Visionary director Wes Anderson throws the cynical filmgoing audience into his own pastel-painted world again in The Grand Budapest Hotel. Anderson is one of the most distinctive film directors working in the business today, with his over-the-top whimsy and nostalgia for “Old Hollywood” standing out among modern-day gritty reboots and mean-spirited comedies. With The Grand Budapest Hotel, Anderson brings the same visual panache featured in his other films, from The Royal Tenenbaums to Moonrise Kingdom, and features largely the same troupe of actors. On the surface, The Grand Budapest Hotel seems like just another warm-hearted ensemble comedy from Anderson, but the film takes some pleasantly surprising turns toward darkness, giving it an impressive level of stakes and gravitas.
The Lego Movie is the best film of 2014! Granted, it’s only February and the months before summer are mostly a barren wasteland of cheap horror movies and mind-numbing romantic comedies, but The Lego Movie is a rare gem among the crap. While its super-early release date suggests a lack of faith by the studio, the film manages to exceed beyond expectations and then some. That’s saying something, quite frankly, given how easy it would be for the film to coast on the Lego premise and the colorful animation just to help the company sell some more merchandise.
Welcome to part 2 of my winners announcement for the 2nd Annual Filmiest Awards! With eight trophies already handed out in part 1, we will now get to the biggest awards of them all. Click here to read or review part 1. On with the show! The first category to be announced tonight is Best Art Direction. The visual aesthetic of a film can be its most memorable part, whether it be through vibrant colors or muted tones. Last year’s winner, Life of Pi, represents the absolute beauty that filmmaking can produce, and this year’s winner is just as worthy.
Awards season is upon us, and the Filmiest Awards are just one of many to award the best in film. 2013 was one of the best film years in recent history, and many are set to become some of my favorites of all time. This is the second year for the Filmiest Awards, my own personal celebration of movie excellence. I will now present my awards in 16 categories over a two-day process.
Let’s get things started.
The award for Best Original Song celebrates the best use of a song written exclusively for a movie. Such a song must contribute to the overall benefit of the movie it’s intended for while also standing on its own as a genuinely outstanding song. Last year’s award for Best Original Song went to “Big Machine” from Safety Not Guaranteed. Let’s see which song is about to join this exclusive group.
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Nebraska isn’t a film that should have worked. Road trip movies featuring a pair of mismatched people have become of one the biggest cliches in cinema, a tired concept that’s been covered for generations. When you consider the fact that the lead character of the film is in his ‘80s and seemingly on the brink of death, director Alexander Payne had an uphill battle going into this film. And yet, what he has created is one of the most unique pieces of artistic cinema of the year. Nebraska stars Bruce Dern as Woody Grant, an 80-year-old ordinary man from Billings, Montana who receives a letter stating that he has won $1 million. He doesn’t trust the U.S. postal service and he can’t drive anymore, so he sets off on a walk to Nebraska to claim his grand prize. Everyone around him thinks he’s gone senile in his old age, knowing that the letter is just a scam to get gullible people to subscribe to magazines they don’t need. His wife Kate (June Squibb) has grown tired of his antics and his son David (Will Forte) is a mild-mannered electronics salesman who’s grown distant from his family. Both realize that the letter is an obvious scam, but only David wishes to let Woody indulge in his “fantasy.”