A film released in January is as likely to receive critical acclaim, box office success, or your own stamp of approval as a guy with a knife is to win a gunfight. Sure, there are a few that come out swinging and hit that sweet spot between the ribs—Silence of the Lambs, Office Space, this year’s Inherent Vice—but more often than not, this gray, cold month sees a selection of dead-on-arrival sludge, making you regret that you didn’t catch the good ones on the big screen while you had the chance. Luckily, the Brattle is serving up the antidote to this month’s smorgasbord of sure-fire shit—The Boy Next Store, Black Sea, and Paddington, to name a few—with a selection of 2014’s best plucked from Oscar contenders, blockbuster bangers, and best-of-indie lists.
Kicking off the 24-film rep series on January 9 is Wes Anderson’s second-most Wes Anderson film to date, The Grand Budapest Hotel, an Academy Award hopeful. Also in the statuette category with expected screenplay, acting, directing, and best picture nods is the I-can’t-believe-you-haven’t-seen-it-yet Boyhood, Richard Linklater’s 14-years-in-the making opus starring Ethan Hawke and Rosanne Arquette. Of the big-budget fare, Guardians of the Galaxy represents ’14 comic book films in a double feature with adult-friendly kid flick The LEGO Movie. Another back-to-back screening features Dear White People and Listen Up Philip, both of which deserved longer screen time than their limited Boston releases allowed. Also included in the two-week rewind are foreign language heavyweights Ida (Polish) and Force Majeure (Swedish), as well as Australian horror flick The Babadook, Jim Jarmusch’s chatty vampires in Only Lovers Left Alive, and the succubus stylings of Scarlett Johansson in Under The Skin.
(SOME OF) THE BEST OF 2014. BRATTLE THEATRE, 40 BRATTLE ST., CAMBRIDGE. FRI 1.9 – THU 1.22. FOR SHOWTIMES AND TICKET PRICES, VISIT BRATTLEFILM.ORG