Scarlett Johansson in Lucy (2014)

Unpacking 2014’s Blockbusters

If you want to talk about the experience of the average moviegoer in 2014, you need to talk about blockbusters. Boyhood might be the recipient of cascades of praise from critics and award bodies alike at the moment, and stands a solid chance of picking up the Best Picture at the Academy Awards. And yet,…

Force Majeure (2014)

Force Majeure (2014)

The concept of a ‘controlled avalanche’ seems paradoxical; while engineers can predict the outcome of an avalanche set off by an explosion with some certainty, the expectation of complete control for thousands of tonnes of rolling snow is patently ludicrous. One such ‘controlled’ avalanche, tumbling towards the ski resort housing Tomas (Johannes Kuhnke), Ebba (Lisa…

Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth in Before I Go to Sleep (2014)

Before I Go to Sleep (2014)

I’m a total sucker for films exploiting the amnesia trope, as hackneyed as it is (if it’s good enough for The Bold and the Beautiful, it’s good enough for me!). There’s something immediately engaging in the character and audience sharing the same predicament: not knowing the specifics of the events that preceded the film’s beginning,…

Gone Girl (2014)

Gone Girl (2014)

As a long-time David Fincher devotee, the first half hour of Gone Girl represents the first time I’ve doubted the director (full disclosure: I’ve never seen Benjamin Button). The film intercuts between Nick Dunne – writer, bar-owner, Ben Affleck – and his wife Amy – writer, actual-owner-of-the-bar, Rosamund Pike – through the past and present.…