I always love it when an awards group does something crazy-awesome. And the National Society of Film Critics did something crazy awesome. Crazy, crazy awesome.
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).
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.
The Immigrant looks the part of a period melodrama; the sets and costumes are spot-on, and Darius Khondji’s cinematography boasts many beautiful compositions. But when it comes to the drama, it never catches fire, in large part due to the weak script by director James Gray and the late Ric Menello. The film does have compensations, namely Joaquin Phoenix’s performance, but on the whole, I don’t see what its defenders–and it’s got plenty of them–are raving about.
So here, for your reading pleasure, is a list of 210 films I’m looking forward to this year. The first 3 blocks are mostly the really big stuff, the stuff everyone (or at least most film buffs) will know about. Beyond that…I’m digging into the little movies, stuff I might never even see, but which, based on the often minimal info I have, sounds intriguing. So many of these films I know about only through the B+ Movie Blog and its lists of 2014 films. Without those lists, this list of mine would not have been possible (links at the bottom). I owe a debt to Wikipedia as well, but it’s B+ that helped me to go as deep as I did.
I’ll hold forth on all the films in due time; I’d like to try and do a block a day, having already done the first two. Some of them I won’t have much to say about, but I’ll do my best to say SOMETHING about each one.
- Nymphomaniac: It’s Lars Von Trier. ‘Nuff said.
- Inherent VIce: Paul Thomas Anderson. First-ever Pynchon adaptation. Joaquin Phoenix in the lead. Do I need to say more?
- Boyhood: The Tree of Life meets the Up series in a film made over a 12-year period, chronicling the actual growth of our protagonist (Ellar Coltrane) and his parents (Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette). Directed by Richard Linklater. Epic-length running time (164 minutes). This sounds perfect for me.
- Maps to the Stars: David fuckin’ Cronenberg, coming off a great, hugely underseen film. An absolute must.
- Snowpiercer: Should have come out last year. Better come out this year.
- Birdman: A dark comedy about Michael Keaton (playing an actor best known for playing a superhero) trying to get a play on Broadway. From Alejandro González Iñárritu, who did 21 Grams and Babel. Co-starring Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Naomi Watts, Amy Ryan…and Zach Galifianakis. Incredibly stoked.
- Jupiter Ascending: The new film from the Wachowskis. Mila Kunis is a janitor who might be queen of the Universe. Channing Tatum is a soldier with wolf DNA. This could be disastrous or incredible.
- Gone Girl: David Fincher. Need I say more?
- Foxcatcher: Steve Carell as paranoid schizophrenic John du Pont, Mark Ruffalo as Dave Schultz, the champion wrestler he killed, and Channing Tatum as Dave’s brother, Mark. Bennett Miller directing (coming off the excellent Moneyball). Carell could be looking at an Oscar nomination soon enough.
- Under the Skin: Abstract science fiction, starring Scarlett Johansson as an alien who occupies a human body and seduces the unsuspecting. Much of it filmed on location in Scotland with locals unaware of what was truly going on. Looks incredible.