Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Image = Best of 2015

Me Earl & the Dying Girl
The Big Short

Star Wars
Bridge of Spies
Learning to Drive
Love & Mercy

Honorable Mention: 
The End of the Tour
Ricki & the Flash
Inside Out
The Intern

2015 was not the behemoth for the annals of cinema history that 2014 was – not by a long shot.  But there was still a lot to enjoy this year.  From groundbreaking films like Room to guilty pleasures like Entourage and WAY underrated movies like Ricki and the Flash, there was enough to appease even this film maven.

Strangely, we are at the end of the year and there is still not a clear Best Picture.  I am choosing Spotlight as my best of the year for many reasons: the subject, the exceptional ensemble cast, the writing AND the fact that it is great in an understated way.  

While 2014 was 'The Year of the Actor', this year WOMEN ruled!  Lily Tomlin triumphed in both film and TV (Grandma and Grace & Frankie), Blythe Danner had her first starring role in her 5 decade career (I’ll See You in My Dreams), Charlotte Rampling was masterfully devastating in 45 Years, Brie Larson was heartbreaking in Room, Patricia Clarkson was self-effacingly wonderful in Learning to Drive, Saoirse Ronan came of age (both in the business and onscreen) in Brooklyn, Taraji P. Henson continued to wow us in Empire and on the red carpet, Viola Davis made history with her Emmy win for How to Get Away with Murder, no one on earth had a bigger year than Amy Schumer (Trainwreck, Inside Amy Schumer, hosting SNL, opening for Madonna, etc.) and Jennifer Lawrence continues her reign as the biggest thing in Hollywood (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 and Joy) which completely baffles me, but that’s another story.

{NOTE: I realize that a few of the projects mentioned above are on TV but I feel they are worth including since we are in the second golden age of television when A LOT of high quality stuff is being produced in TV and the streaming space and the line between television and film is becoming more and more blurry}.

On the subject of women and 'women’s movies', I just have to say this.  I don’t understand all the fuss about Carol.  Cate Blanchett is always amazing, but the movie is incredibly slow and borderline melodramatic.  I am a bleeding heart liberal and I felt very little for these women struggling with their taboo lesbian romance because I was so BORED.  And Rooney Mara is incredibly blah to me as an actress.  She doesn’t hold a candle to or the space onscreen with Blanchett the Great.  I enjoyed the movie Truth and Cate’s affecting performance much more in that.

In my next blogpost, I will discuss the upcoming awards season. The nominations so far are all over the place, with very few through lines among the Indie Spirits, SAGs and Golden Globes.  This is both exciting and disconcerting, but may make for a very exciting Oscar race…

Happy New Year everyone!