That doesn’t mean others can’t be recognized. Before the Oscar nominations are announced tomorrow, I’d like to list the films that I think were the best of 2015, in order.
Disclaimer: while I see a lot of films, I didn’t see them all, including The Revenant, which I’m sure I’ll like.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. I’m not sure why this isn’t getting more attention during awards season – it won both the audience and jury prizes for best film at Sundance. It’s funny, it’s smart, it’s tragic. It’s every reason we go to see movies. Best of the year.
Spotlight. True stories always make for more fascinating premises, and Spotlight is pure truth – the reporters it’s based on were asked to fact-check this film for accuracy. Very strong chance to win best picture.
Kingsman – The Secret Service. Best action movie and most fun movie of the year. Everyone who sees it loves it. If I were the President of Showbiz, I’d take the star of this film, Taron Egerton, and cast him as a young James Bond, reviving the franchise with an origin story.
Love & Mercy. Another true story, with two great actors (Paul Dano and John Cusack) playing young and old Brian Wilson. Just seeing how much of a genius Brian was in the studio, as he produces the song “Good Vibrations” is worth it.
99 Homes. A more personal look into the housing crisis featured in The Big Short, and how it affected actual home owners. A film no one saw but I promise you’ll like.
The Martian. Another cool action film. It’s riveting to watch Matt Damon’s character “science the shit” out of surviving on Mars.
The Big Short. Known amongst my friends and me as “the film with handsome men made to look ugly.” It’ll get you pretty worked up at the brokerage firms who played fast and loose with peoples’ lives. And the fun technique used to help understand what happened really works.
Bridge of Spies. Gripping. Incredibly directed by Steven Spielberg, and acted by Tom Hanks. It suffers from a strong theatrical year – release this any other time and it’s a contender.
Sicario. Hard core. Cool as shit. A constant air of danger from the opening scene. And it’s shot different from anything else this year.
Brooklyn. Boy, the Irish in the 50s were pretty douchey. I would have fled to America, too. This is a good reminder that there’s always a real reason why we left something/someone behind.