If you want the gravy…

…You've got to get the biscuits!


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My Top 20 and Bottom 10 Films of 2014

This has been an interesting year. On one hand, there have been 18 **** films–far more than last year, and a comparable number to 2012, which was rather incredible in its own right. And my bottom 10 is far better than any year since I’ve been keeping track; my 10th worst film wouldn’t come close to any previous list, and if that’s in part because I haven’t sought out so many bad films, well…I’ll try and do better this year. There was still some real garbage that I sat through.

On the other hand, my #1 film this year would probably be #3 last year, and most of my **** films are 87s or 88s–the bottom end of my **** spectrum. That’s not to say my #1 film is any less of a great film or that I treasure any of those 18 films less, but I’m hoping that 2015 is a step up. I’ve got a lot of faith in this year’s releases (good and bad–I really want to check out Mortdecai), and I hope that, this time next year, I’m looking at a full list of **** films–maybe a top 25 will be in order?

But let’s not put the cart in front of the horse. Let’s count our blessings–and our curses.

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Awards upon Awards! Boston, Los Angeles, Boston Online, New York Online, plus Washington D.C. nominations and British Independent Winners

Richard Linklater's grand experiment. ()

The experiment is paying off.

Got a lot to cover, so I’m not going to waste any time. Today the Boston Film Critics, L.A. Film Critics, New York Online Film Critics, and British Independent Film Awards all announced their picks, and yesterday the Washington D.C. Film Critics announced their nominations, while the Boston Online Film Critics (and I do believe there is some overlap) announced their winners–and boy, did they make me happy!

All results obtained from the excellent Awards Daily (the editorializing is all me).

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New York Film Critics Circle Awards + Satellite Awards Nominations + Gotham Independent Film Awards Results

The most entertaining performance of the year?

My spirit animal.

And now the mainstream awards start pouring in, with the NYFCC leading the way. I’m not really delighted with their picks, but we’ll deal with them and do a little prognostication while we’re at it.

On the other hand, the Satellite Awards, while nowhere near as prestigious, have delighted me with at least one of their choices. And the Gotham Awards were announced today, so let’s see what they have to say.

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European Film Awards Nominations

(Source)

(Source)

The European Film Awards recently announced their nominations. You can argue their relative prestige, but analyzing lists of nominees is so much fun that I don’t really care.

European Film:

  • Force Majeure
  • Ida
  • Leviathan
  • Nymphomaniac – Director’s Cut
  • Winter Sleep

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Awards Season Commenceth: British Independent Film Awards Nominations

9 nominations. Not too bad for a first-time director. ()

9 nominations. Not too bad for a feature debut. (Source)

So it begins. And on a good note, too. I approve of most of these categories. I don’t think the BIFAs have a huge impact on other awards (it’s not like Tyrannosaur became widely known), but they appear to have excellent taste, and in any case, I’m ready to get down to business. (Nominees sourced from IndieWire.)

British Independent Film:

  • Calvary
  • The Imitation Game
  • Mr. Turner
  • Pride
  • ’71

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My Six-Month Film Awards: 2014

Did my prediction pan out? Read on.

Did my prediction pan out? Read on.

Let’s go to it, shall we?

Picture:

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • The Congress
  • The Dance of Reality
  • Enemy
  • Ida
  • The Lego Movie
  • Locke
  • Nymphomaniac
  • Snowpiercer
  • 22 Jump Street

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IDA Review – ****

To confront the past or deny it? To deal with society, or retreat from it?

To confront the past or deny it? To deal with society, or retreat from it?

A great many films coming out of Poland these days deal with World War II and the persecution of the Jews in Poland at that time (In Darkness is another notable example), but Ida, while on the surface another entry in this genre, is much more universal than I initially guessed. An illustration of the various ways in which we try to put the past and the messiness of the world behind us, Ida is anchored by two incredible performances from Agata Trzebuchowska and Agata Kulesza, and Paweł Pawlikowski’s sharp, spare storytelling (it’s just 80 minutes long) keeps the story and the themes powerfully clear.

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