[tps_title]Alejandra Torres’ Top 10 Movies of 2014:[/tps_title]
- The Theory of Everything
Everything about this film is lovely. The story, the music, the direction, the use of montages to relate certain periods of Stephen Hawking’s life, but most of all the performances, specifically, Eddie Redmayne’s portrayal of Stephen Hawking. His performance is so true that even Stephen Hawking himself said that he felt as if he were watching himself on screen. This film is so full of life, and director James Marsh, in conjunction with his stars, is able to capture the smallest moments and turn them into something more. There are small instances where the focus is solely on Eddie’s hands as he attempts to write out a problem on the board, or on his feet dragging as he walks toward a classroom, or on his eyes smiling at you, and speaking what he cannot say. It’s not just Eddie acting, it’s his body, and Marsh’s direction is awe-inspiring as he chooses to focus in on these small, but significant moments that will make you feel everything.
- The Imitation Game
This film tells the story of Alan Turing, and his part in trying to crack Nazi Germany’s Enigma Code that helped win World War II. I was utterly captivated the entire film. Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance is spectacular. He makes you sympathize with a character that is constantly repelling those around him. The time jumps are also a great technique that keeps the story moving, keeps you learning about Turing’s past, present, and future.
Angelina Jolie’s second directorial feature tells the incredible true story of Louis Zamperini, the U.S Olympian, who ran in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, who served as a bombardier during World War II, who survived on a mere raft for 47 days out on sea after his plane crashed, and who survived several POW camps. This man lived so many lives in just one lifetime, and at times, especially in the second half of the movie, it is evident just how tiring and draining his life was, particularly during his time at the camps. The first half is nearly perfect. The juxtaposition in the shots is almost like a twisted romance. One scene, for instance, shows a beautiful, clear sunset serving as the backdrop for dozens of bomber planes. Also, the use of flashbacks in conjunction with the present time scenes keeps us on edge, showing us the origins of Louis, and how he became the man who is able to survive every obstacle that is put in his way. As for the second half, although draining, Jack O’ Connell’s performance is so powerful, so raw that you don’t want to stop watching. Like Louis’ extraordinary knack for picking up fuel at the end of a race, so too does Jack O’ Connell carry you to the end of the film.
Visually, this movie was spectacular. Christopher Nolan literally showed us a possible future for this world as well as other worlds outside our own galaxy. He did it all while also showing a more intimate side of himself, a more intimate side of humanity.
- Gone Girl
Like the novel, David Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl is shocking in every scene, twisted in every performance. With each revelation, you feel sick, but also can’t help but feel awe at this antagonist that we don’t often see in films.
- The Fault in Our Stars
In 2012, John Green captured our hearts and made us feel the feels like never before with his unorthodox, but timeless romance of two love-struck teenagers, who are not only fighting for love, but for their lives. In a year where several YA adaptations that are set in a dystopian society were made, from Divergent to The Maze Runner and to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, this particular adaptation was a breath of fresh air. Instead of being set in a world where kids are literally fighting heads of governments, or factions, this tale is set in a very real world where kids still talk about their favorite books and video games, where teenagers stay up late hoping for that special someone to text them back, and most importantly, where the youth of society is painfully aware of the inevitability of human oblivion, of their oblivion.
- Guardians of the Galaxy
This movie was such a happy surprise. Where Marvel’s squad of misfits lack in the usual qualities you’d find in your everyday superheroes, they make up for it in heart. The chemistry between these unlikely superheroes also contributes to the success of the film. Finally, Chris Pratt as Star Lord and Baby Groot dancing in the end are the best. That is all.
Belle was beautiful. Her story is a special one, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw has raw and captivating talent that you just want to keep watching.
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
Although I’m a bigger fan of the second installment, this film was also great. The imminent war is palpable, so the action is that much greater. Also, that one scene where Jennifer Lawrence sings convinced me that it belonged on my Top 10 list.
- X-Men: Days of Future Past
This sequel to the first prequel was just as good. It’s always fun to see this cast get together, and creating magic.