The presence of American Pie alumni Seann William Scott and Eugene Levy suggested another gross-out comedy but Goon is so much more. Based on the book ‘Goon: The True Story of an Unlikely Journey into Minor League Hockey’ by former player Doug Smith and Adam Frattasio it is as much about a young man’s search for a place in the world as it is about him punching people during hockey matches. There are great supporting performances from Alison Pill as a local drunk who attracts Doug’s attention and Liev Schrieber as an ageing enforcer with a realistic outlook on why guy’s like him are needed. It is William Scott’s movie though and he is a revelation as the tough guy with a tender side.
9) Electrick Children (Rebecca Thomas)
6) Tabu (Miguel Gomes)
5) Detachment (Tony Kaye)
4) The Hunter (Daniel Nettheim)
Marketed as a thriller with Dafoe’s archetypal mercenary travelling to Tasmaniato hunt down the last remaining Thylacine yet it abandons this setup for much of the film as he becomes a surrogate father to two children and surprises himself by wanting to fulfil this role. Like The Grey its about connecting to those around you, our own impermanence and the inevitability of death, about the by Browse to Save”>landscape enduring while people or in this case whole species come and go. There is more than a touch of Peter Weir style mysticism about The Hunter, of something intangible being expressed with a by Browse to Save”>great deal of subtlety. Full review here.
3) Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson)
I’ve never subscribed to the theory Wes Anderson’s films are cold. They always seem have plenty of heart under their beautifully designed surfaces. Moonrise Kingdom is his most affecting film yet. As a rebellious khaki scout and his sweetheart set forth on a great adventure into the wild pursued by the bewildered and melancholy adults there is a strong feeling of nostalgia for a place only Wes Anderson knows the way to.
2) The Grey (Joe Carnahan)
1) Holy Motors (Leo Carax)