TDF Film Podcast 41 - 2014 Top 10 Review

  • In Podcast
  • 12:26 on 31st Dec 2014
  • By Matt ShingletonMatt Shingleton
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Read on for our Top10 Reviewers/Members poll results and end of year podcast!


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Episode 41 contributors: John White (host), Matt Shingleton, and Kev Gilvear

Here at TDF Headquarters our chestnuts are roasted, stockings emptied, and mince pies devoured, so it must be time to see the New Year in, and what better way to do so than by looking back through the current year with our annual Top10 lists. The format is the same as last year, we run two polls, one with our reviewers voting and another on our forums so our members could vote and then we compare both the Members Top10 and Reviewers Top10 both below and in our seasonal TDF Film Podcast.

If you merely want to read the final lists and our individual Reviewers Top10 Lists then read on below, but if you’re looking for a more thorough analysis of the results and the films of 2014 in general then please do listen to our podcast. It’s long but hopefully a rewarding listen! So without further ado, here are the results:

REVIEWERS TOP10MEMBERS TOP10
A Coen Bros film at the top of a critics’ list? Surely hell must be freezing over? Well that’s fitting for a film where Oscar Isaac plays a struggling Folk musician bouncing from place to place in frosty Greenwich Village. None of our reviewers personally voted it their film of the year, but most of them were in agreement that it was one of the standout films of 2014. Sometimes that’s enough to earn first place!Linklater’s brand of wordy self-reflection and existential musings has long been popular on our forums, so it’s no surprise to see Boyhood slay the Marvel giant & take the top spot on their list. A family saga shot over 12yrs so we see the actors age authentically, Boyhood is an ambitious, unique, and moving drama that seems destined to be viewed alongside the “Before” trilogy as the best of the filmmaker’s work.
The highest grossing film in America this year (only Transformers grossed more worldwide) and the 2nd best film of 2014 if you believe our reviewers. Guardians of the Galaxy was a huge gamble by Marvel in introducing the more bizarre elements of their comic universe, but it paid off big time, with fans declaring it the new Star Wars!Scorsese returns to the Goodfellas formula in this lighthearted biopic of stockbroker Jordan Belfort, who lived the life of riley by defrauding hundreds of people throughout the 80s & 90s. The idea of millionaire Hollywood stars/filmmakers turning their noses up at the greed & excess of Wall Street proved too hypocritical for many of our critics, but our members lapped up the tongue-in-cheek comedy and DiCaprio’s impish central performance.
Wes Anderson’s crazy cartoony canon finally gains an entry to stand alongside The Royal Tenenbaums (if you like that sort of thing) with this brilliant adventure film inspired by the works of Stefan Zweig. Ralph Fiennes puts in an excellent performance as a concierge framed for murder who relies on the help of his loyal lobby boy to clear his name.Tom Cruise’s Groundhog War proved surprisingly jaunty and exciting, with Doug Liman downplaying the usual overblown dramatics of your typical Cruise-starred Action Sci-fi to have a bit of fun with the concept of a soldier repeating a pivotal day in a future Human-Alien war.
Nolan took on Kubrick this year and another British director: Jonathan Glazer took on Roeg and Tarkovsky in this cryptic, but hypnotic arthouse sci-fi thriller. Scarlett Johansson has never been better as a honeytrap alien scouring the streets of Glasgow for vulnerable men who will be consumed by the mysterious entities she works for.“Everything is Awesome!!” sing the lead characters in this brisk, joyful romp through the world of Lego and their unique version of the DC stable of superheroes. If you can fight the urge to dismiss this as just another kid’s flick then you’ll discover one of the best action-comedies of 2014.
2001 for the 21st Century? Nolan’s certainly given it his best shot, adopting Kubrick’s eye for technicality and chucking his usual themes of family and personal sacrifice into the mix. Rousing intellectual science fiction or melodramatic tosh? It seems our critics decided the former, giving Interstellar fifth place in a Top10 littered with sci-fi choices! By gaining a spot in both the reviewers and members Top5, Guardians of the Galaxy is undoubtedly the overall king of our polls.
Marvel finally gave one of their films the Nolan DC treatment, blending high-octane action sequences with the trappings of 90s conspiracy thrillers to create an exciting action-thriller that made major changes to the Marvel film universe. Their ambition has been rewarded with spots in both our reviewers and members lists!The true story of freeman turned slave Solomon Northup proved a hit at the Oscars and with our forum members, but only made #18 in our reviewers list. This earnest and at times brutal exposé of slavery in the USA puts a modern sheen on the epic “white oppression” films of the 80s.
Mike Leigh gets right to the ugly matter of the eponymous Mr. Turner and Timothy Spall puts in arguably the performance of the year in this beautifully shot biopic of the great artist’s life – warts (and grunts) and all! Leigh makes no attempt to spice up the dowdy Victorian setting and the slow pace will prove compelling for some, but tedious for others.Our members went crazy for Interstellar when it came out, proving Nolans unassailable popularity with audiences, but they didn’t vote for it as feverishly as we expected. Nevertheless it made #7 in our members poll.
Inspired by Jon Ronson’s brief stint in the Frank Sidebottom band in the 80s, Frank is a quirky comedy-drama about a group of eccentric musicians making waves after fame-hungry Domhnall Gleeson joins their midst. Lenny Abrahamson has assembled a beautiful and hilarious character study that tackles the foibles of the mentally ill with real tact and pathos.A simple tale of a down-and-out psychopath trying to get ahead in the media, as a creepily effective (or over forceful and stilted depending on your point of view) Jake Gyllenhaal slimes his way into the competitive field of crime journalism, where a simple camera and a ruthless attitude in pursuing and recording violent crimes as they happen can reap big rewards with the US News networks.
The apes finally take the fight to the humans in this rather weighty sequel from Cloverfield helmer Matt Reeves. Excellent CGI and solid performances helped elevate this one above your average Hollywood blockbuster and our reviewers certainly took note!Once again a Marvel film proves a slightly bigger hit with our critics than our members, but a #9 placing is still a respectable showing for everyone’s favourite captain (after Kirk of course!).
Spike Jonze is mellowing now he’s middle-aged and our reviewers approve judging by Her’s placing at #10. Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson are impressive as a lonely writer who falls in love with his computer’s independently evolving operating system, and the understated sci-fi elements could prove extremely prescient!Wes Anderson has always been a bit of a marmite filmmaker, but The Grand Budapest Hotel proved popular with both our critics and members, just sneaking in to the members list at #10.


