Saturday, January 17, 2015

Moments of 2014

1) The unnoticed tear that falls slowly from a woman’s eye as she lies comatose in a bed and the man beside her holding her hand…. Farhadi’s visual gut punch in “The Past”.

2) In “Snowpiercer”, the slow-motion scream and wide eyes of a young girl (Ah-Sung Ko) as a set of doors opens up, and we see the terror lying in wait.

3) The final scene and conversation between father (Benecio del Toro) and daughter… the way he slightly hunches towards her, trying to mend the mistakes of the past in Arnaud Desplechin‘s “Jimmy P.”

4) A reflection through a cold, dirt window as we see a woman (Marion Cotillard) sailing away and a man (Joaquin Phoenix) watching her…. “The Immigrant”

5) As director Alejandro Jodorwosky talks about the special effects of his never made film “Dune”, the way he picks up and quiets his cat, then without missing a beat, continues his story. “Jodorwosky’s Dune”

6) In Anton Corbijn’s austere spy thriller “A Most Wanted Man”, the primal scream that Philip Seymour Hoffman lets out once he realizes he’s been duped at the end… and the way he staggers around without direction in the street. 

7) The face of forgiveness….. A daughter (Kelly Riley) meeting her father’s killer in prison and the way her face shatters with emotion. “Calvary”

8) A young girl (Lika Babluani) literally dancing away her sorrow at her best friend’s wedding. “In Bloom”

9) The girls breaking into “hate hate hate Vasteros!” when the crowd turns on their climactic performance. This is certainly no 80’s slow clap moment in Lukas Moodyson’s “We Are the Best!”

10) In one of the most entertaining big budget spectacles of the year, the monster literally ripping open the throat of his nemesis and spewing fire down it in “Godzilla”. 

11) Emmanuel Seigner, deftly orchestrating the house lights of the theater, then removing the gum from her mouth and sticking it under the desk as she walks away, not only deconstructing sensuality but playing a big game in Polanksi’s “Venus In Fur”

12) The way Shasta Fay (Katherin Waterston) playfully collapses her leg against the wall and she and Doc (Joaquin Phoenix) make out in the corridor of a building during a rainstorm- the happy driver of past times in a sinister new world  “Inherent Vice”

13) A group of Robert de Niro impersonators outside the window in “Neighbors”

14) In “Interstellar”, the rescue of Dr. Brand (Anne Hathaway) by TARS, a moment that literally made me squeal with excitement in a crowded movie theater 

15) The zombie-like walk of a group of weary soldiers, hunting a runaway slave amongst a canvas of tall pine trees in Chris Eskin’s “The Retrieval”.

16) To calm her down and fully virtually record her range of emotions, the story Harvey Keitel spins about how he got into the business of talent agent at the age of 12.  “The Congress”

17) In the best horror film of the year, the ominous darkness that barely lights the face of Sarah (Alex Essoe) beneath her gray hoodie in a derelict kitchen and the downright terrifying blood spillage that occurs next  “Starry Eyes”

18) The way sunlight slowly, very slowly creeps up on the face of Juliette Binoche as she sits outside during one of her numerous sessions to her herself, trying to make sense of her situation and enjoy some remnants of normal life in “Camille Claude 1915”

19) Just a month after that picture was taken, me wife was taken away to heaven by the angels.”  “there must have been a lot of them”.  Quick wit in “Alan Partridge”

20) The first interaction between the judge (Robert Duvall) and his granddaughter…. Completely turning a jaded old man into something touching and tender.  “The Judge”

21) The glare and shoulder twitch that emanates from Fletcher (JK Simmons) as his drummer (Miles Teller) launches into a drum solo. “Whiplash”

22) Revealing a warm glow of yellow sunlight through the station windows and then a deliberate pan down with American flags positioned on both sides of the frame as a host of people mill about aimlessly… the first image of America after her sister has been taken away.  “The Immigrant”

23) In “Calvary”, a boy drawing the ocean, and when he’s asked who the two figures in the forefront are, he replies “I don’t know…. I’ve been reading a lot of ghost stories lately”. Then those two figures appear on the beach later with devastating consequences.

24) Ranting away at her dad (Michael Keaton) and then the slow resignation that falls over her face after the harsh words have ended. Emma Stone in “Birdman”

25) In “Inherent Vice”, the way Jade (Hong Chau) says, “these people are freakin’ me out….” in reference to a sprawling party, as if her previous scene of voyeuristic lesbianism was totally normal.

26) The slow, almost unbearable tension as a man (Guy Pearce) makes his way through a quiet house, then stumbles upon a sleeping man. "The Rover"

27. Watching himself in a department store two way mirror, then the jolting cut to black- Jesse Eisenberg studying his own mortality in "Night Moves"

28. In "Interstellar", 23 years worth of messages and the heartbreak that cascades over Matthew McCoughnay's face.

29. "Inherent Vice" Bigfoot Bjornson’s (Josh Brolin) look off-screen followed by “what the fuck?” as Doc’s maritime lawyer (Benecio del Toro) gallops into the police station.

30. “Birdman”. The various whip pans to the stage hands, quietly observing the wheels coming off on Broadway in Michael Keaton’s Raymond Carver adaptation.

31. That final glance of uncertainty between two teenagers sitting on a desert cliff and the endless possibilties for twelve more years.  "Boyhood"

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