Top 15 Films of the Year, No. 1 – 12 Years A Slave

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12 Years A Slave is a film directed by Steve McQueen, with a screenplay by John Ridley.  The film is adapted from Solomon Northup’s 1853 memoir of the same name.  It tells the true story of when Northup was abducted and sold into slavery during the pre-Civil War era, despite the fact that he was a free man.

12 Years A Slave is an epic tale about the bitter reality of American slavery and the resilience one man had to withstand such brutal obstacles in order to one day reach his family again.  I have heard many great things about Steve McQueen’s filmmaking abilities, but prior to 12 Years A Slave, I had never personally seen any of his work.  But based purely on his effort here, the British director has made me a dedicated believer in his talented artistry.  McQueenThe subject of slavery in America has never been displayed on the silver screen before in such a straightforward, viciously honest nature, and when asked in an interview with Entertainment Weekly why there have not been more films in America about slavery, McQueen responded, “it’s a question it took a Brit to ask.”  McQueen gives Solomon Northup’s story justice on the screen and not by sugarcoating any part of this heroic story—he is candid at all times, no matter how atrocious the circumstances are.  McQueen has created one of the greatest films of all time, and this is the first time since The King’s Speech won for Best Picture that I have so deeply believed that a film deserves the Academy’s most coveted award.

This epic tale is packed with astoundingly crafted acting performances, and this is just another reason why 12 Years A Slave stands tall among the rest of 2013’s cinematic exports.  Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as Solomon Northup, and his take on the real-life man is viscerally remarkable.  Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a SlaveThere are some horrifying scenes involving Ejiofor’s character, but he handles them with an experienced level of dignity.  Ejiofor admitted in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that he found the most brutal scenes the easiest to perform because “it allows for another level of legitimacy in the pursuit of someone’s story, somebody’s life.”  Ejiofor devoted the time and effort in preparing for this role with commitment and resolve, and for that, the story of Solomon Northup receives the respected amount of attention that it deserves.

Lupita Nyong’o also gave one of the most incredible performances of the entire year in her portrayal of Patsey, an iron-willed slave woman.  Her character is one of the more innocent figures in the film, but she has some of the harshest realities of pre-Civil War slavery, namely the sexual sadism she is subjected to from her slave owner.  lupitaNyong’o is a newcomer in Hollywood, but the performance she gives is more analogous to a veteran performer on the verge of a Lifetime Achievement award.  Her wisdom in terms of acting is beyond her years, and in this film, she gives a performance that will long be remembered as one of the best 2013 had to offer.  With every crack of the whip during her gruesome beating scene, Lupita Nyong’o becomes immersed even deeper into her character, and even though the scene is one of the hardest to watch, her realism knocks it out of the park.

The film’s other actors also give outstanding supporting performances, especially Paul Dano and Sarah Paulson.  fassbenderBut aside from Ejiofor and Nyong’o, no performance is more memorable than Michael Fassbender as the vicious slave-owner, Edwin Epps.  At first glance, the character seems blandly one-dimensional, but Fassbender’s exhaustive construction of the character brings out so many other previously unearthed qualities.  Ever since I first saw Fassbender in Inglourious Basterds, I knew he had a unique gift in regards to acting, but never before has he been so instinctive and appalling as he is in 12 Years A Slave.  If any other skilled actor were to take on the role of Epps, the film would probably still be a solid “A.”  But Fassbender’s terrific performance takes this movie to another level, and McQueen is most assuredly thankful for this collaboration.

All in all, this film is by far the best of the entire year.  It touches every single emotion a viewer could possibly have, and the acting is something to behold.  McQueen has beautifully created one of the most important films of modern cinema, and for that, it deserves every single honor available in this industry.  12 Years A Slave is rated R for violence/cruelty, some nudity, and brief sexuality.

