Who is the best character of 2014? It is a question that has been bandied around for decades (well, since 2014… halfway through 201… at the start of the month), and finally, maybe, we might just have some answers for you. Like all of the major challenges in my life, I ran running and screaming for the WordPress family to do my homework for me and got them to write you some answers. Hell, one of them might even be coherent. So, without further ado, let’s investigate the answers.
Wait, I forgot some ado. There will be no Question of the Month next month, because it is Christmas and I assume you have more important things to do than have me pester you with annoying questions. So, I guess I will email you all in 2015 for the next jam-packed Question of the Month (Best character of 2015?). Oh, and I am going to try and get you my next Drunk Quiz in the next few days, so if you have any good questions you want to include, you have to send them in today to firstname.lastname@example.org. Let the drinking begin!
ORACLE OF FILM – AMY DUNNE (GONE GIRL)
SPOILERS FOR GONE GIRL BELOW! There is no way I can adequately explain my love for the character and not write about spoilers. If you haven’t seen Gone Girl, just scroll down to the bunch of lesser answers compiled below.
We all have that person we tease behind our backs. That slightly unhinged girl that clings obsessively to every relationship, even if it is two days old. We often joke about how we wouldn’t be surprised if they killed their boyfriend’s cat for stealing some attention from her (me and my cat have had our fair share of close calls). As Gone Girl reveals its killer twist, we realise that Amy Dunne totally is that girl. It is terrifyingly entertaining to watch Amy Dunne go from loving wife, to slightly weird to ‘OMG – I am never dating again!’ At first, the twist felt a little cheap, seeing as Gone Girl was advertised as a movie about equal footing in a marriage. Rosamund Pike was supposed to be a strong female role model for women audience members and she is definitely, without a shadow of the doubt, the nastiest piece of work at play here. But, as David Fincher keep playing this card, we stopped caring, because it is such an amazing direction for the story to take.
After a while, the ‘crazy girlfriend’ joke fades away and Amy Dunne genuinely becomes one of the greatest villains in cinema history (toying with Kevin Spacey for best bad guy in a Fincher film – which takes a lot of doing). There is some you cannot help but respect by her actions. She realises she wants this, this and this, and she steps back, thinking ‘how can I get that, that and that?’ And she carries out those steps with painfully precise efficiency, even if it means killing Neil Patrick Harris (which in fairness, quickly makes her the Most Loved Character of 2014 as well). You cannot help but admire her as the perfect movie bad guy. She even gets away with it, trapping Batman into a stalemate that he cannot help but carry on with. If that’s not love, then I don’t know what is.
CINEMA PARROT DISCO – GROOT (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY)
Groot! I was going to try to be less obvious and had a list of several other answers but, screw it – you can’t beat Groot this year. 🙂 Guardians Of The Galaxy was a huge surprise to me – I thought I’d like it okay from the trailer but wasn’t expecting it to end up being one of my favourite comic book movies ever (possibly even my very favourite?). What a lovable group of misfits! And who would’ve thought a walking tree who says the same thing over & over would be such a huge success? With that sweet smile and childlike innocence as well as his devotion to his friends, it’s impossible to not like Groot. Dancing Groot still always manages to put a smile on my face. 🙂
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE – FRANK (FRANK)
I am going to go with Frank from, well… Frank played by Michael Fassbender. I thought he was a fascinating character who portrayed how mental health issues can curtail someone’s ability to reach that true potential while at the same time potentially being the source of the potential. He was comic and tragic and I mean… he wore a giant mask for almost all of the film. I also loved the way he managed to draw others in to his aura and mesmerise them while being so vulnerable himself.
