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Films of 2015


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"Spotlight" has been named Best Picture of 2015 by the New York Film Critics Online. The group also cited Tom McCarthy for directing the film and co-writing its screenplay with Josh Singer. The movie's cast, which includes Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams -- was chosen as Best Ensemble. 

 

The drama also received Best Picture endorsements on Sunday from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the Boston Society of Film Critics.

 

 

 

https://www.thewrap.com/spotlight-named-best-picture-by-new-york-film-critics-online/

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"Spotlight," the drama about a real-life Boston Globe investigative team in the early 2000s, has won another award. It was named Best Film of 2015 on Tuesday by the Washington Area Film Critics Association. 

 

The film is likely to be recognized several times on Wednesday when the Screen Actors Guild reveals its list of nominations for the year.

 

Australian filmmaker George Miller was named Best Director for "Mad Max: Fury Road," the latest installment of the action series he began 36 years ago. The previous films in the series: "Mad Max" (1979), "The Road Warrior" (1982) and "Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome" (1985).

 

Leonardo DiCaprio was selected as Best Actor for his performance in "The Revenant," a drama set in the harsh 19th-century American wilderness. The film was produced, co-written and directed by the Mexican-born filmmaker Alejandro G. Iñárritu, who won three 2014 Academy Awards for "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)." 

 

 

 

Saoirse (pronounced "Sersha") Ronan won Best Actress honors for her turn as a 1950s Irish immigrant to the United States in the acclaimed drama "Brooklyn."

 

Britain's Idris Elba, touted as a strong candidate to become the next James Bond, was named Best Supporting Actor for his work in the drama "Beasts of No Nation." The film, in which Elba stars as an army commandant during a bloody war in West Africa, also has been streamed on Netflix.

 

 

 

Sweden's Alicia (pronounced "Alee-see-uh") Vikander was chosen as Best Supporting Actress for her performance as an android with artificial intelligence in "Ex Machina."

 

"Spotlight," which features an all-star cast that includes Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams, was cited for producing the year's Best Ensemble.

 

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Pixar's Inside Out (2015) gives new meaning to the term losing one's marbles.  Variety wrote that it "promises to forever change the way people think about the way people think."  Quite a boast.  

The concept of the film has a small girl's mind run by 5 critters that serve as her emotions and a world full of marbles which represent her memories.

The execution of that premise is not terribly interesting IMHO and it certainly isn't Woody Allen's Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were afraid to Ask with Burt Reynolds and Tony Randall.

Very stupid for the most part and a bit of a bore really.

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Here's a piece from The Los Angeles Times about the Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations for 2015, which will be revealed Wednesday at 10 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. A big question: Where will Best Actress/Best Supporting Actress contenders Rooney Mara ("Carol") and Alicia Vikander ("Ex Machina," "The Danish Girl") end up?

 

The 22nd annual SAG Awards will be televised live by TBS and TNT on Sunday, January 30, 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/moviesnow/la-et-sag-awards-film-five-things-expect-20151208-story.html

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Trainwreck (2015) is aptly titled.  It was written by and stars Amy Schumer.  It is equal opportunity for the vulgar humour market.  And as with a lot of these crass films when it's time to get sentimental it is very heavy on the saccharin.

The biggest crime of this film is that it is a staggering 125 minutes long.  It could easily have been trimmed by 45 minutes.

Brie Larsen as Amy's 'normal' sister is quite good.  Tilda Swinton is almost unrecognizable as a raunchy Brit magazine editor.  If her material had been better scripted I think people would have really taken notice of her performance as it is spot on.

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"Trumbo," the screen biography of blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (1905-1976), received three Screen Actors Guild nominations on Wednesday. The motion picture drama was recognized for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role (Bryan Cranston) and Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role (Helen Mirren).

 

 

 

The overall list of nominations, which includes categories for excellence in television, is as follows:

 

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/lists/2016-sag-award-nominees-full-846069/item/outstanding-performance-by-a-cast-846009

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Today, it's the Screen Actors Guild nominations. Tomorrow, we'll hear about the Golden Globes. Here's a preview from Variety about what you might expect when the Hollywood Foreign Press Association reveals its list for 2015:

 

 

Could Will Smith lock up a Golden Globe nomination for the drama "Concussion"?