12 Years A Slave trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z02Ie8wKKRg

Academy Award nominations for 12 Years A Slave:

Best Picture (Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen, and Anthony Katagas, Producers)

Best Actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor)

Best Supporting Actor (Michael Fassbender)

Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong’o)

Best Costume Design (Patricia Norris)

Best Director (Steve McQueen)

Best Film Editing (Joe Walker)

Best Production Design (Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Alice Baker)

Best Adapted Screenplay (John Ridley)

Previous movies on the countdown of the Top 15 Films of the Year:

2. Short Term 12

3. The Hunt

4. Frances Ha

5. The Wolf of Wall Street

6. The World’s End

7. American Hustle

8. The Spectacular Now

9. Nebraska

10. Captain Phillips

11. Her

12. Philomena

13. Fruitvale Station

14. The Place Beyond the Pines

15. Dallas Buyers Club

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Top 15 Films of the Year, No. 2 – Short Term 12

Brie Larson

Short Term 12 is a film written and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton.  The film tells the story of Grace (Brie Larson), a twenty-something supervisor at a short-term foster facility for at-risk teenagers called Short Term 12.  On a daily basis, Grace fraternizes with her fellow counselors, breaks up fights between kids in her charge, helps talk kids through their many problems, but most of all, positively impacts each and every foster kid’s life in such a spectacular way.

Destin Daniel CrettonA creator of mostly short films, Destin Daniel Cretton has completely broken out and created one of the most touching stories you will ever come across in modern cinema.  This film was based off of a short film he completed for his senior project while in film school, and it is his passion for this narrative that exemplifies itself on the screen so superbly.  Each character in the film has a very different story to tell, but in so many ways, they are all the same—Cretton’s marvelous script gives each of these characters a voice, and they are all written with veteran elegance.

The best part of this well-crafted independent film is Brie Larson’s breakout performance as Grace.  She has become somewhat better known thanks to supporting roles in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), 21 Jump Street (2012), and The Spectacular Now (2013), but Larson fully releases herself into this lead role, and the results are absolutely, unequivocally astonishing.  Brie Larson 2Larson’s performance is so incredibly transparent, and even though I was aware of her, I completely lost sight of the fact that it was actually Larson on the screen—her immersion into the character is that good.  The character is much more complex than initially meets the eye, and the emotionally wrenching circumstances of Grace’s life are epitomized by Larson’s award-worthy character construction.  It is sheer acting talent on display in Short Term 12, and it makes me very excited about what Larson will continue bringing to the table in films to come.

Kaitlyn DeverAside from Larson’s breakout role, the film features two utterly amazing supporting performances from Kaitlyn Dever as Jayden and Keith Stanfield as Marcus, two teens housed at Short Term 12.  Dever has previously played supporting parts in Bad Teacher (2011) and The Spectacular Now (2013), but her portrayal of the complicated Jayden in Short Term 12 is mind-boggling, considering she is just 17-years-old.  Even though her exterior is that of a punk, dismissive girl, the film reveals how her inner anger and heart breaking past threaten Jayden’s survival; Dever plays this convoluted character to a tee.

Keith StanfieldKeith Stanfield also gives a menacing performance as the about-to-graduate Marcus, a 17-year-old with the epitome of a troubled past.  Stanfield does an excellent job of delineating his character’s emotional roller-coaster ride at Short Term 12, and this gripping portrayal made Marcus one of the most intriguing characters from the film.  My favorite scene from the entire movie was when Marcus performs a rap song he wrote about his mother.  The song is crude, profane, and angry, but with every despicable insult about his mother, you begin to empathize with Marcus for the harsh life his mother forced him to live—it is a breathtaking moment, and it is just one example of the subtle way Short Term 12 takes you into the delicate minds of its characters.  Short Term 12 is rated R for language and brief sexuality.

Short Term 12 trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8QxAYxNRgs

Academy Award nominations for Short Term 12:

NONE

Previous movies on the countdown of the Top 15 Films of the Year:

3. The Hunt

4. Frances Ha

5. The Wolf of Wall Street

6. The World’s End

7. American Hustle

8. The Spectacular Now

9. Nebraska

10. Captain Phillips

11. Her

12. Philomena

13. Fruitvale Station

14. The Place Beyond the Pines

15. Dallas Buyers Club

Top 15 Films of the Year, No. 3 – The Hunt

The Hunt 1

The Hunt is a Danish film directed by Thomas Vinterberg, with a screenplay co-written by Vinterberg and Tobias Lindholm.  The film tells the story of Lucas, a former teacher who is trying to get his life back on track after a divorce.  Lucas’s life is flipped upside down, though, when he is wrongfully accused of sexually molesting a child at the local kindergarten.  When this nasty rumor is started, it sends the entire village into mass hysteria, and Lucas rapidly becomes the subject of everyone’s disparagement.