DIGITAL SHORTBREAD – LOU BLOOM (NIGHTCRAWLER) AND TERENCE FLETCHER (WHIPLASH)
2014 has given us a hell of a lot of characters to think about, be disturbed, offended, enamored or appalled by. Sometimes maybe all in the same movie. And of course, Luke asks us to choose which one of these would be our favorites of the year. (Thanks for that stress, dude. I’ve just lost so much hair thinking about this. . . )
As of right now, I have two favorites. I am going to break the rules b/c I honestly canNOT for the life of me pick between Jake Gyllenhaal’s sociopathic Lou Bloom (Nightcrawler), and J.K. Simmons’ hardcore-intense Terence Fletcher (Whiplash). Anyone who has seen both of those pictures likely knows the trouble I am having deciding. . .
To me, both Gyllenhaal and Fletcher demonstrate career-best efforts in their respective movies and both leave indelible marks on the cinematic landscape this year. Whereas Gyllenhaal was flat-out obsessed with self-improvement and getting ahead in a career, Simmons’ brutal jazz conductor was all for creating tension and scaring his pupils stiff. Both were just out-of-control intense and I love them both in equal measure
MOVIE ROB – GUS WATERS (THE FAULT IN OUR STARS)
My choice is actually simple, Augustus “Gus” Waters from Fault in our Stars (2014). He is a character stricken by a deadly disease however decides to make the best of his life instead of revelling in the sadness of it all. He IS the catalyst that prompt Hazel Grace Lancaster to also embrace life and their love is such an inspiration for everyone. The idea to live life to its fullest because you never know what tomorrow brings is his motto and he brightens up the lives of those around him with his cheerful disposition.
WHAT ABOUT THE TWINKIE – QUICKSILVER (X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST)
As with most of my initial attempts to answer Luke’s Question of the Month, I always think I have the answer right away. Only, I don’t. More often than not I read his email and think, yeah I’ve got this one covered. But when I actually get down to thinking about it, it becomes apparent that there may be more than one good answer, and that is where the trouble starts. I re-read Luke’s email, as I always do, before I set about answering his question and I started to wonder who really is the best character from 2014. There are so many to choose from, and so many worthy of the accolade that I started to wonder if I could actually choose just one.
Drax the Destroyer (Guardians of the Galaxy) came to mind, in what was a star turn from Dave Bautista formerly of WWE fame. As did Star Lord, aka Peter Quill in a role that surely made Chris Pratt a household name, and if it didn’t, then Jurassic World surely will. There was also Dan Stevens’ portrayal of David from The Guest, which made for magnetic viewing as he showed off his skills as a one man army. 2014 also gave us The Babadook, a most haunting figure whose onscreen presence and memorable imagery was made all the more impressive given how little the character actually spends on our screen.
However, and despite how good the aforementioned characters truly are, I feel I now know which is my favourite. The role had previously been mocked by others, and perhaps myself a few times, in fact I even thought there would be a better version of the character coming out next year, had little hope for this years version. As some of you may or may not know, the character of Quicksilver appeared in X-Men: Days of Future Past played by Evan Peters, and is due to be played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson in next years Avengers: Age of Ultron, but Peters has already set the standard for the role. His scene stealing prowess was on show as he helped the X-Men break Magneto out of prison, and surely took part in one of the summers stand out scenes as he took on a team of security guards. The only downside was that we did not see enough of him. I can only hope that this is rectified in 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse.
MARKED MOVIES – FRANK (FRANK)
There have been many memorable characters from 2014 but I’d narrow my selection down to Ireland. Originally I was going to go for Brendan Gleeson’s Father James from the brilliant “Calvary” but the most interesting one for me was Michael Fassbender in “Frank”. Fassbender may wear a papier-mâché head for almost the entirety of the film but he still manages to give a very physical performance and infuses the film with the requisite wonder and intrigue. It’s a fabulous bit of acting by Fassbender and also a very brave character to take on. It could so easily have ended up a piece of crap but the film worked worked wonders, primarily on this character alone.
