Documentary about music therapy and dementia that was a big hit at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Film Festival.
Ruben Ostlund's drama-slash-pitch-black-comedy about a Swedish family staying at a resort in the French Alps drew several comparisons to art-house superstar Michael Haneke among its heaps of critical praise and industry awards, which itself is pretty high praise.
While hardly as unfilmable as Gravity's Rainbow, translating any Thomas Pynchon novel to the screen is an ambitious undertaking. Rumblings of incoherence from those who haven't read the book aside, Paul Thomas Anderson's take on the relatively lighthearted post-hippie pseudo-Noir Inherent Vice is about as successful as one could imagine. Having an all-star cast and the best director in Hollywood certainly doesn't hurt. Anderson's screenplay garnered an Oscar nomination, as did the costume design, which I mention in case you're super into costume design.
Andrey Zvyagintsev's latest masterpiece, a treatise on power and its abuses, drew raves from numerous critics and scored a Best Foreign Language Picture Golden Globe as well as a nomination for the same at the Oscars.
I'll let the New York Times' Manohla Dargis speak for Frederick Wiseman's latest documentary masterpiece, "Magnificent... The movie is at once specific and general, fascinating in its pinpoint detail and transporting in its cosmic reach. It's about art and process, money and mystery. . . (a) privileged three-hour virtual tour of the museum."
Zaza Urushadze's Estonian/Georgian life-during-wartime drama secured him Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at both the Oscars and the Golden Globes. He could also paper the walls of his home with all the little laurel icons he won for special film festival awards.
Director James Gray's The Immgrant won numerous accolades at festivals around the world, including a nomination for the Palme D'Or at Cannes, and pulled down two Independent Spirit Award nominations, one for Marion Cotillard and one for its cinematography. The Star Tribune's Colin Covert had this to say, "The Immigrant is one of those rare, strikingly beautiful film experiences that transport you to another world." Also starring Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner.
Abderrahmane Sissako's latest garnered mention on numerous best-of-2014 lists and snagged a nomination for the Best Foreign Language Oscar. Recommended.
Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons turn in career-defining performances as a jazz drum student and his manaical teacher in one of 2014's most acclaimed movies.