Top 10 English Films Of 2015 [So Far]
“Oh, what a day… what a lovely day”
Halfway through the year, we have had Great, Mediocre and Bad films. While there were a few big disappointments, (Avengers being one), there were surprising great films too. Here is a list of our Top 10 English Films of 2015 (Till June).
10. Slow West | Director: John M. Maclean
As captivating as it is tragic, Slow West was John M. Maclean’s fascinatingly original approach to westerns. There’s a scene in Slow West where salt slowly dribbles into the wounds of Kodi Smit-McPhee, Maclean’s film is quite the same. In its most tragic and dark moments, it manages to jumble the viewer’s mind with purity and concise dramatic inventions of black-humour and comic oddity.
9. Faults | Director: Riley Stearns
Anchored by a brilliant performance by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, first time director Riley Stearns talks about insanity, solitude and spiritual beliefs. Like a coin that has two sides, he never faults in showing the two sides of the story. Packs them with enough black-humour and subtlety to a point where it gets the audiences confused; as they drown in the sea of lies and truth. He constantly questions the human psyche as to what side should they be on.
8. Ex Machina | Director: Alex Garland
Ex Machina plays with your head. More times than you can imagine. It favours one character, then the other and then again makes a turn out of nowhere. While it takes enough time to get to the point it does plunges into the question that we, the people of the new age have been asking ourselves daily: Should we rely on ‘the things’ we own? Or there are still possibilities of ‘it’ owning you? Ex Machina was a creepy, mesmerizing movie that leaves you guessing till the last frame. Who manipulates whom? who evaluates whom? This is the kind of artificial intelligence the pundits fear and clamour about, yet desire and lust after.
7. Lost River | Director: Ryan Gosling
Weird, bizarre and surreal. Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut was audacious and experimental. A very strange blend of David Lynch & Nicolas Winding Refn, Lost River, set in a nightmarish-fairyland of fictionalized Detroit talks about a few people surrounded by violence, trouble, hooligans, creeps and their shot at achieving the American dream. The plot might seem convoluted and makes less sense a couple of times, but it’s also so well made that you can’t take your eyes off it. What I got from the film is Gosling’s way of portraying freedom in destruction. He doesn’t manage to show it exactly the way he intended to, but he gets close, very very close.
6. While We’re Young | Director: Director: Noah Baumbach
After the full-of-blistering-life-ball of a film – Frances Ha, Noah Baumbach examines the life of an odd couple in their 40s whilst he compares them to an energetic, role-model-of-a younger couple. While We’re Young has a strangely heavy dramatic-deft that has been handled quite exquisitely by Noah. While he does falter a couple of time, there’s so much more than his movie says that it’s almost impossible for me to give it as a negative. This observational comedy is based around people who in spite of their oddball shape and reactions feel real.
5. It Follows | Director: David Robert Mitchell
A scintillating score plays throughout David Robert Mitchell’s second directorial venture. If not for the premise or the creepy horror-thrills, the score of footsteps almost gets you every single time. After his first indie film, the brilliant The Myth Of The American Sleepover, which talked about the various uncommon teenage issues Mitchell cleverly ensures the most common of them all, Sex into his intelligent, original and terrifying second film. It follows is an uninstalling metaphor on the fucked-up American youth and their shenanigans. While people in It Follows struggle when they pass it on to the next one, I sure will pass this film on to everyone and anyone who has the least of interests in films, because maybe someone, somewhere will get it in the true sense.
4. Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter | Director: David Zellner
This movie asks a very interesting question: Whether it’s better to find meaning in something false than to know that there is no meaning? As Kumiko discovers that she is onto something that might not be worth it, she doesn’t stop. She puts her random-roadside-motel-made-jacket on and take off to her quest, or as she calls it ‘something that keeps her busy.’ Each frame in Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter speaks for itself. It’s tragic, poignant and bases itself totally on something called a not-so-wishful-life but as the curtains fall and the prize is revealed it leaves you with a kind of smile that’s both sweet and bitter, probably like the reaction of the frog in Vikram Seth’s poem ‘The Frog & The Nightingale.’
3. Spring | Directors: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead
To describe this perfectly: If Linklater ever got drunk and hooked up with David Lynch under the Italian roads, Spring would be their bastard son. This atmospheric monster film quite intelligently glides through a lot of other good films on this list just because of the way it’s handled. The director duo here cleverly bend the rules set and come up with a horror-romance that talks about relationships, love and life in depths.
2. Inside Out | Directors: Pete Docter, Ronaldo Del Carmen
This movie does things to your eye ducts. Things you never imagined were inside you, things which were just craving to come out but were just looking for their own way through the memory system to finally be a core-memory. This little film is stuck in my heart and will always be there. Pixar’s Inside Out is an animated film that talks about a girl with teenage-angst. After a few speed-bumps, Pixar is finally back with a film that’s so energetic and sentimental that it’s almost impossible for even the strangest, most bizarre sadistic people to hate it.
1. Mad Max: Fury Road | Director: George Miller
The best English film of 2015 is a film featuring a guy playing a fire-spitting guitar. Fury Road is probably the only film ever to have a guy playing the guitar in a post-apocalyptic wasteland that’s turned into a horrific war zone. George Miller’s newest entry to his franchise of madness is as insane and berserk as it can be. Boosted with soul-pounding, rib-cracking, blood-infusing action that gets you high and never gives you enough oxygen to chew on. What’s surprising is the fact that a film that gets your adrenaline rising manages to get you emotionally attached to someone as stupid as a half-life-war-boy searching for his effin’ blood-bag in a raging sandstorm. If someone decides to make a list of the biggest bad-asses in movie history, Charlize Theron as the fearless Furiosa will definitely find a spot somewhere near the top.