So we are now at the end of June and six months have past, time to look back at the good that cinema has bought us so far. I have to say, it’s been a tricky one, as there have been some really good films, most many people didn’t see but should have (maybe they should check them out on DVD).
So here comes my mid-term report, the top ten so far. I am pretty sure it will change by the end of the year. Other films that were just outside the top ten included: Despicable Me 2, Iron Man 3, The Place Beyond The Pines (well, the first 2/3) , Mud, Wreck-It-Ralph, A Late Quartet, Cloud Atlas, Side By Side, Trance, A Hijacking and Behind The Candelabra.
10. Evil Dead
I know that many people didn’t like this remake of Sam Raimi’s classic but for me it was the best horror in a long time, because it was actually horrible. It made me jump, it made me put my hands over my eyes and it made me laugh. Not many films can do that and so it just sneaks in at the bottom of my top ten so far.
9. Robot & Frank
A film that I didn’t think I was going to like but it was one of the big surprises. Frank Langella’s performance was worth seeing and his relationship with a robot was simply lovely. A funny, touching film that deserved a much bigger audience than it got. I hope you get it on DVD and check it out. It’s a real feel-good treat.
8. The Stone Roses: Made Of Stone
A documentary made by a film maker at the top of his game about a band I knew very little about and yet I felt so much love and compassion for them by director Shane Meadows that it become infectious. A love poem to a band that I was glad I was introduced to.
7. Zero Dark Thirty
Kathryn Bigalow’s superb political thriller was one of those rare films where you were completely hooked even when you knew the outcome. Jessica Chastain give, for me, the best performance of the year so far and I felt it was a much better film than many gave it credit.
6. Django Unchained
Quentin Taratino was back on form with this epic western that was brutal, violent and full of surprises. Christoph Waltz once again walked off with Oscar and Leonard DiCaprio finally grew up as the evil land baron. Come on, it’s a western…how could I resist?
5. In The House
A terrific French thriller about a school boy who infiltrates a fellow students home and then writes about it, all to the agreement of his English teacher. Gripping and powerful stuff, with delicious sips of humour thanks to another well-polished performance from Kristen Scott-Thomas.
4. First Position
One of the pure delights this year was this small yet perfectly formed documentary following six youngsters from very different lives who enter a prestigious ballet contest that could change their lives. You become hooked on their progress that by the end you are rooting them on for success.
3. Star Trek Into Darkness
Only blockbuster that has delivered this year so far (Iron Man 3 comes a close second). It has everything a blockbuster needs: action, excitement, humour, big set pieces and a career changing performance from Benedict Cumberbatch. It didn’t need the 3D but on the Imax it was immense.
A harrowing and thought-provoking drama that stayed with me for weeks after seeing it. A girl is terrorised after being accused of a crime she didn’t commit by her employers being manipulated over the phone by someone saying he is a policeman. A film that once you have seen it, you won’t stop talking about.
1. Much Ado About Nothing
Filmed in 12 days during his shoot of The Avengers, Joss Wheldon’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy is funny, simple and a joy. The performances are great and Nathan Fillion certainly knows how to steal a film. A shame it wasn’t given a larger release but, trust me, even Shakespeare haters will love this.