And now for our Reviewers' Individual Top10 Lists:

Julien Bassignani
1. Venus in Fur (Roman Polanski)
2. Guardians of the Galaxy (James Gunn)
3. Inside Llewyn Davis
(Ethan Coen, Joel Coen)
4. Godzilla (Gareth Edwards)
5. Interstellar (Christopher Nolan)
6. The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese)
7. The Grandmaster (Wong Kar-wai)
8. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
(Anthony Russo, Joe Russo)
9. Haunter (Vincenzo Natali)
10. A Hard Day (Kim Seong-hun)
Nick Chen
1. Boyhood (Richard Linklater)
2. We Are the Best! (Lukas Moodysson)
3. Ida (Pawel Pawlikowski)
4. Inside Llewyn Davis
(Ethan Coen, Joel Coen)
5. Her (Spike Jonze)
6. The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson)
7. Nymphomaniac (Lars von Trier)
8. The Way He Looks (Daniel Ribeiro)
9. The Double (Richard Ayoade)
10. Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer)
Gary Couzens
1. Boyhood (Richard Linklater)
2. Ida (Pawel Pawlikowski)
3. Mr. Turner (Mike Leigh)
4. Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer)
5. The Babadook (Jennifer Kent)
6. Inside Llewyn Davis
(Ethan Coen, Joel Coen)
7. The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson)
8. The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese)
9. The Past / Le passé (Asghar Farhadi)
10. Nightcrawler (Dan Gilroy)
Joel Crawley
1. Interstellar (Christopher Nolan)
2. Her (Spike Jonze)
3. The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese)
4. Nightcrawler (Dan Gilroy)
5. Calvary (John Michael McDonagh)
6. The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson)
7. Jimmy's Hall (Ken Loach)
8. 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen)
9. Starred Up (David Mackenzie)
10. American Hustle (David O. Russell)
Geoff Dearth

