On Sunday night, the Academy awarded Oscars to their favorite movies of 2015. The show came pre-packaged with controversy over racial disparity in the nominations. This was the elephant in the room as host Chris Rock took the stage. Many speculated how Rock would address the controversy. He responded by spending his entire opening monologue on the subject.
Rock didn’t take a side. Instead, he praised and mocked both sides. The opening wasn’t as dynamic as most Oscar beginnings. There’s something to be said for the showmanship of a Billy Crystal or a Neil Patrick Harris. Still, Rock played to his strengths as a stand-up comedian and delivered the goods.
From there, things got weird. The direction of the show was uneven at best. There were awkward transitions, and more bits than usual that failed completely. And then came the awards themselves. The Oscars aren’t always known for surprises, but this night was full of them. Ex Machina defied the odds to win Best Visual Effects, Mark Rylance beat locked-in Sylvester Stallone for Best Supporting Actor, and Spotlight came out of nowhere to win the biggest award of all: Best Picture. The show ended with “Fight the Power” over the closing credits, which proved on social media to be as divisive as the show itself.
And just like that, the year in film came to an end. Now, it’s our turn.
Cinema Faith’s 2015 top ten list began all the way back in January with one entry: Black Sea. That film was kicked off the list in a hurry as additional entries showed up. Each list is a fight to the finish – movies stay on or bounce down all year until the lineup is finalized after the Oscars. We encourage you to check back often. 2016 is up and running!
There are many Oscar movies on the list, but also a few that were snubbed. The Oscars hold no sway over the entries. Spotlight isn’t on our list, and Sicario has been in our top three since October, despite not scoring any major nominations. No matter what the Academy says, we believe these are the ten best movies of 2015.
The films below represent ten diverse journeys. We hope you’ll take the time to travel down each one. From the streets of Philadelphia to the streets of Brooklyn. From the mind of a 12-year-old girl to the heart of a drug war. From the portrait of a marriage to the portrait of a crisis. Ten stories. Ten departures. Enjoy the ride.
With this list, we officially say goodbye to the year 2015. A new chapter in film has already begun. Where will we travel to next?