With the Academy Award nominations due to be announced tomorrow morning, most movie blogs and websites are busy trying to predict what names will be called before dawn. I don’t have the expertise to join them, nor have I seen enough films to really get a sense of how things will shake out. However, despite my feeling that 2014 was a bit of a dud at the movies, I still have some nominations I’d like to see in the morning. I’ve broken them down below into three general categories based on their likelihood, with some seemingly locks for a nomination, others possible but less likely, and others that will never happen no matter how much I want them to.
2014 has come and gone, and while there were some definite highlights to the year of movies, overall I’d say it was a bit disappointing compared to years past. There were some movies that I really loved, but I wasn’t nearly as enthusiastic in 2014 as I usually am for the world of cinema. However, things are looking up for 2015, with a lot to be excited about, plus there are still a few movies I need to catch up on from 2014 that I either missed or haven’t gotten around to (Big Eyes, Selma, The Imitation Game, etc.). But now that 2015 is underway it’s time to take a look back at the highs and lows of 2014 at the movies. Instead of a traditional top 10 list of movies, I like to list out my favorite cinema-related things from the year. Some of them are movies, but others might be scenes, characters, moments, or even just announcements. So without further ado, here are my top 10 and bottom 3 of 2014 at the movies.
Story is made up of much more than plot. I’ve often seen movies with original or unique plots praised for having a great “story,” while other movies get criticized for a dull “story” when in actuality they mean a predictable plot. To me, I envision the term “story” to be the equivalent of everyone sitting around a campfire listening to someone spin a tale. I’d much rather hear a familiar yarn interestingly told, by someone who knows the best way to engage those of us around the fire, read the audience and hit our emotions, rather than someone who tells a completely unique series of events but does so in a flat monotone, convinced that their plot is interesting enough to excuse them from doing the hard work required to make the story engaging. Why do I bring this up? It’s because Guardians of the Galaxy has a plot that is derivative and predictable, but it is so wonderfully, cleverly and creatively told that as a “story” it is one of the most unique and unpredictable I’ve watched in a long time.