Tuesday, January 13, 2015

15 best shots of 2014

By s. Tuesday, January 13, 2015 , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Welcome to the second Best of 2014 list! There were plenty of movies last year with absolutely stunning cinematography. But this list is a little bit more specific than this. It's about that one perfect image that showed up on screen that I won't be able to ever forget. Whenever thinking of these movies, it's impossible for me not to remember the best shots in them and they just appear in my mind instantly.

Here's 15 finest cinematic images in 2014:

15. Anna, The Guest
That movie looks absolutely gorgeous. The entire film is amazingly shot and everything looks so interesting and beautiful, even in ordinary scenes at the house David stays at, where the unsuspecting family takes him in. But it's the explosion of neon colors, especially in the ending and the beautiful main heroine of the film bathed in those colors, that stays with you the most.

14. The splitter, Begin Again
I haven't seen a shot this heartbreaking in years. I just cannot believe Dan and Gretta didn't end up together. By having Dan smile I actually think Carney is showing me his middle finger. But as far as shots go, it's brilliant. And it has Ruffalo, so here we are.

13. The horses, Foxcatcher
The film is so well shot with the cinematography having such a big part in telling the story. The frantic shot of du Pont running towards the horses he never understood and who had his mother affection, unlike him, is so wonderfully telling and unforgettable.

12.  Consummation, Gone Girl
There have been many shocking and twisted images in 2014 but none comes close to the bloodbath in the scene Amy murders Desi. There are so many fantastic shots in that sequence but my favorite is the one where we clearly see Amy, determined, angry, deadly.

11. Dan, Gretta and the city, Begin Again
These two and New York are the main characters of the movie, apart from the music itself, and this shot represents it best. Just them and the city.

10. The dog, The Interview
The surprising thing about the controversial comedy is how beautifully it is shot. My favorite image of the whole film is that of the adorable sidekick of our main heroes in the tank.

9. Approval, Whiplash
We sense hearing Andrew play in the end that he finally made it. But the moment we don't just sense it anymore, but know it for sure is when someone confirms it to us - Fletcher. With his smiling eyes. He is smiling and that says it all.

8. Dancing, The Skeleton Twins 
That film is one of the most underrated ones in 2014 and also one of the most beautifully shot, but the one shot that really stands out is the moment when the siblings dance together. It's so lovely, so odd and so hopeful, much like the film ends up being in the end.

7. The ending, The Imitation Game 
The entirety of the film is beautifully shot, but the sequence that stands out - because of the images, score and saddening and profound lines that show up telling us what happened to Alan and how important his achievements were - is the film's final scene where the team burns the evidence of their work with Enigma machine

6. Jellyfish, Birdman
This shot appears twice in the film. And perhaps it's for a crucial reason - there is a theory out there involving that jellyfish that is incredibly fascinating, even more so than other theories about the film. It's also an absolutely gorgeous shot.

 5. The woods, Under the Skin
There are many stunning shots in that movie but there is one in particular that deserves its spot here. The image of serene woods and Laura sleeping, blended into that shot, finding peace in nature is a beautiful illustration of one of the many themes and ideas in the book. Unlike other allusions to the novel in the movie I feel this one wasn't lost on those who haven't read the source material.

4. The spinning Endurance, Interstellar
Interstellar is the worst movie with highest highs this year. As a whole it is painfully boring, silly and most of all frustrating because there are moments in it that are some of the best things I've ever seen. One of those is the shot of the spinning Endurance, disintegrating and being chased by Cooper and Amelia who will attempt to dock it. It was almost worthy seeing this movie in theater just to see this shot and that whole scene.

3. Spider above the city, Enemy
The whole film is brilliantly shot but the one image that is bound to stay in your mind after the film - and for many months after - is the footage of gigantic spider walking on top of the city. The spider moves so slowly that chances are you won't even see it at first. but when you notice it, you cannot unsee it, much like the twists and turns of the film itself.

2. The leaflet, Gone Girl
This shot brings to mind all those distorted mirror shots that portray the disturbed character. Except here it's more - it's a leaflet with Amy photo showing the attention - attention which is one of the reasons Amy is so disturbed to begin with. The fact that it is crumpled shows the flimsy of the public opinion and the ugliness of the whole thing. It's the most perfect, telling and symbolic shot of the whole film.

1. Wings, Birdman
I could actually put almost an entire movie here, but this quick shot of Birdman spreading his wings while he is walking behind Riggan is just too cool. It's the whole movie right here - Riggan and his ever present shadow.

Best movie tracks of 2014 will be published tomorrow and Best (and Worst) of 2014 list will be published on Tuesday, February 20th


  1. Ahhh fuck that spider! lol

    This is an excellent list! I love your pics. I loved that scene in Gone Girl after she commits that murder then does that little hair flip.

    I also like the scene in Birdman where he's walking through the pepper lights, the firework scene in Theory of Everything, and the final elevator scene in I Origins. Those are a few more of my favorites. :)

    1. The hair flip is legendary :P

      The fireworks almost made it here :)

  2. Fantastic choices!! LOVE your #1 pick, so iconic! Glad you love Birdman as much as I did.

    I really should watch The Guest soon now that it's on iTunes!

    Dan, Gretta and the city in Begin Again is all kinds of awesome, that would make my Top 10 if I were to make a similar list! ENEMY is such a strange film, but yeah that Spider in the City is one that's hard to get out of your mind.

    1. Thanks!

      Oh The Guest is fantastic, hope you'll see it soon!

    2. I almost saw The Guest this weekend, and my friend at work was also raving how good it was on Monday. Btw, just posted my Top 10 Movies of the Year, I think you'd like my #1 and #2 picks :P

    3. I know but it takes me a while to get to the blogs of people who post almost daily, I don't have much time and energy lately to read/comment on every single thing

  3. The shots in Gone Girl, Birdman, Interstellar, The Skeleton Twins, and Foxcatcher are awesome yet it's the one in Under the Skin that is just cinema at is most perfect.

  4. All of these picks are great, but that shot from Under the Skin made my jaw drop. However, the shots from Gone Girl, Birdman, Interstellar and Foxcatcher are almost just as good. Great list!

  5. These are breathtaking shots. I was hoping you'd have the shot from The Guest where David is strangling Anna in the fog...it's such a tensely captured shot, yet gorgeously framed.

    1. That whole sequence was so well filmed, hell, the whole movie was. But this image stood out for me the most

  6. Lots of great shots, here. That one from Under the Skin is perfect. Haven't seen Foxcatcher, yet, but that's a beautiful shot. Great post!

  7. The jellyfish shot in Birdman is something out of a Malick movie. A gorgeous film all around. Love that you chose that shot of Enemy. The whole yellowish hue the movie has, the way the broken glass in the car wreck at the end creates a spider web, great stuff.

    1. Well it is but the film itself is better than anything Mallick did or will ever do :) Enemy has truly fascinating cinematography!

  8. Some excellent images here, Sati. Birdman is a worthy #1 but I really wish I hadn't seen that Gone Girl one. I've not seen the film yet.

    1. Thanks! I think it was a reasonable assumption that I made that everyone who wanted to see the film, already did in film blogosphere....

  9. Amazing post!! I especially loved your shots from Begin Again, Gone Girl and (definitely) Under the Skin. I might have to copy your idea here...it could be a blogathon...favorite shots of 2014 :)

    1. Thanks! It would be tough to choose just one for the blogathon!

  10. So pretty! I'm curious about The Guest now.

  11. Great list! Love your top 5, and the shots from Begin Again, Foxcatcher, The Skeleton Twins and The Guest are inspired choices.