Best Of 2014: Ben Umstead's Reflections And Favorites

Editor, U.S.; Los Angeles, California (@filmbenjamin)

As much as I can see 2014 packed to the gills with films people fell head over heels for, many of those mainstream and even ScreenAnarchy favorites will be vacant from this list, simply because I thought this was a decent year for cinema. And as I always tend to do with these lists, I go off the beaten path as much as possible, so if there are choices of mine you have yet to hear much of, or have yet to be released, do not fret, keep an eye out, do a little digging, or drop me a question in the comments below.

What follows are a few general reflections on the year, honorable mentions, the top twelve countdown, followed by a brief rundown of favorite TV Shows. Onward and enjoy!

The Year At Large

While most of my coverage here at ScreenAnarchy goes against the mainstream grain, this year's crop of tent-poles proved to be a bit more pleasurable for me, in that The LEGO Movie gave me joy, Noah gave me darkly herald allegory, and X-Men: Days Of Future Past gave me an X-Men flick my 10-year self could swoon over.

What was certain in the film community at large is that there was one extraordinary work that unified a lot of disparate folks: Richard Linklater's Boyhood. What's ironic to note here is the film's gentle, astute look at a white, male, and middle-class subject, while pop cinema (and TV) still seems to be justifiably experimenting with destructive male hubris (Mad Men), death of the patriarchal society (Interstellar), and also with the slower, if far more vital, rise of action/adventure feminist storytelling (Mockingjay, and in TV, The Legend Of Korra). This absolutely goes without saying, but it's a very needed set of growing pains for the generally lethargic and bombast burdened Hollywood to be having; one that is long overdue and will, hopefully, continue to unfold towards an industry of equality, both in front of and behind the camera.

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