Dec 302015
 

Victoria3

Why is making an end of year list so agonising? While some years are certainly stronger than others, by the time I start putting my list together, it’s always tough. This year I’ve gone for a top 25, but it could have easily been 40.

There are less foreign films than usual – I am not sure if it’s because I’ve seen less of them, or they just haven’t been as memorable. There are also more blockbuster/wide appeal films, which is awesome. While it’s not on my list, I had a heap of fun with The Force Awakens.

My list is composed of new films I saw for the first time in 2015. There are a mix of 2016 & 2015 titles, as well as some festival only films. Some popular 2015 titles I saw in 2014, check out my 2014 list to see which.

As always there are titles you miss. Some of the films I didn’t round to seeing this year include: Southpaw, Gett: The Trial of Vivian Amsalem, Black Mass, Son of Saul, Theeb, Junun, Holding the Man, The Hateful Eight, Grandma, Sherpa, Horse Money, Timbuktu, By the Sea, The Look of Silence, and The Good Dinosaur.

While these didn’t make my 25, they’re all great and deserve a shout out. Honourable mentions go to: A Most Violent Year, The Big Short, Knight of Cups, The Lobster, Lost River, Necktie Youth, and Tehran Taxi.

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 Posted by at 08:09
Dec 282015
 

Creed Movie Film Trailers Reviews Movieholic Hub

So ends another year of film. A year of ups-and-downs, but the comforts of the cinema have remained frequent. To note this year: there have been less 4.5 and 5 star films for me – truly great ones – but a consistent stream of very good films. I can’t remember a year of such incredible depth. International films were certainly weaker this year. Perhaps it was the fact that not so many were available to me, but many of my favourite films last year (Two Days, One Night, Force Majeure and Ida for example) were international films. But, American cinema has been stronger than usual year, with some terrific mid-budget productions. Selecting this 25 (a number I have liked using for some years now) was a challenge that took many hours of deliberation and jostling, so I hope you appreciate the consideration and respect the high esteem of quality I place in these films.

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Dec 232015
 

45 Years Still

This was a year of so many wonderfully inclusive, sweet, exciting, different, heartbreaking and magical films. And if you were to think for a second that statement is an exaggeration – I believe that the top six films on this list are better than any film I saw last year. It was the year of smart, fun, thoughtful and strong women as protagonists in films. It could always be better, there’s always room for improvement, but I hope that the films on this list in some way represent the amazing women in film this year and my feelings regarding that.

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Oct 282015
 

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The parameters of a horror film are often contentious. Some viewers may luxuriate in intense Zombie-eating gore, but go running for the exit when a character is stalked by a ghost. Identifying the most successful horror films is also an identifier of what frightens you as an individual, and everyone is different. For me – isolated settings and creepy noises almost always get me, as does the threat of intense unflinching violence.

There are a few films that would have made my list if I had opened up the range a little – Se7en, which I view as an (excellent) police-procedural thriller, and Shaun of the Dead, which is more of a comedy, are two examples. You may argue that The Silence of the Lambs and An American Werewolf in London fall into these respective categories, but I have included them because I value their horror elements more. If I were pressed I would file them under ‘horror’. Is Come and See a war film or horror? Most definitely a horror.

Then there are the sub-genres of horror – supernatural, psychological, monster, portrayals of true crime. Working out what the most successful examples of these sub-genres (and the genre as a whole) is very subjective. Two years ago I spent the better part of a year working through as many of the classic horror I had not yet seen. While I barely scratched the surface of what is out there, I put together a list I was proud of and felt was an educated assessment of the genre. Please find below an updated version of my ’50 Favourite Horror Films’, a list of sure-fire winners if you’re looking for quality suspense.

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Jul 182015
 

We are just over half way through the year, but I thought I would reflect on the year so far from the perspective of performance. I expected to struggle to find performances I loved, because it hasn’t struck me as a year defined by great acting – many of my favourite films so far have been documentaries or been great for other reasons – but there have actually been a lot. I have seen each of these films for the first time in 2015, so if there is a great performance missing here, I may have caught it last year. These films have either had a release in Australian cinemas, screened at a festival I have attended, or had a DTV release and bypassed cinemas. I feel all of these performances have had a direct bearing on the success of the film.

SELMA

Let me know what some of your favourite performances are in the comments. Mine are listed below in order that my eyes have witnessed them. I will note the standout, and that is David Oyelowo in Selma. 

David Oyelowo – Selma

Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything

Joaquin Phoenix and Katherine Waterston – Inherent Vice

Michelle Monaghan – Fort Bliss

Paul Dano and Elizabeth Banks – Love & Mercy

Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain – A Most Violent Year

Jack O’Connell – ‘71

Lily James – Cinderella

Jude Law – Black Sea

Mads Mikkelsen and Jeffrey Dean Morgan – The Salvation

Tessa Thompson – Dear White People

Lou Taylor Pucci and Nadia Hilker – Spring

Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander – Ex Machina

Carey Mulligan and Matthias Schoenaerts – Far From the Madding Crowd

Charlize Theron – Mad Max: Fury Road

Tommy Lee Jones – The Homesman

Guy Pearce and Kevin Corrigan – Results

Michael Shannon – 99 Homes

Elmer Back – Eisenstein in Guanajuatro

Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori and Kiersey Clemons – Dope

Laia Costa and Frederick Lau – Victoria

Nina Hoss and Ronald Zehrfeld – Phoenix

Luisa Cruz – The Arabian Nights: Volume 2

Amy Poehler (voice) – Inside Out

Jada Pinkett-Smith and Channing Tatum – Magic Mike XXL

Dan Stevens – The Guest

Ronit Elkabetz – Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem

Dec 232014
 

immigrant

So, the rule, if any is..if it got any sort of release in 2014, it’s eligible. The rule of festivals means nothing, purely because I’m still waiting for a DVD release of Alps which was on my list in 2012. If you see a film on this list that you want to catch but it was a festival film, it should hopefully encourage you, like me to fight to see the film in some way!

These films, these are the ones with good female characters, characters of ethnic diversity, characters who speak languages other than English and stories that exclude no one, but to some degree baffle all.

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Dec 212014
 

budapesthtelCat

I have been more privileged than normal with the sheer number of films I have been able to see this year. I ventured across the world to attend the Toronto Film Festival, and made an effort to see at least one film at each of the festivals that run in Australia. It has been a terrific year, and I think what is notable is the incredible depth of excellent films.

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Dec 212014
 

olla

Earlier in the week I posted by Best Films of 2014 list. This list was a mix of new releases, festival titles, films I had seen overseas and films which went direct to home release. I wanted to share my list of the best Australian cinema releases of the year – all of these films got a cinema release at one or more Australian cinemas in 2014. Check the list out after the jump.

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