Jun 172014


By the time the curtain dropped on the 61st Sydney Film Festival I had viewed 38 titles from the more than 180 on offer. Epic queues for Events 4, evening subscribers who had made the State their home and the Dendy Opera Quays dash, the festival had them all. My brief round-up of the fest is after the jump.

Overall I enjoyed this festival more than last year. I’m not sure if that official competition was as strong, but the variety of films was excellent and the quality over the entire selection was very high. I only saw two films I’d use the word “hate” for and they were the ultra-indulgent fluff piece  Palo Alto and the abusive Miss Violence. My favourite of the official competition films was Richard Linklater’s Boyhood. I have so much admiration for a filmmaker who can plan and execute a project over 12 years. I was incredibly moved by the Dardenne brothers’ Two Days, One Night and have no complaints about it winning the official prize.

Inspired by Andrew Buckle, I’m going to list some personal highlights from the festival. [Check his round-up out here]

Best film: Mommy   Runner-up: What We Do in the Shadows

Best documentary: The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness   Runner-up: The Possibilities are Endless

Best Leading Performance: Antoine-Olivier Pilon (Mommy)   Runner-up: Jessica Chastain (The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her and Him)

Best Supporting Performance: Suzanne Clément (Mommy)   Runner-up: Alfred Molina (Love is Strange)

Best Cinematography: Mommy   Runners-up: Winter Sleep, Black Coal Thin Ice, Two Days, One Night

Best Music (Score or Soundtrack): Tom at the Farm   Runners-up: The Possibilities are EndlessWhat We Do in the Shadows

Best Editing: The Possibilities are Endless   Runner-up: Mommy

Best Screenplay: Two Days, One Night   Runners-up: Calvary, Winter Sleep, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her

Biggest Laugh: The sandwich joke (What We Do in the Shadows)   Runners-up: Jodorowsky sees Lynch’s Dune (Jodorowsky’s Dune); The black horse gets out (Of Horses and Men)

Biggest Cry: Miyazaki sees The Wind Rises (The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness)    Runners-up: Packing up the apartment (The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him); Forgetting his face (The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her)

WTF film: Of Horses and Men   Runner-up: Fish & Cat

Favourite scene: Lip syncing siblings (The Skeleton Twins)  Runners-up: Dancing (Tom at the Farm); Nick comes for dinner (What We Do in the Shadows)

My list of films viewed is posted from Letterboxd below. This is probably going to change as the films settle in my mind.





Top 10: Mommy, The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, What We Do in the Shadows, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her, The Possibilities are Endless, Tom at the Farm, Boyhood, Jodorowsky’s Dune, Two Days, One Night, Calvary.