(Note: Some are listed as a 2014 release on iMDb, but were released in 2015 in the UK.)
- Suffragette – A brilliantly crafted film about the Suffragettes. Their story has never been told before, so to see that they were finally getting light shone on what they went through and fought for made it one worth watching. It was a film I anticipated for months, and it didn’t let me down. I went to see it by myself as I was so eager to watch it, and I cried at least three times. It was one of those films that made me leave the cinema feeling something. I felt grateful that I didn’t suffer what they did, and empowered that those women had the strength to make change and inspire many other generations. Equally, it opened my eyes to the fact that there are still countries and people that are fighting for their piece of equality.
- Into The Woods – This one just makes it into our list, as it was released in early January. A beloved Sondheim musical, turned into a Disney feature film – to me this was a treat. This was another film I highly anticipated, and wasn’t let down by. I was really surprised by how talented James Corden (The Baker) was, he fitted the role so perfectly and I thought he made a great chemistry with Emily Blunt (The Baker’s Wife), especially in their duet of “It Takes Two”. Meryl Streep (The Witch) was as brilliant as she always is. The rest of the ensemble also continued to keep it high quality, with the likes of Johnny Depp, Anna Kendrick, Christine Baranski and Chris Pine involved. It is a very clever twist on the classic fairy tales and characters we all know and love- it takes you beyond the ‘happy ending’.
- Inside Out – I actually did a review of this on my Tumblr blog, and this was a new Disney Pixar film that I was eagerly anticipating. As expected, I wasn’t disappointed. In simple terms: it was a film revolved around emotions in a young girl head. There are 5 dominant emotions: joy, sadness, anger, disgust & fear, and it shows how she reacts to different situations through those emotions and things start to get very complicated. I ended up crying a lot, simply because it makes you think about your life and how your mind works. It is a really clever and original film, that suits the whole family.
- Spy – After laughing at the adverts every single watch, I questioned whether it would be one of those films where the best bits were sold in a trailer and the rest would be mediocre. However, I was wrong. This is a brilliant crime comedy, lead by Melissa McCarthy (who seems to get typecast in these type of films, but always pulls them off so effortlessly) and also features the equally funny Miranda Hart and Rose Byrne, with support from Jude Law. What I loved about this, was that the lead character had a real progression. She started out as someone slightly dorky, working behind the scenes as the controller, but she ended up being one to prove everyone wrong as she became the heroine. (Bonus points for the fact that none of the comedy came from her appearance, gender or size!).
- The Theory of Everything – This is another one that just makes it into our list, as it was released on New Years Day. However, a very notable mention. I was simply blown away by Eddie Redmayne’s performance. The journey he takes the character on is incredible, and I believe he portrays the life and quirks of Stephen Hawking brilliantly. The film may give an eyeopening showcase to the heartbreaking reality of motor neuron disease, but it is so beautifully told and pieced together. It is bound to win your heart and emotions. After viewing, I realised the award show buzz was valid.
- Still Alice – This film showcased a stellar performance from Julianne Moore, and tells of a mother and wife who develops early-onset alzheimer’s in her 40s. While it’s not based on anyone in particular, you know that situations like this are possible and could happen to anyone at anytime. It opened my eyes to the truth about alzheimer’s, which if i’m honest, is something I had little knowledge on prior to viewing. This was another film that broke my heart and reduced me to tears, but in the best way, for it again captured my heart. Again, I understood after watching that the award show buzz was deserved.
- Cake – This is another film I have previously reviewed on my Tumblr blog, this is another reality based drama (I’m guessing powerful dramas were the thing for 2015!) that simply grabbed my heart. It tells a story of a woman suffering chronic pain after a tragic car incident and has a theme of suicide. Again, this was a film that opened my eyes to something I hadn’t much knowledge of and I think it was exciting that their struggles and strengths were being shared through the medium of film. This was also a break-through in this genre of film for Jennifer Aniston, and boy did she pull it off. Some branded it a “risk” but I thought it was genius, I loved seeing her in such a different role and I hope she continues to challenge her abilities. I think this film was mildly underrated.
Non-2015 films and TV shows that I discovered this year and loved: F.R.I.E.N.D.S (1995-04, yes I know i’m 20 years late to the game but I just never really got exposed to it but now i’m obsessed!), The Proposal (2009, why hadn’t I seen this sooner? I definitely ship Sandra Bullock & Ryan Renolds), Chicago (2002, a musical about female murders is definitely interesting), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007, scary maybe but a Tim Burton & Stephen Sondheim must-see), Les Miserables (2012, one of the biggest musicals ever and now I finally see why), RENT (2005, a great musical about the life of young people in NYC in the 80s/90s) & many more, as I discovered so much this year!
2016 releases to look forward to: The Danish Girl (Jan), How to Be Single (Feb), The Jungle Book (April), Bridget Jones’s Baby (April), Alice Through the Looking Glass (May), Mother’s Day (June), Finding Dory (July) & many more!