As opposed to last year, 2014 was a much better movie year.
The numerous cinema talents we lost throughout the year notwithstanding, good films, starting from The Lego Movie in February all the way to last week's Selma, left room for a lot to cherish.
So to narrow down my top 10 list, I went for movies that provided a truly unique experience. That made a man in his car for the entire length of a film, a 3-hour visual experience of quantum physics, a better-than-the-book flashback flash-forward story about marriage, a 2-hour single-shot film about a superhero who wants to be super again, a sci-fi told in hand-held documentary format, and of course, a "hyper-realism" film made over 12 years, all inevitable choices for the list.
And as a result, I had to exclude a few MoMagic!s (The Fault in Our Stars, The Hundred-Foot Journey, Force Majeure), and even cheat, to appoint one slot to two great (but entirely different) documentaries.
By the way ... sorry: No animation, and no foreign movie made it to the final list.
Every year, I also try to find older goodies, and I thought it would be wrong to not make a special mention of the gems I've found among them. So from now on, in addition to my best and worst film of the year, I'll have a "Discovery of the Year", which may be a great film, director, actor, or movie concept I've run into from the past.
So here it goes, on the night before the Oscar nominations, my top 10 films of the year, in alphabetical order:
1. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
3. Citizenfour and Life Itself
4. Gone Girl
9. Under the Skin
Best Movie of the Year: Hands down, Interstellar. No one had the guts to attempt what Christopher Nolan succeeded at in a very, very long time.
Worst Movie of the Year: Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For. As one critic put it, this film disappointed at every level the original was good at. And to imagine I paid two dollars extra online to see this on opening night ...
Discovery of the Year: Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, who with Once Upon a Time in Anatolia and this year's Palme d'Or winner Winter Sleep, has made slow every day life interesting again.
Waiting for your top 10 lists!