Oscar agreed. It was without peer in the productions of 2014 and was seen by your scribe way back in January. Just as nothing matched it before its gong, nothing has come close since. The only disappointment was that its born again star didn’t get the accolades as well, so:-
1. Birdman – simply sublime.
2. Inherent Vice – Many critics disagreed and I freely admit I had little clue to what was going on in it – but what a trip, in both senses of the word, it took us on. And Joaquin Phoenix, together with his sideburns, was almost as mesmerising as Michael Keaton in the above.
3. 5 to 7 – A Frenchified frolic from Hollywood with delightful results. And Bérénice Marlohe? Yum.
4. Wild Tales – Murder and black, black mayhem from Argentina. I squirmed in my seat but was transfixed.
5. Mr Turner – No doubt it will be Timothy Spall’s signature role – one great artist portraying another.
6. Far From the Madding Crowd – Perhaps not quite with the same impact on the sensibilities as the Julie Christie 1967 vehicle, but Carey Mulligan shines playing off Belgium’s pride, Matthias Schoenaerts.
7. Gemma Bovary – Another classic, this time in a contemporary setting, with the beauteous Gemma Arterton dazzling French veteran Fabrice Luchini – and she dazzled me as well.
8. Last Cab to Darwin – At the recent AACTA Awards Michael Caton deservedly won best actor for his role in this, his second best on screen performance – to date.
9. St Vincent – Bill Murray. Nothing more to say.
10. Love and Mercy – A loopy Brian Wilson played by two actors. The story behind the music of the summers of my youth.
HMs – Ex-Machina, The Dressmaker, Infinity Polar Bear, The Imitation Game, Ricki and the Flash, Testament of Youth, The Theory of Everything, X + Y, Samba, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.