Best Movies of 2015

Best Movies of 2015:
Ok…this is tough as I have seen just about everything except some current new releases like the Revenant, and Son of Saul but here goes.  As you can tell, I love anything that deals with an historic event.
1.     Spotlight .  Not only is the cast fantastic and all worth of major awards but Tom McCarthy has done an amazing job with the screenplay.  In addition, as the Director, his research uncovered one of the most incriminating pieces of the investigation and it was against the Globe.  How McCarthy took a story where we know the ending and made it full of tension and drama is mind-boggling.  Just a great film and it’s not because I loved all the scenes of Boston and my time living there but I do love Boston.
2.     Bridge of Spies.  I loved this movie.  I loved the history and what happens when Spielberg and Hanks get together.  Mark Rylance deserves all the nominations he is getting for stealing the show with his subtle delivery.  I have yet to meet anyone who has seen this movie who didn’t love it.  Very underrated.
3.     Phoenix.  This is a German film about a woman who everyone thought was killed in a concentration camp.  Not only is she alive but also she comes back to post-war Germany with a new identity as a result of some plastic surgery.  How she discovers who turned her into the Nazi’s and how she hides her identity until the perfect moment makes for a great film.  It is just a bit unbelievable that her husband didn’t recognize her but just go with the flow.  I’m not sure why Germany submitted “Labyrinth of Lies” (which was also post-war Germany and quite good) instead of “Phoenix” for the Best Foreign Film Oscar but they did.  Both are great but Phoenix is a little better.
4.     Brooklyn.  A great love story that takes place in the 1950s.  The story of a young girl who emigrates from Ireland to Brooklyn is a window into the world of the Irish immigrants in NYC during this time frame.  I’ll never be able to pronounce Saoirse Ronan’s name but she was riveting in the lead role.  You may remember her as the young sister in “Atonement” where she was also amazing.
5.     Me, Earl and the Dying Girl.  This little gem of an Indy came out last summer and everyone seems to have forgotten it for this Awards season.  A comedic tear-jerker, it is based on the Young Adult novel and unlike it’s sister movie “The Fault in our Stars” has moments of levity and fun amidst the tears.  The young actors are great and this movie won the same awards at Sundance as Whiplash did in 2014 so check it out.
6.     Amy, I saw a number of documentaries this year and this was the best.  The tragic story of Amy Winehouse was beautifully done using actual film footage and in-depth interviews.   When watching Amy, you can’t help but dwell on the fact that there were so many opportunities to save her during her downward spiral.  You will never forget her recording “Back to Black” after you have seen it.  It should win the Oscar.
7.     Star Wars.  What was not to like about JJ Abram’s “The Force Awakens”. This movie was everything and more that I hoped it would be.   JJ can do no wrong in my eyes and this movie is proof.
8.     Room.  Room was a really difficult film to get through but the acting of Jacob Tremblay as a young boy held as prisoner in a backyard shack with his mother (Brie Larson) is being recognized with multiple nominations.  Brie Larson is riveting as is the film despite the difficult subject matter.
9.     The Martian.  Who knew Matt Damon could hold down a film on his own for 2 hours but he did.  Just a really good film and Ridley Scott is back!
10. Steve Jobs.  I’m not sure why this didn’t get an audience but people may just be tired of Steve Jobs.  However, this was Aaron Sorkin’s Steve Jobs which means great dialogue and the acting of Michael Fassbender was award winning.  I loved that Sorkin chose to depict Job’s life into 3 product launches rather than do a straight biography.  Really creative twist that I thought made the film.
Also really good films:  Love and Mercy, Carol, Ex Machina, Meru, The Big Short, 71, Grandma.

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