Friday, 1 January 2016

My Best of Movies and TV in 2015!

I feel like reading sometimes took a backseat to Netflix binges in 2015 (Bloodline and Friday Night Lights were the biggest culprits here!) so I decided to take a look back at some of the best Movies and TV I watched in 2015. 

Disclaimer: These are in no order of preference or release date -- it typically takes me a while to catch up on all the movies I watch to watch (case-in-point Side Effects which was on my to-watch list for two years before I finally watched it).


MOVIES



Generally, I don't love a lot of movies. I'm one of those people who thinks that Hollywood is lazy as  hell these days, churning out boring blockbuster after boring superhero movie, none of which ever appeals to me. You won't find any Hollywood blockbusters on my end-of-year lists - ever.  I'm more of an Old Hollywood fan - and I have a handful of contemporary movies that I love and watch over and over again (Almost Famous, Before Sunrise and (500) Days of Summer, to name three). 

But here are some movies I watched and enjoyed last year. 




Alexander Skarsgard, Kristen Wiig and Bel Powley star in this 1970's San Francisco-set drama based on the novel of the same name by Phoebe Gloeckner.  It may be the era of free love, but feelings run deep and stakes are high when fifteen-year-old Minnie (Powley) enters into an illicit relationship with her mother's boyfriend, played by Skarsgard.

In short: A funny, frank and honest coming-of-age tale, where the star shines in her role. Bel Powley is one to watch.


*****




A psychological thriller that is refreshing in its unpredictability (something of a rarity these days), Side Effects tells the story of a young woman (Rooney Mara) and her struggle with depression in the wake of her husband's release from prison. Mara's performance is standout in a movie that is a clever commentary on a prescription pill popping generation and the big-money-making pharmaceutical industry that peddles it. 

In short:  Just so clever.

*****




  
Here's a bit about Copenhagen from my original review back in January 2015....

I love a good indie flick - even better when it's set in a stunning location. Copenhagen isn't perfect by any means, but if you liked Before Sunrise and Lost in Translation, then I think this will be right up your street.  Copenhagen tells the story of William who is at something of a crossroads in his life (he's a kidult, kind of an ass, and he needs to grow up fast.) Enter Effy, a Danish girl who is wise beyond her years...


*****

TV SHOWS



The Jinx was pretty much the best thing I saw on TV last year.  Here's a mini review I wrote back in April...

If you loved Serial - or even if you've never heard of Serial - you should watch this. The Jinx is a must-watch documentary series centering on millionaire Robert Durst - and it is truly fascinating stuff. This is one of the best things I've seen in a while. Durst is a compelling character - and the findings and outcome of this six-part documentary series are very interesting indeed. Watch as Durst makes a jury laugh out loud (more than once) while he is on trial for the murder and dismemberment of his supposed friend. Watch (in disbelief) as he quite literally gets away with murder.  Watch as many, many twists in this tale unfold during the making of this documentary. It is truly riveting - and chilling - stuff.

*****

I'm going to talk about some new shows I liked this year, because while a few of my old favourites have been awesome of late (Homeland, How To Get Away With Murder) I did find a few new shows to get hooked on.  I'm not going to talk about Friday Night Lights here because I've already talked about it at length and you all know by now that I think it's THE BEST THING EVER. Texas Forever etc.

So...


Bloodline. Amazing. Ben Mendelsohn - even more amazing! Season 2 should be happening in March and I'm very interested to see where they go with that!

You can read more about my thoughts on Bloodline HERE


*****




Flesh and Bone is the dark and edgy mini-series from Starz which features actual ballet dancers in the major roles, so no dance doubles and some amazing ballet sequences. Some of the storylines are kinda hokey, but I fell for this show anyway. If there was a second series, I would totally keep watching. 

*****


Mr. Robot was another favourite of mine. Think Fight Club meets The Matrix via American Psycho. Very clever, very cool and very compelling. 


*****


What were the best movies and TV shows you watched last year? Got any recommendations for me?




P.S: You want to know what I think SUCKS right now? Scandal. What has happened to my once-favourite show? It's going downhill fast! 

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