#3) Interstellar: The great Science Fiction epic of this year. Yes, I know, Guardians was a lot more fun and Snowpiercer probably a bit more interesting, but Interstellar kept swinging for the fences. Nolan set out to resurrect as a big movie enterprise the idea of a hopeful, non-franchise science fiction film and nearly succeeded. In terms of sheer cinematic beauty this film will only grow in stature in years to come and if the story doesn’t always hang together or weather repeated watchings, it is nevertheless one of Nolan’s more emotionally honest works. If you can watch the scene of Cooper watching the years of messages from his now adult children and not feel emotionally wracked then I’m not sure movies are your thing.
#2) The Grand Budapest hotel: Another year, another Wes Anderson film. This movie continues Andersons flirtation with being something more than a quirky, beloved art house director. Although all sorts of precious story-within-a-story game-playing went on here, even that can’t distract from one of his most heartfelt and sincere stories. This isn’t really a story about a hotel as much as what the hotel represents. At its core, The Grand Budapest Hotel is about how civilization is built up by love - love for others, love for inanimate objects, love for one old hotel well past its sell-by, still capable of old-world charm.
#1) Boyhood: What more can I saw about this film than already has been said. It was simply the best movie of the year and certainly one of a handful of films destined to find life beyond this decade. More than simply a gimmick, this movie communicates something vital about life itself, how all those moments that we forget, that we minimize, are in fact the material of life itself. The tiny, unnoticed struggles that annoy or horrify, in the end change a boy into a man worth knowing.
Honorable mentions: guardians, captain america, the Lego movie, gone girl, box troll, the edge of tomorrow.
This was also for me the year of True Detective. I might say more about this in my last year-end post, but for the moment I’ll say I haven’t really watched a show the so effortlessly summed up everything I want out of a television show. A true milestone.