If a 2014 film review of the year is written in a forest and no one is around to read it, does it have any impact on people’s lives whatsoever? Does anyone care? Does it even exist? Well, there’s probably no better site to find out…
Welcome to the second, annual Wayward Wolf film of the year awards hosted here on my site (but chiefly in my head), in front of an imaginary crowd of glamorous sorts, dressed to the nines; award acceptance speeches scribbled on bits of paper, ready for the big moment.
I set myself a target to take in fifty new release films at the cinema this year and whilst that was always going to be a tad optimistic, I at least hoped to beat 2013’s respectable haul of thirty.
Ultimately though, it was twenty-seven cinema visits in 2014 for this here film buff. Not bad I suppose and although the number is slightly down on 2013 and one of those twenty-seven ultimately counted towards 2013’s stats, the quality of 2014’s offerings was arguably higher, over all, than the preceding year. Swings and roundabouts and all that.
Enough with the amateur statistics and general ramblings and on with the show.
Before revealing my pick of the bunch, here’s to the outstanding ten contenders of the year, in an ‘as they were seen’ order, only:
All Is Lost – A tense tale of survival against all odds and a film of very few words.
The Wolf Of Wall Street – Classic Scorcese and an absolutely fantastic, larger than life romp through a world of finance and debauchery.
Dallas Buyers Club – Matthew McConnaughey on top form as an HIV victim doing what he can to shake up the medical system in the 1980s Aids climate of fear and rejection.
Her – A mesmerising and touching tale of virtual love in a futuristic age.
Calvary – Set on the beautiful landscapes of coastal Ireland, this ‘who’ll do it’ is as much an examination of the Catholic church’s place in modern society as it is an excellent thriller.
Tom A La Ferme – A mysterious and disturbing story of a small, dysfunctional family unit and an uninvited guest. Bleak, yet gripping viewing.
All This Mayhem – One of the best and most messed up documentaries I’ve seen in a long while. Brilliant, euphoric and tragic in equal measures.
Boyhood – A truly beautiful and heart warming film made against all the logistical odds. One that should resonate with us all. Stunning cinema.
Night Crawler – Jake Gyllenhaal portrays a creepy, psychotic loner, ‘working’ his way to the top of the ‘shock news reporting’ game through any means possible.
Mr Turner – Another gem from director Mike Leigh, portraying the life and times of the artist William Turner. Visually stunning and engaging on so many levels.
All tremendous and all worthy of a watch for such a wide variety of reasons, but there can be but one winner and as difficult a task as it was to whittle it down, I’m plumping for the truly wonderful ‘Boyhood’ as my film of the year for 2014.
So, that was the best, but what was the worst film? I don’t really like to dwell on the negatives in cinema, but the wooden spoon this year was a pretty clear winner, ‘Bad Neighbours’ ; not a film I’ll be revisiting in any sort of hurry, let’s just say that, but just incase you’re intrigued:
One final thing. I decided to place ‘Blue Is The Warmest Colour’ in the 2013 category in the end, despite seeing it in January of 2014, due to it actually being released at the tail end of 2013 and consequently it narrowly edged out ‘The Act Of Killing’ to become 2013’s film of the year; you know, just incase you were wondering!
So that’s it. 2014’s over – and what a memorable year for film it was.
Here’s to 2015!
Until then folks.
Wayward Wolf Full 2014 Film Listings Table (in order of preference):
2. The Wolf of Wall Street
3. Dallas Buyers Club
6. All This Mayhem
7. Mr Turner
8. All Is Lost
9. Night Crawler
10. Tom A La Ferme
12. Under The Skin
13. Blue Ruin
14. Magic In The Moonlight
18. Jimmy’s Hall
19. Vi Är Bäst (We Are Best)
21. Unknown Known
22. The Railway Man
23. Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (3D)
24. Yves Saint Laurent
26. Bad Neighbours