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15. The Immigrant - If one were to rank the films of 2014 based solely on innovation, The Immigrant would probably end up near the bottom. Writer-director James Gray’s languid melodrama tells the tumultuous story of a resilient Polish woman looking to find a slice of the American Dream without much in the way of narrative bravado or anything approaching experimentalism. The moralistic script feels like a relic from a bygone studio era. But to assess the film’s merit based on its stubborn refusal to buck conventions is to deny one’s self the virtues of one of the year’s great films. Marion Cotillard gives an unforgettable performance as Ewa, the titular heroine whose desire to save her sister enables her to overcome the harsh realities of life in New York’s Lower East Side in the early twentieth century. Joaquin Phoenix portrays the snarling antagonist who helps her survive, »
As the year winds to a close, Soundtracking looks back at the ten best moments, songs and trends that made 2014 a great year for music on screen.
It’s the only way to kick off this list. If the 21st Century truly believed in cassettes, most copies of this soundtrack would be worn out by now. The first ever back catalogue-only soundtrack to hit Number One on the Billboard charts, Awesome Mix Vol. 1 was a masterpiece in Am Radio curation. But you already knew that. Cue the Star-Lord strut:
9. The F Word
Michael Dowse’s rom-com wins the Canadiana Award for 2014 thanks in large part to an original score by New Pornographers founder A.C. Newman and a dappling of Patrick Watson throughout the film. Ironically, the most memorable track from the film comes courtesy of southern duo The Parting Gifts.
8. Tweedy gets out in front of »
- Shane McNeil
After a summer season of blockbusters that gave the cinematic landscape of jewels and gems worthy of inspection a shake, “awards season,” from which some worthy contenders showed themselves, came roaring. Likewise, a backlog of more movies in the thick of this holiday season growing, certain timely realities proved elusive, in terms of getting to see everything 2014 — a year with more discoveries on my part than planned anticipation — had to offer. For that reason, potential favorites may turn up by the time some people, including myself, get to see those.
Yet, among the larger blockbusters (Interstellar, Godzilla, Guardians of the Galaxy) and widely lauded releases (Gone Girl, Boyhood, Whiplash, Birdman), surveying every crevice of that landscape, there were a lot of movies that were released, watched, podcasted about and reviewed here on Sound on Sight.
(Look for Sound on Sight’s finalized, staff-wide list of this year’s best on December 28.)
In fact, »
- Fiman Jafari
Posters are more often than not the first things we see during a movie’s marketing campaign. They provide us with a little snapshot of what’s to come, and if they’re done right, posters can completely embody the style, tone, and content of an entire film. Case in point: The Exorcist.
It doesn't matter how good word-of-mouth is, if the poster sucks, we might not want to see the movie. Yes, we do occasionally judge a book (or movie) by its cover. Yet sometimes posters are more memorable or even better than the actual movies they’re promoting, and this year is no different. The films with 2014’s best posters are an interesting mix of critical darlings, surprise hits, underperformers, and box office bombs.
Here are the ten best movie posters of 2014:
10. Men, Women and Children
Though Canadian director Jason Reitman might not be winning any awards for the poorly-received Men, »
- Sasha James
When is a gimmick not a gimmick? When it underscores strong storytelling rather than distracting from a bad script. It was easy to think of the selling points behind “Boyhood” (actors age in real time during a production spread out over a dozen years); “Locke” (movie centered around one man in a car making phone calls) or “Birdman” (camera and editing tricks employed to make the film look like one continuous take) as mere hoopla – and then we saw the movies.
Not all of the year’s best films employed such razzle-dazzle, but it was heartening to know that in »
- Alonso Duralde, Inkoo Kang and James Rocchi
When it comes to cultural impact, mega-sales and drama, this year’s Best Original Song category at the Academy Awards is going to have an awfully difficult time competing with last year’s category.
The 2013 winner, you might remember, was “Let It Go,” the anthem from “Frozen” that became a hit around the world and spawned a zillion amateur YouTube renditions.
