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Nigel’s Best Films of the Year 2014

 See All Our Best of 2014 Coverage


 

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I love reading the slew of end of year lists that are published this time of year. But even with all that in mind, if I’m honest the best thing about these few weeks is the act of sitting down, sifting through your scribbled notes, letterboxd profile and old emails to answer that age-old question… “So, eh…. what did I like?!”

Thanks to everyone for contributing their lists and thoughts this week and cheers Groucho McGeough for keeping me in line.

Listen to Our 25th Podcast and See Our Spooool.ie Consensus Top 5See Páraic’s Top 10All Best of 2014



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1. Her

My smart phone causes a strange sense of disconnect and isolation when it leaves me – because of a dead battery. I often wake up and ask my phone’s operating system whether it’s going to rain. Spike Jonze’s Her presents the idea of an operating system taking on an identity of its own, forming a bond with its beleaguered owner and then upping and leaving. The film says a lot about how we’re allowing technology to compensate for true human connection. (Review)



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2. Inside Llewyn Davis

I had high hopes for the film about the Greenwich Village Folk Music scene from the Coen brothers and while it easily met those expectations, it also served to remind me just how good they are at combining their knack for bringing us fascinating characters with some really wonderful world building. It had taken a while, but it also brought Oscar Isaac (Llewyn Davis) into Hollywood’s A-list, with a prime spot in the new Star Wars cast just reward for his efforts. (Review)



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3. The Guest

What more can be said about one of the most fun, clever and exciting films to show up on screen in this, or any, year? (Review)



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4. Edge of Tomorrow

Winner of the wheatln2 “blockbuster of the year” 2014 award. Wonderfully digestible entertainment that doesn’t try to weigh you down with a convoluted plot or any big pretensions. (Review)



the golden dream

5. The Golden Dream (la Jaula De Oro)

It’s sad to say that very few people saw Diego Quemada-Diez’s story of some Guatemalan teens who set their sights on a life in the United States. It’s a film which deserves a much wider audience. The closing scene provides one of the year’s most devastating, gut-wrenching endings. (Review)



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6. Only Lovers Left Alive

Vampires continue to be cooler than zombies. It helps when you cast two of the coolest actors around and combine it with such solid production design and score. (Review)



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7. Boyhood

A quite divisive title here at Spooool.ie. Personally speaking, it provided one of the best cinematic “journeys” of the year, with the running time of 165 minutes really breezing by for me. Richard Linklater deserves an Oscar nomination at the very least – his omission from that list over the years is criminal. (Review)



Brad Pitt;Logan Lerman

8. Fury

Ever wanted to see just how crap it actually must have been to be involved at the tail-end of World War II? Fury provided a visceral and harrowing look at the continuous loss and devastation that befell so many soldiers, leaving them unable to even entertain the idea of returning to a “normal life”. None of the happily-ever-after Private Ryan bullshit here. (Review)



The gang

9. The Imitation Game

Director Morten Tyldum has created an inspiring family-friendly story about a man who, if legend is to be believed, was the difference-maker in ensuring the Allied Forces won the war in 1945. Cumberbatch is brilliant as Alan Turing in his first major leading man performance, awards consideration seems inevitable. The film goes down the PG route so those of you looking for an in-depth look at the real challenges of a gay man, probably suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome, living in 20th Century England may need to look elsewhere. (Review)



obvious child

10. Obvious Child

A film about a funny lady (Jenny Slate) who “gets into trouble” and has to “make a choice”. She does so on her own without the need of a man by her side to bring out the best in her. Refreshing to see. (Review)


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My obligatory “AlmostMadeItButPáraicSaysYouCanOnlyHaveTen” list… Tracks, Living In A Coded Land, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Life Itself, Ida, One Million Dubliners, ‘71, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, A Touch of Sin, The Wolf Of Wall Street, Stations Of the Cross, Locke, The LEGO Movie, Paddington and We Are The Best!.

Listen to Our 25th Podcast and See Our Spooool.ie Consensus Top 5See Páraic’s Top 10 | See Nigel’s Top 10All Best of 2014

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Nigel

Nigel loves stupid films almost as much as he likes clever films. He'll watch anything but is usually drawn to documentaries, North American independent films, Irish cinema and gung-ho, balls-to-the-walls Hollywood blockbusters. Here's what he's been watching.
 
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