brolin and Blunt and Del Toro is palpable even when the characters do not share the screen, such is the strained heartbeat of the film.
Sicario is tense, taut, powerful and a thrill to behold.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is the pinnacle of young adult film-making. The high-school setting and conflicted protagonist have all the traits of The Duff or The Fault in Our Stars but Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is without the underlying preppy feeling that holds such films back. Someone recently said that Me and Earl and the Dying Girl looked like the film The Fault in Out Stars could have been, but in all honesty, The Fault in Our Stars never had a hope of being this good.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is smart, delicate and real without gloating in it smartness or shouting its message.
Don’t take this rating lightly as Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is pretty damn perfect.
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.
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.
And there you have it. Some truly special films made this side of the list and I implore you to catch up if you’ve missed any of the preceding. If I’ve overlooked any make sure to let me know!
Images courtesy of vimooz, film autonomy, blackfilm, thedissolve and washingtonpost respectively.