Favourites 2016

Year is 2016.

Waiting for the Arrival.

This year was a pleasant surprise for me as on paper this seemed to be a decent but not exceptional year but it ended up to be the latter with lots of good films and 4 personal classics.

(Movies I liked)

43. Weiner

This is my favourite documentary of the year in a genre that I have very few that I actually like. This one despite the intriguing figure that it explores it has a rather cinematic view that made it to look like a documentary but sometimes also a film.

42. Inner Workings

Disney’s short that I saw before Moana. This piece of animation is short yet very touching. It emphasises on why it is important for us human being to do jobs that we actually like and it is showing it in a playful and succinct way.

41. Moana

I’m not personally a fan of Disney’s princess films and this is my favourite. And not because it is diverse or any of that but it is very cute and emotional. I think the songs fit extremely well and the animation when it comes to photorealism is stupendous. Especially the scenes in the storm are jaw-dropping.

39. Moonlight

You’ve probably heard hymns about this film already. This film is a great achievement of independent film-making. How it can get a difficult subject and give it emotion. The cinematography and how the light shines on the skin of the actors is remarkable. My favourite story by far is the third with a very satisfying closure.

38. Midnight Special

Jeff Nichols films are very intimate and his second take on science fiction is no exception. Very much based on a family like Take Shelter and heavily inspired by Spielberg, Nichols gives his take on sci-fi/adventure with a bit more gloomy approach. Slow-burn as every single one of his films gets under the skin of this father and his mission to make his child happy. Thumbs up for the music.

37. Jackie

Larrain’s first English film combines American indy film-making with his own personal surreal style. I get why some might find this boring but for me is a remarkable work how Larrain can turn a Biopic that on paper looks dull into a type of horror film. Mica Levi’s score has a huge contribution to make the atmosphere eerie. Also the car scene has one of my favourite tracking shots of the year.

36. Don’t Breathe

Fede Alvarez gets a slasher genre and turns it all around. It makes it a slasher from the perspective of the victim. Very gripping and I appreciated how Alvarez used the blindness to create tension in his scenes.

35. Graduation

Christian Mungiu is famous on his criticism on Romanian society and politics. This one focuses on a family and the ethics of the family in a difficult situation. Mungiu really makes you to hate characters in every movie in a very natural way and this succeeds very well.

34. Chevalier

Another film from the Greek weird wave. I personally didn’t like Attenberg but I found Chevalier innovative, fascinating and the “weird” acting fits very well with the atmosphere and the mission of the film. A would say this film is the twin sibling of The Lobster as it tries to achieve the same result as the former.

33. Little Men

I was not familiar with Ira Sachs but I was impressed how he used his cast in this film. Especially the kids who the heart and soul of all this. Add this to your list you like coming of age genre.

32. The Salesman

Asghar Farhadi goes back home and crafts another effective story that plays between drama and thriller. Farhadi’s movies are all about characters and their motivations and here is no exception. If you liked his previous films there is no surprise here. And if you are a newcomer this will be a great introduction to his universe. Not my favourite of his filmography but a great addition.

31. Sully

In the hands of another director this probably would have a dull movie. But Eastwood gives a heart in this movie. A passion through the words carried very effectively by his protagonists. Every word weighs and you feel it. This also has a very well crafted sequence, the plain crash. I wish I had seen this in IMAX.

30. Green Room

Saulnier’s best movie to date. It takes a rock/metal concert and turns it into a thriller. Sounds great as a concept, right? Well yes and Jeremy really gives you all those vibes. Gripping but also entertaining.

29. Captain Fantastic

This is why I like Sundance film festival. Because it takes this little stories that you have seen in classic or foreign films and gives them a contemporary and makes accessible to the new age. Viggo really moves this film but there are many revelations. This is similar to Dogtooth but way more accessible.

28. Suntan

This movie comes from my home country. It’s a story about erotic infatuation and it being projected brilliantly. An introvert and not very social guy gets infatuated with a young girl and we can see his struggle into this. The struggle of a man who hasn’t had this experience in the past. Moving in it’s own way and the last scene with Economides is a great closure.

27. The Age of Shadows

A historial thriller by one of the great directors of suspense. This movie I think has some pacing issues maybe because I wasn’t very educated with the era it was projecting. But the suspense sequences that Kim crafts are impeccable. Hands down.