1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
(Anthony Russo, Joe Russo)
2. Guardians of the Galaxy (James Gunn)
3. Interstellar (Christopher Nolan)
4. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (Matt Reeves)
5. X-Men: Days of Future Past (Bryan Singer)
6. Edge of Tomorrow (Doug Liman)
7. The Lego Movie
(Phil Lord, Christopher Miller)
8. Fury (David Ayer)
9. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1
(Francis Lawrence)
10. The Raid 2 (Gareth Evans)
Kevin Gilvear
1. Frank (Lenny Abrahamson)
2. The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson)
3. Her (Spike Jonze)
4. Only Lovers Left Alive (Jim Jarmusch)
5. Blue Ruin (Jeremy Saulnier)
6. The Double (Richard Ayoade)
7. Guardians of the Galaxy (James Gunn)
8. Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer)
9. Inside Llewyn Davis
(Ethan Coen, Joel Coen)
10. Joe (David Gordon Green)
Baz Hood
1. Guardians of the Galaxy (James Gunn)
2. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
(Matt Reeves)
3. The Congress (Ari Folman)
4. Chef (Jon Favreau)
5. Inside Llewyn Davis (Ethan Coen, Joel Coen)
6. Blue Ruin (Jeremy Saulnier)
7. X-Men: Days of Future Past (Bryan Singer)
8. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
(Anthony Russo, Joe Russo)
9. American Hustle (David O. Russell)
10. The Lego Movie
(Phil Lord, Christopher Miller)
Noel Megahey
1. Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer)
2. Mr. Turner (Mike Leigh)
3. Inside Llewyn Davis (Ethan Coen, Joel Coen)
4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Anthony Russo, Joe Russo)
5. Interstellar (Christopher Nolan)
6. Of Horses and Men (Benedikt Erlingsson)
7. Locke (Steven Knight)
8. 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen)
9. The Grandmaster (Wong Kar-wai)
10. Life of Riley / Aimer, boire et chanter) (Alain Resnais)
Gavin Midgley
1. 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen)
2. Inside Llewyn Davis
(Ethan Coen, Joel Coen)
3. The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson)
4. Mr. Turner (Mike Leigh)
5. The Wind Rises (Hayao Miyazaki)
6. Paddington (Paul King)
7. Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer)
8. A Most Wanted Man (Anton Corbijn)
9. Pride (Matthew Warchus)
10. Interstellar (Christopher Nolan)
Colin Polonowski
1. Guardians of the Galaxy (James Gunn)
2. Edge of Tomorrow (Doug Liman)
3. Oculus (Mike Flanagan)
4. American Hustle (David O. Russell)
5. Under The Skin (Jonathan Glazer)
6. Gone Girl (David Fincher)
7. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
(Matt Reeves)
8. Life After Beth (Jeff Baena)
9. Non-Stop (Jaume Collet-Serra)
10. Paddington (Paul King)
Ian Sandwell
1. Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer)
2. The Lego Movie
(Phil Lord, Christopher Miller)
3. The Raid 2 (Gareth Evans)
4. Killers (Kimo Stamboel, Timo Tjahjanto)
5. The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese)
6. Paddington (Paul King)
7. Interstellar (Christopher Nolan)
8. Edge of Tomorrow (Doug Liman)
9. The Double (Richard Ayoade)
10. Guardians of the Galaxy (James Gunn)
Matt Shingleton
1. The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson)
2. Frank (Lenny Abrahamson)
3. The Wind Rises (Hayao Miyazaki)
4. Nightcrawler (Dan Gilroy)
5. Inside Llewyn Davis
(Ethan Coen, Joel Coen)
6. Locke (Steven Knight)
7. The Drop (Michaël R. Roskam)
8. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
(Anthony Russo, Joe Russo)
9. The Double (Richard Ayoade)
10. Gone Girl (David Fincher)
Mike Sutton
1. The Unknown Known (Errol Morris)
2. Gone Girl (David Fincher)
3. Mr. Turner (Mike Leigh)
4. American Hustle (David O. Russell)
5. Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer)
6. Mystery Road (Ivan Sen)
7. The Quiet Ones (John Pogue)
8. Blue Ruin (Jeremy Saulnier)
9. Oculus (Mike Flanagan)
10. The Sacrament (Ti West)
Kieron Townend
1. Guardians of the Galaxy (James Gunn)
2. The Guest (Adam Wingard)
3. The Babadook (Jennifer Kent)
4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
(Anthony Russo, Joe Russo)
5. 22 Jump Street
(Phil Lord, Christopher Miller)
6. X-Men: Days of Future Past (Bryan Singer)
7. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
(Matt Reeves)
8. The Lego Movie
(Phil Lord, Christopher Miller)
9. Lucy (Luc Besson)
10. Testament of Youth (James Kent)
John White
1. The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson)
2. Frank (Lenny Abrahamson)
3. Calvary (John Michael McDonagh)
4. Inside Llewyn Davis
(Ethan Coen, Joel Coen)
5. Tusk (Kevin Smith)
6. The Double (Richard Ayoade)
7. Lesson of the Evil (Takashi Miike)
8. Raid 2 (Evans)
9. The Rover (David Michôd)
10. What We Do in the Shadows
(Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi)


And finally, our man in America (whose votes couldn't count in the UK poll):

clydefro jones
1. Whiplash (Damien Chazelle)
2. '71 (Yann Demange)
3. The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson)
4. Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer)
5. Only Lovers Left Alive (Jim Jarmusch)
6. Birdman (Alejandro G. Inarritu)
7. Gone Girl (David Fincher)
8. Foxcatcher (Bennett Miller)
9. Mistaken for Strangers (Tom Berninger)
10. The Immigrant (James Gray)


As always we hope you'll get in touch with us in the comments section if you feel like chiming in on the subject at hand!

The theme music for this Digital Fix FilmCast is:I saw you on TV (Jahzzar) / CC BY-SA 3.0

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