#10 – Only God Forgives
So who you think are the good guys are really the bad guys and Ryan Gosling has a strong urge to return to the womb. This is not Drive in Bangkok.
A visual feast for the eyes and mind. Not to be watched as a double header with Upstream Colour as your brain might start leaking out your nose.
#9 – Captain Phillips
End scene should win an Oscar for Tom Hanks. In those two minutes you realise why he is a master of his craft and that Greengrass has had you gripped in the palm of his hands and just allowed you to relax.
Nerve racking emotional cinema, what Gravity tried and failed to achieve.
#8 – Upstream Colour
What? Oh ok I think I get it. What about that guy though, who was he? So did they always know each other? Is that guy real or are they imaging him? Pigs, eh what now? Those are pretty flowers.
#7 – Blue Jasmine
A new telling of the classic Tennessee Williams play “A Streetcar named Desire” is all about Cate Blanchett. She embodies the mental fragility with such conviction it becomes an astounding performance to watch, bested by none this year.
Oh ya Woody Allen directed it too so there’s that.
#6 – Frances Ha
Beautiful black and white musing on how the hell you figure out what to do with your mess of a life. It’ll all work out. I hope.
#5 – Blue is The Warmest Colour
The most intense film about love and the nature of relationships you’ll see this year. Outstanding performances from Seydoux and Exarchopoulos will leave you drained but in a good way
#4 – The Way Way Back
A heartfelt coming of age drama whereby even though you know what will happen it doesn’t annoy you. A stand-out performance from Sam Rockwell as the coolest guy a young teenager unsure in his own skin could meet sets the film apart.
Harking back to the classics, mainly The Graduate, it has enough originality thanks to the writer-director team of Nat Faxon and Jim Rash.
#3 – The Place Beyond The Pines
Bit of a Heat moment here where two of the world’s biggest stars would be on the screen for the first time, chiefly Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper.
Derek Cianfrance’s follow up to his love masterpiece Blue Valentine is almost John Steinbeck like in its scope and execution. Following the lives of fathers and their sons it is epic in every sense underpinned with a fantastic score from Mike Patton.
#2 – Django Unchained
Tarantino does a western and a damn good one at that. Packed full of all his trademarks; violence, razor sharp dialogue and showmanship he tackles slavery in his own unique way.
Not to everyone’s taste but a must for western fans and packed full of stand out performances from Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson.
#1 – The Selfish Giant
I only saw Kes for the first time last year and The Selfish Giant reminded me of this so much. Focusing on two working class boys whos lot in life doesn’t add up to much, yet their friendship keeps them going strong.
A beautifully crafted film from Clio Barnard will leave you heartbroken, yet glad to have seen an honest representation of working class life.