Black Ribbon’s Top Film’s of 2015: Part One
Top Films of 2015: 20-11
What a resounding year it has been in the world of cinema. Not only have we had the grand-scale return of beloved franchises such as Bond and of course, STAR WARS, but we have also been treated to a vast range of quality independent movies that although may have gone slightly under the wide-appeal radar, haven’t shied away from deserved critical acclaim. Although it is nearly impossible to catch up with every single release each and every week of the year, Black Ribbon has worked extensively to provide weekly reviews of the newest releases throughout 2015, and here is the first part of my own personal top films of the year, starting with numbers twenty through to eleven…
20. Ex Machina
Remember how good 28 Days Later was? Well after taking on the infected in the streets of London, writer Alex Garland takes on directorial duties for Ex Machina, a creepy, claustrophobic thriller focusing on the concept of artificial intelligence, nodding ever-so slightly into the realms of Blade Runner, but resulting in a solid first outing for the talented Garland and reasserting the talents of both Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander. If it’s creepy sci-fi chills you are after, Ex Machina is definitely for you.
In Enemy, Denis Villeneuve goes full-out Lynch mode, even so far by casting Blue Velvet actress Isabella Rossellini in a minor, if rather significant role, but the real masterwork of Enemy is the way in which questions are left without straightforward answers without ever feeling self-indulgent or being created for the credit of being linked to the work of Lynch himself like this years’ terrible Lost River. Spooky, weird, and featuring the creepiest ending to a film this year, Enemy is another win in the ever-growing back catalogue of Canadian Villeneuve.
A rather late addition to the floor, but within Carol, we witness director Todd Hayne’s beautifully elegant and incredibly delicate portrayal of forbidden romance and social acceptability with Oscar-worthy performances from both the radiant Cate Blanchett and the all-eyes spectacle that is the brilliant Rooney Mara. Carol is not only a great film, it is one that has been made with pride and admiration and wants the viewer to sit back and let the film simmer in its’ beauty and marvelous attention to detail.
17. Montage of Heck
21 years after his death, Kurt Cobain is still undoubtedly one of the biggest household names when it comes to the reinvention of the rock genre during the grunge outbreak of the 1990’s with Montage of Heck a comprehensive insight into the star’s early childhood, his rise to fame, through to the endearing legacy of Nirvana’s impact on the musical industry during their way-too short stint on this beloved planet. Although the film does dwell on the presence and influence of Courtney Love a bit too much, Montage of Heck is a insightful and creative window into the world of music’s most tragic hero.
16. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
Talking of David Lynch, Ana Lily Amirpour’s noir-influenced genre horror takes the Lynchian recipe book and creates a masterpiece of vampiric mythology, resorting to long takes of silence and intrigue and bursts of violence representing the best bits of the age-old vampire story and producing a eerie and compelling drama of love, lust and desire, all incorporated around a equally eerie soundtrack. Think Let The Right One In meets Eraserhead, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night is a real triumph.
15. A Most Violent Year
Featuring two of my favourite acting talents in this current cinematic climate, A Most Violent Year focuses on Oscar Isaac’s Abel Morales’ attempts to further advance his Oil Company whilst battling external violent pressures and the threat of continual hijackings, all the while being guided by his femme-fatale of a wife played by the majestic Jessica Chastain. Brilliantly acted and directed, A Most Violent Year produces tension in areas that in other films would only be trivial in a vein similar to that of the master of suspense himself, Alfred Hitchcock.
14. Bridge of Spies
Only extending Steven Spielberg and Tom Hank’s remarkable partnership is Bridge of Spies, a tremendous cold-war thriller focusing on American attorney James Donovan’s attempts to negotiate the exchange of Mark Rylance’s Russian spy Rudolf Abel for two American captives in Soviet Russia. If the spectacle of the ice-cold cinematography of Germany and the captivating supporting performance from Rylance aren’t enough to keep you entertained for two hours or so, then nothing will. A gem of an entry into the ever-growing back catalogue of entertainment auteur, Steven Spielberg.
13. Straight Outta Compton
Flawlessly acted and bouncing with style and substance, Straight Outta Compton focuses on the rise and fall of N.W.A, the notorious hip-hop group featuring the likes of Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and Eazy-E. With uncanny re-recorded takes on the groups musical back catalogue, F. Gary Gray’s choice to focus primarily on the relationships rather than the social spectacle presents an interesting and compelling drama that fulfilled and exceeded any expectations proceeding it.
12. Steve Jobs
If double-billed with the equally fabulous, The Social Network, Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs would showcase a masterpiece of cinematic writing from Aaron Sorkin whose latest screenplay is undoubtedly one of the best produced this year with it being filled with quick one-liners, snappy dialogue, and a tendency to think everyone is as clever as he is. Fassbender does a great job in the lead role, with kudos too going to the likes of Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen and Jeff Daniels, but Steve Jobs belongs to Sorkin. It’s rather good.
Amidst all the craziness of superheroes and dinosaurs this year is Brooklyn, a wonderful romantic drama penned by Nick Hornby and starring Saoirse Ronan in a leading performance that is set to bring a rafter of nominations and awards after being universally acclaimed for her portrayal of the alienated-Irish wanderer who begins a new life in the United States only to question where she really feels at home. Wonderfully costumed and acted almost too well, Brooklyn is a real treat and deserves all the praise it hopefully gets in the coming months or so.
Part Two Coming Soon…
Posted on 14/12/2015, in Uncategorized and tagged 2015, A Most Violent Year, Best Films, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, enemy, entertainment, Ex Machina, Film 2015, Film Review, John Wick, Montage of Heck, Steve Jobs, Straight Outta Compton, Top Films of 2015. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.