After hearing about this movie from a weekly film podcast I listen to, I became fascinated with the subject matter of the film, and thus, I had to see it.  Thomas VinterbergUpon the first viewing, I was blown away.  From the moment the horrifying rumor is first started by a young schoolgirl, the film promptly shifts from festive and exultant to tense and shocking.  Vinterberg’s cinematic style is truly captivating, and he expounds upon this contentious subject matter through subtle nuances and forthright passion.  For the viewer, the story seems so utterly definite and concrete, but Vinterberg deliberately delineates this complex narrative with a remarkable sense of ambiguity—you will definitely be watching some scenes through your hands as the plot grows thicker and thicker with intensity.

Despite the impeccable script and alluring filmmaking, the film would not be the success that it is without extraordinary acting, and in The Hunt, Mads Mikkelsen leads the way with a transfixing portrayal of the scorned Lucas.  Even though Mikkelsen is an established Danish actor, he is well known in the States as well, thanks to his role as Le Chiffre in Casino Royale (2006) and his portrayal of the titular character in NBC’s Hannibal TV series.  The Hunt - ChurchThe performance Mikkelsen gives in The Hunt is truly spectacular, and I believe his gripping depiction of a man ostracized by his tight-knit community over a false rumor was clearly one of the year’s best.  Lucas’s life and his dignity are on the line with every move he makes, and Mikkelsen depicts this solitude in such a competent manner.  At times, Lucas is calm and relaxed because he knows that he has done nothing wrong, but at other moments, he lets his anger get the best of him as members of the community protest his existence.  Two scenes that most elucidate the tense social extradition of Lucas are his confrontation with a series of grocery store employees and his outburst at the Christmas Eve church service—as the latter scene commenced, my eyes opened wide with anticipation and fear.

If you have not seen this film yet, I cannot recommend it to you enough.  It will be one of the tensest movie-watching experiences you will ever have, that much I can guarantee.  I know a number of people do not enjoy watching films with subtitles, but honestly, this film is so incredibly well executed that you will forget all about the movie being in Danish by the time the plot starts to coagulate.  To put it simply, this is a film that you flat-out do not want to miss.  The Hunt is rated R for sexual content including a graphic image, violence, and language.

The Hunt trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vK9cO7QN8Ak

Academy Award nominations for The Hunt:

Best Foreign Language Film (Denmark – The Hunt)

Previous movies on the countdown of the Top 15 Films of the Year:

4. Frances Ha

5. The Wolf of Wall Street

6. The World’s End

7. American Hustle

8. The Spectacular Now

9. Nebraska

10. Captain Phillips

11. Her

12. Philomena

13. Fruitvale Station

14. The Place Beyond the Pines

15. Dallas Buyers Club

Top 15 Films of the Year, No. 4 – Frances Ha

Frances Ha 2

Frances Ha is a film directed by Noah Baumbach, with a screenplay written by Baumbach and Greta Gerwig.  The movie is a character study about Frances (Greta Gerwig), an aspiring dancer in New York City who must learn to live her life independently of her best friend Sophie (Mickey Summer), who decides at the beginning of the film to move in with her own boyfriend.  Frances encounters a variety of life-impacting obstacles, but her constant joy and cheerfulness allows her to keep striving for her dreams, despite the many hardships she faces.

Frances Ha 3This is my first encounter with director Noah Baumbach, but after seeing the film, I want to make sure it is not my last.  Ranking this film so high on my list is definitely a hipster move, but the first time I watched Frances Ha, I was thoroughly impressed with the work.  Baumbach and his leading lady Greta Gerwig wrote one of the funniest scripts of the entire year, although it strikes the comedic chords in such a subtle, but entertaining manner.  I enjoyed following Frances through the city as she attempted to make something of her life, and with the passing of every moment, I began to like her more and more.  I credit this to a wonderfully developed screenplay.