26. Kubo and the Two Strings

Laika’s best movie in my opinion. Travis Knight creates a visual feast here. The production design create a magnificent balance between eastern and western style. Also one of the best villains I have seen in western animation. State of the art stop motion animation.

25. 10 Cloverfield Lane

One of the many surprises of 2016. I disliked the first Cloverfield and I was not looking forward to this. But to my surprise this film takes a different turn from the first one and becomes one of the most gripping thrillers of the year. A lot has to do with the script and the performances. It gave also some Lost vibes!

24. Lion

A touching story about a guys who is looking for his biological mother. This one strips so effectively how an adopted son can find piece by finding his biological mother. I liked also the fact that the family that adopted him are not assholes which is a cliche we’ve seen countless times. Yet they are supportive and love him very much. Exceptionally shot, especially the part in India. I would prefer a better role for Rooney but it’s a tiny reservation.

23. Hacksaw Ridge

I can’t believe how a cheesy screenplay can be so wonderfully directed. Some of the lines in this movie feel forced but damn the direction of the action scenes is stupendous, not only because they are gripping they also move you emotionally.

(Movies I loved.)

22. Pete’s Dragon

I’m not a fan of Disney’s live action films, though this is a glorious exception. A family movie that touched emotionally like no other Disney film. Maybe because I love animals, maybe because of the songs, or maybe because of the cuteness that the direction aims for. I doesn’t matter, it’s touching!

21. Train to Busan

This is what this trash film World War Z should have been. And it costs a fraction of this movie. I could never believe how a zombie movie(a genre I dislike to be honest) could be so much fun and entertaining. You can watch this movie in a loop really. It’s that good!

20. A Monster Calls

I heard good reactions about the book but I’ve never read it. A Monster Calls uses 2D animation and live action techniques around a very emotional coming of age story. I was visually stunned by the animation and captivated by the narration by Liam Nesson. But most importantly I was moved by the story of that kid and his mother. I couldn’t expect to like that much.

19. Hell or High Water

I liked it less that Sicario but it’s another instalment in this unofficial trilogy. More of a western film, I liked how dirty it looks and feels. Chris Pine convinced me in this film that he can act, really well.

18. I, Daniel Blake

The best British movie of 2016 by far, Ken Loach hit my emotional cords with this story. It’s quite bleak as it should be, it has a scene that breaks your heart but nothing feels forced. It poses political issues in Britain from the perspective of a poor family. Must watch.

17. The Handmaiden

Another stellar film by the master Park. I love South Korean thrillers because they can come up with a thriller from every setting you can imagine. Here we have an erotic period film that looks like a thriller. You will be gripped and erected for sure regardless of your sexual preferences.

16. Nocturnal Animals

This is the film with my favourite sequence of 2016. I’m talking about car sequence which is nail biting as hell. This film has many explicit images and looks quite bleak and both are big compliments on the film. The production design and costumes are very classy. I felt only the ending was not so cathartic, but still good.

15. Sing Street

Another film that caught me by surprise. A coming of age story with so much warmth, ate it up. Charming, romantic with all these aspects that I love in this genre. The music is perfectly fitting with the tone of the film.

14. The Wailing

I love spiritual horror films when they make the occult so believable and not non-sense. And the Wailing projects perfectly the occult side of Buddhism in a frenetic way. Dark and absorbing with a hell of a ritual sequence!

13. Zootopia

Gradually I’m becoming a fan of Disney animation and Zootopia is my favourite film to date. An homage to cop and crime genre through the lenses of Disney animation. Such a clever and fun story with probably my favourite main character in any Disney movie.

12. The Edge of Seventeen

I very rarely laugh in American comedies, most of them feel forced to me. But not this, I laughed out loud in so many scenes! Another great coming of age with all the troubles that young teenagers face and not in US I have to say. Great ending!

11. Krisha

I probably believed that I’ve seen any kind of thriller setting. Nope, this is a family drama turned into the thriller, heavily based on it’s camera work but also editing that fluctuates the pace to create tension. A fantastic debut.

10. American Honey

I’ve probably have said it somewhere else, I think Andrea Arnold is the my favourite director on creating erotic tension between characters and this is no exception. Also what I love is how honest her films are when they depict her characters.

