Most stylish films 2014
By Will Morley, 24 December 2014
It’s been another compelling year for cineastes. Both the mainstream blockbuster bro and the bespectacled indie film mole have had their fancies surreptitiously tickled (occasionally both at the same time) by an array of interesting flicks that have provoked both debate and dispute. Did Tom Hardy really have to go full Welsh for Locke? If Brad Pitt keeps periodically starring in WW2 films, will we ever see the end of the disconnected undercut hair trend? Will Bradley Cooper ever provide a better performance than the voice of a talking raccoon? (No.)
One thing is for certain, however: it’s been a strong year for cinematic style. Here’s our pick of 2014’s slickest on-screen looks.
Only Lovers Left Alive
Jim Jarmusch's story about a depressed vampiric musician and his lover discussing the poor state of humanity sounds like a downer on paper, but on screen it's actually brilliant. Both Tilda Swinton (aptly cast, as she hasn't aged in 30 years), as Eve and Tom Hiddleston as Adam give superbly droll performances, but it's Adam's outfits we wanted to bite. When he wasn't lounging in a burgundy, velvet-collared dressing gown, he was giving a masterclass in understated rocker-chic — faded T-shirt, skull pendant, slim dark jeans, boots and a dark suede biker jacket. And sunglasses, obviously.
Get On Up
While Chadwick Boseman's interpretation of James Brown is astonishingly physical, the film still came under fire from critics who were disappointed that it shied away from showing how truly, dangerously bananas the Godfather Of Soul was. Luckily it didn’t retreat from any of the man's era-specific haircuts — the '60s pompadour, the '70s afro and that weird middle-aged lady cut he had in the '80s and '90s — with complementary on-stage outfits. But it’s the off-stage '50s era we most dig: delicately patterned cardigans, button-downs, slim pants and loafers that still look the business today.
Despite its complete loss of steam in the second half, the first 45 minutes of Dom Hemingway are so ridiculous you can forgive later failures. Jude Law, as mutton-chopped, foul-mouthed safe-cracker Dom, looks incredible. When he emerges from prison, he's immaculately dressed in an ultra-modern, skinny-fit, double-breasted suit (where exactly he got it 12 years ago — before his incarceration — is never explained). Still, it's Richard E. Grant's Dickie, with his yellow tinted aviators and flamboyant silk neck-scarves, who really steals the style show.
The Grand Budapest Hotel
For all the accusations that Wes Anderson might have reached peak whimsical, The Grand Budapest Hotel contains some pretty bleak themes. Murder, finger mutilation and a thinly veiled metaphor for the spread of fascism means that amid the throng of delightful cameos (Jude Law and his amazing belted tweed jacket) the bad guys still get a lot of screen time. As JG Jopling, Willem Dafoe makes fists full of sovereign rings look inexplicably dope, but it’s Adrien Brody’s debonair Dmitri, in his immaculately tailored black suit, shirt and paletot overcoat — accessorized with pinky rings and a waxed 'stache — that had us rooting for the dark side.
While the previous choices could qualify as a maybe a little — shall we say — peacocky, this entry is anything but. Depending on your point of view, he may be the living embodiment of the American Dream or just a first-class scumbag, but Louis Bloom, as played by Jake Gyllenhaal, nails the classic casual look. Gray New Balance, crisp pink, gray or white shirts, slim pants and the all-important bomber (both leather and cotton) make even the most dubious of characters look fresh. So even if your Saturday nights entail chasing an ambulance with a camera, rather than chasing a beer with a shot, your outfit will remain as crisp and clean as your conscience.