Awards season is in full bloom. And while we can discuss the most-talked about films in the running for Oscar gold, I think it’s also important to look back on other noteworthy films from the last year.
Below, my favorites of 2015.
1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Quite possibly the most anticipated film of the decade, “The Force Awakens” brought tears of joy to not only my non-crying-self, but to grown men around the world. The franchise’s over-branding of consumer products over the last year, alone, brought curiosity and excitement to fans in galaxies far, far away about what the sequel had in store.
The cast’s tight-lipped appearances and interviews made us even more anxious to see the film… and it totally delivered! The film was EPIC. Director J.J. Abrams reminds us why we fell in love with “Star Wars” in the first place. I left the theater feeling exhilarated and, although I couldn’t, I wanted to spread the word immediately about how amazing I thought it was. The fact that I would pay to go see “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” again in a theater, and cannot wait to own it on Blu-ray, solidifies this film as my No. 1 movie of the year.
2. The Martian
Up until I watched “Star Wars Episode VII”, “The Martian” held the top spot on my list of favorite films for months. Most people have jumped on the “Spotlight” bandwagon, but I’m just going to put it out there: Among the list of award show Best Picture nominees, “The Martian” is the best. Great ensemble cast, awesome visual effects, perfect amount of humor, solid heart-felt film score, and a creative, well-researched screenplay. “The Martian” has exactly the right amount of ingredients to make a Best Picture recipe.
3. Jurassic World
Say what you want, but the big kid inside me absolutely loved “Jurassic World,” the highly anticipated fourth film of the “Jurassic Park” franchise. With today’s technology, the dinosaurs and visual effects looked exceptional. Pure nostalgia–boosted by set pieces from the original film–is what made me really like the film. Add to that “Jurassic Park” composer John Williams’ original melodies were maintained in the sequel’s musical score.
4. Avengers: Age of Ultron
As a major Marvel fan, I’m always excited for every movie the studio churns out. I find them to be made exceptionally well. Fun, bright costumes, great humor, creative and detailed storylines, and epic, well-casted characters. “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is MARVEL-ous.
This film was a pleasant surprise. I’ve had this screener for a while but only recently watched the film after all of the buzz it received. Michael B. Jordan’s physical transformation is visible proof of the commitment he made to the role. Unexpected chemistry between Jordan and veteran actor Sylvester Stallone, Rocky Balboa himself, made me fall in love with the duo. Genuine chemistry and genuinely loveable actors is what makes an audience truly care about what happens to the characters in the film. It’s rare, but it was found in “Creed.”
6. The Divergent Series: Insurgent
As a fan of “The Divergent” book series, I always look forward to the movie adaptations. Shailene Woodley steals the show in the franchise. Shai, who is well known as a “hugger,” is so genuine, kind and intelligent in interviews that it’s hard not to love every movie she’s in. There is one scene in particular in “Insurgent” that really made me fall in love with her–and that is when her character Tris is forced to confront her demons and, through truth serum, must share her darkest secret. It’s an incredibly emotional scene that rips at my heart every time. “Insurgent” is currently running on HBO and is one of those films I find myself automatically clicking on even though I’ve seen it more than 10 times.
“Room” is astounding. Following the film, I found myself mentioning the storyline and young actor Jacob Tremblay to everyone I had a conversation with. Tremblay deserves to be nominated as a Supporting Actor. Although he is only nine years old, he is incredible and delivers an impressive performance in the film- and he’s adorable in person!! “Room” is a heart-stopping, gripping and remarkable film. One of the most powerful films of the year.
8. The Danish Girl
Although the film didn’t garner as much attention and love as I thought it would–and wanted it to–“The Danish Girl” is still one of my favorite films of the year. Breakout star Alicia Vikander is incredibly talented and one of my new favorite actresses. Vikander surprised industry observers when performance earned her a Golden Globes Best Actress nomination and another nod for Supporting Actress for “Ex Machina.” Personally, I think Vikander should have been placed in the Supporting Actress category for her role in “The Danish Girl.” I worry that because of her placement, the award will slip away from her when placed with names like Brie Larson (“Room”) and crowd-favorite Cate Blanchett (“Carol”). My fingers are crossed for her to win the Globe for “Ex Machina,” purely because I love her the most as a person and actress!
The critics’ darling of the year, I found “Spotlight’s” true story to be shocking and an eye-opener. The most impressive thing about the film is watching interviews with the cast and the actual Boston Globe reporters. Learning about how much research the actors (Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams) did in order to portray their characters physically and mentally makes you appreciate the film even more.
Two words: Jennifer. Lawrence. The actress shines in every role she plays, and “Joy” is no exception.
Although I appreciated the filmmaking of many of the awards contenders, I still go back to the films that I know I would want to watch over and over again. That is why these are my favorite films of 2015!
Which films were your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!!