Nearly a month after Sight & Sound posted the bare-bones results of its poll of 112 international film critics, we can now browse the individual ballots, many of which come with a paragraph or two of commentary on the selections or, in some cases, the state of things in general. This is one sleek interactive machine of an infographic—have fun!
The Dissolve, too, has posted its ballots—seven rather than 112, but still. Note that Mike D’Angelo, Genevieve Koski, Noel Murray, Keith Phipps, Nathan Rabin, Tasha Robinson and Scott Tobias not only list their top 15 films but also offer a few words in each of three categories, “‘On the cusp,’ the films that just missed our Top 15, or that we just plain regret missing; ‘Orphan,’ a film that appeared on one writer’s Top 15 list but no others; and ‘Scene,’ which highlights the movie moments that stayed with us most in 2014.”
Also at the Dissolve, Calum Marsh writes about the “shot of the year,” the one “in Jean-Luc Godard’s Goodbye to Language so astonishing that the sold-out crowd I saw the film with gasped in unison. Perhaps a generation of blockbuster entertainment and stock response has deadened the word, but the only way I can think to describe it is ‘awesome,’ in the literal sense. It inspires awe.”
“This is a business that drove Steven Soderbergh from the movies to Cinemax, where he made, with The Knick, 10 hours of television that beat every Hollywood movie I saw this year,” writes Wesley Morris at Grantland. “Now, not only are midtier, so-called adult movies vanishing—the ones that Soderbergh, Sydney Pollack, Anthony Minghella, and Mike Nichols made; serious entertainments—but your giant, non-superhero mega-movies are too.” The question that’s been bugging him for the past several months: “If Edge of Tomorrow can’t be a hit, then what can?” That’s #6 on his list. #1: Lav Diaz‘s Norte, the End of History. “The movie roves wastelands; it climbs to heaven.”
“My friend Mark Harris wrote one of the more compelling and convincing impending-death-of-cinema essays recently,” notes Glenn Kenny. “Mark’s dire forecast put me in a don’t-know-what-you’ve-got-’til-it’s-gone mood, and informed my decision to Go Big with my best films of the year list. So, yes: Forty. And a few honorable mentions too.” His #1: Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice. “Discussed here, here and here.”
Selma is #1 on Jason Bailey‘s list at Flavorwire: “Should Ava DuVernay’s chronicle of Martin Luther King’s voting rights crusade receive the awards and attention it so fully deserves, watch out for the naysayers who will insist its reception is less about the film at hand than the modern movement of injustice and protest it so adroitly mirrors. To which there is a two-part response: a) poppycock, as this is bracing, sublime, bravura filmmaking, and b) yes, we respond to both what’s outside the frame and within it, and that’s as it should be.”
Leviathan tops Todd McCarthy‘s list at the Hollywood Reporter: “The film that should have won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, Andrey Zvyagintsev‘s lengthy and corrosive mural of corruption in modern Russia is a full meal—bold and rich thematically, visually, dramatically and politically.”
Variety‘s Scott Foundas and Justin Chang discuss their favorites
“This year, my top film is Mike Leigh’s years-in-the-making passion project Mr. Turner,” announces Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan. “Anchored by a heroic performance by Timothy Spall as the formidable British painter, Turner combines Leigh’s astute character psychology with a superb re-creation of 19th century Britain and an incisive examination of what it means to be an artist.”
For Owen Gleiberman at the BBC, the #1 film of 2014 is Get On Up: “More uncompromising than Ray, more electrifying than any musical of the last 20 years, Tate Taylor’s seismic drama about the life of James Brown is a stunningly authentic biopic that captures how Brown’s funk-soul rhythms changed not just pop music but the world. Chadwick Boseman, in the greatest performance by an actor this year, shows us how Brown built those rhythms—and a whole empire—over the void in his raging, passionate, stunted heart.”
The Film Stage celebrates the best in cinematography.
Creative Review looks back on the year’s best ads.
In the New York Times, Janet Maslin, Dwight Garner and Michiko Kakutani select their favorite books of the year.
The Academy has narrowed its list of films eligible for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar from 83 to nine:
- Alberto Arvelo’s The Liberator (Venezuela).
- Ruben Östlund’s Force Majeure (Sweden).
- George Ovashvili’s Corn Island (Georgia).
- Paweł Pawlikowski’s Ida (Poland).
- Abderrahmane Sissako’s Timbuktu (Mauritania).
- Damián Szifrón’s Wild Tales (Argentina).
- Zaza Urushadze’s Tangerines (Estonia).
- Paula van der Oest’s Accused (Netherlands).
- Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan (Russia).
The Florida Film Critics Circle has announced its awards:
- Best Picture: Birdman. Runner-up: Boyhood.
- Best Director: Richard Linklater, Boyhood. Runner-up: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman.
- Best Actress: Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl. Runner-up: Julianne Moore, Still Alice.
- Best Actor: Michael Keaton, Birdman. Runner-up: Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler.
- Best Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash. Runner-up: Edward Norton, Birdman.
- Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood. Runner-up: Emma Stone, Birdman.
- Best Ensemble: The Grand Budapest Hotel. Runner-up: Boyhood.
- Best Original Screenplay: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson). Runner-up: Birdman (Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo).
- Best Adapted Screenplay: Gone Girl (Gillian Flynn). Runner-up: Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson).
- Best Cinematography: Interstellar (Hoyte Van Hoytema). Runner-up: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Robert D. Yeoman).
- Best Visual Effects: Interstellar. Runner-up: Guardians of the Galaxy.
- Best Art Direction/Production Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel. Runner-up: Interstellar.
- Best Score: Under the Skin (Micah Levi). Runner-up: Gone Girl (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross).
- Best Documentary: Life Itself. Runner-up: Citizenfour.
- Best Foreign-Language Film: The Raid 2. Runner-up: Force Majeure.
- Best Animated Film: The Lego Movie. Runner-up: How to Train Your Dragon 2.
- Pauline Kael Breakout Award: Damien Chazelle (writer/director: Whiplash). Runner-up: Gugu Mbatha-Raw (actress: Belle, Beyond the Lights).
- Golden Orange: The Borscht Corp.
- Best Picture: Birdman.
- Best Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman.
- Best Actor: Michael Keaton, Birdman.
- Best Actress: Reese Witherspoon, Wild.
- Best Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash.
- Best Supporting Actress: Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer.
- Best Screenplay: Birdman.
- Best Art Direction: The Grand Budapest Hotel.
- Best Cinematography: Birdman.
- Best Costume Design: Guardians of the Galaxy.
- Best Editing: Edge of Tomorrow.
- Best Score: Birdman.
- Best Song: “I Love You All” from Frank.
- Best Animated Film: The Lego Movie.
- Best Foreign Film: Ida.
- Best Documentary: Citizenfour.
- Best Action Film: Guardians of the Galaxy.
- Best Comedy: Top Five.
- Best Horror/Sci-Fi Film: The Babadook.
- Best Family Film: The Lego Movie.
- Best Ensemble: Birdman.
- Breakout Filmmaker of the Year: Damien Chazelle, Whiplash.
- Youth in Film: Jaaeden Lieberher, St. Vincent.
- William Holden Lifetime Achievement Award: Bill Murray.
And their Top 10:
- The Grand Budapest Hotel.
- The Imitation Game.
- Under the Skin.