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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Hannah's Top 10 Films of 2014


10. The Lego Movie


I vacillated between Snowpiercer and The Lego Movie for a while at the #10 spot, and at the last hour decided to go with my initial gut feeling and give this to Lego (perhaps the animated feature Oscar snub was playing to my sympathy). Whatever the case, this movie was adorable, hilarious, and completely surprising. I loved Legos as a kid, but I expected this to be another It's-Got-a-99%-on-Rotten-Tomatoes-but-It's-Just-Okay kind of deals. But no. This was one of the best comedies I saw all year, and I'll take more Chris Pratt wherever I can get it. 




9. Boyhood
GeekRex Review 
I think the hype for Boyhood and all of the years that went into creating the film had me expecting this film to land in my top two or three of the year, and while it didn't quite make it there, it was still such a huge endeavor that it deserves a rightful place in my top 10. Unlike so many movies, whose parts are greater than its whole, Boyhood is better looked at in retrospect as a full piece and benefits from rumination.


8. Selma
Honestly, in the wrong hands, Selma could have been a complete snoozefest. That's not to say the subject matter isn't compelling, but biopics are so often grandiose, uplifting narratives with completely unsurprising plot beats (for obvious reasons). Selma focused less on bland or random trivia about Martin Luther King and more on the savvy and strategy used to pass reform, which made it a) genuinely informative and b) not your usual biopic.



7. The Grand Budapest Hotel
I've felt less and less connected to Wes Anderson's films lately, but The Grand Budapest Hotel reminded me of why I'm an Anderson fan. Ralph Fiennes nailed the role and brought a lot of life and humor into the film, portraying probably the best Anderson lead since Jason Schwartzman in Rushmore.



6. The Babadook

I can't remember the last horror film I saw and actually enjoyed as much as The Babadook. It's one of those rare films that is scary but actually has something real to say (and by something real to say I don't mean "cell phones are evil" or some other trite social commentary). 


5. Birdman
GeekRex Review
Birdman was beautifully shot, fun, surprising, and above all, perfectly acted. I'll just steal this line from my review, because I think it sums it up what I loved about it most:

Present-day Hollywood is a road built out of big-budget franchises and super hero films, each mile paved with the latest sequel, prequel, origin story, or reboot, already mapped out decades into our future.  It’s hard not to obsess over it and hate it at the same time. Birdman lives in that feeling.

 Present-day Hollywood is a road built out of big-budget franchises and super hero films, each mile paved with the latest sequel, prequel, origin story, or reboot, already mapped out decades into our future.  It’s hard not to obsess over it and hate it at the same time. Birdman lives in that feeling. - See more at: http://www.geekrex.com/2014/10/review-birdman-or-unexpected-virtue-of.html#sthash.hyymguCB.dpuf
Present-day Hollywood is a road built out of big-budget franchises and super hero films, each mile paved with the latest sequel, prequel, origin story, or reboot, already mapped out decades into our future.  It’s hard not to obsess over it and hate it at the same time. Birdman lives in that feeling. - See more at: http://www.geekrex.com/2014/10/review-birdman-or-unexpected-virtue-of.html#sthash.hyymguCB.dpuf

4. The One I Love

The One I Love was one of those lazy day, video-on-demand viewings that caught me completely off-guard and ended up being one of my favorites of the year. I recommend going into the movie knowing as little as possible, but I'll say that it's some kind of weird hybrid of a movie like Her and The Twilight Zone.



3. Foxcatcher
GeekRex review
I went into Foxcatcher thinking it looked like some kind of mild, less-interesting version of Whiplash; a story about a young protege who has an unhealthy relationship with his mentor. I thought Steve Carrell would be a bad version of J.K. Simmons. While Simmons' performance is better, the movie is completely different and I preferred Foxcatcher. The movie has an unrelenting tone of dread and a very nuanced, slight approach at conveying the complex relationships and power struggles at work.



2. Nightcrawler
When people ask me what I thought of Nightcrawler, I ask them how they felt about  American Psycho, because it's the most perfect litmus test I can think of. And I absolutely loved American Psycho. Jake Gyllenhaal is horrifying and almost unrecognizable in this role, yet completely casual about it at the same time. The cinematography is also mesmerizing. 


1. Interstellar
...Because I don't care what they say about you, baby. You're my #1.
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