Friday, 16 January 2015

2014 Round Up


A little late to the party, but wanted to round off 2014 after a shockingly lazy and sparsely written ending to the year – changing jobs has its demands!

Anyhow, it was a great year for cinema and TV alike, and although the London Film Festival and BFI preview screenings through the year weren’t as memorable as previous years, the productions on showcase were stronger, and some films in particular really packed a punch. Timothy Spall’s two-year crusade to learn to paint for Mr Turner was a worthwhile investment, giving a bulldog portrayal of the grunting artist, Jake Gyllenhaal shed the pounds and sharpened the cheekbones for a snake-like Lou Bloom in the brilliant Nightcrawler, and Rosamund Pike is finally brings her A game with a subtle and nuanced delivery of Amazing Amy in Fincher’s creepy adaptation Gone Girl. We also had the fast-paced beats of Whiplash, the quirky storytelling of Grand Budapest Hotel, Michael Fassbender and co go experimenting with sounds (and mental health) in Frank, and Phillip Seymour-Hoffman’s swansong performance as German spymaster Günther Bachmann in LeCarre adaptation A Most Wanted Man. It was a kick ass year for cinema.

However, fantastic storytelling, epic character arcs and incredible acting chops are more commonly becoming synonymous with the small screen rather than the big one, and 2014 truly defined the golden age of television, as bigger budgets, higher viewing numbers and increased network and on-demand competition demanded better programming for the more selective viewer. Maggie Gyllenhaal (like her aforementioned brother) deserves a mention for her wonderful performance in Hugo Blick’s The Honourable Woman, Billy Bob Thornton went uber-cool psychopath in Fargo, and the McRenaissance continued with Matthew’s philosophical gothic cop drama, True Detective, and let's not forget Keeley Hawes as the years most discussed British character Lindsay Denton in Line of Duty.

Without further ado, here’s a list of the best of 2014, (and worth noting, I missed Boyhood, hence the glaring omission given the buzz generated):

Film
  1. Whiplash – psychological thriller pitching drum prodigy against master conductor
  2. Frank – off the wall drama following wacky fictitious band The Soronprfbs
  3. Mr Turner – Mike Leigh’s masterpiece sees Timothy Spall capture the last decades of the great artist
  4. Nightcrawler – neo-noir crime thriller which explores the antics of crime reporter and sociopath, Lou Bloom
  5. Gone Girl – Fincher adapts Gillian Flynn’s creepy  bestseller with aplomb
  6. The Grand Budapest Hotel – escapade comedy from the amazing mind of Wes Anderson
  7. Edge of Tomorrow – Doug Liman adapts Japanese sci-fi to create the best blockbuster of the year
  8. The Guest – crime thriller with nostalgic sounds, kick-ass one-liners and a twisty plot
  9. A  Most Wanted Man – Hamburg-set spy thriller complete with labyrinthine plot and slow-burn chills
  10. Interstellar – Nolan delivers another unique blockbuster, delving into quantum physics and future survival
  11. Calvary – whodunnit religious crime drama from the team who brought us The Guard
  12. The Imitation Game – another Cumberbatch performance, another British classic
  13. The Babadook – Australian horror which showcases some terrifying imagery and genuine scares
  14. Leviathan – Russian masterpiece which sees one man go up against the establishment
TV
  1. The Honourable Woman (BBC Two; Hugo Blick)
  2. Fargo (FX; Noah Hawley)
  3. Utopia 2 (Channel 4; Dennis Kelly)
  4. True Detective (HBO; Nic Pizzolatto
  5. The Walking Dead 4 (AMC; Frank Darabont)
  6. Line of Duty 2 (BBC Two; Jed Mercurio)
  7. Happy Valley  (BBC One; Sally Wainwright
  8. Sherlock 3 (BBC One; Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss)
  9. Hannibal 2 (NBC; Bryan Fuller)
  10. The Missing (BBC One; Harry & Jack Williams)
  11. Game of Thrones 4 (HBO; David Benioff, D.B. Weiss)
  12. The Fall 2 (BBC Two; Allan Cubitt)
  13. Homeland 4 (Showtime; Howard Gordon, Alex Gansa)
  14. Suspects (Channel 5; Darren Fairhurst, Steve Hughes)

No comments:

Post a Comment