 

http://variety.com/2015/film/awards/golden-globes-film-nominations-predictions-1201656413/

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I saw BRIDGE OF SPIES over the weekend, and I have to say I definitely enjoyed it more than Bogie56 did! I didn't find it boring at all; nor would I agree with the contention that it takes forever for anything to happen in it. Yes, like anyone who's read a history book, I knew how it ended before going in, but the history books only mention Francis Gary Powers and no one else. In this film, Powers is a pretty minor character. I knew nothing about the attorney James Donovan played by Tom Hanks or the Soviet spy Rudolf Abel. I was surprised to learn in the closing credits that the Coen Brothers contributed to the screenplay, just like they did to last year's UNBROKEN. There are a few scenes that do have a Coen-ish feel to them, like Hanks' sojourn to the Soviet embassy in East Berlin, where he encounters several very Coen-ish characters. From my modern perspective, I thought some of the bits about Red-hating and Bomb fear were a little heavyhanded, but I wasn't born yet in that era; maybe it really was like that. These were the years of McCarthyism and the blacklist, after all. Anyway, I thought it was a thoroughly entertaining movie.

 

Bogie56, if you found BRIDGE OF SPIES boring, you REALLY don't want to see the other film I saw over the weekend, THE ASSASSIN, a Chinese film from Hsou-Hsien Hou, who won Best Director at Cannes this year. The trailers would have you believe it's essentially a new CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, but the martial arts fight scenes are few and brief. It's mostly a lot of static shots or slow pans with sparse dialogue and fades to black in between scenes. It's gorgeous to look at, but I was pretty confused by any number of plot points, and I usually pride myself at being an intuitive viewer. I cheated after I got home by reading the message boards on imdb, which helped explain a few things to me. 

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"Carol," the story of a clandestine romance between two New York-area women during the early 1950s, received five Golden Globe Award nominations on Thursday. The film was nominated for Best Motion Picture ‑ Drama, Best Director (Todd Haynes), Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama (Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara) and Best Score (Carter Burwell). 

 

Based on Patricia Highsmith's 1952 novel "The Price of Salt," the movie was named Best Film last week by the New York Film Critics Circle.

 

 

 

Also nominated for Best Motion Picture ‑ Drama were: "Mad Max: Fury Road," "The Revenant," "Room" and "Spotlight." The nominees for Best Motion Picture ‑ Musical or Comedy: "The Big Short," "Joy," "The Martian," "Spy" and "Trainwreck."

 

Here is the complete list of nominations, including television categories:

 

http://variety.com/2015/film/awards/golden-globe-nominations-2016-1201658153/

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I just watched Cinderella (2015) directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Lily James and Cate Blanchett.  This is pure Disney all the way and doesn't deviate from the story one iota.  So it is very much like you have seen it all before save for the impressive CGI taking the place of animation.

It is missing the songs which is a shame in a way.

It ticks all the right boxes; smaltzy music, beautiful people and costumes and even an appearance by Helena Bonham Carter in another trademark looney character role.

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Bogie said: Slow West (2015).  Slow being the operative word.

Trainwreck (2015) is aptly titled.  It is equal opportunity for the vulgar humour market.  And as with a lot of these crass films when it's time to get sentimental it is very heavy on the saccharin.

 

Rather than just "like" this, I wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your observations. You have great opinions and typically make me laugh out loud, like the above. 

 

New movies are generally disappointing, so it's always great to know there's something worth getting from the library for a viewing.

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I'm thrilled to see that two movies I've waited years for are finally out: Revenant and Carol.

 

I'm always surprised how little credit the writers get when a movie is made from their books, particularly in these cases where the book was huge long before the film.

 

I'm much more of a reader than a film watcher so I feel like the opening of the trailer should say, "From  Patricia Highsmith's "The Price of Salt," comes "Carol!'  For non-readers, Patricia Highsmith wrote novels in the fifties that were way ahead of her time, you may have seen,  "The Talented Mr. Ripley,"  from her book by the same name.

 

Michael Punke's "Revenant," was his first published book and a surprise hit from a new author.  I know several people who thought it was the best book they had ever read.

 

The trailer of Carol looks like it's going to do justice to the book which was just spellbinding.  Todd Haynes captures the fifties/sixties so well ("Far from Heaven," is a favorite of mine) and Cate Blanchet can do no wrong, so I can't imagine that I will be disappointed.

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I just watched Cinderella (2015) directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Lily James and Cate Blanchett.  This is pure Disney all the way and doesn't deviate from the story one iota.  So it is very much like you have seen it all before save for the impressive CGI taking the place of animation.

It is missing the songs which is a shame in a way.

It ticks all the right boxes; smaltzy music, beautiful people and costumes and even an appearance by Helena Bonham Carter in another trademark looney character role.

I loved this movie! When they first came out with Maleficent, I was skeptical of Disney trying to create live-action versions of their films, but I loved Maleficent and I really liked Cinderella.  While I agree that it followed the cartoon closely, it did implement events from the original fairy tale as well.  For example, in the Disney movie, the stepsisters try on the glass slipper, it doesn't fit.  Disillusioned, the Grand Duke is about to leave when Cinderella escapes from her room (with assistance from Gus Gus and Jaq) and tries on the slipper.  In the original fairy tale, the step sister actually cuts off a toe in order to fit the shoe.  In the new movie, the stepmother, determined to have her daughter marry the prince, cuts the toe off herself. 

