Year in review. Two yummy look backs each day.
People often get my name wrong in the comments. I do not answer to "Nate" or "Nathan". "Nat" or "Nathaniel" will do. I also answer to "Crazy Cat Lady".
Cats do not get enough screen time if you ask me but they're not pack animals so there's no cat union to promote their representation in the movies. I actually felt a bit betrayed this summer when Toothless, one of my all time favorite screen cats suddenly seemed almost doggish in How To Train Your Dragon 2. If Dreamworks wants to know why they struggled a bit at the box office there I can only point to Toothless. There was A) Not nearly enough of him in the movie and B) He seemed to have gone to the dog side.
So herewith the four cats from the film year I couldn't love more...
BEST SCREEN CATS 2014
04 Hairy Baby (Big Hero Six)
If Baymax weren't already off-the-charts adorable, it turns out he's also a cat person robot? (Though he probably shouldn't be petting a happy kitty who might well start kneading him since he's already sprung a leak at this point in the movie.
03 Ghibli Cat (The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness)
From my review of the Studio Ghibli documentary...
Particularly wonderful are the many shots of a black and white short tailed cat that wanders freely around Studio Ghibli demanding doors be open for it. This cat, who almost seems like an animated character, strangely never ventures into Miyazaki's workspace as if blocked, staring, by some invisible wall. Still, Miya-san likes him. They share a brief funny moment at a picnic table outside late in the film, the cat sleeping, the filmmaker looking on with envy; Miyazaki has since retired
02 Felix (St. Vincent)
A veritable cloud of comfort in a sea of smelly clutter, cantankarous moods, and unhappy peoples. Felix is so fluffy, docile, well fed and people-loving that even the most misanthropic or lonely of film characters -- that'd be Bill Murray, natch -- can't remotely pretend to not worship him. (Vulture also couldn't pretend indifference, devoting a whole photo spread to him.)
01 The Cat (Gone Girl)
Every single shot of the orange tabby* in Gone Girl is perfection. He's the perfectly detached observer of all things Mr & Mrs Dunne. Even when he's allowing Nick to be comforted by him, not desperately waiting for food, or staring at the throngs of police and press circling his home, he never seems less than cool and in control. His allegiances also beautifully shift with the opposing chapters. For so long he seems to be Nick's man, until suddenly he's not. Note the way, in the film's best shot (yeah, I couldn't wait) he stares Nick down, a perfect unknowable mirror of Amy, standing just behind him, once they're all back in the kitchen. Is this tabby an "emotional marker" for Gone Girl as some claim or is he something more? An omniscient observer, perhaps? Or David Fincher in feline form, prowling around his own movie preternaturally aware of every shadowy corner, shared space, hiding place, and neutral ground.
*the cat is never explicitly named in Gone Girl though Nick calls him "Buddy." In the novel I understand his name is "Bleecker".