Thursday, January 15, 2015

My 10 Favorite Movies of 2014

That's right, MOVIES not FILMS because you can't have a film list that includes a flick with Denzel Washington slowly walking away from an explosion without looking back. (Side note: I loooove Denzel movies. If you let me pick what we're watching, I'll pick a one-word-title Denzel kicking ass movie or something with vampires every time. If Denzel were to do a vampire film, I would probably never stop watching it.)

Last year was the first year I did this 'best movies' business because I'm not a film critic or a movie buff or anything like that but I wanted to do it again this year because I saw some stuff that made me feel feelings this year, you guys. A couple of these made me wanna jump up and down and fist pump when I exited the theater, like, YEAH MOVIES WHOOP. So, yeah. MOVIE LIST IN YOUR FACE. This year I picked my 10 favorites and then made up some dumb categories for a handful of other flicks I found interesting or fun or whatever. This may be cheating but I think we'll all be OK.

*Disclaimer: I have not watched Whiplash or Boyhood or Selma yet. I'll get around to it, geez.

*Other Disclaimer: Yes, I'm aware that January is halfway over. Also, I'm going by the U.S. release date, doods. If I saw it in the theater in 2014, it's fair game. I mean, except for, like, Ghostbusters. Ooooooh Ghostbusters. Swoon.

Anyway. Let's do it:

1) Only Lovers Left Alive
This movie is beautiful and wonderful and everyone should watch it. I'll watch any vampire movie, as I said above (I even watched a movie about vampires at a prep school earlier this year) but this one is really well done. I will watch it again for sure. Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston could not be any more suited to their roles. The film is darkly funny with a majorly satisfying ending. I wanted to climb inside it.

2) Birdman
I walked out of the theater dazed and happy after this movie. I also walked out wishing I still did plays because you feel as though you're in a theatre the entire time; it's extremely evocative. It's more of a journey than a movie. I feel like it's perfect. Oh and the entire cast is crazy great. Just phenomenal. I don't watch award shows often but I hope they win everything ever.

3) Pride
I'd never heard of this one when we decided to rent it one chill night. Then I cried four times while watching it. Yup, four times. Not like a trickle but sobbing tears. Because it's just such a beautiful story. It's an English film about a gay rights group in the 80s who lend their support to the miner's strike. There are so many wonderful moments in the movie. I came away feeling inspired and humbled by the love and courage of the characters.

4) Guardians Of The Galaxy
I've seen this one twice already and I can't believe that I don't have a dancing Groot on my desk yet. This might be the only movie that my two eldest nephews and I can agree rocks the universe. (I saw it the first time with them and it was crazy adorable how much they love it.) It's pretty much everything you want from a superhero movie: funny, exciting and badass with a soundtrack full of terrible 70s and 80s tunes.

5) What If
I've seen a lot of romantic comedies but I can count on one hand the ones I've actually liked. I would say I loved this one. It's quirky and sweet but not grossly sweet. It's funny without trying to reinvent the wheel or whatever. And Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan couldn't be more charming. Watch this one when you want to be cheered up.

6) We Are The Best
This is the only movie on my list with subtitles but it's (for me) the most relatable. It's about two thirteen-year-old girls in Sweden in the 80s who are figuring out who they are by embracing punk music and as close to a punk aesthetic as they can with nothing to work with but their existing wardrobes and a pair of scissors. They start a punk band and it's crazy adorable. The way the characters are written is amazingly accurate; they speak and behave exactly like real girls that age. And the spirit of rebellion in the film is spot on. It made me feel nostalgic and happy and I think you should watch it.

7) Snowpiercer
This is another one that made me want to fist bump strangers when I left the theater. It's a post-apocalyptic situation -except on a train and with a bunch of snow- but it never feels stale. There are twists and turns and great performances by Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton, who I really feel like could make any movie work.

8) Edge Of Tomorrow
This movie did so poorly at the box office that they rereleased it under the title Live Die Repeat. Watching it confirmed my belief that most American movie goers have terrible taste. I mean, the movie's really really awesome. Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt are fighting for the human race but they have to keep living the same day over and over. Like sci-fi Groundhog's Day but there's no Bill Murray and way more shit gets blown up. It's so so so good, you guys.

9) The Grand Budapest Hotel
I never get sick of Wes Anderson movies and this one is as delightful as you'd expect it to be. My husband once said that his films are like being inside a diorama and I think that's pretty true of this one. It's quirky and fun and the characters are insanely amusing. One of my favorite things about this movie is that Willem Dafoe is in it. Just watch it.

10) Big Hero 6
Ahhh so much cuteness! I can't remember the last time I liked an animated Disney film this much. I laughed out loud several times while watching this and ate an entire bag of mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I guess that doesn't have anything to do with the movie but man were they good. Like, they're really tiny and cute but they taste just like the big ones and they're easier to eat while watching a movie and they go sooooo well with popcorn! Anyway, this movie is cute and sweet and there's a big inflatable robot dude, what's not to love?

Honorable Mentions: Obvious Child, The Lego Movie, Frank

Oh and I made up some categories because why not:

Didn't hate it, haters: The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Armies
Terrible but also fucking wonderful: Equalizer
Super awesome until the last 15 minutes: The One I Love
Made me the most uncomfortable, good job Donnie Darko: Nightcrawler
Monster I'd most like to adopt: Godzilla

OK, that's my list, y'all. Can't wait to watch lots of movies this year and literally not do anything else at all just sit there on my ass watching lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of movies.

*photo from electric feast.