 

I loved the CGI, especially in the scene where the pumpkin turns into the carriage inside the greenhouse.  Helena Bonham Carter is a treasure.  I love her and she was fantastic as the fairy godmother.  She also narrated the film.  I also really like Cate Blanchett.  I thought she was fantastic as the glamorous, yet cold, step mother. 

 

I loved the film, but my biggest takeaway from the film was that the Prince's pants were a wee bit revealing... 

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I just watched Denis Villeneuve's Sicario (2015) which is about the drug trade in the Mexican border town of Juarez.  The first 30 minutes are thrilling and the rest of the film ain't that bad either.

Benicio Del Toro is a standout as a Columbian working for the U.S. government anti-drug forces.

I found it a tad hard to follow the story at times but given the main character is supposed to be confused by the events that enfold I just went with the flow.

Villeneuve is slated to do a Blade Runner film.  

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Last week, the American Film Institute was scheduled to announce its Top 10 movies and Top 10 television shows of 2015. But the organization decided to postpone its lists until Wednesday, December 16, 2015 to enable its voters to see "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." The much awaited sequel -- the first "Star Wars" release in a decade -- opens on Friday. But Disney decided not to afford critics an early opportunity to see the film, directed by J.J. Abrams ("Star Trek," "Mission: Impossible III").

 


 

Last year's AFI Top 10 movies list featured a tie for the first time. The 11 selections were: "American Sniper," "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)", "Boyhood," "Foxcatcher," "The Imitation Game," "Interstellar," "Into the Woods," "Nightcrawler," "Selma," "Unbroken" and "Whiplash."

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Last week, the American Film Institute was scheduled to announce its Top 10 movies and Top 10 television shows of 2015. But the organization decided to postpone its lists until Wednesday, December 16, 2015 to enable its voters to see "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." The much awaited sequel -- the first "Star Wars" release in a decade -- opens on Friday. But Disney decided not to afford critics an early opportunity to see the film, directed by J.J. Abrams ("Star Trek," "Mission: Impossible III").
 
 
Last year's AFI Top 10 movies list featured a tie for the first time. The 11 selections were: "American Sniper," "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)", "Boyhood," "Foxcatcher," "The Imitation Game," "Interstellar," "Into the Woods," "Nightcrawler," "Selma," "Unbroken" and "Whiplash."

 

 

 

I'm really looking foward to watching this years nominees .. haven't seen any yet though.  We watch all the Oscar nominated Movies for Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Actor ... and a few others we really want to watch that aren't nominated.

 

I'm most looking foward to The Revenant 

 

Last years favs were

 

"Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)" and "The Imitation Game"

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I'm really looking foward to watching this years nominees .. haven't seen any yet though.  We watch all the Oscar nominated Movies for Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Actor ... and a few others we really want to watch that aren't nominated.

 

I'm most looking foward to The Revenant 

 

Last years favs were

 

"Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)" and "The Imitation Game"

 

It'll be interesting to see if the American Film Institute adds the "Star Wars" movie to the list since the organization waited for a chance to see it.

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Overwrought is too plain a word to describe The Danish Girl (2015).  Hot off his success portraying disabled, Stephen Hawking actor Eddie Redmayne tackles another Award friendly role in that of a transgender person.  Every moment in this film seems to be a study or a pose.  Every line of dialogue is delivered in a hoarse whisper.

The female actors, Alicia Vikander and Amber Heard are just OTT dreadful.

The costumes are great but they are straight off the rack and don't look like they have every been worn by a human being.

My favourite scene is when Redmayne goes to a society function in drag for the very first time.  Even though he is barking dog ugly of course every man in the room is tripping over themselves wanting to fling themselves at this feet.  Come on!

If not for Redmayne's competence as an actor this would be one for the "I Would Rather Stick Needles In My Eyes Than Watch ..." thread 

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Overwrought is too plain a word to describe The Danish Girl (2015).  Hot off his success portraying disabled, Stephen Hawking actor Eddie Redmayne tackles another Award friendly role in that of a transgender person.  Every moment in this film seems to be a study or a pose.  Every line of dialogue is delivered in a hoarse whisper.

The female actors, Alicia Vikander and Amber Heard are just OTT dreadful.

The costumes are great but they are straight off the rack and don't look like they have every been worn by a human being.

My favourite scene is when Redmayne goes to a society function in drag for the very first time.  Even though he is barking dog ugly of course every man in the room is tripping over themselves wanting to fling themselves at this feet.  Come on!

If not for Redmayne's competence as an actor this would be one for the "I Would Rather Stick Needles In My Eyes Than Watch ..." thread

 

Lol! Your newer release movie reviews seem to be mostly negative, but man are they fun to read, especially if you picture your avatar reading them with that annoyed, disgusted look on his face the whole time.

