HOLLYWOOD – Everyone is doing a top ten, so I’m doing a top ten, but I don’t know if it’s a top ten of the best films, the worst films, the most middling films: it’s a top ten of something. That’s all.
1. A Most Wanted Man. This is the top of the ten films that came out this year featuring a final performance by Philip Seymour Hoffman. If you weren’t pissed about PSH dying watch this and you’ll be pissed once more and depressed. A fantastic John Le Carré adaptation. Perhaps even better than the sprawling and unfocussed Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Read the review here.
2. Boyhood. Richard Linklater’s weird sociological/anthropological experiment is a kind of epic Seinfeld episode, essentially a film about life itself and nothing at all. The bildungsroman is epic, rich and beautiful, and this from the man who brought us the wonders of the Sunset/Sunrise trilogy. And School of Rock. Read about Ethan Hawke’s new project here.
3. Whiplash. Crash! Bang! Wallop! What a Picture! Miles Teller is brilliant as the young drumming student and so is J.K. Simmons as the sadistic teacher. For the review, Click Here.
4. Birdman. Michael Keaton is back and he is kicking ass in this superlative satire on the film industry, acting, theatre, journalism, YouTube, oh Jesus, everything. Read the review here.
5. Pompeii. I didn’t see it but it’s supposed to be brilliant and there’s a chance it will win all the Oscars. Read about that here.
6. Interstellar. Christopher Nolan not only makes a film complete with worm holes, black holes and plot holes, he also spectacularly illustrates the uncertainty principle, how can someone so clever, in such a clever film, occasionally do things which seem so stupid. I went with it. Read about that here.
7. The Interview. I haven’t seen the film, but I’m going to have to. So thanks for that Kim Jong-un. I think you won round one. Read some of the stuff we wrote about it here.
8. The Guardians of the Galaxy. Marvel are now following the Pixar model of basically making old fashioned Studio era comedies dressed up as films for kids. Funny and clever and a bench mark for the Marvel house style. Click here to read about Chris Pratt’s celebrations.
9. The Nightcrawler and The Babadook and ’71: three cracking movies, all feature débuts, all fantastic with the promise of great things to come. Also all genre films. Here are the reviews of Babadook and Nightcrawler.
10. Leviathan, The Look of Silence and Mommy: Just to prove I can read, these are the films that are in foreign which you might want to have a look at. I saw them at the Cannes and Venice Film Festivals. Here are some reports from them.
Happy Xmas, Happy Hanukka, Happy mid-winter atheism for those who still enjoy food and giving.