Before I look at some of this year’s upcoming releases, I want to revisit the music and movies that made my 2014. Since ranking favorites is a moderate form of torture for a music/film enthusiast, they’re not listed in a particular order. You can click each picture to enlarge it and read the captions.
It took a while for me to completely wrap my mind around this film, and I still think I need a second viewing, but what really sells “Birdman” for me are the stunning performances from its cast.
The fact that this film exists is mindblowing to me. It was filmed over a twelve year period and is one of the most moving films I have seen in a long time. This is another film with standout acting performances.
“Hellion” is a realistic, sometimes gritty, portrayal of the life of Texas brothers and their father’s attempts to hold it together. The characters feel very real and it’s been interesting to see the film expand from a Sundance short into feature length. Child actor Josh Wiggins gives a standout performance in his first role, and I hope to see him in more films in the future.
I’ll admit that initially, I had low expectations for this movie, but was pleasantly surprised by how great it was. It was funny, smartly written, and was designed to appeal to viewers of all ages. The awesome animation deserves a nod as well.
“Whiplash” was the most stress-inducing film I saw this year, but in a good way. It’s an intense film that poses some intriguing questions. Is greatness innate or does it have to be pushed and extracted from someone? For those striving for greatness, how far is too far? This film has an amazing soundtrack, and a career-best performance from J.K. Simmons. At many points in this film, I found myself holding my breath and gripping my seat from the intensity.