9. Polina

Another great surprise of a movie that I didn’t know it existed. And yes this is the year of coming of age films. Another one which follows the struggle of a young dancer to go to the bolshoi. She crosses countries, meets new people but what it stays in the roots of our soul. Magical film.

8. Toni Erdmann

When this movie got great reviews I was nervous that I won’t like it. This movie is so clever, even if I don’t speak German this movie made me laugh with the performance of the father. This guy was fabulous. And a sequence that I’ll remember for a long time!

7. Land of Mine

This is the most masculine film of the year. The film that depicts how male bonds are created through struggle and how they deeply rooted are especially in the army which is one of the most volatile environments. A fantastic depiction of army training.

6. The Witch

A new voice is coming in the horror scene. This movie looks so authentic that I cannot tell if these people are actually actors or came from that year. Bleak atmosphere as it should be, it feels almost like a Greek tragedy where through suffering a person reaches catharsis.

5. Paterson

This movie is so simple, yet so profoundly touching. I felt that I got in the head of an artist, in the head of chaos so impenetrable that other people cannot comprehend. It’s so magical how an artist absorbs stimuli from his environment. This film penetrated me fully.

(Movies I adored.)

4. La La Land

I was never a fan of musicals, this film made me appreciated them. Should I say more? I loved that it looked and sounded contemporary and not like the rest of the musicals which try to show via image and sound that has been done in the past. Also once again Damien’s characters are so interesting and I love how the male characters are not crybabies in a genre where they usually are.

3. Silence

I used to be a Christian but not anymore. Silence didn’t make me believe again if you’re expecting to hear that. But it let me step in the head of a guy who has found his path and his faith is everything he has. Very spiritual, harrowing and stunningly shot. There is a scene that will grab you by your neck and it is earned 100%.

2. Manchester By the Sea

What so say here, this movie is an emotional explosion, a film that stuck in my stomach for a long time. The unbearable burden of this person utterly penetrated me. There are two scenes that I couldn’t handle the emotional punch, it was too much.

1. Arrival

A masterpiece of science fiction. An amazing short story that couldn’t think that could be filmed and I have to say that the movie is even better. An amazing feat of storytelling, from the story which crushes competition in hard science fiction to the exceptional execution that makes the story flow and work. I’m sure that there are many cuts that would make the movie not to work properly. This is how perfect is the editing.

Favourite Films 2015

Year is 2015.

Walking the Fury Road.

2015 has been one of the best cinematic years with an incredible amount of quality. Two of my masters came back for another movie and they delivered. Many surprises and discoveries. Let’s get started.

Films I liked:
31)Far from the Madding Crowd(Thomas Vinterberg)

Thomas Vinterberg killed me in the past with The Hunt and here he tackles a genre that it’s not my favourite whatsoever. Although he made an emotional romantic story with incredible saturated colours and a great ensemble.

30)Lamb(Ross Partridge)

This movie had been bashed by many people because of the subject, but I think it got a quite distant approach in a very sensitive subject. I felt confused as the protagonists in this film and the soundtrack is excellent.

29)Rams(Grímur Hákonarson)

The subject is pretty much uninteresting to me, however Hakonarson gives a funny tone in this film and has a slight thrilling vibes too. The icelandic location has a great to contribution to the latter. Many funny moments and a great ending.

28)The Club(Pablo Larrain)

A tough sit for sure, a provoking subject which I always encourage artists to tackle those subjects. The Larrain does it without setting any boundaries. Raw, disturbing and sad this is a story that made feel very uncomfortable after watching it.

27)Crimson Peak(Guillermo del Toro)

I’m not the biggest fan of del Toro in general and I know that I’m in the minority but this movie is my favourite of his filmography. It has an incredible gothic look that gets you into that victorian era and has some very intense cinematic moments. Like the head crush in the toilet. Wow.

26)Star Wars: The Force Awakens(J.J. Abrams)

I’m not a fan of Star Wars as well, even though I liked A New Hope and kid of Empire Strikes Back. But I was pleasantly surprised by Force Awakens on how Abrams kept me amused throught the whole film. I liked also Kylo as a villain and the return of the old characters. Very good VFX as well.

