The top 10 movies I watched at home in 2014

I stole this idea of Table Nine Mutant over at Cinema Parrot Disco. I watched some great movies outside of the theatre in 2014 and I wanted to celebrate those too. For the sake of this post I have stuck to movies I hadn’t seen before this year otherwise it would have just been a long list of old favourites.

What Maisie Knew

What Maisie Knew (2012)
Starring: Onata Aprile, Alexander Skarsgård, Julianne Moore
From my review:
Although this film ends on a positive note I was left with a sinking feeling, wondering just what would actually happen to Maisie in the future when one of her obviously petty parents decided to exercise their parental rights… and I can’t stop thinking about it… which is clearly the sign of a good film. The four lead adult performances are all excellent but it is Aprile who steals every scene she is in. A star in the making.
“Lincoln: I’m her… sorta… like… Maisie’s stepfather.”

Sightseers

Sightseers (2012)
Starring: Alice Lowe, Steve Oram, Eileen Davis
From my review:
It’s as much about Chris and Tina’s brutal kills, as it is about the minutiae of their burgeoning relationship and their weird personalities and I couldn’t quite decide if Chris was perfect for Tina or the worst thing that had ever happened to her. Whatever you end up focusing on, I can tell you that hubby and I laughed out loud all the way through.
“Chris: So what were you like when you were a little kid, then?
Tina: Unhappy.
Chris: You didn’t like school? I know, nor me.
Tina: What were you like at school, Chris?
Chris: I wasn’t like anything. I was, like, invisible.
Tina: What about you being ginger?
Chris: Well, that’s a problem, yeah.
Tina: That’s not invisible, is it?
Chris: No, but I wanted to be.”

Prisoners

Prisoners (2013)
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Hugh Jackman
From my review:
This film keeps you guessing until the very end. I changed my mind about what was actually going on and who was responsible about twenty times throughout and I was still wrong. There are excellent performances from Gyllenhaal, who portrays Loki as a man teetering on the edge between following the rules and losing his temper, Jackman, who steals the show as a man who will do anything to get his daughter back – even if it destroys him as well as Dano, who manages to be both incredibly creepy and incredibly pathetic as Alex.
“Keller Dover: He stays in custody till my daughter is found right? Right?
Detective Loki: We have a 48-hour hold on him. It ends tomorrow unless we bring charges.
Keller Dover: Well, then charge him with something… Charge him!
Detective Loki: Mr. Dover…
Keller Dover: [Interrupts] Detective, Detective. Two little girls have *gotta* worth whatever little rule you gotta break to keep that asshole in custody. Now, I know you can’t promise me anything, I understand that. But I’m asking you, be sure. Be 100% sure…
[Loki nods]
Keller Dover: Thank you… I appreciate it.”

Pretty One

The Pretty One (2014)
Starring: Zoe Kazan, Jake Johnson, Ron Livingston
From my review:
The Pretty One is a kooky little film with a somewhat bonkers premise that could have gone horribly wrong but Kazan is so charming as Laurel that it’s hard not to get sucked in by her search for her own identity. The connection between Laurel and Basel is lovely to watch and seeing how Laurel learns to understand herself and her relationships by becoming someone else is very interesting.
“Basel: What do you think, if you show me how you feel, I’m not gonna like you?
Laurel: Yeah, maybe.
Basel: Really? This isn’t gonna last if it’s like that. If this is real, we gotta tell each other the bad stuff. And if this isn’t real, if this is just my kind of imagination… then I wanna know now.”

Nymphomaniac

Nymphomaniac Vol. 1 (2013)
Starring: Charlotte Gainsborough, Stacy Martin, Stellan Skarsgård
From my review:
Not to say that all of Nymphomaniac Vol. 1 is grim. There are some brilliant moments of black humour. I loved the scenes where the wife (Uma Thurman) of one of Joe’s lovers arrives at her home complete with children in tow just after her husband has left her for Joe. It was the perfect combination of hilarious and cringeworthy. When we got to the end of this half of the story I was definitely left desperate to know what happened next so stay tuned for the next installment.
“Joe: It’s actually the souls of the trees we’re seeing in the winter. In summer everything is green and idyllic but in the winter, the branches and the trunks all stand out. Just look at how crooked they all are. The branches have to carry all the leaves to the sunlight. That’s one long struggle for survival.”

Kings of Summer

The Kings of Summer (2013)
Starring: Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Arias
From my review:
I found this film utterly lovely. The beautiful, slow motion nature screens were enrapturing and made even outdoor-phobic, hyper allergic me think I might fancy some camping. All three young actors were excellent, as were the supporting cast and it was easy to identify with both the boys’ and their parents’ frustrations. Director, Jordan Vogt-Roberts, manages to successfully capture the freedom that exists in the precious moment between the restrictions of childhood and responsibilities of adulthood with warmth, humour and more than a little nostalgia. Coming of age gold.
“Biaggio: In Italian, the word for snake means ‘the demon’s cock’.
Patrick: No it doesn’t.
Biaggio: There’s a chance that it doesn’t.”

Frances Ha

Frances Ha (2012)
Starring: Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver
From my review:
Gerwig who also co-wrote the script captured the essence of what modern city living is like in the period between finishing your studies, figuring yourself and embracing a reality you can live with. Highly recommended.
“Frances: It’s that thing when you’re with someone, and you love them and they know it, and they love you and you know it… but it’s a party… and you’re both talking to other people, and you’re laughing and shining… and you look across the room and catch each other’s eyes… but – but not because you’re possessive, or it’s precisely sexual… but because… that is your person in this life. And it’s funny and sad, but only because this life will end, and it’s this secret world that exists right there in public, unnoticed, that no one else knows about. It’s sort of like how they say that other dimensions exist all around us, but we don’t have the ability to perceive them. That’s – That’s what I want out of a relationship. Or just life, I guess.”

