It’s that time of year, Willionaire$! And this means you basically have only one more day to catch-up on some of your 2015 releases. We turn to our panel of Writers here at Mr. Will Wong and ask them which Films were their year’s best and here’s what they had to say!
2. Mad Max: Fury Road
4. The Revenant
6. The Diary of a Teenage Girl
9. Inside Out
10. Me, Earl and the Dying Girl
Brooklyn is perfect. It took me on the journey the main character was taking in a flawless and effortlessly beautiful way. This is the must see Film of the year. Mad Max: Fury Road takes the title for best Blockbuster of the year! Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara both deliver career bests in Carol. Everything about The Revenant is perfect and it should be nominated for everything. The Diary of a Teenage Girl is one of few Films I have seen that correctly depict what goes on in a teenage girl’s mind and life. Meanwhile, Room is the first Film that made me cry in years.
Duke of Burgundy
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Straight Outta Compton
Whittling down my favourites of 2015 was a harrowing task, hence I have not listed these in any particular order.
Two of my top two Docs for 2015 were Kriby Dick‘s The Hunting Ground about rape culture on American college campuses, and Jennifer Peedom‘s beautifully shot Sherpa, about the people who make climbing Mount Everest possible.
If you saw Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight then Chilean Director Pablo Larrain‘s The Club is a must see companion piece. On the opposite end spectrum is the Studio Ghibli Film When Marnie Was There – a Movie that moved me beyond tears to ugly sobbing mess.
1. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
4. Me, Earl and the Dying Girl
6. Mad Max: Fury Road
7. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. II
8. Steve Jobs
9. Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie
10. Jupiter Ascending
Jupiter Ascending proved early on that my love for Sci-Fi would be rewarded throughout the year. Ghost in the Shell’s new Movie was one such reward, whereas Steve Jobs was a reward all its own. The Hunger Games and Mad Max’s fourth installments both portrayed a future of women warriors, while elsewhere I watched men of yesteryear die atop Mt. Everest. Speaking of death, Me, Earl and the Dying Girl portrayed its complexities beautifully. Spectre added to Bond’s body count, and quickly became my favourite Film in the franchise. Chappie debated sentience with an ultra-nuanced aesthetic, and then there was… Star Wars. The Force Awakens, an episode equal to its ancestors, and without question my favourite Film of the year.
2. Son of Saul
3. The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet
5. James White
6. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
7. The Last 5 Years
8. The Danish Girl
Room is a perfect Movie. Two perfect performances. I cannot wait to watch and savour it again and again. The horrors are too real, the ideologies too obscene, the inhumanities too incomprehensible for me to fathom in Son of Saul. I can’t even write about this Movie anymore as it takes me to dark and painful places, as my mother was an Auschwitz survivor, but I am forever grateful for having seen it. Under-seen The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet seamlessly takes every emotional element that makes a Movie a classic and puts an inimitable spin on it. The best performance from Helena Bonham Carter in years. Christopher Abbott, in the title role as JAMES WHITE, gives the bravest performance I have experienced in a long time. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl was beautiful, original and has the grip of a pitbull. Alicia Vikander is purely commanding in both The Danish Girl and Ex_Machina. Distinctly different roles, both expertly-executed.
5. The Hateful Eight
6. Mad Max: Fury Road
8. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
10. What We Do In The Shadows
Charlie Kaufman’s absolutely heartbreaking Animated Film was one of my favourite Movies at both TIFF ’15 and 2015 on the whole. The Film looks deep into the soul of its audience and breaks down walls, exposing human nature in its most vulnerable form. I was absolutely blown away by how incredible Brooklyn is. Saoirse Ronan was beyond remarkable. Creed really came out of nowhere to be one of my favourites of the year. Michael B. Jordan took-on the daunting task of taking the reins from Sylvester Stallone and does a remarkable job. Ex_Machina is truly an incredible Film that should be viewed by the masses, and made me a fan of Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander. The Hateful Eight is a welcome return to form for Quentin Tarantino – in my opinion his third strongest Film behind Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs. Spotlight is a story that needed to be exposed about the truly horrific acts that have occurred within the Catholic Church and frontrunner for Best Picture.
1. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
4. Inside Out
5. The Lobster
6. Mad Max: Fury Road
7. The Martian
8. The Revenant
10. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
While we will casually remember 2015 as the year Star Wars roared back into theatres, I will remember it as the year powered by nostalgia. Everything old was new again and ideas that would have sounded ludicrous five years ago, suddenly became the Movies everyone was dying to see. So much of what I saw this year blasted past my expectations, and the stuff that missed the mark really had no chance of keeping up. Here’s hoping 2016 has just as much creativity, imagination and wildly entertaining Movies for us to enjoy!
7. Straight Outta Compton
8. The Danish Girl
9. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
10. Miss You Already
After catching wind of it filming in Toronto last winter, I had no idea that Room what would go-on to be my favourite Film of 2015. I’ve always championed Brie Larson and am glad the rest of the world got to witness the year’s greatest breakthrough performance in the Film. I am enamoured with child actor Jacob Tremblay‘s work here and won’t be surprised if the nine-year-old gets a Supporting Actor nod.
It truly was the year of Cate Blanchett, gifting us with two phenomenal portraits in both Truth and Carol, both I feel are criminally under-seen by moviegoers. I still am mesmerized and affected by Amy Schumer‘s phenomenal semi-autobiographical work in Trainwreck (also starring Brie Larson!) and I am still obsessed with Tilda Swinton‘s unrecognizable transformation!
What makes Straight Outta Compton so impressive is that it was released earlier in the year and still it stands on its own merit. And Miss You Already resonated with me emotionally myself as a Cancer survivor – regardless how unfashionable it is to choose a Chick Flick in my Top Ten. Truly impactful and under-seen performances from Toni Collette and Drew Barrymore.
And because we love Pop Culture on all fronts, a recognition of our favourite Pop Music this year:
1. Lean On – Major Lazer + DJ Snake ft. MØ
2. Hello – Adele
3. Uptown Funk! – Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars
4. Fight Song – Rachel Platten
5. Bright – Echosmith
6. One Last Time – Ariana Grande
7. Talking Body – Tove Lo
8. Hold My Hand – Jess Glynne
9. Love Me Like You Do – Ellie Goulding
10. Wildest Dreams – Taylor Swift
I absolutely killed Lean On. I love songs that elevate you and even half a year later, I still feel that little bit better when I hear it. If we’re talking albums, Adele‘s 25 is something I can recite start to finish and Hello despite being a great single, is only a taste of the amazing things on that disc. I am unashamed of my love for Uptown Funk! Am holding out for an era revival in Pop-Funk based on its success.
See Mr. Will‘s #SELFIE2015 Video highlighting many of the Celebs who this year snapped a pic with me!
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong/Amanda Gilmore/George Kozera)