25)Macbeth(Justin Kurzel)

This is one of my favourite looking films of 2015. What Kurzel and Arkapaw have done here visually is quite extraordinary, those thick red colours and the brightness in the background, very well fit. Fassbender is great and I like the variety in the roles that he chooses. It’s also a demanding movie because of the archaic language that it uses and sometimes I found it hard to follow it.

24)45 Years(Andrew Haigh)

A very bleak story between an old couple, with a phenomenal Charlotte Rampling performance. Very quiet but with very intense moments, like the video clips and the ending.

23)The Gift(Joel Edgerton)

Couldn’t believe that I would like this movie but boom. It’s a great thriller that had me at the edge of my seat the whole time. Edgerton is the whole thing here, directing,co-writing and also acting in it. A big thumps up to Joel.

22)Carol(Todd Haynes)

Very quiet film as all Haynes’s films. It captures very well the attraction between those two women. A very subtle but emotional sex scene and technically great in all aspects. Production design, constumes and cinematography.

21)Goodnight Mommy(Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz)

Tense and surreal with great aesthetics this film came from nowhere and gave a some new style into the horror genre. I hope the directors will stay loyal to genre so we will get more films in the future.

20)Slow West(John Maclean)

I’m not the biggest western fan, though this movie made me appreciate the genre. This adventurous and dirty vibe along with the great cinematography by Robbie Ryan hooked me in.

Films I loved

19)Beasts of No Nation(Cary Fukunaga)

My first film by Fukunaga and man what a great visual director. Those fight scenes were so masculine like the film itself. Also Idris Elba has possibly his best performance ever.

18)Bone Tomahawk(S. Craig Zahler)

Speaking of western genre Zahler blends horror with western to give us a bloody violent one. Loved it the fact that it was in your face without compromising with great gloomy and dusty look. The opening is absolutely sensational.

17)Christmas, Again(Charles Poekel)

This is one of those overlooked indies of the year that moved me emotionally like very few of this year. It made connect with their characters and it takes place during my favourite holiday of the year.

16)Inside Out(Pete Docter)

Pete Docter is one of the pillars of pixar with his innovative mind creates very smart stories within the animation genre. There is no exception here, with his poignant and smart story to tell that will make your heart warm again!

15)Straight Outta Compton(F. Gary Gray)

Hip hop is not my favourite music genre, but I liked a lot the songs of this film. And that is because of the great chemistry of the cast but also the direction of Gray which I’m not a big fan of. The scene they do the recording and mainly the scene at Detroit when they performed the “F the police” were some great cinematic moments of 2015.

14)It Follows(David Robert Mitchell)

David Robert Mitchell gets horror to new narratives with this contemporary feeling that It Follows has. Great aesthetics, fantastic score and it’s also such a fun film. All brought up very well together.

13)Spotlight(Tom McCarthy)

Old school film-making by McCarthy, possibly the best ensemble cast of the year and an very well written dialogues. The ending where they disclose the names made the whole theatre gasp.

12)Anomalisa(Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman)

My favourite animated film of the year, a very different view in animation. Mature with stunning stop motion technology, this film feels wierd and cute at the same time. The sex scene is pretty great.

11)Victoria(Sebastian Schipper)

A cinematic achievement in terms of film-making, very daring one-shot film that works very well, is very tense and it’s stunningly realistic. It’s because of the acting which is grounded and the dialogues are intentionally written to make the actors look like English are not their native language. Exceptional.

10)Steve Jobs(Danny Boyle)

I love Aaron Sorkin and here writes another marvelous screenplay, loved the dialogues and the whole cast. Especially Fassbender. The editing is also pretty fantastic on how it blends the flashbacks. The scene of the interaction between Steve Jobs and his daughter is just brilliant. Loved the fact also that Danny Boyle used different stocks between the different periods of time.

9)Room(Lenny Abrahamson)

This is the most emotional film for my heart this year. It wrecked me from start to finish. The escape scene is just phenomenal and the duo Brie Larson/Jacob Tremblay is the best pair of this year. Such an amazing chemistry.

8)The Big Short(Adam McKay)

I wasn’t a big fan of Adam McKay and I couldn’t believe that I would like a film that he’s done based on his filmography. But it has a great signature. It explains very well what happened with the economic crisis, yet is also highly entertaining. Editing is pretty great.

