Film Comment recently announced both its Best Films of 2014 and Best Unreleased Films of 2014 poll results, with Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, Jean-Luc Godard’s Goodbye to Language, and Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel taking the top spots among films that received theatrical runs this year. Of the films that made appearances at festivals or special screenings internationally but haven’t been picked up for stateside distribution yet, Alice Rohrwacher’s The Wonders, Hong Sang-soo’s Hill of Freedom, and Abel Ferrara’s Pasolini received Film Comment's top rankings. 

The publication’s annual end-of-the-year survey of critics, journalists, editors, and past and present contributors offers the most comprehensive assessment of the year in film. Editor Gavin Smith said: “As ever, the fulcrum of Final Cut, our end-of-the-year section, is our Best Films poll, which is compiled from votes by our North American contributors and other esteemed critics and writers. We try to make this survey as comprehensive and inclusive as possible. Meanwhile our Personal Bests, which include Top 10s from contributors all over the world, allow us to include a more diverse range of viewpoints, although once again the selections seem to reflect the poll’s consensus on the best films of the year.”

In this edition of The Close-Up podcast, Smith joins digital editor Violet Lucca and senior editor Nicolas Rapold to muse on the lists, considering such varied topics as the number of female directors appearing in the lists, the surprise omissions, and our nation's current fascination with Marvel action movies.

Subscribe to The Close-Up on iTunesSoundCloud, or Stitcher.