Occasionally, beyond the ad campaigns, the merchandise and the arrogant multiplex, there is almost always something decent lurking quietly in the shadows. It is in these shadows (although, I may occasionally burst into Cineworld) that I have compiled my annual top ten list of the best films of the year. The contenders are based on quality, substance and ingenuity.
Paddington was a key part of my childhood and 'woe betide anyone who screwed it up', I thought. Thankfully those fears soon melted away within a few minutes of one of the best films of 2014. Getting a movie like this from script to screen is no easy matter, and King, Heyman, the cast and crew have done a magnificent job.
On Tuesday 11 November, the fifth UnderWire Festival will open at The Yard in Hackney Wick, founded by Gemma Mitchell and myself in 2010 with the aim to foreground female filmmaking talent... Unique to UnderWire, films selected for this award are of women's stories and feature female characters at their core.
Ahead of the obligatory end-of-year round-up, here's my verdict on the best cinematic events of 2014*. You will disagree with most. You will have seen many not on the list. You may wonder why many films are here. And if this annoys you, wait three more months for my definitive countdown of '14 to make you even more cross.