7)Sicario(Denis Villeneuve)

Villeneuve strikes back with his best film to date. A crime drama with some incredibly tense moments and a great sound design. Excellent cinematography and score by Deakins and Johannsson respectively. The opening scene, the scene at the Mexico borders and the tunnel scene are such a great cinematic crafts. Very well done.

6)The Lobster(Yorgos Lanthimos)

My favourite original screenplay of the year. It’s so hard to find screenplays that are fresh and original and this is one of the few. Also Lanthimos’ eccentric style becomes here more efficient as opposed to this previous movies.

5)Ex Machina(Alex Garland)

This film saves science fiction for this year. It has a dystopian and kubrickian vibe. Great view in AI and in the era we see so many ridiculous screenplays about computer science Garland delivers a great one. VFX on Alicia Vikander are outstanding and I loved the slow burn and tense feeling that this movie has.

Films I adored:
4)Son of Saul(Lazlo Nemes)

One of the most impressive directorial debuts of the decade. Such a stunning work with a very distinct style of direction. This handheld camera-work creates that claustrophobic atmosphere which chokes you. Incredible sound mixing and loved that blurry cinematography too.

3)The Hateful Eight(Quentin Tarantino)

Tarantino is one of my favourite film-makers ever and no surprise that I loved his second spaghetti western effort. Such an amusing film with great dialogues plot influenced by Agatha Christie powered by exceptional acting especially Goggins and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Score is also pretty great by Morricone.

2)The Revenant(Alejandro González Iñárritu)

This is an incredible cinematic achievement, what Inarritu and Chivo made here is great feat. Inarritu made his own Apocalypse Now with extremely difficult filming, very practical VFX and stunning performances by DiCaprio and Tom Hardy. The bear scene is easily my favourite moment of the year. A technical achievement.

1)Mad Max: Fury Road(George Miller)

This is another cinematic triumph, an amazing visual masterpiece. Very dense in his visual layers, masterful score by Junkie XL and one of my favourite visuals I’ve seen ever. I dare to say this is the best action film ever made, hands down to George and his crew.

Favourites Films 2014

Year is 2014.

Observing the stellar space.

This year I have 32 movies in my favourites list. It’s been a decent year with some absolute favourite movies that I’ve seen, some pretty good and some solid films. I divide those film in 3 categories – films I liked, films I loved, films I adored. Let’s get started.

(Films that I liked)
32)Boyhood(Richard Linklater)

I consider this film a quite overestimated one because of the reactions that I heard about it. Nonetheless it’s a pretty good one and there is a uniqueness in the style of film-making that Linklater uses by shooting this in a span of 12 years. Definitely ambitious, to what is trying to achieve. I found some parts of the movie really strong and some others not particularly good. But that’s me. Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette are great in their supporting roles(two of my faves supporting of 2014). I didn’t particularly related myself to any of the events, but I enjoyed mostly the first part of the film. Linklater is a very hit and miss filmmaker for my tastes but Boyhood is definitely a hit!

31)Locke(Steven Knight)

This is possibly the most unique film on the way it’s been shot. It’s the first time I’ve seen car as an one room location film and it works because of the script and of course Tom Hardy. The dialogues are interesting enough to keep to hooked in the plot and Tom Hardy delivers the lines very efficiently.

30)A Most Wanted Man(Anton Corbijn)

A slow burn spy thriller that could have been tighter but it gives you some great moments as a payoff. Philip Seymour Hoffman is excellent and the final scene is one of the finest directed scenes of the year.

29)American Sniper(Clint Eastwood)

This film has been critisized for the way it portrays a sniper who killed lots of people. Which is perfectly understandable. I cannot neglect though the quality of the film which is pretty great. Bradley Cooper gives an amazing performance supported brilliantly by Sienna Miller and Clint directs some really tense sequences. Especially the first and the scene in the sandstorm.

28)The Imitation Game(Morten Tyldum)

This is a biopic of ones of the most improtant figures in science, Alan Turing. So as a subject I was all in. I have to say that I have some reservations. I felt it went a bit into cliche roots and I think some aspects were highlighted more than others, like his scientific contribution. But it’s still a well made biopic and Morten Tyldum after Headhunters proves that can tackle also a bigger film in terms of scale. Alexandre Desplat composes a highly emotional score too.

