As June comes to a close and we reach the halfway point of 2014 (yes, I know, it’s gone bloody fast) it’s time to jump on the film blogosphere bandwagon and look back over these past six months and see what cinematic treats have delighted us thus far. Well, delighted me actually, but they may have delighted you.
Unfortunately I haven’t seen everything that’s been on offer this year (Jodorowsky’s Dune), but from what I have seen, I have been mightily impressed. Yes, there have been a few stinkers (I, Frankenstein and Labor Day) but thankfully, those have swiftly been confined to the depths of obscurity as the year has progressed, but on the whole, it’s been a pretty decent first six months. So much so that I had a difficult time whittling this list down to five movies. But enough of the blah blah from me, onto to my TOP FIVE MOVIES OF 2014 THUS FAR…
Consisting of scenes entirely of a single character in his car, Steven Knight’s film is something that one would not automatically think of as being something worthy of big screen treatment. The result, as it turns out, is what has to be one of the most purely cinematic movies of the year. Tom Hardy delivers what has to be one of the finest performances of his career, as the man whose entire life unravels on a single two hour car journey. Knight’s powerful script and wonderfully inventive direction keeps things fresh, while Hardy holds your attention, never letting up for one moment.
4. The Lego Movie
Movies based on popular toys haven’t really had a decent run in terms of quality over the last few years (Transformers, Battleship), so naturally when a movie based on the insanely popular colourful brick pieces was announced, many people were skeptical, myself included. Thankfully though, The Lego Movie was being delivered by none other than Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the directing duo between both Jump Street movies and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. The end result is one of the best animated movies of the last decade. Wonderfully inventive, incredibly funny, featuring a blisteringly good voice cast and possibly one of the catchiest songs of the year, you’ll soon be proclaiming that everything about The Lego Movie is indeed AWESOME!
3. Obvious Child
Jenny Sate graduates from bit part supporting player to full on leading lady in one of the most surprising romantic comedies about abortion you’ll see this year. Gillian Robespierre’s film handles it’s subject matter with a humour and honest maturity that felt fresh and original, compared to most mainstream films of the last few years. A funny, heartwarming work that hopefully signals the beginning of an illustrious career for all involved.
2. We Are The Best!
Three outcast schoolgirls start their own punk band in 1980s Stockholm, and the result is one of the best coming-of-age dramas of the year thus far, most likely the whole year. Seriously, I honestly don’t think I’ll see a better coming-of-age film this year. I really don’t. Featuring great performances from its three young leads, Lukas Moodysson’s film is a wonderfully bittersweet nostalgic look at adolescence and staying true to oneself.
Korean director Boon Jong Ho’s latest effort hasn’t had the easiest of journey’s to our screens, but my word was it worth the wait. For a long time, it seemed that most of us would be unable to see the full uncut version of this magnificent science fiction tale of survivors of a apocalyptic ice age surviving on a train, but low and behold we did and all the better for it. For this is one of the standout movies of the year thus far, and will no doubt be in my and, hopefully many others, “Best Of 2014″ lists at the end of the year. Chris Evans gives a career best performance in a film brimming with talent and not just in front of the camera. Beautifully designed and brought to life, Snowpiercer is an absolute must see.