My favorite movie 2014 (I saw as of December 16th, 2014,) is “The Cold Lands” by Tom Gilroy. The film made for a very minimal budget star first time actor Silas Yelich, Peter Scananvino, and Lili Taylor. The film follows 11yo Atticus ( Yelich) whom with his mother (Taylor) live off the grid.
After his mother dies the film it’s very much just Atticus walking through the woods – surviving. There is very little dialog, with the exception of his mother appearing as an apparition giving young Atticus advice, serving as conscience. Although there is very little dialog form this point out there is still a lot of story being told in the visuals. There is almost no need for dialog, the whole story is told by the expressions on Yelich face, and the various shots directed by Gilroy.
When most films of the genres will drag Gilroy is able to use the moments of silence to move the story forward. And The acting of Yelich is above that of many big name stars, we – the viewer – are able to read what he is thinking, and feeling, but he is subtle , and in no way over the top. “the Cold Lands” is a GREAT ambiguous coming of age film, in time when so few being made, or made will. Unless of course you go over seas. A must see film for any art house/ foreign film fans.