Whiplash, my favorite movie of 2014, is now available on DVD.
It’s a tale of the lengths someone will got to to be great, and the lengths someone will go to to push someone to be great. Whiplash won three Oscars® this year – including Best Supporting Actor for J.K. Simmons for the role of Mr. Fletcher, the abusive instructor/conductor of the top-rated music school’s jazz band.
Neil Patrick Harris wasn’t brilliant for most of his first evening hosting the Oscars®, but when he picked his spots he definitely sparkled – his few comments on the lack of diversity in the Academy’s selections (‘…celebrating Hollywood’s best and whitest, sorry, brightest;’ Oh, sure ! You like them now!’) may not have been many, but they were perfect – making the point and then moving on (from that first dig right into a stunning eight-minute song and dance number that dropped him into classic movie scenes).
After careful consideration – and with some trepidation – I’ve finally put together my final list of my favorite movies from 2014. It was the first time in a long while that I saw more than 200 movies and a lot of them were incredibly good (a lot were incredibly bad, or boring, but I’ve already dealt with those).
As usual, these are the films that got me laughing, crying, engaged in conversations and generally made my brain fizz in a good way. As usual, anyone who says it was a crap year for movies just wasn’t paying attention.
Also note that two movies – Selma and Boyhood (despite their importance in terms of history and/or unique concepts) did not make my favorites list – not because they were bad films. They were not. They were very, very good ones. They just didn’t connect with me as much as these twenty did.
Once again, the Oscar® nominations are unveiled and, once, again, there are some moments of controversy. This year, more than most, the concept of a Best Film nominee apparently directing itself will spark a ton of controversy – making the argument that the nominee list for directors should be expanded to match that of Best Film.
Also once again, a lot of the nominees are films that haven’t been seen by anyone outside the academy and residents of Los Angeles and New York City who felt inclined to see them over the holiday crush.
For now, though, here are the nominees and a few thoughts that wandered lonely across my mind as I encountered them for the first time.
Boyhood was the only triple winner at the 80th New York York Film Critics Circle Awards – snapping up the Best Picture, Best Director (Richard Linlater) and Best Supporting Actress (Patricia Arquette) awards. The Immigrant nabbed two awards – Best Foreign Language Film and Best Actress (Marion Cotillard).
The Lego Movie was chosen for Best Animated Film and citizenfour got the award for Best Nonfiction Film. A complete list of winners follows the jump.
The National Society of Film Critics has named Jean-Luc Goddard’s 3-D film Goodbye To Language as the best film of 2014. Boyhood and Birdman were runners up.
The Society also named their selections for Best Director (Richard Linklater, Boyhood), Best Non-Fiction Film (citizenfour), Best Screenplay (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Best Cinematography (Dick Pope, Mr. Turner), Best Actor (Timothy Spall, Mr. Turner), Best Actress (Marion Cotilliard, Two Days, One Night), Best Supporting Actor (J.K. Simmons, whiplash) and Best Supporting Actress (Patricia Arquette, Boyhood).
The National Society of Film Critics also lists runners up for all awards. For a complete list, follow the jump.
Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) led the way at the 2015 Independent Spirit Award Nominations were announced today. The film received nominations for best film, director, lead actor, supporting female, supporting male and best cinematography.
Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler and Ava Duvernay’s Selma each nabbed five noms. Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash grabbed four. For a complete list of the nominees, follow the jump.
The Calgary International Film Festival has released its list of award winners – and Whiplash has won taken the Audience Choice Narrative award, as the festival reached record attendance of nearly 28, 869. That’s a 42% increase from last year’s 20,000 attendees.
For complete list of award winners and more, check out the festival’s press release following the jump.
After seeing twenty films in eight days, I can confirm that Movie Maker got it right. The 15th Calgary International Film Festival was definitely an crowd pleaser. Featuring World, North American and Canadian premieres (in the case of The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet, pictured above – both the 2D and 3D North American premieres), as well as films with huge awards buzz (like Whiplash and Foxcatcher), and an emphasis on Canadian and Albertan films, CIFF’s programmers put together a selection that genuinely had something for everyone.