This week, The Guardian’s top film critics brought together their thoughts on what they’d like to see more and less of in movies this year. Here are the highlights…
As Bruce Dern and June Squibb in Alexander Payne’s Nebraska prove well, old-fashioned, naturalistic acting is by no means dead. We’re just not getting enough of it. In fact, we’re crying out to see more of this “tasty, organically grown, line-fished naturalistic movie acting”, as film critic Peter Bradshaw puts it, in the coming year. And on a broader note – if the industry must insist on churning out more special-effect laden, superhero fluff, can we make these flicks sharper and wittier, please? Along the lines of Iron Man would be fine.
Film critic Steve Rose wants some new stuff from David Lynch, and it’s a damn good call. As Rose points out though, it may not happen that soon seeing the Mulholland Drive director has recently delved further into music. But let’s not lose hope. Frequent Lynch collaborator, Laura Dern dropped a hint in 2013 that a new film project was underway and David was working on a script. We’ll just have to wait and see. (And then maybe wait some more.)
Rose also alludes in The Guardian piece to a frustrating gap that exists between “rigorous realism” and “effects-driven escapism” in movies of late – which does ring true. It seems there’s a void of movies that feature in this halfway house; a sub-genre where reality features prominently – but just not quite as we know it. Think Richard Ayoade’s The Double or a small step in from Donnie Darko.
Xan Brooks reveals that top of his wishlist for future movies is conciser editing and cut-down, shorter-length films. I couldn’t agree more. We’re talking around the 90 minute mark. No more indulgence. No more bloated pictures. Django Unchained pained me in the last 20 minutes. And I’m not just referring to my bladder. Yep – seems a growing number of film-makers are confusing length with substance.
Films in Five wants to see more creative, visual quirks to aid storytelling. Think House of Cards’ handling of text messages. In the show, text messages that characters send and receive occasionally pop up on screen as blue bubbles. It’s sleekly done. Also, remember the graphics used throughout Marc Foster’s 2006 Stranger Than Fiction?
What would you like to see more or less of in cinema this year?