What kind of circle is time again? A year after blowing the doors off our annual critics’ poll, golden boy Matthew McConaughey won just a single vote for his turn in the loudest movie of the year, Christopher Nolan’s tears-in-space effort Interstellar, which has tied with the unprescient Transcendence as 2014’s worst film. (Transcendence dreamed that Johnny Depp’s character would take over every screen in the world — that didn’t happen.) But his margin of victory lives on, this year in the form of Marion Cotillard, who wins best actress twice: first for the Dardenne brothers’ vote-gathering drama Two Days, One Night, then besting second-place Scarlett Johansson (Under the Skin) with her turn in James Gray’s glorious melodrama The Immigrant, available now on Netflix streaming because Harvey Weinstein doesn’t believe Oscar voters will bite.
|Marion Cotillard was voted best actress in this year's film critic's poll.|
Our voters bit, bless them, ranking The Immigrant as this year’s seventh best film, just beneath Cotillard’s other winner. Meanwhile, Under the Skin, Jonathan Glazer’s cryptic alien creep-out, landed at number two, a capital showing for a movie that chucks out plot and story beats. Glazer’s film was edged out only by the inevitable: Boyhood, from Richard Linklater, also our best-director winner. Linklater had wanted to call this long- gestating experiment 12 Years, but Steve McQueen’s 2013 slave drama stomped that out. Boyhood is a more reductive title, but certainly a truer one: What else are most movies about, these days, than boyhood? And isn’t it grand that most of the top films toasted by our critics are actually about something else? That’s encouraging — and almost enough to make you feel better about the fact that even if combined, both Cotillards and Johansson’s Under the Skin won’t rake in a fraction of what Interstellar managed in a weekend.More »