The end of the year is fast approaching, which can mean only one thing: it’s time for that one guy in the office who really, really likes making lists of things to start nagging everyone for to rank their favourite stuff from the 365 days just gone. With that in mind, we present to you Pedestrian TV’s list of our Favourite Films of 2015.
Although we like to think our taste is pretty solid, we’re not saying that these are the best movies of the year, but merely the ones we enjoyed, the ones that kicked the most arse, the ones we talked about well after the lights came up, the ones we pestered all our mates to go and see.
It’s worth mentioning that the coming days and weeks are stacked with potentially-great films, including Joy, The Revenant, Hateful Eight and a slightly-anticipated motion picture called Star Wars: The Force Awakens, any and all of which could flip the whole goddamn table on this list and claim the top spot.
With all that in mind, get amongst our Favourite Films (That Are Not The Force Awakens) Of 2015:
10. Diary Of A Teenage Girl
This is a beautifully put together film revolving around the endlessly charming character Minnie Goetze – a 15-year-old aspiring cartoonist who just wants to direct her raging teen hormones in the direction of another naked human body – played by newcomer Bel Powley. Her efforts are supported by Kristen Wiig and Alexander Skarsgard, as her mother and mother’s boyfriend whom she bangs, respectively. Don’t get turned off by all the whimsy, Diary of a Teenage Girl takes an unflinching and refreshing look at female sexuality and was written and directed by an abundantly talented, and yet relatively unknown, lady named Marielle Heller.
9. Holding The Man
Like Gayby Baby, this Aussie gem is a thought-provoking toe-dip into the murky waters of society’s view on gay relationships. Based on actor Timothy Conigrave‘s bestselling memoir of the same name, Ryan Corr does an A+ job of portraying Tim himself, while Craig Stott doubles down on the intimacy as his long-time lover John (they meet in high school). It’s sometimes confronting and always heartfelt, which are all the trademarks of a Neil Armfield film (he also directed Candy with Heath Ledger).
8. Magic Mike XXL
Look, Magic Mike XXL could have made this list purely for the abs-and-dong heavy poster, but it’s a lot more than that. We’ve seen thirsty Channing Tatum enthusiasts walk out of both this and the last Magic Mike film, disappointed at the amount of talking relative to the amount of naked male flesh, but this loose, funny hangout film, about male strippers on a road trip to Florida, tickled us no end. We’d happily stuff a dollar down its skimpy pants.
7. Kurt Cobain: Montage Of Heck
This authorised biography of Kurt Cobain is the first film to be made about him with the co-operation of his family. It peers behind the myths that have sprung up around the Nirvana singer in the two decades since his death to present him as a human being, a husband and father, and a tragically-flawed figure.
6. Inside Out
Pixar’s mastery of the ‘Kids Films That Make Sobbing Wrecks Out Of Adults’ is pretty well unrivalled at this point, and this year, they unleashed another classic in that genre in the form of Inside Out. The deceptively-simple film somehow manages to represent the breadth of human emotion in five colourful, larger-than-life characters, and the fact that it stars some of our favourite people, like Amy Poehler, Bill Hader and Mindy Kaling, doesn’t exactly hurt either.
5. The Martian
‘Matt Damon gets stranded in space’ has has been a running theme in films these last few years, and the space survival story The Martian may be its finest hour. Cinephiles will remember this as the year that Ridley Scott finally remembered how to make a compelling movie again, and brought Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Donald Glover, Kate Mara and everyone else in Hollywood along for his victory lap.
4. Straight Outta Compton
We don’t know how the fuck a film about the rise of Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and Eazy-E in ’80s Compton became one of the biggest commercial hits of 2015, grossing over $200 million, but we’re very glad that it happened. The film’s production was not without its share of drama, and included an actual goddamn Suge Knight hit-and-run on set, but the end result was an enthralling and surprisingly candid hip-hop biopic.
3. Jurassic World
Given the t-rex-sized hype in the lead-up to its release, Jurassic World could easily have been a bust, but instead, it managed to be all things to all people. 2015’s biggest blockbuster (until Star Wars) delivered a self-aware riff on how originals are always better than the sequels, and gave us some heart-pumping dino action into the bargain. We still have no bloody idea how Bryce Dallas Howard‘s character got by in heels the whole time, though.
Look, we get that everyone’s sick of hearing about how this has been the year of Amy Schumer, but we’d be lying if we said we didn’t love the shit out of Trainwreck. Amy’s breakthrough feature, about a woman who fears monogamy and commitment, flipped the usual Hollywood script, and featured memorable supporting performances from Tilda Swinton and LeBron James, something we never thought we’d type. Add to this the fact that Trainwreck is Judd Apatow‘s tightest comedy in years, and you really have something to celebrate.
1. Mad Max: Fury Road
The ballots were pretty split this year, but George Miller‘s Mad Max: Fury Road rode in, shiny and chrome, to easily claim the top spot. Visually stunning and packed with visceral action, the movie was essentially one long chase sequence. Some criticised it for lacking plot, as if a lack of endless exposition and tedious dialogue is somehow a bad thing. Lean, mean and completely free of bullshit, Fury Road made us want to be Tom Hardy and/or Charlize Theron when we grow up.
So that’s it, until The Force Awakens comes out and blows all our minds.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2
Going Clear: Scientology And The Prison Of Belief
The End Of The Tour
Me Earl & The Dying Girl
Beasts Of No Nation
The Night Before
Sleeping With Other People
If you’re hungry for more, you can check out Pedestrian’s Top 10 Favourite Films Of 2014 here.