Top 10 best movies 2015
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Son of Saul (2015)
Notes: I have to admit that I was 'glad' that I saw 'Shoah' not so long ago as it greatly helped me to understand what the hell was going on and to appreciate this impressive movie. To be honest, I'm not sure if you can get into this movie if your knowledge about the holocaust doesn't go beyond 'The Schindler's List' or what they teach you in school. Anyway, basically, with this movie, right from the beginning, you are immersed in some kind of chaotic and irrational mayhem, it's so relentless that the makers don't give you one single wide shot in order to breath, to take a few seconds to understand what just happened, to actually see and try to understand this whole situation. Instead, you stay close, very close, to some random man who also seems to act really irationally but, in such a doomed time and place, after spending your days helping to exterminate men, women and children just so you could survive another day, was it in anyway possible to keep your sanity and act like a sensible human-being? Coming back to their choice of never really show what was exactly going on, the effect was so more powerful, effective and horrifying, as a result, you will never forget something that you actually never really saw.
Inside Out (2015)
Notes: At last... After 5 long years and a couple of disappointing sequel/prequels, Pixar has finally come back with an amazing feature. As soon as I have heard about the interesting concept, I was already excited but since they already let me down with 'Brave', I was still a little bit cautious. Eventually, there was really nothing to worry about. Indeed, the whole thing was just downright impressive and it worked on every possible level. As expected, the animation was quite gorgeous, even though I easily could have done without the 3D. Above all, it is the amount of depth in the story and the characters involved that made the whole thing quite mesmerizing to behold. Indeed, basically, they became incredibly ambitious and decided to show what happens in the human mind, no less than that, and this journey was just fascinating.
The Hateful Eight (2015)
Notes: Well, at last, Quentin Tarantino has made an amazing come-back, delivering his best movie since many years. I mean, this time, even though it was maybe not perfect, it surely came close. Basically, not only it was a gorgeous Western with a great soundtrack by the legendary Ennio Morricone, it was also combined with a spellbinding thriller, some kind of mystery that could have come out of an Agatha Christie novel or an Alfred Hitchcock movie and this combination was just really spellbinding. Indeed, even though everyone talks during this movie, you are never sure what's actually their agenda and, during the whole thing, the only thing you can be sure is that none of them can be trusted. Eventually, what impressed me the most was how well written the whole thing was. Obviously, Tarantino has quite a reputation in this area but, recently, I thought he took himself really for granted with some half-baked results. Here, it was totally focused with some really hilarious dialogues, some very well developed characters and a tale that finally kept me on the edge of my set until the very end.
Notes: I have to admit it, at first, I kept wondering, like many other viewers I presume, why she didn't try to escape during these 7 long years. Well, first of of all, it is easier said than done. Indeed, she would have to miraculously find a code that a kidnapper could easily change on a regular basis and, apparently, there was also another door that could be opened only from the outside. But, most of all, she made the choice to survive, to stay alive, instead of risking it all with some hazardous escape attempt. Then, when her son was born, to care for him and to protect him became obviously a priority and it's only when she realized that he couldn't stay any longer that she finally came up with a plan which was still extremely dangerous. But this movie goes so much beyond that, it shows how they managed to live in confinement for all these years, how this mother still managed to give her boy a life when she was completely hopeless and how they both struggled to get back into the 'real' world. Especially for this young kid, he never knew anything else and, suddenly, within minutes, his world was completely torn apart and the end-result was just crushing to behold.
Embrace of the Serpent (2015)
Notes: To be honest, I still think the structure was actually rather straightforward though. Indeed, it was pretty much following the standard road-trip formula with the traditional rules of the genre including 2 characters from different backgrounds clashing during their travel. Still, beside this rather standard structure, it was such a fascinating and rather unique look on the Amazon and the people living there. Above all, the thing I probably loved the most was this character, Karamakate. Basically, you get to see 2 versions of this guy and, both times, this man was just so complex. Indeed, instead of going for the all wise and mighty native, the makers showed a rather flawed character and that made him even more interesting to behold. Indeed, at some point, you get to see one of the explorers, Theo von Martius, telling him that he is actually crazy, living on his own like this in the jungle and even full of sh*t with his weird rules and those moments were just priceless.
