It has been a good year for movies in Nigeria. Whether we would like to admit or not, the general perception of Nollywood in the eyes of the cinema loving public is not where it was 365 days ago. I mean, visiting the cinemas to watch a Nigerian film and being greeted by semi-packed to fully flowing cinema halls is always a delight; up to 3 movies (if not more) made more than ₦50million at the box office and one of them successfully broke the record ‘Ije: The Journey’ set back in 2010.
But we are not going to be talking just Nollywood today, I am going to try and recap 2014 from the eyes of a movie lover and amateur critic. From amazing movies to performances, top soundtracks and directors, the following lists will be showing my favourites of 2014 along with some bonuses that deserve an honourable mention. Enjoy the read and remember to drop some of your thoughts in the comments.
Top movie Soundtrack
The soundtrack of a movie can either distract you from the awesomeness or terrible nature of the movie. It can also draw you in so deep into scenes in a movie that they remain glued in your memory for a very long time. Over the course of the year, these are what I consider the top tunes from movies (in no particular order):
Everything is Awesome – The Lego Movie
God’s Not Dead – God’s Not Dead
Awesome Mix: Volume 1 – Guardians of the Galaxy OST (If you were born in the 1980s you probably know why I love this one so much)
All songs from the Rio 2 Soundtrack
The Hanging Tree – The Hunger Games Mocking Jay Part 1
Grateful & Worthy – Beyond the Lights, It’s on again – Amazing Spider Man 2, The Last Goodbye – The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Glory – Selma, Opportunity – Annie.
Moving on from the tunes, let’s take a look my top acting performances of the year. At the beginning of the year, a Nigerian actor (in diaspora) was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor….. It seems we may be going two on two as another Nigerian actor (also in diaspora) may be nominated for the same award come release of Oscar nominations.
He’s already been nominated for the award at almost all awards this season including the Golden Globes and even though the movie has not been released on our shores (hence I haven’t seen it), it just seems like it would be an injustice if he doesn’t get nominated.
If you don’t know, I’m talking about our very own David Oyelowo and if una like, be arguing whether he’s Nigerian or not, OYO IS YOUR CASE!
May I mention now that I will be collating performances from both movies and TV shows for this list because I’m of the opinion that the TV show folks get side-lined too much in the top lists of the year. Anyways, these performers stood out for me this year and I present them with the award, ‘Top MoviePencil performers of 2014’
Kevin Spacey – House of Cards
Sadiq Daba – October 1
Chris Pratt – Guardians of the Galaxy
Tope Tedela – A Mile from Home
Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
David Oyelowo – Selma* Ben Affleck – Gone Girl
Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher/The Normal Heart, Martin Freeman – The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
O.C Ukeje – When Love Happens, Matt Bomer – White Collar/The Normal heart
Matthew McConaughey – Interstellar, Tom Hardy – Locke.
Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
Weruche Opia – When Love Happens
Julianna Margulies – The Good Wife
Dorcas Shola Fapson – Shuga Naija
Robin Wright – House of Cards
Uzo Aduba – Orange Is The New Black, Shailene Woodley – The Fault in our Stars/Divergent
Jeniffer Lawrence – X-men: Days of Future Past/Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 1,
Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything, Rani Mukherjee – Mardaani,
Maggie Gylenhall – The Honourable Woman, Nimrat Kaur – The Lunchbox/Homeland
No matter how good an actor is, the quality of the output of a movie is determined by the eye that directs. This year, the following directors gave us some of the most amazing moments in film… from the spectacular to the heart wrenching to the most thrilling, here are the top directors of 2014:
David Fincher – Gone Girl
Kunle Afolayan – October 1
Christopher Nolan – Interstellar
Richard Linklater – Boyhood
Seyi Babatope – When Love Happens
Ava DuVernay – Selma*, Bennette Miller – Foxcatcher, Josh Boone – The Fault in our Stars, James Marsh – The Theory of Everything, Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Top TV Shows
I am not usually the first to start watching a TV Show. I used to be, but after being bitten too much by shows that started out well but progressed downhill and networks who cancelled great shows, I decided to allow shows prove their worth and staying power before deciding to encounter them. Based on this, you would hardly find a new show in my list of top shows, well maybe one or two in the honourable mentions. This year, I was blown away at how Homeland and Suits came back with a bang, the continuous greatness that is The Good Wife and Grey’s Anatomy and the Masterpiece that is House of Cards. Check out the list below:
The Good Wife
House of Cards
Game of Thrones
The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family
Grey’s Anatomy, Shuga Naija, How to Get Away With Murder
Suits, The Honourable Woman.
Finally, here are the top movies of 2014 for me. I loved each of them for a different reason but most of them for the uniqueness of their plots and the superb portrayals by their cast.
The theory of Everything, The Book of Life
Rio 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past
The Boxtrolls, Selma*
Did any of your favourites make the list, why don’t you let us know in the comments?
*Sentimental mention as I have not seen the movie yet.