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"Mad Max: Fury Road," director George Miller's continuation of the post-apocalyptic series he began in 1979, earned 13 Critics' Choice Movie Awards nominations today. The film stars Tom Hardy (who took over the role of Max, originally played by Mel Gibson), Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Zoë Kravitz, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Riley Keough.

 

Hardy was not nominated for Best Actor, but he was recognized in the Best Supporting Actor category for his performance in "The Revenant." He did earn a nod for "Mad Max: Fury Road" in the category of Best Actor in an Action Movie.

 

Theron received nominations for Best Actress and Best Actress in an Action Movie.

 

On December 1, the National Board of Review selected "Mad Max: Fury Road" as its Best Picture of 2015.

 

The Critics' Choice Movie Awards are presented by the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA). The 21st annual awards ceremony will be televised live by the A&E Network on January 17, 2016. 

 

 

 

The critics' organization nominated the film in the following categories:

  • Best Picture 
  • Best Actress: Theron. 
  • Best Director: Miller.
  • Best Cinematography: John Seale. 
  • Best Production Design: Colin Gibson.
  • Best Editing: Margaret Sixel. 
  • Best Costume Design: Jenny Beavan. 
  • Best Hair and Makeup
  • Best Visual Effects
  • Best Action Movie
  • Best Actor in an Action Movie: Hardy.
  • Best Actress in an Action Movie: Theron. 
  • Best Sci-Fi/Horror Movie

 

Gibson starred as the futuristic savior Max Rockatansky in Miller's "Mad Max" (1979), "The Road Warrior" (1982) and "Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome" (1985).

 

Three other 2015 films -- "Carol," "The Martian" and "The Revenant" -- received nine Critics Choice nominations each.

 

http://www.vulture.com/2015/12/heres-2016-critics-choice-awards-nominations.html

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By the way, Riley Keough -- who plays the character Capable in "Mad Max: Fury Road" -- is the granddaughter of Elvis Presley and Priscilla Beaulieu Presley. The 26-year-old actress and model is the eldest child of Lisa Marie Presley.

 

 

 

Meanwhile, Keough's co-star Zoë Kravitz is the daughter of the Grammy Award-winning recording artist Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet, who starred in the 1980s NBC sitcoms "The Cosby Show" and "A Different World." The 27-year-old actress and model's paternal grandmother was the late Roxie Roker, who starred as Helen Willis in "The Jeffersons."

 

Zoë Kravitz appears in "Mad Max: Fury Road" as a character named Toast the Knowing.

 

 

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I just watched Love & Mercy (2014) which had its premiere at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival but was released to the public just this year meaning it is eligible for the 2015 awards season.

It is the story of Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys fame.  Paul Dano plays the younger Wilson and John Cusack the older, drug addled reclusive Wilson.

The film is highly enjoyable and at its best when it turns to the story of the younger Brian Wilson and we get to see the electric performance of Paul Dano.  He has already received several critics awards as Best Actor of the year and not surprisingly has been put in the supporting category for the bigger awards like the Golden Globes.  For me, it is a co-lead performance.  Paul Giamatti is the one who should be considered as the supporting choice.  His slime ball Doctor Landy who keeps Wilson under lock and key is highly entertaining too.

The deconstruction and then re-construction of the making of Good Vibrations in the music studio is a great set piece reminiscent of Godard's Sympathy For the Devil, aka One Plus One (1968) with the Rolling Stones.

This might be good back-to-back viewing with the Canadian feature, Whale Music (1994) which has Maury Chaykin playing a Brian Wilson-like character when in his 300 pound reclusive phase.  Though that film suffered because it could not use The Beach Boys songs.  Love & Mercy has no such problem.

For a fuller look at the beginnings of The Beach Boys, the tv movie, The Story of the Beach Boys: Summer Dreams (1990) wasn't too bad either.

 

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Good thing the American Film Institute delayed its announcement of its Top 10 movies of 2015 until it could see "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."

 

The much-anticipated sequel -- the first "Star Wars" release in a decade -- made the AFI's list. The nine other movies: "The Big Short," "Bridge of Spies," "Carol," "Inside Out," "Mad Max: Fury Road," "The Martian," "Room," "Spotlight" and "Straight Outta Compton."

 


 


The AFI's Top 10 television programs of the year: "The Americans" (fx), "Better Call Saul," (AMC), "black-ish" (ABC), "Empire" (FOX), "Fargo" (fx), "Game of Thrones" (HBO), "Homeland" (Showtime), "Master of None" (Netflix), "Mr. Robot" (USA) and "UnReal" (Lifetime).

 

An AFI Special Award was announced for the AMC television series "Mad Men," which ended its seven-season run in May 2015.

 


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