Wednesday, December 31, 2014

favorite films of 2014

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Lego Movie
What If
Big Hero 6
The Edge of Tomorrow
The Fault in Our Stars
Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Honorable Mentions:
The Boxtrolls
Begin Again

I love seeing movies. While many people don't consider movie-seeing a very social experience, I love discussing movies (perhaps to a fault) and breaking down my favorite/least favorite parts about the stories. I tend to think about movies for days afterward. Perhaps it's my rather obsessive personality, which reached its height in my early teen years during the days of battling boy bands, Harry Potter books and Lord of the Rings movies. That part of me comes out again when I'm confronted with a great, terrible, or fascinating film.

My list above is in no particular order, but I will confirm that my very favorite movie of 2014 was The Grand Budapest Hotel. (And second place would actually be Guardians of the Galaxy). The rest just fall into place after that. I'm sure there is plenty of opposition over my favorite movie choice, and I'm sure there are plenty of good arguments for other greatest films of 2014, but Budapest was by far my personal favorite of the year. It's brilliant. It gets me every time.

While I could talk about these movies for a long time, I will spare you and sum up my reasons for choosing each movie with one sentence:

The Grand Budapest Hotel because Wes Anderson outdid himself in quirkiness, emotion, and meaning. (Read more here). 
Guardians of the Galaxy because it took my favorite things from Star Wars and combined it with silliness, dancing, extra sarcasm and childlike wonder. (Read more here). 
The Lego Movie because it perfectly captured the childhood war between rule following and creative rule breaking, while also making me laugh, smile and remember.
What If because I believe there is still space in Hollywood for smart and charming romantic comedies, and this movie made me remember why I love them so much.
Interstellar because I was on the edge of my seat and never wanted it to end.
Fury because it broke my heart and opened my eyes.
Big Hero 6 because it was entirely unexpected, but was incredibly creative, visually stunning and endlessly heartfelt.
The Edge of Tomorrow because it was a surprisingly perfect combo of Sci-Fi action and comedy, with just a dash of romance.
The Fault in Our Stars because it is one of the greatest, most accurate book-to-movie adaptations I've ever seen (and it made me cry my eyes out).
Captain America: The Winter Soldier because it went a little deeper and carved out extra space for meaningful character development, while also maintaining Marvel's reputation for snarky humor and great action.

For my honorable mentions, I'll just say that The Boxtrolls, while dark and strange, really revived my shock and awe at stop-motion animation. It was brilliantly done and I enjoyed it immensely. Begin Again was another winner with good music, a sweet story and a reminder of why I like Mark Ruffalo so much.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this year's many movies! I know there are plenty of movies I didn't see (I have not seen Unbroken, The Imitation Game, Nightcrawler, Birdman or Boyhood), so perhaps my list would be different if I had. What are your favorites and must-sees?

Happy New Year!

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