Sunday, February 14, 2016

Best Films of 2015

I am much later getting this posted than usual. I usually try to force myself to do it right at the beginning of the year - but there are always films coming out in January that should be under consideration, so it's always tempting to wait a bit. And when you wait a couple days to get Carol in, it's easier to wait another week for Revenant, and another for Son of Saul - and before you know it, it's February. And then your copy of Out 1 arrives, and that is what you do for a week or two. And yes, I know, I'm lazy. But here we are.

Was it a good year for film? Not bad. Lots of good films - maybe not so much obviously magnificent. I've felt that way the last couple years - no lack of enjoyable, intelligent films - but not as many that jump out to grab you. Maybe it's me - maybe it's the industry, turning into television, where even the good stuff gets flattened out somehow. Changes in technology and distribution and viewing habits and the critical environment all might be leading to a world of smaller feeling, more modest films. It feels like it's been that way for a while - I'm not sure there are any films from the 2010s that would make a top 10 of the 2000s. I don't know. This is the kind of thing that can shift very quickly - something can click, and a host of films I thought were nice and accomplished could look like masterpieces. I can't separate perception from what I am perceiving here. And I know this can follow my viewing habits - and I have become rather complaisant about seeing films, not chasing down titles in every special series the way I have. That can change too. So leave it. It's not like it's a bad thing - a world of reliably enjoyable and moving films is not a world to complain about.

And so? the films, cut a couple ways. First - things released in 2015, whatever their age:

1. Winter Sleep
2. The Look of Silence
3. The Forbidden Room
4. The Assassin
5. Phoenix
6. Adieu au Langage
7. Tangerine
8. The Clouds of Sils Maria
9. About Elly
10. The Wolfpack
11. Taxi
12. Jauju
13. Youth
14. Carol
15. The Big Short
16. Diary of a Teenaged Girl
17. Son of Saul
18. The Tribe
19. The Revenant
20. Bridge of Spies
21. Mustang
22. What We Do In the Shadows
23. The Hateful 8
24. Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock and Roll
25. Grandma

Made in 2015 - a first cut:

1. The Look of Silence
2. The Forbidden Room
3. The Assassin
4. Tangerine
5. The Wolfpack
6. Taxi
7. Youth
8. Carol
9. The Big Short
10. Diary of a Teenaged Girl

And to take the chance to look back a year - what about 2014? This is what I posted at the end of the year:

1. Boyhood
2. Grand Budapest Hotel
3. The Babadook
4. Inherent Vice
5. The Rover
6. Love is Strange
7. Mr. Turner
8. Citizenfour
9. Force Majeure
10. Cavalry

And this is the tally now:

1. Boyhood
2. Winter Sleep
3. Grand Budapest Hotel
4. Phoenix
5. Babadook
6. Adieu au Langage
7. Inherent Vice
8. Clouds of Sils Maria
9. Leviathan
10. The Rover
11. Mr. Turner
12. Love is Strange
13. Juaju
14. Two Days, One Night
15. Citizen Four
16. Actress
17. Force Majeure
18. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
19. The Tribe
20. What We Do In the Shadows
21. Don't think I've Forgotten
22. Cavalry
23. Selma
24. 20,000 Days on Earth
25. 99 Homes

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