Speaking of Greta Gerwig, she does a phenomenal job as Frances.  The character represents the epitome of awkwardness, but her clumsiness is so quirky and innocent.  Frances is a complicated character, never seeming too high or too low at any given moment, but Gerwig’s innate charisma allows the brightest characteristics of Frances to constantly shine through.  Mickey Sumner and Greta Gerwig in Franes HaFrances is a careless individual, and this is exemplified in a scene where she travels to Paris by charging the flight to a credit card that she knows she does not have the funds to pay for—Frances does what she wants but always regrets her decisions when the consequences come calling.  Her journey throughout the film is characterized by her relationship with her best friend Sophie and the way in which that friendship becomes strained after Sophie moves in with her boyfriend.  Frances has never learned to live an independent life, and her constant money problems and failed romantic relationships (one friend continually refers to Frances as “undateable”) seem to be a direct result of her disconnect with Sophie.

This film has a lot less to say about it than most of the films on my year-end list, but that is because it is so incredibly simple.  This utter simplicity is one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much, and it is one that I would not mind watching a hundred times over.  Frances Ha is rated R for sexual references and language.

Frances Ha trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBn5dgXFMis

Academy Award nominations for Frances Ha:

NONE

Previous movies on the countdown of the Top 15 Films of the Year:

5. The Wolf of Wall Street

6. The World’s End

7. American Hustle

8. The Spectacular Now

9. Nebraska

10. Captain Phillips

11. Her

12. Philomena

13. Fruitvale Station

14. The Place Beyond the Pines

15. Dallas Buyers Club

Top 15 Films of the Year, No. 5 – The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street - BP

The Wolf of Wall Street is a film directed by Martin Scorsese, with a screenplay written by Terence Winter.  The film tells the true-life story of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), a New York stockbroker in the late 1980s who makes a rapid rise to Wall Street royalty with the founding of his brokerage firm, Stratton Oakmont.  However, Belfort reaches this skyscraper affluence through greed, corruption, and downright illegalities.  Before long, the entire world comes crashing down on Belfort and his securities fraud posse.

Martin Scorsese is one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, and over the years, he has particularly become the king of mob movies.  Between Goodfellas and The Departed, two of my all-time favorite films, Scorsese has developed a top-flight reputation in this genre.  In The Wolf of Wall Street, he adds to his decorous list of accomplishments a film with more sex, drugs, and crime (the white-collar variety, mostly) than any of his before.  Scorsese WolfThe film itself has been on the receiving end of a wide assortment of controversies, ranging from complaints about his glorification of such a dreadful subject matter to uproars about the excessive nudity and foul language.  For me personally, none of those things bothered me one bit when I watched this movie in theaters—in fact, I went back and saw it a second time!  In many films, the overload of sex, drugs, and F-bombs might be too overzealous, but Scorsese makes it work.  He does not include sex and nudity just to include sex and nudity; Scorsese meticulously weaves these elements into the story to advance the plot and make the film more realistic.  For that, I will never bat an eye.

Every single actor throughout the entire movie gives a well-crafted performance, and this greatly benefits the fluidity of the film.  Leonardo DiCaprio gives one of the grandest performances of his entire career as Jordan Belfort, and I was utterly pleased to see him receive some Oscar recognition.  Leo and JonahThis is Leo’s fifth collaboration with Scorsese, beginning with Gangs of New York in 2002, and their partnership is one of the best in the business.  DiCaprio is an insanely talented actor, but his best work always seems to come out of Scorsese flicks, and his portrayal of the drug/money-addicted Belfort is absolutely astounding, in all the best ways.  My favorite scene from the entire film features Leo high on Quaaludes attempting to reach his car from the country club doors—if you have not seen this film, this scene alone makes it worth the watch.  Jonah Hill also gives a wonderful performance, and even though he broke out in the Oscar world with 2011’s Moneyball, this is by far the best job Hill has ever done in a film.  In many interviews, Hill credits this as his dream role because his favorite actor is Leo and his favorite director is Scorsese; however, he never seems star struck on the screen, and his portrayal of Donnie Azoff is absolutely hilarious and riveting.

