Goodbye 2015, hello and welcome to the brand new year of 2016! I hope everyone had a really wonderful New Year’s Eve. I spent my New Year’s by accidentally falling asleep quite early and then waking up at 12:02am, and completely missing the countdown. To be fair, I had a big day at work on the 31st so it makes sense that I fell asleep. But at the same time, I feel like my New Year’s Eve was fairly representative of my experience of 2015 as a whole – just generally exhausting.
However, my 2015 did end on an excellent note as I successfully obtained a job in my ideal career field, which is counselling kids who have experienced trauma. I start my new job in February next year and I’m really looking forward to working therapeutically with kids again! It was going to be my resolution for 2016 to successfully obtain employment in my field of interest again, so now I have to look for something else. What’s your resolution for 2016?
One of my main highlights of 2015 was travelling to London, exploring the city and seeing so many things I’ve wanted to see my whole life. I was really happy to post a whole bunch of ‘On Location’ posts during the month of October, and of course it was really exciting to meet Alex and Abbi whilst I was there as well. Here’s hoping for more fun and interesting travel in 2016!
Without further ado, please find below a little summary of my loves and loathings in film and television this year.
Best film released in 2015: Amy
It was really tough to pick this one. But when I think about the film that had the most impact on me this year, it would have to be stunning documentary Amy. What an absolute masterpiece of documentary filmmaking; making use of so much archival footage, knitting so many pieces together to try and complete the puzzle of the life of a very complex and talented young woman. This film was so powerful, and absolutely devastating. It was not only a touching tribute to someone who copped a lot of mess from the public, but it also felt like a time capsule of someone’s life. It was sentimental yet brutally honest. It was amazing.
Runner Up: Spectre and Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Mad Max: Fury Road
I really loved Spectre, and I really loved The Force Awakens, and I really, really loved Mad Max: Fury Road. I honestly wasn’t able to pick between these three for a runner-up for best in 2015. I was so hyped to both Spectre and The Force Awakens, and in my opinion, both of them absolutely delivered on their promises to be solid contributions to both iconic franchises. Meanwhile, Mad Max: Fury Road was a sublime piece of work, and a film I will forever regret not first seeing at the cinema.
Best non-2015 film watched in 2015: The Night of the Hunter (1955)
I literally only watched this about a week ago. But The Night of the Hunter was so mindblowing that I believe it was the best film I watched this year that wasn’t released in 2015; and considering how few new releases I watches this year (which is kind of weird, considering), that is a huge statement. It contains absolute perfection in its direction, cinematography, storytelling and script, and intense performances by Robert Mitchum and Lillian Gish. I just wish director Charles Laughton had made more films.
Runner Up: Shame (2011)
Absolutely amazing, raw performances by Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan. A confronting subject, i.e. sex addiction, but one that is addressed in such an honest manner by director Steve McQueen. Shame is probably not a film I’d want to watch twice given how supremely uncomfortable it makes you feel, but once is enough to be super impressed by this film.
Most disappointing film released in 2015: Fifty Shades of Grey
My expectations were not high for this film, so I can’t say that this film was necessarily disappointing in terms of its quality. It cannot be denied that Fifty Shades of Grey is just not a good film. What’s actually really disappointing about it is that we’re still playing attention to this shitty, abusive franchise, and that they’re actually making a second one.
The absolute worst film watched/reviewed in 2015: The Starving Games (2013)
I watched this dumb film for my favourite blogging event of the year, Isaacs Picture Conclusions’ Shitfest, and I don’t regret it one bit because Shitfest is amazing. But it really was the worst thing I watched this entire year.
Best Australian film watched in 2015: Romeo + Juliet (1996)
This counts as an Australian film because it’s directed by Baz Luhrmann! Even though it stars a bunch of non-Australian people. I think I’ll just always love Romeo + Juliet no matter what. If I watched it again this year it would still probably be my favourite Australian film of 2016 as well.
Best television show watched in 2015: The Affair, seasons 1 and 2
My partner and I started watching this show before we left for London, and we spent a lot of our plane trip binge-watching the first season. The Affair is seriously addictive and seriously clever television. Borrowing the storytelling methods of Rashomon (1950), The Affair is a sexy he-said-she-said romantic/crime drama which gets more and more compelling and complex as the seasons progress. I watched the final episode of season two the other day and was blown away. I can’t wait for season three next year!
Honourable mention: The final season of Hannibal
What an amazing show, and what a beautifully brutal final season. Unfortunately Hannibal was just too niche of a television show for this world. I didn’t hate the way it ended, but I wish there was more to see.
Most disappointing television show watched in 2015: True Detective, season 2
What even happened in True Detective in season two? I can’t remember anything because it was all too confusing and smooshed together and immediately forgettable. After an amazing first season, the hype was so high for a second one, but I never would have expected for it to miss the mark by such a huge distance. What a disappointment, and what a waste of time. I didn’t mind Colin Farrell though.
Favourite actor in 2015: Benedict Cumberbatch
I’m a late bloomer to the Benedict Cumberbatch fandom. I think I fell certifiably in love with him after The Imitation Game. I was just so blown away by his performance that now, whenever someone mentions his name, all I can say is, “How amazing was he in The Imitation Game?!”. Plus he’s seems like a pretty beautiful human judging from his good humour in a whole bunch of interviews.
Favourite actress in 2015: Léa Seydoux
I really loved Léa Seydoux’s performance in Spectre, even though I wasn’t totally convinced of her chemistry with Daniel Craig’s Bond. Watching her in Spectre reminded me of how much I adored her performance in Blue is the Warmest Colour (2013), and thinking about that film in comparison with Spectre caused me to reflect upon how versatile of an actress Seydoux is, and how I’ve been consistently impressed by her performances in every film I’ve seen her in. Basically I love her and I’m looking forward to seeing what else she has in store for us.
So, I hope everyone had an amazing 2015, but I also wish everyone the very best of the best for 2016. Thank you to everyone for visiting my little blog throughout the year!
P.S. If you want to listen to some of my favourite songs from this year, here’s a Spotify playlist!