Movies of 2014: Grand Budapest Hotel, Selma & The Lego Movie

Leading up to this year’s Academy Awards, I’m going to be talking about many of the nominated films from 2014. I haven’t seen them all but I will be sure to see many more of them before the show so I can share my opinions on them and, just before the awards, share my top 10 of the year list.

Alright! Let’s do this:

The Grand Budapest Hotel
I must admit – I am something of a Wes Anderson fangirl. I love him. His films have played a huge role in my decision to study film in college. I loved The Grand Budapest Hotel, just as I expected I would. I found the film to be funny and engaging and so very “Wes Anderson.” Although I really enjoyed it, The Grand Budapest Hotel is not my favorite Wes Anderson film ever and, honestly, probably isn’t even in my top 5. Saying this may sound like I’m hating on it but I’m not – it just wasn’t able to make a stronger impression on me than his other films. I do think, as usual, Wes Anderson did an amazing job on the film and definitely deserved his Golden Globe nod. I also think this film is a great place for someone who isn’t very familiar with Wes Anderson to take the dive into his world.

Selma
Just saw this last Saturday. After all of the hubbub about the Oscar snubs, I had to see Selma and see if I agreed that the film got snubbed. My verdict?: yes and no. The acting, I thought, was the star of the show. David Oyelowo as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was amazing. The man can act. Plus, he’s British! Whaaat?! If you were to ask me, yes, I definitely think he should have gotten nominated, and I feel that way even without seeing the other films which received Best Acting noms.

On the other hand, it seems that many people are upset about Ava DuVernay’s directing snub. While I do think that she did a great job on Selma and it would have been fantastic to see the first African American woman nominated for best director, I’m just not sure. I guess I’ll have to see the films that were nominated in this category. So basically, while I do feel that she did a great job on Selma (especially considering it was one of her first major directing roles), I was not as blown away by the directing as I was by the acting performances.

The Lego Movie
I saw The Lego Movie last summer on a flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Boston. I was already quite aware of the film’s 90%+ rating on Rotten Tomatoes and the critical acclaim it was getting so I knew I had to get on board. I loved The Lego Movie. Loved it. In some weird way, this is the type of movie that makes me wish I had kids in my life just so I could take them to see this again and again and again. The Lego Movie was hilarious! And sweet! And that song! I’m bummed it didn’t get a nomination for Best Animated but, again, I haven’t seen any of the others in the category yet and, knowing me and my weakness for this category, I’ll love them all.

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