Skip to main content

The Films of 2015

It's that time again.

Awards for the motion picture industry are flying fast and furious, and the Oscars are just a couple weeks away. In 1998, I began what has become an annual tradition known as The Matt Awards, to showcase what I consider to be the best in film for a particular year. The first awards honored the movies released in 1997. There was a particular reason I started the awards that year.... More on that later.

Now, here are the best in film for 2015, as selected by yours truly:

Best Picture: The Revenant
Best Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, for The Revenant
Best Actor: Tom Hanks, for Bridge of Spies
Best Actress: Lily Tomlin, for Grandma
Best Supporting Actor: Michael Keaton, for Spotlight
Best Supporting Actress: Rooney Mara, for Carol
Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, for The Revenant
Best Screenplay: Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy, for Spotlight
Best Score: John Williams, for Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Best Animated Film: Inside Out
Best Documentary: Seymour: An Introduction
Best Visual Effects: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Best Foreign Film: A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
Best Horror Film: It Follows

Some of you who know me well may have gasped at Tom Hanks receiving Best Actor instead of Leonardo DiCaprio. A couple of things:

1) The reason I started the Matt Awards in 1998 was because Leo had been snubbed by the Academy Awards for his role in Titanic. Not even nominated. As a long-time Leo fan, I was pissed, and so created the Matt Awards especially to give him recognition (if only in my own small way). He was my Best Actor for 1997. I have given Mr. DiCaprio more notice than the Oscars have, so this doesn't seem a huge issue.

2) I tend to be a fan of the more understated performance, which is why Hanks wins here. He truly makes acting seem effortless.

You may also have noticed that I added a new category this year -- Best Horror Film. I see a fair number of horror movies each year and, while many of them are unlikely to be contenders for Best Picture, they're good enough in their own right to deserve special notice. Hence, the new category.

Overall, this was a really solid year for movies. Lots of great films to choose from. If you see any of the selections from my 2015 Top 10 list (below), you can't go wrong:

1. The Revenant
2. Spotlight
3. Brooklyn
4. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
5. Mad Max: Fury Road
6. It Follows
7. Magic Mike XXL
8. Bridge of Spies
9. The Martian
10. Room

On to 2016!


Popular posts from this blog

If You Could Read My Mind

Dance clubs are a funny thing. They contain within their walls a life force and vibrancy sometimes unmatched anywhere else. When dusk settles and the lights come on, people will flood the dance floors to gyrate to music with hypnotic beats and songs about love, lust and fun at the disco. At gay bars, this sort of scenario usually increases ten-fold. It isn't for everyone, but for many it is a respite from the harsh realities of the real word. It is a place that isn't just a structure, but a sanctuary where folks -- minorities in their own communities -- can take shelter and unwind with abandon, at least for a few nighttime hours.
As someone who benefited greatly from such an aforementioned gay dance club, you can imagine my dismay at news of the closing of Chester Street Bar. In business for over three decades, gay-owned and operated, there was a time when C-Street (as it was known by most) was the only haven for those in the LGBT community, near and far, to enjoy themselves …

Third Death

My father has had three funerals. The third (though perhaps not final) one, was last night.
In reality, Lewis died in 1997. Cancer. Aged 52. He had a real funeral. I was there. The next two funerals occurred only in my dreams, yet they seemed real at the time, and their impact during the waking hours was keenly felt.
You see, during the intervening nineteen years, Lewis has come back to life in my dreams, many times. It is more than simply having a dream about him. During these nighttime images, it is noted that Lewis shouldn't be there, that he died of cancer and is resting six feet under. How, then, could he be alive and, seemingly, healthy?

Thoughts on an Election

Before I get started on the ruminations of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, I'll begin by saying I really have no clue as to who our next president will be. I've always fretted over the outcome of elections, regardless of the polls, and this year is no different. Especially this year. A good case can be made as to why Hillary Clinton will become our 45th president. All one has to do is look at the polls. Clinton has a comfortable lead in many states, enough to make one think that she will win handily on November 8th.
Of course, polls can be wrong. 538 gives Clinton's changes of winning in the low-mid 80 percent range. Several polls would seem to agree. Many Republicans are jumping ship from Trump. The race looks over. But of course, humanity isn't as easily predictable as polling would have us believe. Things happen. People can surprise us. And, for better or worse, I think that Donald Trump may very well become our next president.