Steve Jobs (2015)
Notes: When this movie was released, even though it was critically heralded, it turned out to be a box-office flop. Apparently, the audience didn’t care for another Steve Jobs biopic only a couple of years after another one, even if it was apparently much superior than its predecessor. Even so, since it sounded really intriguing and since I have always been a big fan of Danny Boyle's work, I was still really eager to check it out. Well, eventually, I was really impressed. Indeed, I really loved this original approach and I thought it turned out to be a much more effective way to learn about a famous figure that the usual bullet points that you get with this genre. As a result, you really get the opportunity to dive into the psychological complexity of this character, thanks also to another really strong performance by Michael Fassbender who remains one of the best actors of his generation.
Beasts of No Nation (2015)
Notes: To be honest, pretty much everything you get to see in this movie was actually rather predictable but it was still a really powerful tale. I also really appreciated the fact the movie didn’t focus on some white man or white woman, which is very often the case when a movie takes place in Africa (see ‘Blood Diamonds’, ‘Shooting Dogs’, ‘Cry Freedom’, ‘The Last King of Scotland’…). Of course, you might argue that one of the most important character was played by a British actor but Idris Elba was just really good here so it worked fine for me. While watching this, I wonder how they came up with this story because the amount of details was really impressive and the whole thing felt really realistic. The other thing that I was thinking about while watching this movie is that, even though the people in such countries have a shortage of anything and, yet, there are still plenty of guns and bullets which is just sad and to see all these young children forced to become some ruthless killers was just downright heartbreaking.
Notes: Well, eventually, even though I thought it was really good, I have to admit that it didn't completely blow me away though. I mean, it was definitely a strong production, no doubt it, with a great cast, a very solid directing and one of the best stories about the war on drugs I have seen for a very long time. So, it was definitely some strong and dark material and, yet, something bothered me about the damned thing though. Basically, you are pretty much like Emily Blunt's character, they keep you in the dark during the whole thing and, as a result, the plot was sometimes rather murky and I'm not sure I was really able to follow everything and now that I have seen the damned thing, I'm not sure that everything really made sense.
The Revenant (2015)
Notes: Since I am a huge fan of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s work and since this movie was a huge critical success, I had some big expectations concerning this movie and it was definitely a high priority for me. Well, to be honest, even though I really enjoyed it, it didn’t really blow me away though. Basically, the first issue I had is that I heard so much about it before watching the damned thing, I already knew about the bear attack, about his son being killed, about the main character left behind and coming back for his revenge… Seriously, nothing happening in the first half was really surprising. Then, the 2nd issue I had is that I’m afraid I didn’t really care much about this story. I mean, sure, it was entertaining but it was not really original and it was certainly nothing really groundbreaking. Still, I really loved this movie above all because the whole thing just looked really amazing.
Notes: To be honest, I thought it took a while to take off but I guess it was maybe due to the fact that I didn't know anything about this movie or its plot before watching it. At least, right from the start, I have to admit that I was taken by its esthetic beauty thanks to a beautiful black and white photography. In fact, he did remind me of the work of Ingmar Bergman, not only with the black and white imagery, but also for its sober and minimalist look, removing any artificial effects and focusing more on the harrowing emotions experienced by the characters. Still, at last, at some point, it became pretty obvious what it was all about and, from then on, it became basically the worst nightmare for anyone who is a parent. It shows how devastating such an event can be, obviously for the parents, but also the rest of the family and even for the perpetrator. For some reason, I was especially touched by the emotions displayed by his friend who spent 10 years thinking about his buddy when he was himself only 8 years old when it all happened.
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