15. Independent cinema
I've always loved independent cinema, but moreso this year, because it has become increasingly easier to get my hands on. Luckily, a lot of the stuff is going through Madman (a supplier here in NZ), meaning I get to catch up on them a bit earlier on the preview discs. While I may not have seen bigger films like Argo or The Hobbit just yet (nor will I until they come out on DVD), I have seen wonderful films like Your Sister's Sister and Bernie already thanks to that wonderful preview drawer. Just keep 'em coming, Madman.
14. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
I've always loved JGL, too, but the guy has been really flying this year. Sure, there was Premium Rush, which must have been quite a big flop since it has been delayed until March next year here (meaning it will go straight-to-DVD), but he was also in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, and in The Dark Knight Rises - in a performance which I thought had its own wonderfulness about it. By far the best thing of his year, though, was Looper, which was a freakin' awesome film itself, but JGL, weird eyebrows and nose and all, was so badass it almost hurt. I also saw 50/50 for the first time this year, where I completely fell for him. He's also doing awesome stuff with his HitRecord project and he's just finished shooting his writing/directorial feature debut. Do the wonders ever cease? It would appear not - he also did some Magic Mike moves on SNL. Lawd.
13. The Great Gatsby
I finally read this whole book this year and it is safe to say, it is probably my favourite book of all time. F. Scott Fitzgerald really had a way with words. Also falling under this umbrella is Baz Luhrmann's forthcoming adaptation, which was my most anticipated movie for the year after The Dark Knight Rises. Why? Because a) haters gon' hate but I love Baz Luhrmann's films, b) the trailers were just effing divine and they literally inspired a 1920's phase I had going on for a little while, c) Leonardo DiCaprio looks fiiiiiiiiiiine and d) that poster with Elizabeth Debicki as Jordan Baker also looks fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine. I'm honestly so excited for this film I combust everytime I think about it.
12. Michael Fassbender
I loved him last year but seeing Shame and Prometheus this year just reaffirmed my love. Shame was by far the best performance I've seen all year, and one of my favourites ever. And even though David had a few issues in Prometheus, I couldn't believe I was watching my darling Fassy up there. Seriously, he is one of the best actors out there right now.
11. Daniel Craig
When I was 11, I had a huge crush on Daniel Craig. With Skyfall and last year's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo being released this year, that crush came right on back. He was brilliant in both of those films, but here's why I love him:
10. Princess Merida
I loved Brave more than most it would seem, and there's one huge reason for that: Princess Merida. With her curly red hair (who definitely made me appreciate my ringlet curls a lot more), cute Scottish accent and badass archery skills, it is hard not to love Disney's latest heroine. Which is also why I dressed up as her for the Christmas parade.
9. Tom Hiddleston
Easily my favourite part of The Avengers. Also, he seems like the nicest person on Earth apart from someone else on this list. And his tweets are incredibly sweet, especially around Oscar time when he got almost as excited as I did when Rooney Mara got nominated for Best Actress. I imagine he and Loki couldn't be more different.
This film floored me in a way that no film has ever done before. It was just so wonderfully put together that it is just about flawless. Plus, Steve McQueen's style has left me in a daze that I still can't click out of. That guy knows how to set up a camera.
7. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
While The Great Gatsby is my favourite book ever, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky pretty much changed my life. I definitely wasn't expecting it to be that affecting, but by the end, I was bawling my eyes out. I don't need to remind anyone of how excited I am to see the movie, and how high the expectations that I have for it. Which I'm sure will be more than met.
6. Lana Del Rey
I rarely branch outside of movie music (terrible, I know), but in September, I decided to give Lana Del Rey a go. Then I bought her album 'Born to Die', and I pretty much haven't listened to much else ever since. I got the Paradise edition for Christmas, so guess what will be accompanying me while I clean shelves? Seriously, I love her style, her voice, and her rather different music. She's the best.
5. Ezra Miller
Ever since I saw We Need to Talk About Kevin on that earthquakey night of July the 3rd, I have been in love with Ezra Miller. I tried to deny it for a long time because that was just weird as he played a killer in that movie, but after seeing the trailer a few too many times, Ezra Miller became my husband. He's just so worldly, even though he is so young, and so different. And then there's his cheekbones. Sigh.
4. Matthew McConaughey
This may come as a surprise, but I must say, nothing has brought me joy quite like Matthew McConaughey turning his career around. He used to be one of my least favourite actors, but I saw The Lincoln Lawyer last year which just hinted at what he's capable of. But when I saw the wonderfully crazy Killer Joe last month, I was completely stunned by his work. And then there was Magic Mike and Bernie to back up his roll into becoming a sought after actor. I can't wait to see what he does in The Dallas Buyer's Club next year - his dedication to that role is kind of scary.
3. The Dark Knight Rises
I know, you probably all thought that this would be number one. Alas, while I loved going to see this and I've been pretty much obsessed with it all year, there a couple of others that beat it. However, I would love to go back in time and see it that first time again. Even on my fourth watch earlier this week, I still cried like a baby and had my eyes glued to the screen the entire time. Nolan, you beast.
2. Downton Abbey
Before the end of the Christmas holidays earlier this year, I decided I would finally watch Downton Abbey to see what all the fuss was about. I was finished those first two seasons a lot faster than I thought I would be. I just love this show so much - it is well written, performed, put together. It has everything. And no, I'm not to be deemed as an 'old lady' for loving it so much. Most of my friends are really into it now. But I still can't forgive it for that terribly awful thing that happened in season three (I cried so much for a whole hour after seeing it - and it wasn't just tears, it was full on crying), and now I hear the Christmas special for this year was quite sad. I honestly don't know why I keep watching it when all it does is break my heart.
1. Jessica Chastain
The most wonderfully perfect human being on this Earth. Words can't even describe how much I love her so I'm not going to try.
What do you think? Got any favourites here? Or any obsessions of your own for this year?