As promised here are the rest of the Best of the 2014. Bearing in mind that Whistler misses out on a lot of the lesser known films or independent hits, or that I didn't watch 80 per cent of the 607 films released in 2014, this list is anything but conclusive...
Under the Skin: I know this one should be a no brainer: sexy alien Scarlett Johansson, usually naked, lures dudes to their deaths and learns about humanity along the way. Or something... I fell asleep the first TWO times I tried to watch it and didn't understand (or care) the last time. Everyone else rated it as top 10 of the year. I guess I'm getting old.
The Lego Movie: They call them "animated features" nowadays but whatever, I'm giving it to The Lego Movie for taking a toy that has been a childhood staple since before I was a kid and turning it into a funny-ass movie for any age group with a create-to-play message that totally rings true. This one also wins best theme song of the year, or maybe ever. Now if only actual Lego wasn't so bastardly expensive.
Runner Up/Most Uncomfortable Moment: When Hiccup's dad dies in How to Train Your Dragon 2 the theatres come alive with seat shuffles as parents nervously glance around and wonder, "WTF!?" But fear not moms and dads, most of us watched/heard Bambi's mother get straight-up shot and I can't even remember how many bunnies die in Watership Down but it's a shitload. Animated parent death is part of growing up. Disney was built on it.
Best Smart Comedy
The Grand Budapest Hotel: Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel was on my shortlist for best of the year but we'll award it "smart" comedy because, besides the perfect narrative construction, acting, costumes, scripting and everything else it was also funny as hell and didn't contain any dick or fart jokes.
Snowpiercer: As a genre, Sci-Fi is only getting more popular as that feeling of "doesn't it seem like we are all going down the shitter" begins to creep into everyday culture. Sci-Fi offers alternate futures and this year the one that did it for me was Snowpiercer, about a class uprising on a train that holds/segregates the remnants of civilization while continuously circumnavigating the earth. Runner Up: Interstellar.
Best Sex Scene
Gone Girl: Gotta give this one to Rosamund Pike and Neil Patrick Harris in David Fincher's Gone Girl because you don't often get a sex scene that is also winner of "Best Murder." Yikes!
Bonus Points: Gone Girl's other sex scene kicks off with some no-joke cunnilingus and the film also has a full frontal penis scene, both of which are pretty progressive for a big Hollywood flick.
Runner Up: Eva Green also gets fairly serious with her sex and swordplay in 300: Rise of an Empire.
Best Local Flick
snowman: Darcy Turenne and Marie-France Roy stomped it with The Little Things, a very human and quite enchanting environmental/snowboard hybrid flick, but you gotta give this one to Mike Douglas, Anthony Bonello and the team at Switchback Entertainment for Snowman. Yes, it's generally kind of weird when a dude makes a feature documentary about himself but Douglas walks the line just right and dishes up a beautiful tale of friendship, dreams, loss, risk, life and big freakin' avalanches. To see a film of this quality and scope come out of Whistler (and made almost totally with local crew and talent) is a significant feat and something everyone should be proud of. It also took home the Mountain Culture prize at the Whistler Film Festival.
Best Flick of 2014
Inherent vice: Richard Linklater's Boyhood, filmed over 12 years as a real boy grew up, was revolutionary and Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman is a perfectly surreal romp seemingly filmed in one shot. Either could take top honours this year but for me the prize goes to Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice.
Adapted from a Thomas Pynchon novel, this one's a sunny-side-up crime/comedy/detective story that's the love child of The Big Sleep and The Big Lewbowski. Paul Thomas Anderson makes rambling ensemble flicks like no one else (Boogie Nights) and Inherent Vice is one of those rare instances in a movie theatre where you can just sit down, let go, and lose yourself in an artform.
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