The Canadian Press Chooses Its Top 10 Films Of 2014

The Canadian Press

The Canadian Press has released a list of their Top 10 movies from 2014. Here’s what the news outlet thought was notable:

“A Most Violent Year” – From J.C. Chandor, this crime drama, which stars Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, and Albert Brooks, is set for a late January release in Canada. Critics are saying it’s Academy Award-worthy.

“Birdman” – Starring Michael Keaton as washed-up star Riggan Thomson, The CP calls this flick an “eye-popping meta-meditation on fame and aging. Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has been deservedly lavished with praise for the film’s magical camera work, while Emma Stone shows new acting chops as Riggan’s tough-talking but troubled daughter.”

“Boyhood” – Richard Linklater delivered a “cinematic mind-bender” with this movie about a young boy and his journey growing up into manhood. It was shot over a period of almost 12 years and features Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, and newcomer Ellar Coltrane.

“Guardians of the Galaxy” – “In these days of constant big-budget sequels, reboots and adaptations, remaking a slightly obscure comic-book somehow feels as close as we’re going to get to an original property. It helps that this space odyssey – far more light than the increasingly leaden comic-book fare crowding multiplexes – feels genuinely fresh, a visually immersive tale with memorable characters, a killer soundtrack and a star-making performance from goofy good guy Chris Pratt” (CP).

“Jodorowsky’s Dune” – Alejandro Jodorowsky adaptation of Frank Herbert’s apparently unfilmable sci-fi epic “Dune” never made it to theatres, but The Canadian Press thinks this crowd-pleasing documentary is a flick to be seen.

“Mommy” – One of the most recently buzzed about movies from Quebec phenom Xavier Dolan, this coming-of-age story is a “masterful tale of a widowed mother (Anne Dorval) raising her troubled son (Antoine-Olivier Pilon) with help from a neighbour Kyla (Suzanne Clement).” It received a 13-minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival.

“Selma” – Said the CP, “Director Ava DuVernay’s instinct to look at those who fought alongside [Martin Luther] King makes for a gripping and moving portrait of issues that still resonate today. British actor David Oyelowo portrays King in a way that’s believable, measured and doesn’t distract from the overall story.”

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” – With Wes Anderson, this star-studded film is set in a semi-fictional Europe and follows a caper revolving around a stolen painting. Its impressive cast includes Ralph Fiennes, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Jude Law, Harvey Keitel, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton and Edward Norton.

“Whiplash” – “An abundance of fills but no filler populates this tight, deliriously entertaining tale of an ambitious young drummer (Miles Teller) nudged to the edge of his sanity by a demanding bandleader, played with snarling intensity by J.K. Simmons. To its credit, the lean film nimbly avoids answering its own questions about whether talent can be drawn out through sheer force. Its pacing is too breakneck to leave much time for philosophical pondering anyway, and with its blood-spattered practice scenes and a grandiose winner-take-all climax, ‘Whiplash’ is truly the sports movie of the year.”

“Wild” – Directed by Montreal’s Jean-Marc Vallee and starring Reese Witherspoon, the movie looks at a woman who faced a myriad of obstacles and decides to venture out and hike the Pacific Crest Trail with no outdoor experience.

Photo: A Most Violent Year