27)Selma(Ava DuVernay)

This film pairs up with the previous one. Here the difference was that I wasn’t very related with the subject but I think that the film-making was better as a whole. The scene in the street proved that to me the way it was shot. I felt it was a bit long, but very solid film.

26)Inherent Vice(Paul Thomas Anderson)

It was raved by the critics almost the same way Boyhood was. It’s a daring adaptation, because from what I heard the book it pretty unfilmable and I can see that because of the hallucinatory tone it has. I wasn’t blown by Joaquin Phoenix who is one of my favourite actors but he’s still good. And even though I love PTA because of There Will Be Blood and The Master which I consider masterpieces, here I felt that he dared to experiment more with his tone, partially succeded but I don’t think he got the performances of the forementioned films. The comedy aspect of the film didn’t actually worked for me too.

25)Ida(Paweł Pawlikowski)

This is hands down on of the best shot films of the year. Pawlikowski knows how to give you a old feeling in his movies. I wasn’t attached to the subject but there some lines that really hit me.

24)Frank(Lenny Abrahamson)

I love films about music and Frank is a very charming film. I didn’t like very much the songs in the film, but I loved the chemistry of the cast and Michael Fassbender gives a quite demanding performance as he has to use a lot of body language just like Tom Hardy used as Bane. I really liked also the ending.

23)71(Yann Demange)

I wasn’t familiar with Demange’s work before that, but I was impressed how this guy created a so believable atmosphere with 71. Jack O’Connell is a revelation and deserves equally good roles in the future.

22)Winter Sleep(Nuri Bilge Ceylan)

This is the most demanding film of the list but it’s a very good one. It’s long definitely and you feel the length. Very talky and it’s hard to get evey detail if you’re not native Turkish speaker. I watched it with English subtitles and I felt that I lost a lot of things. But from what I got from the translation his dialogues have a poetic and philosophic tone. I just hoped Ceylan to be a little bit more visual director because when his does something more visual, like the scene with the horses, or the car crash, it looks so astonoshing.

21)Big Hero 6(Don Hall, Chris Williams)

I hadn’t been a fan of disney animation before Wreck it Ralph. But after that they got an original direction which I’ve liked. Big Hero 6 is another installment into that route that gets the superhero genre and combines Disney tone with anime elements and crafts an incredibly entertaining film that I had a blast from start to finish. Definitely my favourite animation of the year by a lot.

20)I, Origins(Mike Cahill)

Science fiction is not a genre that is well represented in film especially in small budget territory. I, Origins is a perfect example of this science fiction style that I want to see more in films. I liked the subject a lot and how it combined scinece with religion and drew pararells between them. I liked the first half of the film more.

19)Wild(Jean-Marc Vallée)

I got connected with this film, because firstly I’ve done many long walks in the army and I know how it feels and secondly I loved the determination of this woman going “wild”. Also the production I think was very believable from my experience and the flashbacks gave also an extra flavour to it.

18)Mommy(Xavier Dolan)

There are scenes that I absolutely love in this film and some that I felt that I couldn’t believe and get into them. The music is phenomenal and very emotional and the separation scene felt like having a heartbreak. A great step up for Dolan.

17)Tangerines(Zaza Urushadze)

I didn’t know what to expect from this film, but it caught be by surprise as it how emotionally moving it is. Those men being trapped into that house injured and wathcing their interaction is outstanding. It plays as a mockery of war but using a serious tone which I’m more familiar with.

Films that I loved
16)Guardians of the Galaxy(James Gunn)

Not being a fan of Marvel except for Iron Man 1 and Iron Man 3 and not liking the trailers. I was expecting this to be really bad for my tastes. And it won me over. James creates a humour that is extremely organic compared to the other marvel films and that is what I love in this film. That it never tries to become fun. It is organically. Also this is the first marvel film that I’ve seen that looks different from the mass.

15)Wild Tales(Damián Szifrón)

Another film that I had zero expectations before that it captivated me completely. The best pacing imho of 2014 with the stories being tight enough and extremely enjoyable, I would watch hours and hours of this style of storytelling. It’s right my alley. My favourite story was one with the car. Such a fun story!

14)Two Days One Night(Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne)

Every year there is a film that is so groundly realistic that makes believe every second of it. Dardenne’s craft their most believable and best film they’ve done. Cotillard is a force very grounded performance. Also the film is such a gut punch to what is happening to a well-developed country within European Union.

