Beasts of No Nation- I didn’t see “City of God” but “Beasts” reminded me of another film, “Blood Diamond,” which it was superior to. This is actually the best I have seen Elba and that kid Attah was amazing. I saw a good story in Blood Diamond told better here. It was raw and provocative watch for me. it hit the chords I want plucked from a film like this. I won’t say I loved it but it was one of the better films I saw of 2015.
Steve Jobs- I watched this right after watching “Steve Jobs: The Man Behind the Machine” and long after watching Ashton Kutcher’s version of Apple’s whiz , “Jobs.” The uniqueness sets it apart and I can see how it could be an all or none reaction. I think many who came into this film may have been on the geek side of things and were expecting a product driven extravaganza. This was a film of great dialogue and character interaction, focusing mostly on the nuanced person the man was when it came to fostering and nurturing relationships. It was a great companion piece with “The Man Behind the Machine.” I was pleasantly surprised and glad I gave it a chance. Fassbender was right there with Dicaprio for best actor on my scorecard.
The Revenant- My first criticism when I left the theater was that it went a little long to tell that story. It felt like two and a half hours. Other than that, I was entertained by this grizzly spectacle. It was very well shot and even though Dicaprio didn’t have many lines of dialogue, the physical demands of the portrayal are evident and palpable. The Revenant was a strong film very deserving of the accolades.
Brooklyn- I watched this two nights before the Oscars and it became my instant underdog. It was just moved by almost everything about that picture. Saoirse Ronan plays Ellis Lacey so beautifully torn by the familiarity of what she knows versus the uncertainty of what could be. I cared about this character so much, twenty minutes into the picture. It was a simple film and perhaps had less layers than some of the others nominated but for my money, it may have have done the most for me in the way of ethos, making it the best I saw in 2015.
But, I can’t argue with Spotlight being #1 on your list. That had me from the jump; reeled me in and had me captivated the whole way. The only thing about it that didn’t quite add up is how they kept playing up Mark Ruffalo’s performance so much. Oscar worthy?? Please!!! He had one decent scene. He was upstaged by Stanley Tucci in every scene they were in together and his other co stars were arguably better McAdams, Keaton, and D’arcy James. Good stuff. Keep the movies alive, my friend!