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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!


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