It was a hell of a year for Australian films in 2014. Despite some bad press and low box office returns, 2014 saw some amazing films from some of the countries top talents. The films were so good that we couldn’t pick a 5th ‘worst of’ film.
Here are our picks for the top five best and worst Australian films of the year.
Number 5 – The Best
Love is Now
Directed by: Jim Lounsbury
Starring: Eamon Farren, Claire van der Boom
What we said: Jim Lounsbury’s feature film debut has an intoxicating beauty, from its stunning landscapes, captured beautifully by cinematographer Anthony Jennings, to its incredibly well-manicured cast. Lounsbury’s obsession with keeping things so clean-cut is distracting at times – the supporting cast of fruit pickers are way too glamorous – but it is a romantic drama after all. You can read the full review here.
Number 4 – The Best
Directed by: Kasimir Burgess
Starring: Matt Nable, Daniel Henshall, Eddie Baroo
What we said: Director Kasimir Burgess joins a long line of Australian filmmakers graduating from admirable short film careers to feature films in 2014. With a multilayered script by Natasha Pincus (a Blue Heelers actress, among other producer/directing/writing credits), Burgess’ debut is haunting, visually stunning and expertly crafted. He has managed to transform the resplendent surroundings of a Tasmanian forest into a claustrophobic landscape – a naturally fitting set for his tale of redemption. You can read the full review here.
Number 4 – The Worst
Directed by: Angus Sampson, Tony Mahony
Starring: Angus Sampson, Leigh Whannell
What we said: No reviewed but trust us, it’s dull, boring, poorly written. Just plain shit.
Number 3 – The Best
These Final Hours
Directed by: Zak Hilditch
Starring: Nathan Phillips, Angourie Rice, Daniel Henshall, Jessica De Gouw and the voice of David Field
What we said: These Final Hours is an incredible feature film debut from Perth filmmaker Zak Hilditch. With his uneasy playfulness the seemingly fearless director has created an uncomfortable, horrifying and atmospheric tale of redemption.You can read the full review here.
Number 3 – The Worst
Wolf Creek 2
Directed by: Greg Mclean
Starring: John Jarratt, Ryan Corr
What we said: This time around Mick Taylor has become a parody of himself, delivering some truly cringeworthy dialogue which left me giggling in embarrassment rather than gripping my chair in white-knuckled fear. You can read the full review here.
Number 2 – The Best
The Infinite Man
Directed by: Hugh Sullivan
Starring Josh McConville, Hannah Marshall, Alex Dimitriades
What we said: Not reviewed but it’s amazing!
Number 2 – The Worst
Directed by: John V. Soto
Starring: Jonathan LaPaglia, Viva Bianca, Alex Williams, Hanna Mangan-Lawrence and Luke Hemsworth
What we said: If Robert Connolly’s Paper Planes was the Wagyu of this year’s CinéfestOZ then John Soto’s The Reckoning was the Chuck steak. It’s inconceivable that a film brimming with ridiculous inaccuracies and pure silliness was considered for a prize worth a hundred grand, because almost every part of Soto’s wannabe thriller is a dreadful mess. You can read the full review here.
Number 1 – The Best
Directed by: Jennifer Kent
Starring: Essie Davis, Benjamin Winspear, Daniel Henshall, Noah Wiseman
What we said: Inspired by horror classics like Friedkin’s The Exorcist and Raimi’s The Evil Dead director Jennifer Kent’s extraordinary and audacious debut is a white-knuckle knockout with a truly unique vision. Not since Robert Connolly’s The Turning has an Australian film showcased such raw and exciting new talent – in front of and behind the camera. You can read the full review here.
Number 1 – The Worst
Directed by: Mack Lindon
Starring: Nathan Wilson, Martin Sacks and Marty Rhone
What we said: Not reviewed. Just thinking about this rubbish is bad enough.