I started off fine, at least three films a week from January and then, as the weather got warmer it stopped. Just like that. I watched four films from August to just before Christmas, rubbish I know. So, no promises for 2015 – I have a lot of viewing to catch up on from this year…
10. THE LEGO MOVIE – Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
Awesome! That is all.
9. MALEFICENT – Robert Stromberg
Based on the fairy tale The Sleeping Beauty, this Disney picture is dark and foreboding and utterly brilliant. Angelina Jolie plays Maleficent, the bad fairy who is only bad because a guy was really horrid to her, go figure. She seeks vengeance in typical bad fairy fashion and then regrets it. Oops.
8. HER | Spike Jonze
A masterpiece that I thoroughly enjoyed – again, a lot written about this one but the exploration of the emotional and sensual relationship between one man and his operating system was enjoyable if a little frightening.
7. NYMPHOMANIAC: VOL. 1 AND VOL. 2
Cheating, but two separate films that I had to watch one after the other because I loved them. Charlotte Gainsbourg plays Joe who is attacked and saved by a passerby. As he tends to her back home he gets an erotic earful of everything that she has got up to over the years. Two films to explain why Joe got a beating in the first place, but an enjoyable few hours spent in an exhausting, sexual world that soon loses its eroticism due to the matter of fact tone Gainsbourg employs.
6. NYMPHOMANIAC: VOL. 1 AND VOL. 2 – Lars von Trier
I already said everything about this wonderful pair just up there.
5. DALLAS BUYERS CLUB – Jean Marc Vallee
Matthew McConaughey is startling and charismatic as Ron Woodrof, a cowboy diagnosed as HIV positive in 1985 and given 30 days to live. A story of how different lives combine to make the best of a situation. This film was funny and tragic and life affirming.
4. THE 12 O’CLOCK BOYS – Lofty Nathan
A great documentary about Pug, a young boy from West Baltimore who aspires to be one of the 12 O’Clock Boys, a group of dirt bikers who perform stunts and generally cause chaos around the neighbourhood. Beautifully shot, it’s really interesting to watch Pug evolve from a sweet little boy into a street pre-teen with attitude. His sweetness still shines out underneath it all though – I got me a soft spot for Pug.
3. 12 YEARS A SLAVE – Steve McQueen
I’m not going to write much about this film – everything that could be said has been said. I’m just glad that Solomon Northup’s story was brought to the big screen. I do still have to get through the book though, not easy reading.
2. OUT OF THE FURNACE – Scott Cooper
Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson, Forest Whitaker and Casey Affleck – some great actors coming together in this gritty drama. Affleck plays a soldier home from Iraq who gets himself into all sorts of trouble through his bare-knuckle boxing. When he disappears it is left to his brother (Bale), the hard working mill worker, to take matters into his own hands and look for him. My heart was in my mouth so many times watching this film, it really does keep you on the edge of your seat.
1. ANNIE – Will Gluck
Back in the days of video shops my brother and I used to make our mum rent the same films week after week – Michael Jackson’s Thriller for my brother and Annie for me, we had a serious addiction going on. I can’t hazard a guess on how many times I have seen the film, I loved it, and not just because I was a little ginger kid with a ton of freckles.
So you have some idea of why my excitement has been mounting. Of course it’s different – it’s a remake, it needed to be brought up to date so kids today could relate. Daddy Warbucks has become Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) a mobile phone giant running for mayor, so there’s lots of social networking going on throughout. Some parts of the classic songs have been changed, ‘no-one gives a smidge if you’re a foster kid’ (rather than ‘in an orphanage’), and there’s a couple of new songs too. And yes, Annie’s black. There was a big thing about that. Seriously, what is wrong with some people?
The original Annie is referenced throughout which I enjoyed – the opening shot is of a ginger curly haired girl reading. Cameron Diaz is brilliant as Miss Hannigan and I wanted her wardrobe (as I did Carol Burnett’s). I could seriously write a paper on this film, it didn’t disappoint one little bit and made me sing and dance in my aisle seat (much to my boys embarrassment).