By Maria Loizou
2015 was yet again another fantastic year of film, so I thought that I would look back on the films of the year I enjoyed the most, and then decide what I believe my top 10 are. This list is extremely diverse, which I believe just proves how accessible any genre of film can be if you’re willing to give it a try.
10. The Avengers: Age of Ultron
The superheroes are back to combine their powers and fight against Ultron, a robot threatening the human race. This was the first of the Avengers films I had seen, and after a few ‘who are they?’ questions to the annoyance of my superfan friends, I found the plot gripped me straight away. Although there are many central characters, the viewer is still able to feel a relationship with each Avenger, and I may have even shed a tear at the end.
9. Ted 2
After the great success of Ted, the thought of a sequel was exciting, but I also had my doubts. Would it just be the same again? I was very much proven wrong. The film again centres on Ted and his wife Tami-Lynn, and Ted needs to prove that he is in fact a human. A ridiculous plot, but when taking the film for what it is – slapstick – it is hilarious. Also with actors such as Amanda Seyfried, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson and Jay Leno, this also seems to give the film a little more legitimacy.
8. Furious 7
One of the most hotly anticipated films of the year, and after the tragic death of Paul Walker, Furious 7 continues the series, 14 years after the first release. The usual gang are in a battle against Dominic Toretto (Jason Statham) seeking revenge for the death of his brother. For me, it wasn’t the general plot of the film that put this on my list, it was the finale. For a film about cars, the sincerity of the final scene, saying goodbye to Paul Walker was extremely emotional and represented the genuine closeness between the cast.
This is live-action remake of arguably the most famous Disney Princess, and as a huge Disney fan I had to see it. The retelling of the story also modernises it in content, showing ‘Ella’ as a strong female protagonist providing a strong female role model for young girls to look up to. The film was entertaining, with elements of comedy, and a few chances to wipe away the tears. It provides a sense of escapism from the real world and is a film that I’ll watch again and again.
Nearly 100 years later since women gained the vote, a film focusing on the fight of the Suffragettes was always going to draw attention. With a star studded cast including Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, and Meryl Streep, this just made the film even more attractive. For me, I was slightly disappointed in the content of the film, with not enough Meryl Streep and an inability to empathise with Mulligan’s character. However, considering the message of the film and the shocking statistics at the end, this film had to make it into the top 10.
A film nominated for several awards, this is the story of Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller) who is striving to reach the top of his musical ability, whilst being mentored by Terrence Fletcher (JK Simmons). The film is nothing more but a stroke of genius; one of the most intelligent, passionate films that I have seen in a long time. You as the viewer feel a part of the journey Andrew goes through. Absolutely flawless.
A documentary on Amy Winehouse was always going to be popular, and I was desperate to watch it. This was not only as a fan of Amy Winehouse, I was also curious to see how the documentary would address her career. The film uses personal videos, interviews, and TV clips to tell the story of Amy Winehouse and her rise to fame and, ultimately, how it impacted her – particularly regarding the relationship with Blake. Her songs are brought into the films with the lyrics written on the screen, making the viewer relate to them even more. I finished the documentary with goosebumps. I felt as if I had been slightly invasive of Amy’s whole world.
Daniel Craig was back again to reprise the legendary role of James Bond. Bond uncovered the existence of a dangerous organisation called Spectre, but needs help from the daughter of a previous enemy. As he gets closer to reaching Spectre, there is a frightening coincidence that Bond finds between himself and his nemesis. Daniel Craig just seems to get better in his role as James bond, and has truly grown into the part. The film is, as always, action packed, with many plot twists to keep the audience intrigued.
2. The Martian
Feared to be similar to Gravity, The Martian really developed its own identity. Matt Damon stars as Mark Whatney, an astronaut presumed dead after a vicious storm and trapped on Mars. Using only what he has left, the film follows his attempt to make it back to earth, alive. This film was excellent, and I believe that so because of Damon’s character. Mark Whitney has a sense of humour, extreme intelligence and determination that keeps the viewer gripped, providing a Sci-Fi film that isn’t too off-putting.
1. Inside Out
To me, there was no other film this year that had the effect on me that Inside Out did. A Pixar film, the story follows Riley, an 11 year old girl – but this is turned around. Instead of seeing the perspective of Riley, the main characters are her emotions; with Joy, Anger, Disgust, Fear and Sadness. When Riley moves to a new city and has an identity crisis, the emotions must work together to keep Riley happy – what they believe is the ultimate goal. This film, although intended for children, is one that adults probably enjoy much more. There are the usual double-entendres often in Pixar films, and is one of the most clever films I have seen for a long time, whilst still remaining light-hearted and comical.