Here we go...
My top 3 films of the year. No.3 and No.2 are pretty interchangeable but No.1 was a clear winner by miles.
Previous winners of this accolade include...
2014 - Wolf of Wall Street
2013 - Silver Linings Playbook
Lets put all 8 of you out of your misery.
A Most Violent Year
I had this downloaded for about 3 months and kept putting it off but once I pressed play, I was captivated. It's unlike most crime films I've seen because of the main character played by Oscar Isaac. I've never seen such a moral and foolhardy portrayal like it. The premise of the film is quite simple...Isaacs plays an owner of a gas company in New York City. His company gets pushed around by the larger corporations but a deal poised to put him ahead of the rest starts to get too dangerous for his rather honest principles. Bored yet? I don't blame you. But honest to god believe me, it's a revelation. It's likely to be pushed aside for awards given its release early this year, but Oscar Isaacs, recently seen flying around in Star Wars should get a nomination or two. As with Sicario, the cinematography is immense along with the score. The director made my top 10 last year with All is Lost and the main plot strand of a man trying to overcome the odds set against him to survive is repeated albeit in a city sprawl rather than a deserted ocean.
Probably the film that nearly everyone has seen this year. I haven't met anyone who didn't like it and why should they, it's a masterpiece like many, many other Pixar efforts in the past. Funnily enough, I wasn't sold on the idea when I heard the premise, saw the poster or even when I watched the trailer. I don't feel that I need to explain the film as you have all seen it. Any film that can successfully build a entire landscape like I.O did with the inside of a young girls brain and what's weird is that as proposterous as it looks, I want it to be real and how I actually think. All the fads I give myself, I can imagine a team building my infatuation as I speak only to see it go dark and topple when I find my new fad. It did so well because of the simplicity of the idea and the fact that every single person on the planet can relate to the emotions on show and the memories we hold inside. It's not just a good film or a great one, it's important.
Surely you know by now...
Absolutely no question!
The fact that my last three films of the year came out in January should have quashed any doubt.
Originally a short film that was adapted into the long form we now know. Winner of three Oscars. Winner of my acclaimed film of the year.
A young man's struggle to reach his potential spurred/hindered by a unique and tempestuous music teacher.
I saw this back in January whilst I waited to meet a friend before seeing Birdman and on a different day, maybe Birdman would have resonated with me more than it did. The reason it didn't was because I'd just left Whiplash. This has no car chases or gun fights, births, deaths or marriages. Just raw emotion and determination coupled with a dose of mano a mano action that you'd normally see in a fight but instead set in a class room.
The two players in this drama are Miles Teller (student) and JK Simmons (Teacher). The former, a John Cusack esque actor who has since seen his star power dim quickly with the terrible Fantastic Four, the latter is a character actor most known for the editor of the Daily Bugle in the Tobey Maguire Spidernan flicks. Simmons was also involved in the short film version of Whiplash but the feature length won him every supporting actor nomination going which culminated in the Oscar in March. It's well deserved and his performance is both electric and terrifying.
It's not perfect by any means. There are a couple of typical Hollywood beats which are completely unnecessary given the strength of the core story but they are minor quibbles.
Even without the last 15 minutes, Whiplash would make my list but during the final scene I don't think I exhaled. It's the kind of ending that some people (myself included) would appreciate but would enfuriates others (my missus) and anything that annoys my wife just makes it even better.
Plus it has a fuck load of drums!