The Best Films of 2014

Scarlett Johansson in Under the Skin

Of the 350+ films I saw this year, these are the best ones. Some of them were released last year and I’ve been a bit slow getting round to them. Some of them were released even longer ago. The criteria are – I watched them in 2014 and I liked them. That’s it. The Best Computer Chess (2013, dir: Andrew Bujalski) Andrew Bujalski, inventor of mumblecore, proved there’s life in the old beast yet with this retro-verité drama about geeks meeting in the 1980s to pit their programs against a chess-playing computer. Shooting on original video cameras in fuzzy-edged boxellated black and white, Bujalski catches the moment when the let-it-all-hang-out era died and our … Read more

7 July 2014-07-07

Ralph Fiennes and Tony Revolori in The Grand Budapest Hotel

Out in the UK This Week The Grand Budapest Hotel (Fox, cert 15, Blu-ray/DVD/digital) Like a cornier Peter Greenaway, Wes Anderson gives us tableaux, picture-postcard symmetry, exquisite control of his mis-en-scène, in a black forest gateau of a movie, set in Europe between the wars, the last great age of decadence. Its revelation is that Ralph Fiennes can do funny, as the charming but crooked concierge with a finger in every pie (and most of his aged female guests) who is accused of murder when one of his ancient paramours is found dead. Whether he did it or not is immaterial. Anderson has, by the time we get to this point, pretty much … Read more