There is some brilliant movies we have seen this year, Some are pretty huge commercial movies which we all know about and seen it on fancy IMAX cinemas. But there are some movies like the ones we featured here are the underdogs of 2014 and you won’t regret watching any of the movies featured here.
Who saw Tom At The Farm or American Interior? But with the holidays coming and streaming services and DVD retailers standing by, here are 16 opportunities to pour movie goodness into your eyeballs. Hopefully, Happy Holidays guys.
This Haneke-style domestic allegory is basically a horror film in everything but name. Utterly uncomfortable to behold, with a cutglass sheen and icy claws that bury themselves into you, it probably won’t become a Christmas staple in years to come. What it does do, quite brilliantly, is funnel the current economic plight of working Greeks into a tragicomic domestic yarn of unrelenting bleakness but serious clout. One pindrop moment in particular will take some time to banish from your mind.
There was an obvious reason you didn’t see this one – unless you happened to be at the Edinburgh Film Festival or took a screwdriver to your Netflix region setting – and that’s because, for reasons of distributor politics and Harvey Weinstein re-edits, it didn’t get a UK release. More’s the pity because The Host director Bong Joon-ho turned out a singular vision of sci-fi surrealism set aboard a locomotive packed with acting talent (Octavia Spencer, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, Jamie Bell and Chris Evans) that wowed those lucky enough to catch it on the big screen.
When Empire’s Kim ‘The Duke Of Spook’ Newman and Simon ‘The Babacrook’ Crook both proclaim a film their “horror of the year”, it’s worth tracking down, preferably with a sofa nearby to cower behind. Pipping other worthies like The Babadook and Honeymoon to the crown is an Indonesian and Japanese co-production that sets two serial killers against each other in a gory deathmatch that has a whoever-wins-we-lose vibe to it. One that will thrill fans of I Saw The Devil and The Yellow Sea and scare the buttons off everyone else.
A claymation film about Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia may not have sounded like the best idea on paper, but the result is a moving, sensitive and original telling of the horrific tale. All that Pol Pottery is set against back-projected archive footage from the time. The result is a suitably unsettling juxtaposition of innocence and barbarism that won Cannes’ Un Certain Regard prize.
There’s been some terrific dramas about the experiences of South and Central Americans trying to smuggle themselves into America (1983’s El Norte and the more recent Sin Nombre and Maria Full Of Grace in particular). None, though, match the lyricism of Diego Quemada-Diez’s tale of two Guatemalan teens, Sara and Juan, as they pass through different emotional states and physical landscapes on their way north. This was social-realism with flair.
Thanks to its uncheery themes and solemn pacing, Bastards is movie Marmite, but Claire Denis’ vengeance thriller has a ferocity and spirit that marks it out as one of her very best. It follows estranged sailor Marco (Vincent Lindon) into a Get Carter-y web of sexual corruption, lies and violence as he investigates the aftermath of his brother-in-law’s suicide. Denis fans applauded loudly, but there was plenty to win the French director new disciples too.
One day soon Pawel Pawlikowski is going to make his masterpiece, and when he does the world will stop spinning in awe at its majesty. That day very nearly came with Ida, a wintry, ‘60s-set meditation on the past that represented one of the most captivating hour-and-a-bits of the year for those who caught it on the big screen. Essentially a two-hander, with newcomer Agata Trzebuchowska as a young nun trying to lay the past to rest and Agata Kulesza as the salty, boozy aunt struggling with her present, both its leads excel in a redemptive road trip film that’s starkly beautiful in monochrome and lingers long in the mind. Here’s what Robert Bresson’s Nuns On The Run might have looked like.
Super Furry Animal Gruff Rhys showed that his artistry spans all sorts of different mediums with a investigative documentary that he co-directed, scored and starred in. The Man of Fur set about tracking down an ancestor who left poverty in Wales to scour the US plains for a group of mythical Welsh-speaking Native Americans. Alongside co-director Dylan Goch, Rhys turned out a lovely, whimsical story of myth and memory. With another of his scores adorning Dylan Thomas biopic Set Fire To The Stars, it was a more than Rhyspectacle year for the Welshman. And no, we’re not apologising for that. Okay, maybe a little.
This spellbinding Nick Cave doc leads us through a labyrinth of mystique, myths and legends that’s been 30 years in the construction to show the Bad Seed, Grinderman and all-round bohemian legend at his most personal. Packed with fascinating insights into the songwriting process, it’s a creative odyssey tourguided by the man himself (he spends some of the film ferrying old pals around in the back of a car) that will enthrall newcomers. For his fanatical followers, it’s basically a superhero movie – rock and blues’ own Dark Knight Rises.
This Australian road movie about a Laotian kid and his family travelling to a rocket festival – yes, rockets get their own festival – had been bubbling around for a while before it reached UK screens, winning over festivals crowds with its wholly sympathetic eye for the toils and triumphs of its leads. Its real hero is ten year-old Ahlo (Sitthiphon Disamoe), a kid with the brass and courage to lead his skeptical clan on a perilous cross-country journey to – spoiler! – possible triumph at the rocket championships.
If Lars von Trier adapted Equus, it might share the mischievous mirth with which director Benedikt Erlingsson’s subverts a seemingly straightfaced drama about Icelanders and their horses. The film ends with a subtitled reassurance that no horses were harmed during its filming, stressing that its makers are all horse lovers, but there are times when you’d question whether they feel the same way about humans. It’s refreshing, too, to see the staggering Icelandic landscape for once uncluttered by Hollywood apocalypses and aliens.
Two British filmmakers, one RED camera, a squad of triers and a grieving Dutch coach seemed an unlikely combination for big-screen magic, but then someone probably said the same thing about the Jamaican bobsleigh team, John Candy and a broken sleigh before Cool Runnings swept all before it. Here it was the American Samoa football team attempting to bounce back from a 31-0 hammering by Australia in the World Cup qualifiers with their first ever official victory. The result – in both senses – was kinda magical.
There are better places to come out of the closet than Warsaw, as the protagonist in this punchy Polish drama would attest. Champion swimmer Kuba (Mateusz Banasiuk) watches on as his girlfriend, friends and family all react with different degrees of pungent disdain. It’s Poland’s first LGBT release and as gutsy a piece of work as you’d expect a director tackling a taboo subject. Empire’s review acclaimed it as “brooding, provocative and utterly hypnotic”. Track it down.
Alain Guiraudie’s sun-warmed murder mystery is a strangely beautiful creation for a film that’s essentially about bonking in a wood. There’s sex, sure – and Guiraudie isn’t coy about showing his junk – and the boy’s-eye view of a drowning sound casts a lazy spell as his camera glides from lake to beach to woods and back again over a few summer days.
His next, Mommy, promises even bigger things in 2015, but this year’s Xavier Dolan effort is plenty to be getting on with. The young French-Canadian – he was 24 when he made it – zeroes in on a young copywriter who stumbles unwittingly into a farmhouse packed with family skeletons. The kicker? It’s not even his own family. The result is a twisty-turny yarn filled with skullduggery and discomfort.
Joanna Hogg’s movies aren’t for everyone. They move at a pace that mirrors life itself, standing apart from the helter-skelter gallop of modern cinema like awkward guests at a riotous house party. Roland Emmerich or Michael Bay devotees will also find them massively short of explosions. But that only makes a new Hogg film something to be savoured, especially as her creative partnership with Tom Hiddleston continues to flourish. This one, which dissects a marriage in the kind of modernist house Polanksi dreams about, was another wry, deliberately-paced snapshot of modern life.