Margot RObbieThe hidden gem in this movie is the breakout supporting performance by newcomer Margot Robbie as Belfort’s wife Naomi.  Robbie, an Australian native, absolutely nails the Brooklyn accent, and if you had no clue of her Aussie roots, you would NEVER believe she was not from New York—her accent is THAT good.  Aside from the accent, Robbie gives a stellar performance, and I hope to see a lot more from her in the near future.

Terence Winter took the wild and outlandish true story of Jordan Belfort’s rise to the pinnacle of Wall Street and turned it into one of the finest screenplays of 2013.  Winter’s incredible script, along with Scorsese’s genius filmmaking and the ensemble cast’s award-worthy performances, has made The Wolf of Wall Street one of 2013’s finest exports.  The Wolf of Wall Street is rated R for sequences of strong sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and language throughout, and for some violence.

The Wolf of Wall Street trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iszwuX1AK6A

Academy Award nominations for The Wolf of Wall Street:

Best Picture (Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joey McFarland, and Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Producers)

Best Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio)

Best Supporting Actor (Jonah Hill)

Best Director (Martin Scorsese)

Best Adapted Screenplay (Terence Winter)

Previous movies on the countdown of the Top 15 Films of the Year:

6. The World’s End

7. American Hustle

8. The Spectacular Now

9. Nebraska

10. Captain Phillips

11. Her

12. Philomena

13. Fruitvale Station

14. The Place Beyond the Pines

15. Dallas Buyers Club

Top 15 Films of the Year, No. 6 – The World’s End

The World's End 2

The World’s End is a film directed by Edgar Wright, with a screenplay co-written by Wright and Simon Pegg.  The film is about a group of friends that return back to their hometown to attempt an epic pub-crawl.  The trip includes visits to twelve bars in town, culminating with a beer at the final bar, The World’s End.  However, on their drunken journey, the group encounters some peculiar townspeople—in fact, the town has predominantly become blue-blooded robot-like aliens.  The five friends must then battle it out with these mysterious beings, all the while saving each other in the process.

Edgar WrightThe World’s End is the third film in Edgar Wright’s “Three Flavours Cornetto” trilogy, following Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Hot Fuzz (2007).  This fall, I watched the previous two films in Wright’s trilogy for the very first time, and I instantly fell in love with these movies.  Needless to say, I was expecting big things from his most recent effort, The World’s End.  This script, co-written by Wright and leading man Simon Pegg, was insanely hilarious, and it built upon everything that made each of the first two films uproarious.  British humor is starkly different than traditional American humor, and because of this, American audiences do not always find British films earth-shattering on our own Richter scale of comedy; however, Wright and Pegg have continued writing these screenplays in a way that appeals to all audiences, so if you are interested in a drop-dead, side-splitting alien invasion featuring more beer than you know what to do with, then this film is for you.

Simon Pegg stars as Gary King, a recovering drug addict that simply has not let the past go.  He and his friends failed the epic pub-crawl many years before, and he is determined to get the gang back together to finally complete their mission.  The World's End 1Unfortunately, Gary’s friends all have established careers and are not initially into the idea of joining him on this trip back to their hometown, mainly because Gary is a disease that they prefer steering clear from.  A hilarious cast joins Pegg as his gang of reluctant cohorts: Paddy Considine as Steven, Martin Freeman as Oliver, Eddie Marsan as Peter, and Nick Frost as Gary’s former best friend Andy.  Nick Frost and Simon Pegg have a long history together in their film careers, including co-starring together in each of Edgar Wright’s “Three Flavours Cornetto” movies, and their chemistry clearly makes this project even better.

In a year packed with films about apocalyptic-like events, The World’s End is by far the best one.  It takes such a unique perspective on the genre, and it is made with a renowned filmmaking style and an incredibly amusing script.  The World’s End is rated R for pervasive language including sexual references.

