It’s been a pretty good year for movies, I haven’t seen as many as usual, but the quality has made up for the quantity. I’ll invite Tony back to weigh in with his Best 10 movies from the past year, here are mine:
10.Tim’s Vermeer (2013): I went to see this movie because of my love for Johannes Vermeer and left with a great appreciation for a guy named Tim. This documentary recounts the attempt of a brilliant and eccentric man to paint a Vermeer for himself. This movie features Penn Jillette as a narrator of the process, and is directed by Teller (yes, Penn and Teller, I know, I’m not a huge fan either, but they do some really good work here). The bringing together of art and technology was fascinating!
9.Magic In The Moonlight (2014): I normally am not blown away by Woody Allen, but this movie was charming and entertaining. Firth and Emma Stone played off of each other perfectly. Firth does bumbling and disenchanted well, and Emma Stone always seems to be great.(Emma made this list twice…)
8.Interstellar (2014): Matthew McConaghey, Anne Hathaway, and Jessica Chastain were a tremendous cast. The story was entertaining and thought-provoking with shout-outs to Stanley Kubrick throughout. Definitely worth seeing, but make sure to be awake and ready to think!
7.Lone Survivor (2013): I saw two military movies this year, both of which I was excited about, this one was easily the best (Fury was the other, and was a bit disappointing). An incredible true story that should be mandatory viewing for all high school history classes, it offers a glimpse into a world of sacrifice and honor that few of us ever get to see.
6.The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014): I enjoy Wes Anderson movies, but I don’t typically love them. I loved this movie. It was visually stimulating, funny, and heart-felt. I am surprised by all of the Academy love it is getting, but all in all it was a quirky and thoroughly enjoyable movie. Anderson does a wonderful job of transporting you to a different place and time for two hours with the sort of power and conviction that few film makers today possess.
5.Nebraska (2013): I was pulling for Bruce Dern during the Academy Awards. It was a brilliant understated movie. Dern was great, even though I pretty sure he was just playing himself. This movie is a must see from the past year. Also, if you haven’t already, go watch Bruce Dern in The Shootist on Netflix or some streaming service, he was great there as well!
4.Philomena (2013): If you just want to feel good about something or someone, watch Philomena and fall in love with Judi Dench. It was a great story, and Dench was remarkable as always.
3.Birdman (2014): Why can’t we have more Michael Keaton? He was terrific in this movie, as was the entire cast (including the second appearance on this list by Emma Stone). The story of an aging actor trying to reinvent himself was brilliant, tortured, and touching. This would be my vote for Best Picture when the Academy Awards roll around….
2.Ida (2013): This is a movie most people will miss due to its limited release. (Why are there not more independent theatres???) Director Pawel Pawlikowski made each shot of this film moving. He advanced the story as much by the way he framed his shots as he did with the dialogue. This sort of cinematography is rare these days, and was much appreciated. This movie was a joy to watch and I look forward to seeing it again!
1.American Hustle (2013): You may be sick of hearing about American Hustle after all of the love it has received in the past year, but it deserved all of that love and more. The story was terrific, and the cast was one of the best in recent memory. Christian Bale is among the three best actors alive on the planet, and Bradley Cooper is proving himself to have a place on that stage as well. Jennifer Lawrence was incredible as always, and could anybody be more talented or less appreciated that Amy Adams? A terrific film!
As always we would love to hear from you on movies that you have loved, or things that we loved that you absolutely hated. All opinions are welcomed!