Sure, Netflix is wonderful; you get to wear your unicorn onesie, simultaneously read a magazine and pop to the loo (God damn that wholesome January water intake) whenever you wish. But doesn’t a tiny part of you long for the immersion of watching a box-fresh box-office wonder on the big screen, in the dark, with a clutch of strangers breathing, laughing and screaming in unison?
The days of smelly multiplexes serving up sugar-laden trash are numbered. With chic chains like Everyman and Picturehouse making a visit to the flicks feel special again, we declare 2014 the year we recommit to our local cinema. So, sit back and relax. 2014 is now officially open, and here’s our pick of the films you won’t want to miss…
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Wes Anderson’s welcome return – his first film since 2012’s outstanding Moonrise Kingdom – sees him open the doors to The Grand Budapest Hotel. Set in 1920’s Europe the head concierge of Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes) is an immaculately turned out sex addict with a keen eye for the older woman, who finds himself bequeathed a painting by last night’s now-deceased one night stand. Madam D is dead, and now Gustave H has to contend with her son. Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel promises to deliver another surreal slice of dreamlike humour and bold symmetrical cinematography, alongside a cast that includes Jude Law, William Dafoe, Harvey Keitel, Bill Murray, Edward Norton & Jeff Goldblum.
The Wolf of Wall Street
Scorsese is back and so is his exceptional muse Leonardo DiCaprio in this glamourised story of Wall Street broker Jordan Belfort. In the 1990’s Belfort scammed his way to a $110.4 million dollar fortune by scamming stock buyers and shareholders. What did he do with all that money? He partied like a god for several years and took the ride as close to the edge as anyone dares. Yes, he got caught in the end, eventually serving just 22 months inside. Incredibly, it was Tommy Chong (one half of legendary pot-smoking duo Cheech & Chong, who was also serving time inside) that persuaded Belfort to write up his story and sell it. Compulsive car-crash viewing.
12 Years a Slave
The film is based on the autobiographical account of Solomon Northup, who was kidnapped into a cotton plantation in the early 1800s. Steve McQueen’s slavery epic has been both lauded and derised for piggy-backing Django Unchained so quickly, and others have condemned it as ‘torture porn’; however the film is set to clean up at the Oscars, so we suspect Mr. McQueen will sleep just fine. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Fassbender all star.
For No Good Reason
Charlie Paul’s 15 year labour of love to capture Gonzo artist Ralph Steadman’s life, work, anecdotes, reflections and hopes is a successful joyride fronted by Johnny Depp. Having worked with outlaw American journalist Hunter S. Thompson for many years, creating the Indian ink splattered imagery for Hunter’s best works – including Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, in which Depp starred as Hunter – Steadman’s work is rightly recognised by many as vital, grotesque and brilliant. Stars Bill Murray, Richard E. Grant, Tim Robbins and many more.
The Zero Theorem
Qohen Leth (Christoph Waltz) is a reclusive computer genius living in a dystopian, Orwellian world set to work on a computer code which will answer whether life has true meaning or not. Terry Gilliam’s latest is set to unravel like an enthusiastically chewed LSD tab – look out for ‘Wickham’, the flying bat with the uncontrollable erection – also starring Matt Damon and David Thewlis. For a glimpse into the advertising-saturated futuristic world Qohen inhabits, click below.
Words: Vernon Ward