See photos: 15 Movies You Already Forgot About: TheWrap’s Best & Worst 2014 (Photos)
And “Let It Go” was joined as a nominee by another song that was so ubiquitous that most sentient human beings got sick of hearing it before the Oscars – Pharrell Williams’ “Happy, »
- Steve Pond
I'm curious what the consensus will be in ten to twenty years, once we look back and evaluate the movies of 2014. It seems I continually see people referring to it as either a great year or a terrible year with little in-between. Were you to judge the year on the quality of the mainstream studio features I could see where you might be disappointed. It wasn't exactly the best year for blockbuster cinema. Hell, Christopher Nolan even came out with a new big budget film and it didn't even make it onto my list of Honorable Mentions. However, you look at the mini majors and smaller distributros, studios such as A24, Fox Searchlight, Sony Classics and Open Road and things begin to perk up, but these studios don't market their films on every channel so at the end of the year when people are asking me "what movies they should »
- Brad Brevet
The Vancouver critics have just joined the party, always offering an interesting assortment of nominations given their practice of splitting off a whole separate section for Canadian films. "Birdman" led the way in the international list, while Xavier Dolan's "Mommy" led the way in the Canadian section (which will probably be cold comfort after his film was unceremoniously snubbed by the Academy's foreign film committee). Check out the full list of nominees below. Winners will be announced on Jan. 5. And, you know: The Circuit. International Best Film "Birdman" "Boyhood" "Whiplash" Best Director Wes Anderson, "The Grand Budapest Hotel" Alejandro González Iñárritu, "Birdman" Richard Linklater, "Boyhood" Best Actor Benedict Cumberbatch, "The Imitation Game" Jake Gyllenhaal, "Nightcrawler" Michael Keaton, "Birdman" Best Actress Marion Cotillard, "The Immigrant" Tilda Swinton, "Only Lovers Left Alive" Reese Witherspoon, "Wild" Best Supporting Actor Edward Norton, "Birdman" Mark Ruffalo, "Foxcatcher" J.K. Simmons, "Whiplash" Best Supporting Actress Patricia Arquette, »
- Kristopher Tapley
And so we come to the end of our individually chosen FYCs. Amir, our team coordinator, is off for a month long holiday (!) which leaves myself, Nathaniel, your immortal but ever running-late host to wrap things up. To recap: we asked each team member to write up a personal favorite longshot* from one specific category. Here's the final entry in the series, a performance I really love in a film I really don't.
Why highlight a film I don't care for? Because it's important to remember during all-or-nothing awards season that each individual element of a film is different than the big picture and ought to be treated as such for the purposes of awardage.
Which brings us to...
See, it wasn't just the eternal sunshine of California or the vast vistas of desert land and salt water. It wasn't even really the hazy hash-filled air that P.T. Anderson's troupe was breathing. »
- NATHANIEL R
Assembling a year-end top-10 list has always been a personal, even self-indulgent, ritual, a way of disguising a whimsical ranking of favorites as a carefully curated declaration of personal taste. At the risk of making things even more solipsistic than usual, let me begin by noting that the fraught relationship between artists and critics provided 2014 with one of its most compelling movie themes, with critics themselves — food critics, art critics, theater critics and, yes, film critics — figuring among the year’s most favored characters. And by favored, of course, I mean mocked, loathed and misunderstood at every turn.
In one of the most talked-about scenes in Alejandro G. Inarritu’s virtuoso backstage farce “Birdman,” a washed-up movie star named Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) comes face to face with a notoriously nasty New York Times theater critic, Tabitha Dickinson (Lindsay Duncan), who calmly informs him that she’s going to eviscerate his new Broadway play, »
- Justin Chang
During her Gotham Awards tribute speech, Tilda Swinton name-checked one unexpected collaborator just before exiting stage: Chris Lyons, the man behind Fangs FX. A prosthetic effects company specializing in dental wonders, Swinton personally rang Lyons for four films that played in 2014: "Only Lovers Left Alive," "Zero Theorem," "The Grand Budapest Hotel," and "Snowpiercer." For Swinton, the makeover is part of the job. If she can use special effects makeup to inch just a little closer to her vision of the character, she’ll leap at the chance. A new behind-the-scenes video gives those who bow at the Swinton altar a chance to see her undergo this metamorphosis, going from "Snowpiercer" makeup chair to on-set rehearsal with director Bong Joon-ho. In the video, the droll Swinton describes her "Minister Mason" work as "very naturalistic, very delicate, very subtle… it’s a nose job, let’s face it." Even in this snippet of footage, »
- Matt Patches
Can Tilda Swinton snag a surprise Oscar nod for her supporting performance as sinister Minister Mason in "Snowpiercer"? Unlike many of the year's more competitive categories, the Best Supporting Actress race isn't yet locked, so Swinton, Supporting Actress winner for 2007's "Michael Clayton," is in the club for this already iconic role. She wowed this year not only in summer hit "Snowpiercer," but also as a vampire in Jim Jarmusch's "Only Lovers Left Alive" and in Wes Anderson's Best Picture contender "The Grand Budapest Hotel" in a minor, but colorful, role. Our video interview with her is here. »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Update: Neil Gaiman has tweeted that it was a joke. Harrumph!
It's not true. It was a joke in an interview I'm afraid Rt @PickleAM: Please oh please let it be true that @twhiddleston will play Morpheus!
- Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) December 17, 2014
There's been talk of a big-screen adaptation of Neil Gaiman's "Sandman" for years, but it seems that things are finally kicking into gear. David S. Goyer and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are working on a script, with Jgl set to direct and star, but it seems that the prolific author has his own suggestions about who should play Morpheus.
