God bless The Guardian. Not only does its Top 10 Movies of 2014 list knock the de rigueur “Boyhood” out of first place — only into second, but we’ll take what we can get, diversity-wise — but it’s put together an individual essay for each movie rather than a scant overview, reinforcing the idea that these movies are great because they’re worth considering over and and over again. Of “Under the Skin,” the top pick, Peter Bradshaw writes, “[T]he result really was gasp-inducing: hilarious, disturbing, audacious…. ‘Under the Skin’ is just so visually free and uninhibited that there is an intense dark, destructive sexiness in everything about it — quite apart from the hilarious, bizarre, mesmeric eroticism of the film itself. It is a work of subcutaneous potency.”
Even though “Boyhood” didn’t make the top spot, the list overall shows an interested bent towards movies that are not only from but about the U.S. of A: “Inherent Vice,” with its portrait of a counterculture getting high on its own supply; “Nightcrawler,” which deconstructs media madness and self-improvement doublespeak; “The LEGO Movie,” with its take on (and embodiment of) consumer culture; even “Whiplash,” with its winner-take-all view of artistic advancement. They’re balanced out by classically European movies like “Ida” and “Two Days, One Night,” as well as Wes Anderson’s gap-bridging “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” which feels like the version of Europe emigrés like Ernst Lubistch recreated in Hollywood.
Here’s the list with links to individual essays. Bradshaw’s Top 10, which includes “Maps to the Stars,” “Mr. Turner” and “Norte, The End of History,” is here.
The Guardian’s Top 10 Movies of 2014: