Thursday, January 1, 2015


Top 10 Movies of the year
1. Boyhood - complete and utter masterpiece, hands down, best film I have seen in forever.
2. Grand Budapest Hotel - Easily the best film by Wes Anderson, great story, ensemble cast, and a visual masterpiece
3. Her - complex, compelling, and utterly beguiling plus Joaquin Phoenix.
4. The Trip to Italy - Funniest film in forever, great scenery and food.
5. Pride - best indie film of the year, poignant and funny with a great soundtrack, and human rights issues covered beautifully.
6. Inside Llewyn Davis - melancholy and lovely, black and white, great music and wonderful acting.
7. Wish I Was Here - funny and dramatic with a lot to think about, loads of heart, and also great music.
8. The Great Beauty - a perfect homage to Fellini, and so much Rome I thought my heart would explode.
9. American Hustle - sassy, great story, fast paced, fab music, excellent acting.
10. Nebraska - a beautiful stillness, stunning cinematography and superb acting.

Hon Mentions: Only Lovers Left, Rock The Casbah, and Under the Skin
Top 10 DVDs of the year
1. Bill Cunningham New York - I fell in love with Bill on the streets of New York and hearing him talk about his art.
2. Frank - quirky indie film, with a very odd story, excellent acting and great music.
3. A Band Called Death - I loved doco so very much about an punk rock band well ahead of their time, so much heart in it.
4. 20 Feet From Stardom - feel good movie of the year, another doco, about the women backup singers. Won the Oscar.
5. Crazy Heart - Loved Jeff Bridges in this great country music film.
6. Saving Mr Banks - took me back to my childhood, Emma Thompson was so very good in this.
7. Genova - reminded me a lot of Don't Look Now, lovely Italian scenes and Colin Firth.
8. Best Offer - creepy, art movie with Geoffrey Rush, but utterly compelling.
9. Senna - sad doco about the F1 superstar, if only it ended differently.
10. Labor Day - great drama with Kate Winslet,
Top 13 Television Shows of the year
1. Mad Men - for it's sheer perfection, stunning dialogue, use of music and history, and that scene between Don and Peggy.
2. Game of Thrones - epic storytelling heightened by complex and interesting characters and for, you know, killing someone truly horrid.
3. The Walking Dead - such desperate actions, heart wrenching deaths, and the way it keeps you on the very edge of your seat, oh and Daryl!!!
4. Fargo - turning a much loved film into a much loved television show and getting it right. Great characters AND Billy Bob!
5. True Detective - spine chilling storyline, existential and complex dialogue and powerhouse acting for both Woody and Matthew. 
6. Redfern Now - our stories in our cities that make you rethink everything you thought you knew.
7. Please Like Me - sheer delight and sweetness whilst tackling some very real and dramatic storylines with perfect humour.
8. VEEP - Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and Tony Hale are superb physical comedians in this great political satire.
9. Call The Midwife - such a sweet yet dramatic series set against the backdrop of the 50s, stunning stories and superb cast.
10. Orange is the New Black - Great cast of wonderful women, with vignettes of comedy against a dramatic backdrop.
11. Parks and Recreations - I love the ensemble cast and it's great comedy.
12. Arrested Development - I was so excited to see my favourite show back, but it just wasn't quite as good as S1-3, however the funniest thing I have EVER seen was the scene between Buster and his mother with the cigarettes, and that almost made up for the rest...almost!
13. Girls - as always mixed emotions, but love the writing and the characters, despite their flaws.
Hon Mentions: the shows that finished: Dexter (disappointing), The Newsroom (wanted more), Offspring (close to perfect) no words can express my upset over no more At The Movies.

Downton Abbey: a show I don't mind really amped it up for S4 and I loved every minute of it, here's hoping they keep it up!
Utopia: Working Dog just pump out classic hit after classic hit, and this was no exception.
Soul Mates: best new skit comedy, so very funny for the let's go back in time and stifle (kill) Russell Crowe storyline, let alone everything else (Fizzy Milk anyone!?!)
Rockwiz - you are still my favourite show on television, all these years and still fresh and fabulous.
Top 10 albums of the year

1. I'm not Bossy, I'm the Boss - Sinead O'Connor - stunning return to form, she's never sounded better and a lovely range of songs from pop to ballads.
2. Art Official Age/Plectrum Electrum - Prince - both stunning, both full of funk, sexy and pop. Immediately listenable and showcases the purple one's genius!
3. Blank Project - Neneh Cherry - long awaited new album didn't fail to deliver some hard hitting songs.
4. Morning Phase - Beck - great mix of funk and pop, his best in a long while
5. Gon' Boogaloo - C. W. Stoneking - love his authentic take on 20s blues and this is superb. I must see him live!
6. O Vertigo - Kate Miller-Heidke - love her voice and her lyrics and unique storytelling.
7. There There - Megan Washington - beautiful album of mostly ballads that fully showcase her stunning voice.
8. Exits - Steve Smyth - a mix between Jeff Buckley and Tom Waits with a 20s blues sensibility, this is a superb album
9. Dizzy Heights - Neil Finn - a mix of his usual style of ballads and some amazing avant garde pop, was great to see him live.
10. Acid rain and sugar cane - Wagons - Henry Wagons and his rough yet tongue in cheek rock is showcased perfectly on his latest album.
Hon Mentions to the new u2 (really wasn't that bad!), Passenger, Chrissie Hynde, The Pixies and the superb live album between Paul Kelly and Neil Finn

Top 10 + 1 Concerts of the year

1. Bob Dylan - finally, I got to see my hero and it was perfect, mostly newer songs, but I love everything Bob so I was blessed and happy.
2. Courtenay Love - She kicked arse, and sounded amazing.
3. Amanda Palmer - superb and sheer perfection, funny and dramatic, AFP is everything you imagined and more
4. Dan Sultan (with Stonefield who were amazing) - the consummate rock and roll performer.
5. Wagons - he punched the life out of every song he sang, rock and roll hero, outstanding.
6. Lloyd Cole - just Lloyd and a guitar, every song you hoped to hear AND I got to sell merch for him and meet him. He hugged me and bought me a beer, my teenage self passed out!
7. Beatles Tribute Show (Sgt Peppers and Abbey Road) - unbelievably brilliant!
8. Steve Smyth - a mix of Jeff Buckley and Tom Waits and an outstanding performance
9. Kavisha Mazella - on a cold winter's night Kavisha warmed us with her folk sensibilities and her Italian background
10. Tim Freedman -singing the songs of Nilsson, his accent was awful, but his interpretations of the songs sublime.
11. Bill Bailey - whilst not exactly a concert, he did sing, was genius funny and one of the best things I saw in 2014!
Top 10 Books of the year

1. We are all completely beside ourselves - Karen Joy Fowler - beautifully written, unique story, little twist and a gut wrenching finale.
2. Murder in Mississippi - John Safran -outstanding debut, a fascinating story told with great research, and a little bit of satire.
3. House of grief - Helen Garner - a rough subject made bearable by beautiful, kind and genuine heartfelt writing. Garner is perfection.
4. Gardener of Versailles - Alain Baraton - great story about Alain's life working and living on site as a gardener at Versailles.
5. Only in New York - Lily Brett - mini essays on life in New York, by Australian ex-pat and one of my favourite authors.
6. Questions of Travel - Michelle De Krester - slow paced, philosophical musings on travel, movement, and life.
7. As luck would have it - Derek Jacobi - the autobiography of his amazing life.
8. We need new names - NoViolet Bulawayo - stunning debut novel about tweens in Zimbabwe and one girls 'escape' to the US.
9. Simple Dreams - Linda Ronstadt - great autobiography about her life in music, no gossip, just pure music making and processes which was a delight.
10. After Dark - Haruki Murakami - great story set in Tokyo after midnight, showcasing the way some people drift in and out of other people's lives and what is left behind. Haunting, sassy, and intriguing.
Hon Mentions: Humans of New York the book, Mrs Dalloway - Virginia Woolf, Not that kind of girl - Lena Dunham, Dress Memory Lorelei Vashti, and the Gerard Durrell stories.

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