The World’s End trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFo7eJR2cvc

Academy Award nominations for The World’s End:

NONE

Previous movies on the countdown of the Top 15 Films of the Year:

7. American Hustle

8. The Spectacular Now

9. Nebraska

10. Captain Phillips

11. Her

12. Philomena

13. Fruitvale Station

14. The Place Beyond the Pines

15. Dallas Buyers Club

Top 15 Films of the Year, No. 7 – American Hustle

American Hustle - BP

American Hustle is a film directed by David O. Russell, with a screenplay co-written by Russell and Eric Warren Singer.  The film tells the story of Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams), a brilliant con man and his seductively intelligent mistress.  The two are forced to work for Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper), an FBI agent, as the Feds attempt to bring down a group of corrupt politicians, including Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner), a local mayor from New Jersey.  The piece of the puzzle that threatens the entire operation, however, is Irving’s wildly unpredictable wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence).

In American Hustle, David O. Russell has created another blockbuster hit, just one year after his critically acclaimed Silver Linings Playbook received eight Academy Award nominations.  As many of you that followed my blog last year know, Silver Linings Playbook was my favorite film from 2012, so naturally, I was expecting big things from American Hustle; needless to say, I was thoroughly impressed.  The screenplay was wonderfully written, and it had me laughing throughout the entire film.  David O. Russell’s trademark filmmaking style was ever-present in this movie, and he is rapidly becoming one of my favorite writer/directors in the business.  If it were not for an amazingly strong year in film, American Hustle would probably be right at the top of my list.

American Hustle 1As expected from a David O. Russell film, the ensemble cast was as top-notch as you could have in a single movie, and these dazzling performances truly morphed an incredible story into an amazing film.  The casting assemblage was intriguing, as it reunited four actors and actresses that have previously worked with David O. Russell in recent history: Christian Bale and Amy Adams from The Fighter (2010) and Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence from Silver Linings Playbook (2012).  Last year, SLP became the first film since 1981’s Reds to receive Oscar nominations in each of the four acting categories; just one year later, Russell’s American Hustle attained the same distinguished recognition.

American Hustle 3Christian Bale gained 50 pounds for his role, and this stellar transformation further proves why Bale is one of the most talented artists in the business.  The performance was well worth the critical praise that has come Bale’s way, and it is arguably his best work ever.  Amy Adams, one of my top five favorite actresses in the film industry, turned in another striking performance as Sydney Prosser.  Switching between both an American and British accent throughout the film, the character is a mystifying woman, never fully committing to one way of life, and Adams’s instinctive acting abilities allow this character to shine bright on the silver screen.

In recent memory, Bradley Cooper seems to continue giving outstanding performances, but somehow, he always does so in a year that is packed with Oscar-worthy competition; therefore, he probably will not come close to winning for Best Supporting Actor, but that does not determinative of his performance because it was incredible.  American Hustle 2The best part of the film, just like in SLP, is the performance by Jennifer Lawrence.  It goes without saying, but J-Law is one of the most talented actresses in the business, and her performance in this film is thoroughly gripping and pleasantly hilarious—I anticipate that Lawrence will duke it out until the death (okay, maybe not that far) with Lupita Nyong’o for the Oscar, and it will surely be an epic battle of acting greatness.  American Hustle is rated R for pervasive language, some sexual content, and brief violence.

American Hustle trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ST7a1aK_lG0

Academy Award nominations for American Hustle:

Best Picture (Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Megan Ellison, and Jonathan Gordon, Producers)

Best Actor (Christian Bale)

Best Supporting Actor (Bradley Cooper)

Best Actress (Amy Adams)

Best Supporting Actress (Jennifer Lawrence)

Best Costume Design (Michael Wilkinson)

Best Director (David O. Russell)

Best Film Editing (Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers, and Alan Baumgarten)

Best Production Design (Production Design: Judy Becker; Set Decoration: Heather Loeffler)

Best Original Screenplay (Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell)

Previous movies on the countdown of the Top 15 Films of the Year:

8. The Spectacular Now

9. Nebraska

10. Captain Phillips

11. Her

12. Philomena

13. Fruitvale Station

14. The Place Beyond the Pines

15. Dallas Buyers Club