Gaby Hoffman

Spinning Platters film critics present their top 10 films of 2014

Spinning Platters film critics Carrie Kahn and Chad Liffmann each share their ten favorite films of 2014. Here is Carrie’s list, presented in alphabetical order. And you can see Chad’s list here.

1.) Boyhood

Patricia Arquette and Ellar Coltrane are outstanding as a mother and son who grow and change together.

Filmed intermittently over 12 years, Richard Linklater’s film chronicling a boy named Mason (Ellar Coltrane) from ages six to 18 in real time is both a technical marvel and a cinematic masterpiece. There has been nothing like it before on screen, and there will no doubt be nothing like it again. Utterly unique in scope and vision, the film lets us watch a life develop in front of our very eyes, with all of its attendant hopes, dreams, achievements, and disappointments. Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke play Mason’s parents, changing and growing right alongside him and his older sister (Lorelei Linklater). An absolutely dazzling achievement that will leave you breathless and awed, Linklater’s picture is sure to be the one to beat for Best Picture come Oscar time. (You can also read Gordon’s full-length review here).

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My final two spotlights from the 56th San Francisco International Film Festival (SFIFF), which ends today. Information and tickets for the day’s final films at: http://festival.sffs.org/

Crystal Fairy
(Chile 2012, 100 min; English and Spanish with English subtitles)

Michael Cera in Crystal Fairy

Michael Cera in Crystal Fairy

Michael Cera is comically brilliant as Jamie, a know-it-all American seeking a mescaline high in Chile. Chilean director Sebastian Silva contrasts Jamie’s self-absorption and rigidity with fellow American Crystal Fairy (Gaby Hoffman). She’s free-spirited and new-agey, yet endears herself to Jamie and the Chilean brothers travelling with them; watching her conflict with Jamie is terrific fun. Silva’s very funny, sweet picture proves that even the most annoying of us are capable of growth and compassion.

Next showing:
Opens nationwide July 12, 2013. [read the whole post]

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