Please Note: None of these movies was originally released during January of 2014 or
January of 2015.
Despite several highly questionable casting, screenplay, and directorial choices, do not avert your eyes. This country’s history of ignorance – in all its forms – is galling. The triumph of human dignity is only slightly more enduring.
There is no motion picture that can reveal Whitey Bulger to be more of an indiscriminate asshole than this documentary does.
Tom Hardy cannot fail.
The acting is so remarkable one tends to forget just how depressing this incident was.
A warm tonic for a bitter day. So it is.
5. A Most Wanted Man
A most under-appreciated movie.
4. Still Alice
Julianne Moore has a deeper range than any other actress in America. She IS this movie. No other actress should be within a mile of her throughout this year’s award season.
3. Gone Girl
Marriage equals prison, but we are both in this together.
1. Inherent Vice
Over the past few weeks, film critics (i.e., long-form movie recappers) have been employing terms along the lines of “trippy,” “wild,” and “wacky,” when attempting to describe Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of Inherent Vice. In five years those same film critics will be employing the term “cult classic.” In 10 years they will have shortened that generic term to “classic,” which is, ironically, what Inherent Vice happens to be right at this moment, what with all its mixed metaphors and Biblical subtext, its pop culture references and lack of equity in sequence, its Coen-level oddity and all its incandescent lightness. Look, I could go on for 3,000 words here, and there may very well come a moment when I do. For now, allow me to quote from Ram Dass: “Let us consider an example of the relation of a group called ‘hippies’ and a group called ‘police’. If a ‘confrontation’ occurs during a protest, what is the result? If the hippies see the police only as ‘them,’ then the result is an increase in polarization and distance between the two groups. Each returns to its headquarters and plans an increase in its own strength to overcome ‘them.’ Why does the distance increase? Because nobody wants to be ‘them.’ Everyone wants to be ‘us.’ And if you meet someone who sees you as ‘him,’ or ‘one of them,’ that meeting arouses in you all your paranoia, and you, in turn, see the other person as ‘him,’ or ‘one of them.’ Such cycles get worse and worse until there is violent confrontation. What is the conscious alternative? It is not to avoid protest or confrontation. Rather, it is for the participants to become more conscious. And what does that mean? It means that though you may be protesting against someone or some group, you realize that behind the ways in which you differ, you are the same.” Anyway, the point being, Inherent Vice is just so fucking great I think I’ll see it one more time. On a related note, I am totally moving to Venice Beach in 2019. You can bet your ass on that.