As a film reviewer for Montreal Rampage, I’ve seen my fair share of movies this year and without a doubt my pick for the best picture of 2014 goes to:
Under the Skin
Under the Skin affected me more than any other film I saw this year. It’s a powerful cinematic exploration about what it means to be a human being as depicted through the experiences of an alien life form. This movie presents a portrait of an extraterrestrial who moves through our modern world void of emotion, empathy, and a sense of self. Scarlett Johansson delivers the performance of her career in this profound cinematic masterpiece by director Jonathan Glazer.
Under the Skin is an artistic and stylish sci fi film which has the power to mesmerize viewers and take us to places that we’ve never been to before. Our present day society is seen through the unemotional lens of an alien being who, although appearing to be human, is emotionally and psychologically disconnected from everything and everyone around her. Much like an infant Johansson’s character experiences the world as if she’s seeing it for the very first time. The profound sense of awe and wonder she displays when encountering even the most mundane of objects is both fascinating and provocative.
One of the elements that elevates Under the Skin from simply being a movie about an alien visitation is the way in which Johansson’s character ever so slowly discovers and eventually embraces her humanity. The scenes in which she stares at her reflected image are particularly astounding in terms of their naked honesty. The blank stare and silence indicative of her character at the beginning of the film is in stark contrast to the panicked and fearful being who’s confronted by a potential rapist at the conclusion of the film.
Under the Skin is an incredibly unique and insightful film which explores what it really means to be human. The film also deals with the importance of concepts such as emotion and individuality and the role they play in our modern world. Read review HERE.
Keira Knightly, Mark Ruffalo, and Adam Levine star in this feel good flick. Who knew that Knightly could sing? Begin Again features Ruffalo and Knightly as refreshingly unique characters who truly love music and choose authenticity over commercialism. Review HERE.
This documentary turned out to be a surprisingly emotional and poignant film. It chronicles inventor Tim Jenison’s exhaustive journey to reproduce a classic Vermeer painting. His obsessive efforts serve to explore notions concerning the art and science involved in creating an artistic masterpiece. See review HERE.
Written and directed by Godfrey Riggo, this art film deals with technology and emotion. Using stunning black and white cinematography and music by Philip Glass this film provides viewers with a one of a kind visual experience.