May 28, 2014

Five Most Anticipated Films of 2014

It’s already been a great year for film. We’ve seen the likes of ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’, ‘Metro Manila’, ‘The Great Beauty’, ‘Nymphomaniac’ and ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’. But we’re only half way through the year, and there’s plenty more to look forward to. Below are (in no particular order) the five films, arriving later in the year, that I cannot wait to see:

The Intense Indie

‘The Rover’
If you were lucky enough to catch David Michod’s first feature ‘Animal Kingdom’ you’ll know he can handle action, character study, weighty themes, and confident visuals. ‘The Rover’ looks like a return to form, and quite possibly a step-up from his poised debut. I was initially put off by the addition of Robert Pattinson to the cast list, but the clips I’ve seen suggest he is out to prove everyone wrong, even out-acting Guy Pearce in some scenes. Visually it has a ‘There Will Be Blood’ tone to it and judging by all the promotional material released, there’s a heavy ‘heading toward oblivion / God has left you’ feel to it. It may be bleak, but it looks incredible.


The Missed Groundbreaker

‘Under the Skin’
This has only made the list because I was unable to see it when it had a small release earlier in the year. The trailer, premise, director and techniques used during production make it unmissable. The fact that it appears to be as ambiguous and groundbreaking as Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ make it one I can’t wait to set my eyes upon. Visually, aurally, tonally, unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before.


The Experiment

If you’ve ever seen the incredible, poignant trilogy – Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight – you’ll know that Richard Linklater handles these kinds of films with subtlety, wit, heart and the kind of confidence which mostly goes unnoticed. Shot over almost two decades with the same cast, it’s a low-key drama focussing on the various stages of life. A gentle, poignant, experiment, which has been receiving rave reviews on the festival circuit.


The Thinking Man’s Blockbuster

Let’s be honest, Christopher Nolan just doesn’t make bad films. The Dark Knight Trilogy may have some minor flaws, but it’s an incredible trilogy (of which there aren’t many). His latest outing looks to be of personal interest (and we saw what it means when a director of his calibre tackles something he’s really interested in, using a blockbuster budget, with the remarkable ‘Inception’). The fact that it stars Matthew Mcconaughey (on an explosive upward career trajectory – currently at his best) is obviously a nice bonus. That it seems to tackle something as huge as the future of our species makes it unmissable. Some have argued in the past that Nolan makes technical, rather than emotional, films – this could be the one to prove them wrong.


The Obscure Favourite

I’m not quite sure what this is, and that makes me want to watch it all the more. Arthouse titan Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (dir. ’21 Grams’, ‘Amores Perros’, ‘Babel’) tackles something a little funnier for a change (though apparently no less deep and human). Starring a frazzled Michael Keaton (always underrated) as an actor famous for portraying the iconic superhero ‘Birdman’ as he struggles to mount a Broadway play. In the days leading up to opening night, he battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career, and himself. It looks very off-the-wall, and the supporting cast (including Ed Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, and Zach Galifianakis) look set to make this obscure human comedy something very, very special.


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