Jamie Neish: Year opens with crop of fine films

Chris Pine as Cinderella's Prince. Pic: PA
Chris Pine as Cinderella's Prince. Pic: PA
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LAST year was a difficult one in the film world. Box office revenue was down, so-called blockbusters came and went without making much of an impression, and excellent films proved difficult to find.

But as of last week, it’s a fresh start, not only for ourselves, but for the film industry too with a new crop of movies waiting in the wings, hoping to dazzle, entertain and intrigue.

With the Oscars due to take place in late February, the early portion of the year is filled with possible contenders, from Birdman and Theory of Everything, which both opened last week, to A Most Violent Year, Selma, Wild and Foxcatcher, among others.

In addition, there are sci-fi thrillers (Ex Machina), comedies (Shaun The Sheep Movie, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) and the long-anticipated adaptations of the erotic fiction Fifty Shades of Grey.

In summer, the blockbuster season begins. Marvel deliver Ant-Man and The Avengers: Age of Ultron, while Pixar unspool Inside Out. Universal offer up Fast and Furious 7, Pitch Perfect 2, Jurassic Park and Minions, and horror sequels Insidious Chapter 3 and Sinister 2 propose scares.

The latter half of the year, then, promises to be as good, if not better, than the months that precede it. Films of note include Jane Got a Gun, Suffragette, Triple Nine, Spectre, The Good Dinosaur, The Hunger Fames: Mockingjay - Part 2 and Pan.

I’m excited for many of these titles but there are a few others that are high on my most anticipated list. Those include Mommy, Still Alice, Clouds of Sils Maria, Cake and The Testament of Youth.

A couple of films I’ve seen and could rave about all day long are: The Tribe, a film performed entirely in sign language; Whiplash, which hasn’t left my head since I saw it in December; and Into The Woods starring Chris Pine.