A Year in Film – part one

Posted on 22 December 2014
By Molly Wheeldon
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We can’t talk about 2014 in terms of film without discussing the huge, Oscar nominated and Oscar winning February releases – those being 12 Years A Slave and The Wolf of Wall Street.

We haven’t had a selection of films so Oscar-worthy in years.

The film industry and the public were arguing and justifying their opinions for Best Director and Best Picture.

In the end, only one (or two in this case) could come out on top.

Gravity (for Best Director) and the absolutely mesmerising 12 Years A Slave.

12 Years A Slave stole the show at the 2014 Academy Awards, taking home Best Supporting Actress for the beautiful, spellbinding Lupita Nyong’o, Best Adapted Screenplay, and the mother-ship; the Best Picture Award.

Steve McQueen directed an honest, tragic, and truly heart-breaking masterpiece. A film of such profound importance, you’d be a fool to miss it.

But sadly, for The Wolf of Wall Street, the Academy Awards did it no favours.

The whole world of film fans were routing for DiCaprio to receive that oh so deserved Oscar.

Unfortunately, he missed out once again to another much deserved winner, Matthew McConaughey.

Although it didn’t fair all that well through the awards season, it is a movie that everyone needs to see.

It’s not all that often we are able to sit through a three hour movie and love every minute of it, but The
Wolf of Wall Street has us excited from the very first scene.

DDiCaprio and Jonah Hill are faultless and funny, and it’s arguably one of the most outrageous and wonderful comedies we’ll see in a very, very long time.

By March, the Oscars had been and gone. There have been some absolutely fantastic films since then. Not necessarily better, but good, really good.

Let’s kick off with The Lego Movie. There’s really not been anything like it ever before. Ever.

Seeing the way the audience (of all ages) loved this film through their unruly fits of giggles makes this one unmissable for 2014. It was everything you would expect from a movie about Lego.

It was colourful, clever and spectacular. The Lego Movie marks the beginning of something great. We’re not sure what, but it’s definitely the beginning of an amazingly successful career for Chris Pratt. Four words: Guardians of The Galaxy.

March and April were so-so in terms of the blockbuster world this year in comparison to February and later months. Think The Amazing Spiderman 2, The Grand Budapest Hotel and 300: Rise of an Empire.

All three were hugely anticipated, probably more-so Spiderman and 300, as they were sequels to what were pretty great films.

However, The Grand Budapest Hotel comes out on top.

Wes Anderson once again shows us how weird and wonderful movies can be, and gives us something more than a disappointing sequel in comparison to say, The Amazing Spider Man 2. Although, it is quite enjoyable, Emma Stone’s sudden death was a bit too much.

Now then, this is where it all starts to get very interesting.

May was a month for unforgettable cinema in more than one way.

For X-Men fans, the release of X-Men: Days of Future Past was most definitely not a disappointment.

It was everything we wanted and more. With an unforgettable cast (McKellen, Stewart, McCavoy, Jackman, Lawrence, Fassbender- to name a few) and a beautifully crafted script, merged with immense special effects, this was the film to watch this year.

Even if you’ve never seen an X-Men movie in your life, it’s important that you let your lovely eyes see this. So after that blew our minds, Godzilla, Maleficent and Edge of Tomorrow came next.

To play devil’s advocate: although Godzilla was exciting and Godzilla itself (himself?) was visually remarkable, there was some let down.

Questions came about such as: ‘was it the acting?’, ‘was it the other strange creatures?’ or ‘was it the entire film and everything about it?’

The casting wasn’t quite right, and it was just so loud.

Next stop: Maleficent.

With Angelina Jolie as the star role, Maleficent was set for greatness whatever way the storyline went.

What was surprising was the nature of Maleficent. The audience expected a truly horrifying Maleficent, with no good bone in her body, the one everyone thought existed, but we didn’t end up with that. Instead, it was another Wicked, with a twist to the character’s nature.

Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt were put on this earth for a reason: to star in Edge of Tomorrow together.
It was thoroughly enjoyable, exciting, fantastic and so on.

Not only is Tom Cruise first-class in action movies, but Edge of Tomorrow is basically Groundhog Day turned into an action film. How much better can you get, really?

To round off the start to a pretty amazing year in film, it’s important to mention The Fault In Our Stars and 22 Jump Street.

If you’ve read John Greene’s novel, then you know what’s coming. If you haven’t, brace yourself for The Fault In Our Stars.

It’s heart-breaking and funny and beautiful, just like the book.

As for 22 Jump Street, you’ll laugh your head off for two hours straight and want to watch it all over again (maybe just for Channing Tatum) when it’s finished.

What are your favourites from January to June? Comment below with your best and worst films of 2014.