2015 has been a pretty decent year for films. It peaked early with Whiplash and Birdman, slumped a little during the summer, (when the blockbusters dominate the cinema), and picked up its heels towards the close of the year with some great movies set for early release in 2016. I managed to watch seventy nine movies in 2015, the majority of which were new releases. Thanks to the QFT for continuing to indulge my film obsession in 2015 and a special big thanks for hosting movies through the BFI Love season. It was an amazing opportunity to see some of my favourite classic movies on the big screen for the first time. If you live in Belfast, enjoy films and aren’t yet a QFT member you should stop being an eejit/waiting for a deal to come up on Groupon and go straight down there when it reopens to spend your Christmas money on a membership card.
I’m going to list my top ten movies of the year below, with the short reviews I posted online when they came out. The first one is my favourite movie of the year. The others aren’t in any particular order. Notably absent and almost making the cut were the Shaun the Sheep Movie, White Gods and 45 Years, all of which I absolutely loved but I had to drop the line somewhere.
Top Ten Movies of 2015:
- The Lobster
This is the movie I am making inside my head. It is a glorious thing.
Still recovering from this, (in a good way). One of the strongest pieces of film I’ve seen in a very long time.
3. A Most Violent Year
Have never felt more compelled to rush out and buy a 1980s cut, ankle length, camel hair coat. Classy classy stuff from Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain.
4. Wild Tales
Oh my, this is truly wonderful. Strangely reminded me of Roald Dahl’s dark stories. Do yourself a favour, take two hours out of your weekend and go see this.
5. Alive Inside
If further proof was needed that older people both need and deserve the arts then here it is.
6. Listen Up Phillip
Posing with book props, pretending you don’t want to be at book launches, only talking to people who’ll advance your literary career; it’s like they took our lives and made them into a movie and we all wore tweed blazers throughout.
7. Love and Mercy
I love Brian Wilson. I love John Cusack. I love Paul Dano. Nothing wrong here.
This is ridiculously good. Shotguns, Spain, 1980; almost flawless.
9. Mistress America
Gerwig, Baumbach thank you. Thank you so much.
Rarely do brilliant books turn into brilliant movies but this one’s the exception. Cried my eyes out and left the cinema exhausted and full of hope. Great stuff.
And now the clunkers. I have to say 2015 also had its fair share of disappointing cinema trips. The new James Bond was dreadful, Brooklyn and Suffragette played it safe to the point of dull and Carol actually made us fall asleep mid-film. I’ve left out the dreadful kids movies, (dogs in space, kidnapping Santa etc), I’ve been subjected to as an Aunty and here are the five most disappointing/anger inducing/ over-hyped movies I sat through this year in no particular order.
Top 5 Worst Movies of 2015:
- Bridge of Spies
I fail to see how The Guardian can give this five out of five. I fail to see how the Coens could have written this. I fail to see the point of it entirely. It is a spy movie with about as much thrill and pace as an episode of Columbo (and that’s being unfair on Peter Falk). The spies are caricatures of spies. The Russians torture captured American spies whilst Americans let their captured spies paint pictures and sleep in. No one swears. There is no real violence, even the East German street youths mug Tom Hanks in a terribly polite way, reminiscent of a GCSE German oral. It is ghastly and earnest. My worst kind of movie.
2. Inherent Vice
Very stylish. Very dull.
3. Big Eyes
The last half hour of this belongs on an E4 sitcom. I actually can’t remember the last time I liked a Tim Burton movie now.
4. The Legend of Barney Thompson
Imagine what would happen if a bunch of undergrad film students decided to remake Shallow Grave in the style of Hot Fuzz and cast it with actors playing cartoon versions of themselves. Even that would be ten times better than this horror.
5. Une Nouvelle Amie
Three strikes and you’re out now Romain Duris.