Molly’s Game, written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, feels like a film that continually jingling a set of shiny keys directly in front of your face; sure, it grabs your attention, but it soon becomes irritating, and then insufferable. The film’s premise is interesting, at first, and it offers the usual characteristics that you’ve come accustom to, when it comes to Sorkin-esque characters, but as it went on and it continued to be exactly what I expected it to be, the more tedious and uninteresting I found it to be. There were certainly elements to this film that I enjoyed, and I am a fan of Sorkin’s style and his previous work, but there was something about this film (his directorial debut) that I found myself unable to like. Let’s explore what Molly’s Game has to offer and see if it’s something you might enjoy. Read more
Miss Sloane, directed by John Madden, is a film that offers both a powerhouse performance by, Jessica Chastain and a powerhouse of a character; one that dominates every scene she is in, and has your full attention at all times (quite deservingly). And then beyond that it also has a tightly woven narrative that keeps you engaged in a subject that isn’t always the easiest to make compelling on-screen. There are many complexities to discuss within, Miss Sloane so let’s dispense with the introduction and get onto the review. Read more
So now that I have seen all the films nominated for best picture, and reviewed them all, I wanted to go ahead and create an easy place for anyone to be able to find and read my full and in depth reviews on all of them. I also wanted to rank the films from what I felt where the best to the not so best. Now what I mean by not so best, is that while the films are certainly still good they just don’t compete on the same level as the ones higher on the list. At no point am I saying that these films are bad or shouldn’t be seen, simply that they lack the same level of quality and deserved attention as some of the others.
Before I jump into the films I want to give my thoughts on the selection itself. Personally for me this year the assortment of films was weak compared to previous years – that’s frustrating because there have been some films that have more than deserved the attention and recognition, but for some reason where overlooked or perhaps not even considered (I’m not sure).
Personally for me, four films that have certainly been overlooked and were much more deserving of a place in the best picture category were Sicario – directed by Denis Villeneuve (you can read the full review for that here), Carol – directed by Todd Haynes (full review for that here), Steve Jobs – directed by Danny Boyle (the review for that is here) and finally Creed – directed by Ryan Coogler (of which the review for that is here). In my mind all these film were astounding watches and far more deserving of the nomination. What would I have taken out in place of those films? That’s easy – Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, The Martian and most definitely The Big Short. Again all great films (except one of course) but let’s be honest nowhere near the same level as the films I’ve just mentioned.
But anyway that’s my two cents on all of that. Now I want to get onto the main purpose of this whole piece – The Best Picture Nominations. So what I’m going to do is rank the films from 1 to 8 (favourite to least favourite) and then give you a quick snippet of what I liked (or didn’t like) about the film. Also if you want to know more, you can click on any of the films and get taken to my full reviews which will let you know more fully what I thought about the film. Sound good? Great, then on with the show then. Read more
It has certainly been a mixed bag in terms of the quality of films that have come out this year. I’ve been up and down with what has come out in 2015 – there have been some real surprises – films that snuck up on me and then just took all of my attention and hoarded it for itself. But there have also been long stretches this year where I’ve been left disappointed or underwhelmed by the offerings. In particular would be 2015’s summer blockbuster season which compared to last year has been a bland assortment of films or in some cases complete disasters (I’m looking at you Jurassic World), feel free to see my fuller thoughts on that film here.
But I’m not here to focus on the negatives; this piece is all about me sharing with you some of the films that I loved from 2015. Not a best of per-say (that always feels too definitive to me – plus everyone’s doing their best of lists at this time). This is more about me taking the time to highlight some truly special pieces of cinema or some films that didn’t necessarily get the attention they first deserve and I’m now taking the chance to make you aware of them and how great they are.
The last thing I’ll say before I get to the part that I know you’re probably more interested in and is the only reason you really clicked onto this piece (thank you for doing so I might add) is that these films are in no particular order. I’m just going to run through the films in the order that suits me and then will give a little detail on what makes them so great – I may even sneak in what is by personal favourite film of the year – actually there’s no may about it, I will be talking about my favourite film of 2015. Anyway that’s me done with this rambling section, now onto the next rambling section; the films that I think deserve your attention from 2015. Read more
Crimson Peak, directed by Guillermo Del Toro is a genre hopping delight. This is a film bustling with wonderful characters — stunning sets and locations, and some truly brilliant performances. So much of Crimson Peak is a joy for the senses and despite some minor hiccups – this is a film that stands tall above the current competition. Read more
The Martian, directed by Ridley Scott is an emotionally engrossing film that pulls you in with the story of survival and then delights you with some solid acting and some absolutely stunning and well realised visual and practical effects. Read more