Favourite Performances of 2015

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Dec 292015


2015 has been a year of understated performances, actors not necessarily making huge physical transformations to lose themselves in characters (though there are some, such as Jake Gyllenhaal for Southpaw). As we head into awards season there are not the same group of big, showy performances we usually expect. Some of these performances were recognised at last year’s Oscars (and in the case of Eddie Redmayne, winning), but I witnessed them all for the first time in 2015. Most of these performances have been praised by others than myself throughout the year, but in case we forget about them I wanted to remind you of how great they are. Maybe it will inspire you to catch up with the films if you missed them.

After the jump, find the long-list of my favourite performances of 2015. The actors are listed in rough order of how I experienced their work for the year, with some personal awards at the end: Continue reading »

2015 British Independent Film Award Nominees

 Awards Coverage, Features  Comments Off on 2015 British Independent Film Award Nominees
Nov 042015


The 2015 British Independent Film Awards were announced yesterday and Yorgos Lanthimos’ wonderful new film The Lobster led the surprisingly offbeat field with seven nominations, including Best Best, Director, Screenplay and Lead Actor – Colin Farrell. Co-Best Film nominees 45 Years and Macbeth each scored six, while Ex Machina and Amy were handily rewarded with five.

Brooklyn also scored five nominations, including three for acting, and one for Nick Hornby’s screenplay. Ben Wheatley’s hotly anticipated and expectedly divisive High Rise was similarly honoured, while Oscar contenders Suffragette and The Danish Girl were relegated to just acting nominations. Suffragette led that field with four, while the The Danish Girl received just a single nomination, for lead actress Alicia Vikander. Vikander has been touted as one of the top contenders for the Supporting Actress Oscar, but the voters her saw that claim dubious and voted her into the lead. Vikander could easily have been nominated for Ex Machina, but it was overlooked for acting, with production design and visual effects deservedly honoured in the ‘Achievement in Craft’ category. I was also quite pleased to see Palio score a Best Documentary nod. It is one of the most thrilling experiences I had in the cinema this year.

45 Years, Suffragette and Brooklyn are looking to be the most likely to feature amongst the Oscar contenders, but we now know we cannot write off The Lobster. It is likely ‘too weird’ for Oscar voters, but it is sure is pleasing to see it gather attention. Australians hoping to see some of these films don’t have to wait long. You can catch up on Amy and Ex Machina on home entertainment, while The Lobster is currently in cinemas. 45 Years, Brooklyn and Suffragette are all screening at the British Film Festival, which is running presently. Suffragette and The Danish Girl have Boxing Day releases, with Brooklyn and 45 Years scheduled in 2016.

You can check out the full list of nominees after the jump: Continue reading »