13)Borgman(Alex van Warmerdam)

It’s hard to say that you love Borgman just how disturbing it was. But it was a film that created me some very strong reactions while watching it especially because the imagery is so strong and explicit, it nails your head.

12)Nightcrawler(Dan Gilroy)

Gilroy’s thriller is such a bombastic film with a very noir and contemporary look that has Jyllenhaal on fire and the script crafts a character who is an annoying yet interesting one to explore.

11)Enemy(Denis Villeneuve)

Denis after his big success with Prisoners he returns back to indie film-making wearing David Lynch’s shoes in a very surreal film, full of symbolisms with another great performance by Jyllenhaal. Denis shows how versatile director and dark director he is which I appreciate a ton.

10)Mr. Turner(Mike Leigh)

This is the most beautifully shot film of the year. The color pallettes is an extreaordinary feast for the eyes that accompanies very tighly the theme of the film. Timothy Spall is also my favourite leading performance of the year doing a very obscure yet believable role. I have to say that the film is long and a bit self-indulgent and scenes could have cut out. However it wasn’t the bore that other people had mentioned. By any means…

9)Foxcatcher(Bennett Miller)

This tackles subjects that I’m very interested in as a person. The strife for excellence, masculinity and insecurity as a man. The look of it creates also an aura of gloom that makes me dig into it even more. Great work by Greig Fraser. The difference with the other biopics of this year is that movie despite it’s length has intensity and pace and an ending that will leave you having emotions inside you in the end.

8)Phoenix(Christian Petzold)

A meditation in world war 2, a character study with a very dark and desparate tone and you feel that your stomach is heavy the whole time. The production design has a great contribution, with the remnants, the rotten buildings it gives you that ugliness that the main character feels. Nina Hoss is a very underestimated Actress who is brilliant here. And the ending just made my heart stop. That good.

7)Under the Skin(Jonathan Glazer)

Speaking of dark atmosphere, Glazer’s Under the Skin is like going into a dark tunnel that feels that you know it won’t end up well. The visits of Scarlet inside the city of Glasgow picking up boys, the alienation that the score creates and visual storyteeling of Glazer showing that sinking motion of these men. I swallowed it. And a hell of an ending.

6)The Grand Budapest Hotel(Wes Anderson)

Wes Anderson is a hit and miss for my taste. That being said this movie is my favourite Wes Anderson film. It’s just an enjoyable ride, that I can rewatch over and over. It just flows and you have a big smile. It flows using Wes’s eccentric style with an astonishing production design and a such a fun tone.

5)Birdman(Alejandro González Iñárritu)

Birdman is my favourite acted film of 2014. The whole cast just marvels in front of these endless long shots that follows the characters in those corridors and rooms. The shots of Lubezki from bottom to top worked extremely well here because of the physicallity of the actors, the weirdness that it was the intimacy between actors. Also after a while it was a film about complicated characters and I’m happy that it was embraced in an era that characters tend to be flawless.

4)Gone Girl(David Fincher)

I’m a Fincher fan when he goes back to thriller. And with Gone Girl he goes back to his roots. And he knows how to create tension and keep you at the edge of your seat. Credit goes of course to Gyllian Flynn’s page turner novel. The scene on the bed is my favourite directed scene of the year.

Films I adore:

3)Force Majeure(Ruben Östlund)

Very similar to Two Days One Night, it’s one of those little stories that just hit me. Although here, this film challenged my ethics, the norms of society in an extremely well-written film about relationships in a setting that will give you more anxiety. Favourite foreign film 2014.

2)Whiplash(Damen Chazelle)

Chazelle just first floored me with the first film I watch from his work. This film has by far the best editing of the year despite not being a thriller it punches you constantly throught it’s entire duration. It’s a study on masculinity, with my favourite supporting male performance of the year and an amazing scene which is the ending of this film.

1)Interstellar(Christopher Nolan)

Nolan is my favourite director and he never fails to create different emotions to me in his films. Here I cried for the first time in a Nolan film and I’m not a person who normally cries in films. The clips McConaughey watches, just wrecked me. It’s incredibly ambitious on how it pushes the boundaries of science fiction and what the medium can tell. And we know Nolan is probably one of the few who know how to create great spectacle and god this film is such a journey.