SNAP CRACKLE WATCH – HAZEL GRACE LANCASTER (FAULT IN OUR STARS)
Trying to decide who my favorite character of the year has been so far has proved difficult. Many good ones came out this year in movies and TV. I would most likely pick Oberyn from Game of Thrones, but I will pick something else to shake things up. I have to preface my response by saying, I understand that I will totally get made fun of for picking this person and rightfully so as it is a pretty nerdy person to pick considering all the bad ass characters that came out this year. My fave has to be Hazel Grace Lancaster played by Shailene Woodley in The Fault in Our Stars. Since the movie was just released on DVD in the states, there has been many commercials promoting its’ release and I swear I almost start crying every single time I see her. I loved Hazel Grace because she was not a girl who wanted to be pitied for her illness and despite having a frightful disease, she never let it rob her of her spirit. I also like that she was portrayed as a typical teenage girl, one that likes to receive cute texts from the boy she has a crush on and one that wasn’t afraid to follow her heart. Maybe I am just corny and romantic, but I totally digged her. My runner ups for this year would have to be M. Gustave from Budapest Hotel and Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy.
SPORADIC CHRONICLES OF A BEGINNER BLOGGER – SHERLOCK (SHERLOCK)
Alrighty, so when I was thinking on this, I decided to go with a series character instead of a movie character. Why? Usually there is more time to develop a character, but that is not the only reason. So far this year I have been more thrilled with the characters I have been watching in series than any movie character. Now, who? That is the question. We all know I was a big fan of Will Graham’s character development in Hannibal season two, but seeing as I have already discussed Hannibal in a QOTM, I thought I would go with something else. The character that really got me, really astounded me, was Sherlock Holmes. Cliché, whatever you may think, I feel that Benedict Cumberbatch has given us the most layered and complex rendition of Sherlock Holmes yet.
He is so much more than you expect at first glance. Sure, well-dressed, extremely well-spoken (albeit cocky), brilliant investigator and smart as a whip, Sherlock is all those things, but he is also so much more. This year showed us how many more layers he had to offer. Loyalty, friendship, sacrifice and knowledge all of that came to the fore, but never once is it forgotten that Sherlock has limited social skills and an incredibly skewed perception of things. He is selfish to the nth degree, but also learns this about himself and needs to acknowledge this and find a way to work around it without losing the essence of himself. Seeing more of the relationship between Sherlock and Mycroft was great, as well as exploring the dynamics of the Holmes family a bit more. It gives you a richer understanding of who and what Sherlock is. I don’t actually adequately know how to go about discussing Sherlock and doing his character justice, but I do know that he is thrilling, intelligent, and demands your attention. I thoroughly enjoyed Sherlock’s statement “I’m not a psychopath, I’m a high-functioning sociopath.” Sums him up perfectly.
THE IPC – LUKE ABBOTT (BANE-LOCKED)
That’s easy!! Luke Abbott!! You all watched his movies rig –
It rubs the loti –
SILVER SCREEN SERENADE – EVERYONE ELSE’S ANSWERS
Goddamn, Luke. I mean…GODDAMN. Once again, you make me feel like I’m picking my favorite child or something here. ONE character out of an entire year of awesome characters?? What you ask, sir, is the impossible. Which is why I’m going to cheat. THAT’S RIGHT. YOU HEARD ME. I’m cheating. Because my choice is not a singular character. After much, painstaking consideration (seriously, you should see the list I made), I have chosen FIVE characters who make up ONE wonderful team: The Guardians of the Galaxy.
Now let me see if I can justify this. I thought about just doing sweet, dumb Groot, but he didn’t seem like a whole character without fiery Rocket. And even Rocket and Groot as a pair don’t capture the whole magic of the film. But throw in literal tough guy Drax, kickass Gamora, and goofy ringleader Peter Quill, and they create this wonderful, quirky vibe that makes the film work. I honestly don’t think the team would be complete without every last one of them. They are a unit. I cannot pick one without picking all five. Given that Guardians was probably the biggest hit of the summer, I feel like that’s fair. But if you don’t think that’s fair, my honorable mentions are as follows: Rust Cohle (True Detective), Peter Maximoff (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Caesar (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), and Amy Dunne (Gone Girl).