Chronicle

Chronicle (2012)
Starring: Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell, Michael B. Jordan
From my review:
There is a lot to love about Chronicle. It feels realistic and accessible and the performances of the three main characters are heartfelt with DeHaan in particular proving excellent. I liked that the phenomenon that imbued the boys with their powers is barely explained. It’s not important how they got their powers but rather what they do with them and spending ages exploring it would have just distracted from the emotional impact of unbridled power on those who don’t have the maturity to deal with it.
“Andrew Detmer: I’ve been doing a lot of reading, you know? Like, online about, like, just evolution and natural selection and how like there’s this thing, right? It’s called the apex predator, right? And basically what this is, is the strongest animal in the ecosystem, right? And as human beings, we’re considered the apex predator but only because smaller animals can’t feed on us because of weapons and stuff, right? A lion does not feel guilty when it kills a gazelle, right? You do not feel guilty when you squash a fly… and I think that means something. I just think that really means something.”

Blue

Blue is the Warmest Colour (2013)
Starring: Adèle Exarchopoulos, Léa Seydoux, Salim Kechiouche
From my review:
I felt like this film took me on an epic journey through first love, self discovery and what is means to be part of a relationship and still keeping hold of your individuality. Initially I thought Adèle was a bit of a tit but as I got to know her, I genuinely felt for her plight and I was fascinated to see what would happen to her, even though this is one of those films where nothing really happens and it doesn’t have much of a conclusion. I loved the little hints of blue scattered throughout and the way writer/director Abdellatif Kechiche used Adèle’s love of the novel Life of Marianne to inject deeper meaning into scenes.
“Adèle: I miss you. I miss not touching each other. Not seeing each other, not breathing in each other. I want you. All the time. No one else.”

Blue Jasmine

Blue Jasmine (2013)
Starring: Cate Blanchette, Sally Hawkins, Dice Clay
From my review:
Blanchett gives an incredible performance as a woman who is so self-absorbed and entitled that despite her repulsiveness is fascinating to watch. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the screen, particularly as Jasmine seamlessly reinvented her past to embark on a new relationship with a wealthy potential husband. A well-deserved Oscar.
“Jasmine: Who do you have to sleep with around here to get a Stoli martini with a twist of lemon?”

19 Comments

  1. Excellent picks!

    ❤ DeHaan. Forever. Lol.

    I recently watched The Kings of Summer because I remember you had spoken highly of it. Biaggio cracked me up, and I had a good laugh with it, which was unexpected. Prisoners was utterly fantastic, no two ways about it.

    1. Abbi

      I am so glad you enjoyed The Kings of Summer. I loved it and Biaggio. A lot of people didn’t like Prisoners but I can’t really understand why!

  2. I think after we move (eventually!!!) I’ll have to put up a chalkboard so I can keep in mind all the movies you make me want to see.

    1. Abbi

      I have been so bad at replying to comments. I am busy getting back to all the ones I missed. I feel so bad!! The best thing about this blog is getting to share recommendations so I am so glad there are some here that you want to see!

      1. Lol, your timing is perfect tho–I’d forgotten about putting up a chalkboard and we are MOVED!

  3. Some great picks on this list. I loved all the ones that I watched. Sightseers is a hidden gem that deserves attention!

    1. Abbi

      Sightseers absolutely cracked me up. More people need to see it!

  4. I thought The Kings of Summer was such a fun film too! Definitely an overlooked “coming of age” film. I’m curious about The Pretty One just because I like Zoe Kazan. I might have to check that one out!

    1. Abbi

      I happened on The Pretty One on Netflix by chance and I am so glad I did.

      1. Ooo! I will have to see if it is on US Netflix …

  5. So many of these are on my list to see as well and now you have shown me some new ones I want to see. Such a good idea too for a post.

    1. Abbi

      I can’t take credit. It was Table Nine Mutant’s idea and I loved it so much I had to steal it.

      1. I know I so want to steal it too! I just have to think back at all the random stuff I watched.

  6. Awesome! All these movies are sitting in my Netflix queue. Probably should check them out 🙂 The only one I’ve seen is Chronicle and that was pretty great. Such a great idea for a post. I’d do one also but I need a better tracking system for what I watch during the year. I watch more than I have time to review….

    1. Abbi

      I have to use my reviews to keep track. It helps doing short ones.

  7. Yay! Glad you did this list. I always watch so much great stuff at home that it doesn’t feel right to not mention them at the end of the year. 🙂 I’ve only seen three of these – Chronicle, Prisoners & Blue Is The Warmest Color. Really liked Blue – I need to get around to reviewing that someday!

    1. Abbi

      It was such a good idea. I really hope Blue is the Warmest Color gets a second part because it was alluded to at the end and I felt like there was so much more to Adele’s story.

  8. MIB

    I support your choices of “..Warmest Colour” and “Nymphomaniac”! 🙂

    Best line from “Sightseers” though was “He’s not a person, he’s a Daily Mail reader!” 😛

    1. Abbi

      We all know Daily Mail Readers are subhuman! Lol! Glad there were some here that you enjoyed to!

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