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Posts Tagged ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’

This has been the toughest to compile Year End Top Ten list yet.  There are so many great films that only just missed out.  To set the parameters, all my selections are based on UK release dates so no places for: Snowpiercer that I have seen but has not received a UK release or Birdman that came out this week.  For the first time, there is a film so good that it makes the list despite seeing it on DVD not at the cinema.

Boyhood: It’s an obvious choice, but its obvious for a reason, its brilliant.  With a concept that could easily have descended an interesting but forgettable gimmick actually lends the film a unique prospective.  The main reason it works is the honesty that Richard Linklater brings to a movie like few filmmakers, his perfect casting also helps. (July)boyhood

Only Lovers Left Alive: There is so much more to Jim Jarmusch’s hypnotic and haunting vampire movie than the perfect casting of Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston as vampires.  Its warmth and dry humour negates the need for horror or even a great deal of plot.  Like all the best films, you will still be thinking about it for days. (February)Only Lovers Left Alive

The Grand Budapest Hotel: Possibly Wes Anderson’s most Wes Anderson film.  Something between a farce and a caper masquerading as a murder mystery.  Two framing mechanisms, result in a story distorted by two potentially unreliable storytellers giving an almost fairytale feel.  Ralph Fiennes is a revelation, his delivery is deadpan and his timing perfect. (March) GHB_9907 20130130.CR2

Calvary: John Michael McDonagh’s follow up to The Guard reunites him with star Brendan Gleeson. It’s a far darker film, in fact, it is the darkest and bleakest of black comedies but equally liberating and uplifting.  With a narrative that asks more questions of society than it gives answers it is a film to make you think, but you will certainly laugh along the way. I couldn’t find a cinema showing this so saw it on DVD. (April)Kelly Reilly and Brendan Gleeson in Calvary

Edge of Tomorrow: For all the films that are interesting, clever or thought provoking somethimes a movie needs to be fun, and Doug Liman’s time loop, action adventure, alien invasion, war movie is the most fun movie of the year.  (May)edge of tomorrow

The Wolf of Wall Street: A three hour movie about a character I don’t, how does it make my top ten?  The genius of Martin Scorsese as a storyteller, and Leonardo DiCaprio on top form.  Scorsese’s best and funniest film in years, possibly DiCaprio’s best performance yet. (January)THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

Nightcrawler: Dan Gilroy’s debut feature (as a director) missed out on movie of the month in October to David Fincher’s Gone Girl but Nighcrawler makes the top ten because I have through more about it since seeing it and am more keen to see it again.  Easily a career best performance from  Jake Gyllenhaal as a totally repugnant character.  (October)Nightcrawler Jake Gyllenhaal

Guardians of the Galaxy: Like Iron Man in 2008 I went into James Gun’s entry into the Marvel Universe with very little expectation but like Iron Man it just hit every mark.  A fun action adventure like the original Star Wars and the best space adventure since Serenity.  (July)Guardians-of-the-Galaxy

Interstellar: Christopher Nolan isn’t just a filmmaker, he is an artist, an artist that paints on the largest possible canvas.  His most ambitious film yet isn’t as perfect as some of his other movies but still stunning.  I haven’ made my mind up about the final act, this does relegate it a little down my list a little.  (November)interstellar

Inside Llewyn Davis: Like so many of Joel Coen and Ethan Coen’s movies a lot rests on the leading actor, Oscar Isaac doesn’t disappoint.  The setting is perfectly realised and the story is sublimely told, the only reason it isn’t higher up the list it the overwhelming sense of melancholy that is holding me back from seeing it again. Inside Llewyn Davis

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January is a strange month for cinema. While American audiences are bemoaning the lack of decent new releases, here in the UK we are enjoying this years big Oscar contenders.

American Hustle: “some of this actually happened” the true-ish story of Abscam. The performances are phenomenal but the story is a little thin. (Nominated for 10 Oscars)American Hustle

12 Years a Slave: The true story of Solomon Northup, a free man who is sold into slavery. Suffers from a week sense of time and space but still an excellent film Chiwetel Ejiofor finally gets a part to live up to the promise he demonstrated in Dirty Pretty Things. (Nominated for 9 Oscars)12 Years a Slave

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom: The CliffsNotes of Nelson Mandela’s life. Idris Elba is excellent but the film lacks is too sporadic. It would have worked better as a mini series or a two part movie like Steven Soderbergh’s Che. (Nominated for 1 Oscar)Mandela Long Walk to Freedom

The Wolf of Wall Street: My fourth movie of the year, and the fourth based on a true story. Martin Scorsese’s take on Jordan Belfort makes Boiler Room (2000) look tame. Scorsese’s best movie in years and possibly Leonardo DiCaprio’s best performance. (Nominated for 4 Oscars)THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit: Lightweight but enjoyable reboot of Jack Ryan sees Chris Pine as the fourth incarnation of the the character. All the cast are good but Kevin Costner steels the show.Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit

August: Osage County: The third and most accessible but possibly weakest movie based on a Tracy Letts play. The fantastic cast is led by Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts who are both nominated for Oscars. (Nominated for 2 Oscars)AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY

Inside Llewyn Davis: A week in the life of fictional folk singer Llewyn Davis set in Greenwich Village folk in 1961. A film only the Coen Brothers could have made, and all the better for it! (Nominated for 2 Oscars)Inside Llewyn Davis

The Movie of the Month is:The Wolf of Wall Street poster

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