For the past couple of years I’ve been tracking everything I watch for the first time. This year that number came to 410 films that I’d never seen before, and of that number 241 were features that were released to domestic theatres at some point during 2015. Here to my mind are the top 100 of them, ranked in as close to semblance of order as I feel comfortable assembling them into.
As we’re now well into Oscar season, the following are my picks for the absolute pest performances, screenplays and what-not for 2015. Many of these individuals and films will certainly get singled out for Academy Award consideration; quite a few of them sadly will not. To my mind, however, all are worthy of recognition, and push come to shove were arguably my favorites in their individual categories.
Maybe it was because I’d been read the book as a kindergartner by my mother. Maybe it was because it was one of the first pieces of literature I set out to read on my own. Whatever the reason, Ballard’s visually sumptuous take spun me round in such deliriously entranced circles I almost didn’t know how to react, [The Black Stallion] a poetic realization of everything I myself had imagined yet also at the same time so much more.
There will be those that who try to convince people 2014 was a weak year for film. They would be wrong.
Richard Linklater’s 12-years-in-the-making coming of age drama Boyhood following a young boy from 6 to 18 was a revelation for a number of reasons, not the least of which is its breathtaking, magnificently simplistic authenticity.
Force Majeure – An avalanche might have got them talking, but the troubles afflicting Tomas and Ebba’s marriage had been simmering underneath the snowy emotional perimeters of their hearts long before the rumbling and tumbling became all-too literal. A masterpiece of introspective eloquence.
Winter’s Tale – Colin Farrell attempts to save the love of his life with the help of a flying horse while demon Russell Crowe engages in heart-to-heart conversations with Will Smith’s Satan and, no, I didn’t make a single part of that description up. A disaster.