5. Love & Friendship – Whit Stillman filming in Dublin, seriously? What’s not to like about this Jane Austen cover version. Here’s Frank L talking about it in May.
“Jane Austen’s genius has many sides but the importance of money in relation to love and friendship was a dynamic which she understood. Stillman in this adaptation of her novella pays tribute to her talent and has with Kate Beckinsale brought to prominence one of Austen’s lesser known heroines. Lady Susan is a young widow of considerable charm but highly dangerous to those who come within her orbit. It was a delight to observe Lady Susan at work and a comfort to know that she operated at a different time. Stillman has created a gem and is entitled to take an elegant eighteenth century bow.”
4. Marguerite – This is the much, much better version of the Florence Foster Jenkins story. Here’s Pat V. in March.
“The sub-plot of Hazel’s rise to fame and her complicated love life is unnecessary and as the film is over two hours long, could certainly have been omitted. It is only when Marguerite is on screen that our attention is fully engaged. Like those around her, at first we laugh at her, then we cringe for her and finally she wins us over completely and we wish that the world had been kinder to her. This is a charming and moving film and one to avoid only if you are hyper-sensitive to discordant singing!”
3. American Honey – This one split the critics down the middle, and certainly our Fran didn’t like it much! I saw it in October and my mind was thoroughly blown! The film is one of the best road movies to grace our screens in recent years and captures a wildness that is rarely seen. You feel like you are packed into the back of the van with the rest of those wild youths! Director Andrea Arnold is best known for Fish Tank, but this is even better!
2. Paterson – Jim Jarmusch creates a world where there is no racial tension and where bus drivers write poetry. Was I the only one that was reminded of Northern Exposure? Quite possibly. Here is Frnak L on it in November.
“This undemonstrative, carefully observed slice of domesticity is memorable for its gentleness with much fine camera work including trays of cupcakes and cheerio cereal in a black and white bowl. Jarmusch, who also wrote the script, has created a fine film which records the everyday life of a bus driver in Paterson, the third largest city in New Jersey. It is a triumph of the intimate, the domestic and the personal.”
Victoria – Once you get your head around it, you haven’t quite got your head around it. Once it makes sense, it almost seems impossible. Recorded in one take, this is no drawing room play. It’s an amazing achievement and the best I’ve seen this year! Here is Frank L in March.
“This suspenseful film was shot in one continuous take on 27th April 2014 between 04.30 and 07.00. Sebastian Schipper rightly honours this achievement by placing the name of Sturla Brandth Grovlen, the director of photography, at the top of the credits. According to Schipper in an interview there were two earlier shootings with which he was not entirely satisfied. The third shooting was the last one and had to work. Underlying the film and the performance of the actors, particularly Laia Costa, Frederick Lau and Franz Rogowski, there is an immediacy that is compelling as all must have known that this last shoot had to work. Given that there are action filled scenes of people clambering up and down stairs and a car chase, not to mention a shoot-out, the camera work is inspired and it is finely assisted by Schipper’s direction. Victoria captures “Real Berlin”. Go see it.”