Here we go again. It’s about to be March and we’re still talking about these movies? For the love of God, Academy, please move the Oscars up in the calendar. I’m sure America would have taken one night off from Bob Costas and NBC to watch your ceremony. I would consider myself a pretty big Oscars fan but having it so late in the year wears on movie-goers.
This year’s race is actually full of unknowns and tight races (the most notable being best picture) and should make for an entertaining ceremony.
Here are my predictions for the 2014 Oscars. Read More…
Boy has this been a good year for movies. I didn’t get to see them all, but I feel like I got to see some of the best. Of course, I will update this list periodically.
10. Frances Ha
For any 20-something this movie is so true, it hurts. It could be considered a thematic counterpart to HBO’s Girls, but the character of Frances allows this movie to jump, dance, skip, and fall on its own.
This chilling crime thriller steers far deeper than the everyday-tv-cop-show level of drama. It’s writing might not be the most original, but its direction and acting (Hugh Jackman gives us some of his best work) loft this film among 2013’s best.
J.J. Abrams continues to deliver these quality big movies. I don’t pretend to be a Trek connoisseur, but it’s not hard to appreciate how the new Star Trek universe is flipping characters and story lines on their heads and making it work.
Paul Greengrass and Tom Hanks deliver some of the best work of their careers.
6. Blue Jasmine
Woody Allen continues to surprise at the ripe old age of 78. Jasmine is perhaps his most timely movie and it may be Blanchett’s best.
What makes this film special is its subtlety and lack of heavy-handedness when it came to what could have been sappy horror stories about at-risk children. Instead, it rounds each character out with grace and depth. The visual style – Brie Larson and John Gallagher Jr. knocking their roles out of the park – and the witty writing create a cinematic experience that you can’t forget.
Yes, there’s a lot to be said about this movie, but let’s not forget how darn funny it is. Nebraska is cinema gold and will linger in my mind for years to come.
It’s hard to describe how a trilogy of movies about two talkative people falling in love is so good to people who haven’t seen them. But once you see the Before movies, you’ll know. You’ll know why the acting, writing and relationship tugs your heart all over the place. This movie is a must-see for watching one of the greatest cinematic relationships ever cap off one of the best trilogies ever.
An absolute stunner of a movie that will leave you shaken to your core. Steve McQueen has done nothing but make great movies, but his third effort will surely live on as a classic. If there’s any movie this year that I plead for people to go see, it’s this one.
Although I feel like 12 Years a Slave was 2013’s most important film, Gravity still finds its way to #1 in my heart. It’s simply cinema in it’s purest form. It’s the perfect combination of visual awe, character intimacy, and tonal direction. People like to complain about the script in this movie. Umm, there was a script? I was too busy in Sandra Bullock’s helmet gasping for my own air while in my theatre seat. This is a director’s and actor’s film, not a writer’s movie. And that’s a rare thing, especially for a big budget film. The fact that there was little to no knowledge about these characters or circumstances made the experience even more personal. Any plot point or logical explanation would have taken me away from Bullock’s immediate emotional swings. This movie was never about logic or backstory. It’s about the audience’s desire to breathe. Gravity is flawless in my eyes and will stand as the greatest theatre experience I have ever had.
Honorable Mentions: The World’s End, Philomena, The Place Beyond the Pines, Upstream Color, Dallas Buyer’s Club, Her, Saving Mr. Banks, American Hustle, To The Wonder, Enough Said, Mud, The Wolf of Wall Street, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Monsters University, Oblivion
(2013 – Director: Alexander Payne Cast: Bruce Dern, Will Forte)
I could start by talking about how Alexander Payne’s newest film, Nebraska, is, yet again, a masterful addition to his growing library of classics. I could talk about the peculiar casting and how Bruce Dern and Will Forte are deserving of all the accolades that come with their leading performances. I could talk about the writing, or the music choices, or what have you…but this story is personal. Read More…