2014 in Review: Jordan’s “Best Of” Awards
As we say goodbye to the loved ones, finish the leftovers, flip the calendar to 2015, and go back to work, it’s about that time again. It’s time for those endless review articles. I’m admittedly behind the 8-ball a little bit but that’s what happens when you live in a market that doesn’t offer every single movie.
Before I get into my “Best Of” awards, I’d like to be upfront with you: I fell short of my 100 movies a year goal but managed to squeeze in 89 movies (and, for the record, I saw four of them multiple times). For the complete list, click over here. There are a few I’m sad I still haven’t seen and they include A Most Violent Year, American Sniper, Citizenfour, Inherent Vice, Love is Strange, Obvious Child, Selma, and Whiplash. I plan on getting around to a few of these movies (especially the ones that’ll get a wider theatrical release in the next couple weeks). Therefore, I’d check back on this post periodically.
Below you can find what I consider the Best Scene, Best Visual Effects, Best Score, Best Original Screenplay, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Newcomer, Best Ensemble, Best Supporting Actress, Best Support Actor, Best Actress, Best Actor, and Best Director. I’ll include the four runner-ups as the other nominees (in alphabetical order).
You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to get my Best Film.
Here you go:
1) Sexual Healing – Chef
2) End Bar Scene – The Drop
3) That Killer Sex Scene – Gone Girl
4) Katniss’ Song – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
5) Homicide Crime Taping – Nightcrawler
I can’t believe, somehow, Fincher went this far. Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl” was one of my favorite books and Fincher nailed the movie. He also nailed this scene and I can’t think of how long it’d take to construct and film this as flawlessly as it came across on screen.
Honorable Mentions: Eulogy (The Fault In Our Stars), Video Archive (Interstellar), The Ambush (Nightcrawler), and Little Boy Song (Wild)
1) Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
4) Guardians of the Galaxy
Say what you want to say about Interstellar, the visual effects were on-par with Nolan’s practical style.
Honorable Mentions: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The LEGO Movie, and X-Men: Days of Future Past
1) The Double
2) Gone Girl
3) The Imitation Game
5) The Theory of Everything
Jóhann Jóhannsson’s score truly enhanced the film more than anything else I could think of when reflecting on the year. It’s probably an under-appreciated pick but I loved it.
Honorable Mentions: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Is there a movie as original as Richard Linklater’s Boyhood? I challenge you to find something.
Honorable Mentions: Interstellar and The LEGO Movie
2) Gone Girl
3) The Imitation Game
5) The Theory of Everything
Like I mentioned earlier, I absolutely loved Gillian Flynn’s novel. To find a way to create a script that embodied the rich source material would take someone that knew the story real well. Oh wait…yeah that makes sense.
Honorable Mentions: The Drop, The Fault In Our Stars, and Snowpiercer
1) Ellar Coltrane (Boyhood)
2) Emjay Anthony (Chef)
3) Carrie Coon (Gone Girl)
4) Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler)
5) Jack O’Connell (Starred Up)
There are a lot of things to like about Boyhood and Coltrane’s transformation (both literally and figuratively) is right up there at the top of the list.
Honorable Mentions: Rohan Chand (Bad Words) and Tony Revolori (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
5) Gone Girl
There’s a reason Birdman deserves this award and I’d urge you to just continue reading.
Honorable Mentions: The Imitation Game, Snowpiercer, and The Theory of Everything
1) Emma Stone (Birdman)
2) Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
3) Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game)
4) Rene Russo (Nightcrawler)
5) Tilda Swinton (Snowpiercer)
I always struggle deciphering between “Supporting” and “Lead” which ultimately shifted who I thought should win this category initially. After the dust settled, it was pretty obvious Emma Stone’s performance in Birdman was the highlight of these great nominees.
1) Edward Norton (Birdman)
2) John Leguizamo (Chef)
3) Channing Tatum (Foxcatcher)
4) Jon Bernthal (Fury)
5) Robert Pattinson (The Rover)
This honestly could be the deepest category. If not, it’s the most sneakily deep category because Edward Norton’s performance is tough to beat but undervalued performances by John Leguizamo and Jon Bernthal deserve some recognition somewhere. When I step back and look at it, 2010 Jordan Magrath would’ve hated myself for having a list that included Robert Pattinson but that seems to be the case.
Honorable Mentions: Domhnall Gleeson (Unbroken), Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher), and Shia LeBeouf (Fury)
1) Keira Knightley (Begin Again)
2) Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
3) Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything)
4) Scarlett Johannson (Under the Skin)
5) Reese Witherspoon (Wild)
As much as I wanted to put Felicity Jones in the top spot, I ultimately fell slightly more favorable on Rosamund Pike’s psychotic performance in Gone Girl. She wins, fair or not, because it’s more flashy.
Honorable Mentions: Emily Blunt (Edge of Tomorrow)
1) Tom Hardy (The Drop)
2) Steve Carell (Foxcatcher)
3) Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game)
4) Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler)
5) Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)
On par with Best Supporting Actor, I do have to say this was also a tough category. Steve Carell definitely breaks the mold, but I have to give the nod to the scene-stealing performance by Jake Gyllenhaal. He perfectly portrays the charming, yet devilishly creepy, Lou Bloom.
Honorable Mentions: Michael Keaton (Birdman), Jon Favreau (Chef), Ben Affleck (Gone Girl), Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Tom Hardy (Locke), Timothy Spall (Mr. Turner), Jack O’Connell (Starred Up; Unbroken)
1) Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
2) David Fincher (Gone Girl)
3) Christopher Nolan (Interstellar)
4) Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler)
5) James Marsh (The Theory of Everything)
Boyhood is masterful and Richard Linklater is a big reason why because of an extremely patient vision that included watching his actors and actresses grow up in front of our eyes. No other director even came close to Linklater.
Honorable Mentions: John Carney (Begin Again), Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman), Jon Favreau (Chef), Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher), and Darren Aronofsky (Noah)
Again, check back tomorrow for a post about my favorite films of the year.
And, as always, feel free to join in the conversation in the comments below!
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