As always I tend to worry most about what films I leave off this list. I remarked yesterday about the vast number of quality films to see right now in the theatres at the end of this year. In particular American Hustle which somehow just doesn't make this list. Same with Peter Berg's Lone Survivor which is terrific but hasn't been released yet theatrically. Sadly this stayed off the list. The Sundance films this year were terrific, with Upstream Color finding its way onto this list. I wish there were room for the absorbing Before Midnight, or Fruitvale Station or The Spectacular Now. Two films I questioned most were Stoker and The Place Beyond the Pines both released earlier in the Spring. Stoker may not hold up to future viewings as say, Before Midnight but it remains on this list for it's surprisingly gleeful impact it had me when I saw it in the cinema for the first time. And the best moments of The Place Beyond the Pines far outweighs its narrative failings.
1. Inside Llewyn Davis
2. Frances Ha
6. Upstream Color
7. The Wolf of Wall Street
Scorsese delivers one more sprawling crime picture, in this case a film which acts like a capper to a trilogy including Goodfellas and Casino, three pictures connected by the director's blistering cinematic pace, it's fascinating viewpoint into three segments of high stakes crime and corruption and it's sympathetic portrait of three contemptible characters.
While the idea of a lonely man developing a genuine relationship with a Siri-like talking Operating System, is the stuff of high concept science fiction, Spike Jonze’s trumps the intimate character study of a heartbroken lonely man looking for love in the most unlikely of places. Once again Jonze turns in a film so unique, original and bold, and yet remarkably accessible and identifiable to almost anyone.
10. The Place Beyond the Pines