From blogs to viewers’ opinion and critics of indie films, these are the common picks as the best independent pictures of the year:
1. Ida: from Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski, who in 2001 won BAFTA‘s “Most Promising Newcomer in British Film” award, Ida portrays the story of a young girl on the quest to find her roots, as Jewish holocaust survivor descendants. Incredibly moving, we see through the film how a simple discovery turns out into an unexpected development of events.
2. Boyhood: one of the very few -or maybe the only- film that was recorded during 12 years and using the same actors. So what we get is what we see: the real deal. Growing pains, the ordinary happenings of daily life and the big moments that shape the life of a boy who turns out surprisingly well against all odds. It has been highly praised and well criticized since its release.
3. Only Lovers Left Alive: yet again, they’re still doing vampire movies. Except for this one stars Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston, and showcases the dreadness of the modern world through a couple that’s been alive for quite a while now. As described by Vanity Fair, “vampires have never appeared so cool, cultured or human“. Just the trailer is intriguing enough to make you want to watch it -even if you’re a firm detractor of the vampire hype.
4. The Grand Budapest Hotel: with an outstanding direction of photography, a picturesque story and remarkable acting, these movie features a lobby boy that inherits a great first class hotel. But way before that happens, a succession of weird events and murders take place, in a fictional country set in the years between the two World Wars. The acting of Ralph Fiennes is amazing!
5. The Wind Rises: from director Hayao Miyazaki, this animated film takes a look at Hiro Jorikoshi’s life, the man who designed planes in Japan during World War II. The dialogues and music are entirely in Japanese, so if you’re a fan of manga or anime you’re in for a treat, even though it’s more of a kids-oriented tale film.
6. Like Father Like Son: have you ever imagined having your baby mixed up with another one after birth? This is what happens to Ryota Nonomiya. This is also a Japanese film, that shows the moving story of Nonomiya facing the difficult choice of choosing over his biological son or the one he has helped to raise for years.
7. Life Itself: ironically enough, this movie is about the American movie critic, Roger Ebert, who passed away just last year. The film walks by his journey, his illness and his reputation as a newspaper writer. Luckily, it has been received well by the critics. In fact, as some have put it “the only shame of Life Itself is that we can’t read Roger Ebert’s review”.
8. Blue Ruin: “The one with the gun gets to tell the truth”. This is a story filled with vengeance, suspense, the seek of justice and thrill, of how a man is capable of doing pretty much anything to protect his family, even when that means becoming an assasin.
9. Nymphomaniac vol. I: This highly expected Lars von Trier movie show a woman who is addicted to sex and, after she is saved by a man from a brutal beating, begins to recount all of her sexual encounters -which are mostly sickly-. Featuring well-known actors like Shia LaBeouf, Uma Thurman and Stellan Skarsgård, Nymphomaniac will leave you wanting more. The second part was also released this year.
10. Stranger by The Lake: this French film was launched at the beginning of the year. It tells the story of a paradisiac vacation spot in France only for men, and how one of them gets stuck in a love whimsy that seems to be destined to end with death. Regardless, this summer passion goes on…