THE BEST MOVIES OF 2014

I thought I was going to start this blog by telling you I didn’t think 2014 was a very good year for adult flicks.  Then I looked back to my nominations for 2013 and found I didn’t think there were that many really good movies that year either.

So what’s going on?  I think I’ve become somewhat jaded and at the same time, the studios seem to concentrate on their big gambles on comic book exploits and super techno action/war stories, none of which I’m very interested in.

Here were my nominees for the outstanding films of 2013:

  • The Sapphires
  • Lee Daniels, The Butler
  • Enough Said
  • Gravity

Probably all are still available as DVD rentals or on Netflix.

Now to 2014.  We have almost twice the nominations this year than we had last, so all in all it was a pretty good year on the silver screen.  By the way, the N.Y. Times reported they reviewed about 950 films in 2014.

Fading Gigolo – With John Turturo and Woody Allen.  It’s funny and entertaining, and like an old Woody Allen flick.  Very enjoyable!  Great jazz music, too!

The Lunchbox – About lunches regularly delivered in Mumbai to office workers.  A relationship begins to develop over one that is wrongly delivered.  Interesting story, well done, with some English and subtitles.

Chef – A delightful, entertaining flick with a lot of Cuban music and salivating food that makes you hungry.  The cast is really good and the kid is terrific.  Fun, entertaining movie.

A Most Wanted Man – An interesting and intriguing anti-terrorism investigation by rival governmental agencies with outstanding performances by Phillip Seymour Hoffman and a stellar cast of spies and spy chasers.

The Skeleton Twins – A well-crafted, very realistic evolvement of a sibling relationship,  starring Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, who play off each other with comedy and pathos.

Gone Girl – An intriguing, evolving story, starring Ben Afleck and Rosamund Pike (beautiful), maybe a better movie than the book of the same name.  A little long.  Lots happening to keep your interest.  Well done.

Selma – A timely reconstruction of the events in Selma, Alabama, in 1965 and the internal quarrel over strategy, tactics and the moral future of America by the close-knit people surrounding Martin Luther King.

Mr. Turner – An earthy, messy, altogether sublime portrait of the great 19th century British painter played by Timothy Spall in a bravura performance.

Then there were some good films not quite outstanding but worth seeing:

Boyhood – All the hoopla about this flick is that it was filmed over 12 years.  That by itself is quite an achievement and it is an interesting story of a boy growing up.

The Theory of Everything – The story of Steven Hawkins with an unbelievable performance by Eddie Redmayne.  I was afraid it would be depressing, but in a sense it was somewhat uplifting.

Wild – The true life  of a young woman played convincingly by Reese Witherspoon who begins a 1,000-mile trek up the Pacific Coast Trail in an effort to find herself.  Well done, except she doesn’t wear a hat.

Foxcatcher – Another true story of the antics of a Dupont heir who tries to fulfill his fantasy of being a wrestling coach.  It features another great performance by Steve Carell, not as a comedian.

Nightcrawler – The story of the TV news paparazzi and the growth of one in particular well played by Jake Gyllenhaal with a miscast Rene Russo.

And the quirkiest film of the year:

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Another Wes Anderson flick that tickles your imagination, as well as your funny bone.

All in all, it was probably a better year for movies than we’ve had in a while.

ArtSchwartzSig

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