Gaiman told RadioTimes.com, "It's a funny thing with Morpheus. Again, it's that thing where you look around and think, 'Yes, this person would be a fantastic person', and then time passes. There was a time Johnny Depp would've been a great Morpheus, but now he's too old and it's fine. »
- Jenni Miller
By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter
The holiday season is always a bit hectic, so it is understandable if you, like me until recently, failed to notice something that’s actually been brewing under the surface of the awards discussion for some time: namely, the grassroots support behind the best supporting actress Oscar candidacy of Tilda Swinton for her work in Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer.
On Monday, the 54-year-old’s performance as a gender-neutral politician in the dystopian RADiUS-twc drama — which comes on top of other chameleonic work this year in Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel (a best ensemble SAG nominee) and Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive — was nominated for the best supporting actress Critics’ Choice Award, a major profile boost.
Read the rest of this entry…
- Anjelica Oswald
Looking over the big movie titles of 2014, there aren’t a whole bunch of trends to be found. The most noticeable has to be privacy/surveillance in the digital age, which is the subject of a major documentary (Citizenfour), one of the top-grossing hits of the year (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and one of the worst box office duds (Men, Women & Children). Also, there are other ties related to great scientific minds, such as with the oft-acknowledged pair The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything, plus how those relate to films as different as The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz, Transcendence, Particle Fever and Interstellar. And there was the surprising trend in truly good vampire movies, namely Only Lovers Left Alive, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night and What We Do in the Shadows, although that last one hasn’t officially been released yet. One »
- Christopher Campbell
Going to the cinemas in 2014 was part emotional, part uproarious, and part interstellar thrill ride – there were a lot of movies to see this past year.
The everlasting bond between a parent and a child, courageous real life heroes, superheroes – past, present and future and their gripping stories of bravery graced the silver screen as well as our year ends lists. As a collective audience, we cried with them, we laughed with them and we cheered for them.
With the 323 films eligible for Best Picture at the upcoming 87th Academy Awards, have a look back at the movie-going experiences that was 2014.
We Are Movie Geeks presents our Top 10 films of 2014.
Let us know your favorites by adding your top 10 films in our comments section below.
Honorable Mention – Nightcrawler
Nightcrawler imparts a healthy amount »
- Movie Geeks
It’s all over! X Factor 2014 has reached its glorious conclusion. Ladies and gentlemen, we have discovered a new star. But enough about Stevi Ritchie, because Ben probably deserves some of your praise too.
Hand on heart, I can’t thank any of you enough for reading and commenting along in these liveblogs. This has been one of my favourite years to liveblog X Factor, and that’s largely down to how game and hilarious (and drunk) you’ve been throughout. Honestly, I couldn’t have done this without you. I have no idea what I’ll liveblog next (please god don’t let it be Stars in their Eyes), but I hope you can join me then too. Now that we’re all such good friends, »
- Stuart Heritage
"Birdman" is coming out really strong with the critics awards nominations lately, heading up another list this weekend with the Chicago Film Critics Association. The film picked up nine tips of the hat, with fellow critical darlings "Boyhood" and "The Grand Budapest Hotel" not far behind. And a lovely note: naturally, "Life Itself," about the life of Chicago staple Roger Ebert, was nominated for Best Documentary as it continues to be one of the top contenders of that field. I picture him giving a hearty thumbs up to that. Check out the full list of nominees below. Winners will be announced on Dec. 15. And remember to track it all at The Circuit. Best Picture "Birdman" "Boyhood" "The Grand Budapest Hotel" "Under the Skin" "Whiplash" Best Director Wes Anderson, "The Grand Budapest Hotel" David Fincher, "Gone Girl" Alejandro González Iñárritu, "Birdman" Richard Linklater, "Boyhood" Christopher Nolan, "Interstellar" Best Actor Benedict Cumberbatch, »
- Kristopher Tapley
The list of possible contenders for Best Original Song at the Oscars 2015 has been revealed.
Nominations will be announced on January 15.
Listen to Coldplay's 'Miracles' below:
The full list of contenders is as follows:
'It's on Again' - The Amazing Spider-Man 2
'Opportunity' - Annie
'Lost Stars' - Begin Again
'Grateful' - Beyond the Lights »
Chicago – The best movies of 2014 were on display as the Chicago Film Critics Association (Cfca) announced their nominees in several categories of film excellence. Leading the pack was director Alejandro G. Inarritu’s “Birdman,” Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and newcomer Damien Chazelle’s “Whiplash.” The best in each category will be announced on Monday, December 15th.
Photo credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures
The Chicago Film Critics Association is an organization that oversees many events in the Chicagoland area, including the Chicago Film Critics Awards, the Chicago Critics Film Festival and various film discussions and events around the city and surrounding suburbs. The nominees for the Cfca best of 2014 films are…
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Wes Anderson - “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Alejandro G. Inarritu - “Birdman”
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
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