Daily | Lists and Awards | Film Comment, Slant, Louis Delluc

Under the Skin

Adrian Curry: ‘Neil Kellerhouse’s ethereal design for my favorite film of the year is notably another big head poster, but also one in which the film’s star is again barely there. Which is more than apt for a film about identity and surface appearances.’

Last week closed out with a few mighty best-of-2014 lists and we begin with Film Comment, which has polled “over 100 North American colleagues” to come up with two: the best films to hit theaters this year and those that have yet to see distribution in the US. Both lists run to 20; here are the top tens.

Best Films of 2014

  1. Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood.
  2. Jean-Luc Godard‘s Goodbye to Language.
  3. Wes Anderson‘s The Grand Budapest Hotel.
  4. Pawel Pawlikowski‘s Ida (which swept the European Film Awards this weekend).
  5. Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin.
  6. Alain Guiraudie‘s Stranger by the Lake.
  7. Laura Poitras‘s Citizenfour.
  8. Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s Birdman.
  9. Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice.
  10. James Gray’s The Immigrant.

Best Unreleased Films

  1. Alice Rohrwacher‘s The Wonders.
  2. Hong Sang-soo‘s Hill of Freedom.
  3. Abel Ferrara’s Pasolini.
  4. J.P. Sniadecki‘s The Iron Ministry.
  5. Lav Diaz‘s From What Is Before.
  6. Ossama Mohammed and Wiam Bedirxan’s Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait.
  7. Amanda Wilder’s Approaching the Elephant.
  8. Nadav Lapid’s The Kindergarten Teacher.
  9. Debra Granik’s Stray Dog.
  10. Peter von Bagh‘s Socialism.

And on The Close-Up, the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s new podcast, Film Comment editors Gavin Smith, Nicolas Rapold and Violet Lucca discuss the results (39’34”).

Slant‘s list runs to 50 and comes with all the fixings: commentary on the top 25, the individual ballots and Clayton Dillard‘s list of the ten worst films of 2014 (many will be surprised to find Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher and Richard Ayoade’s The Double on this one). The top ten, and again, click here to see what Slant‘s writers have to say about numbers 1 through 25:

  1. Under the Skin.
  2. Stranger by the Lake.
  3. The Immigrant.
  4. Boyhood.
  5. Inherent Vice.
  6. Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s Two Days, One Night.
  7. The Grand Budapest Hotel.
  8. Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive.
  9. Tsai Ming-liang’s Stray Dogs.
  10. Ruben Östlund’s Force Majeure.

“This is a moment of extraordinary cinematic invention—of filmmakers, working at a wide range of budget levels, coming up with original and personal ideas about movies and how to make them,” writes the New Yorker‘s Richard Brody. “On the other hand, this independent surge has also created a new class of culturally respectable directors and films, an ostensible art cinema that flows into the mainstream.” His #1: Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel.

And Ted Hope‘s been quick to point out that you can watch five of Brody’s top 30 here on Fandor: Josephine Decker‘s Thou Wast Mild and Lovely and Butter on the Latch, Eliza Hittman‘s It Felt Like Love, Nathan Silver‘s Soft in the Head and Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez‘s Manakamana.

“Due to the embarrassment of cinematic riches, we’ve extended our usual top 10 films to a top 20,” announces Little White Lies. #1: Boyhood.

Slate‘s Dana Stevens goes alphabetical with her top ten and ten runners-up. There are a few titles here that aren’t popping up elsewhere.

The Guardian‘s countdown is now complete. Peter Bradshaw on #1: “Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin is a film about a beautiful, scary alien that is itself beautiful and scary and alien: it’s an entirely extraordinary, outrageously sensual film that Glazer’s previous excellent work had really only hinted at, partially and indistinctly.” Andrew Pulver interviews Glazer and you can listen to Bradshaw, Xan Brooks and Catherine Shoard discuss the best and worst of 2014.

The Telegraph‘s Robbie Collin, too, puts Under the Skin at the top of his list of five (and he’s listed five worst films as well).

Under the Skin also tops the list of 30 favorites at Tiny Mix Tapes, where you’ll also find lists on cover art, labels and, of course, songs.

The Hollywood Reporter‘s Directors Roundtable: Angelina Jolie (Unbroken), Mike Leigh (Mr. Turner), Richard Linklater (Boyhood), Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher), Christopher Nolan (Interstellar) and Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game)

The writers at Paste are rolling out their lists. So far: 12 Best Documentaries (#1: Jesse Moss’s The Overnighters) and ten best new filmmakers (#1: Ned Benson, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby).

#1 on IMDb founder and CEO Col Needham‘s top ten: Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.

Tom Shone‘s posted his top ten films and performances—in order but without comment. #1s: Boyhood and Steve Carell (Foxcatcher).

Ryland Walker Knight‘s posted a list which may or may not be in some sort of order.

#1 for HitFix‘s Drew McWeeney: Inherent Vice. “This is a big beautiful contact high of a movie, and Anderson finds a way to render his film completely faithful to Pynchon’s language while also asserting plenty of himself.” And Kristopher Tapley‘s #1: Birdman.

Anne Thompson and her staffers and contributors have each posted their top tens plus great performances and more.

The AV Club and the Dissolve tear into the worst films of the year.

A highlight of each year’s listing season is Adrian Curry‘s entry at the Notebook on the best movie posters of the year. See more selections from designers Midnight Marauder and Sam Smith.

Verso‘s staff on both sides of the Atlantic write up their books of the year. Longreads presents “a list of the 10 most popular stories we published this year.” The New Yorker‘s Alex Ross looks back on the “Notable Performances and Recordings of 2014.”

Listening. New York Times music critics discuss their top albums of the year (43’28”) and so, too, do Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis (63’04”).


Olivier Assayas‘s Clouds of Sils Maria has won the prestigious Prix Louis Delluc presented by “former Cannes president Gilles Jacob and a jury of 20 film critics and personalities,” as Rhonda Richford puts it in the Hollywood Reporter. “The Delluc honor for best first film went to Thomas Cailley for Love at First Fight (Les Combattants).”

The Kansas City Film Critics Circle‘s made its choices:

  • Best Film: Birdman.
  • Robert Altman Award for Best Director: Richard Linklater, Boyhood.
  • Best Actor: Michael Keaton, Birdman.
  • Best Actress: Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl.
  • Best Supporting Actor: Edward Norton, Birdman.
  • Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood.
  • Best Original Screenplay: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo, Birdman.
  • Best Adapted Screenplay: Gillian Robespierre, Obvious Child.
  • Best Animated Film: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s The Lego Movie.
  • Best Foreign Film: Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida.
  • Best Documentary: Laura Poitras’s Citizenfour.
  • Vince Koehler Award for Best Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror Film: The Babadook.

The Israeli Film Critics Association has named Talya Lavie’s Zero Motivation the best film of the year, reports Screen‘s Wendy Mitchell.

The 2014 Lists and Awards Index. For news and tips throughout the day every day, follow @KeyframeDaily. Get Keyframe Daily in your inbox by signing in at

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