The movies, performances, and moments we love, even though they didn't make the list.
Every week, the Criticwire Survey asks
film and TV critics two questions. (The answer to the second, "What is
the best film in theaters right now?" can be found at the end of this
post.) Send suggestions for future questions to sam at indiewire dot
Q: Polls have been voted in, Top 10 lists filed— but what doesn't make the cut? Or what's on your list and no
one else's? Name the best films, performances,
and anything else worth mentioning of 2015 that
aren't likely to be recognized anywhere else.
Stephen Saito, The Moveable Fest
of the trickiest things about putting a top 10 list together is
figuring out just when films have been released. Since dozens of films
now come out on a weekly basis, there are usually gems I saw long ago
that I don't even realize are getting dumped at a single screen in LA or
New York before shuffling off to VOD, with their lack of resonance with
the public likely subconsciously diminishing their stature in my mind.
In compiling a top 10, I had to remember that while I actually saw
Melanie Laurent's "Breathe," the Zellner Brothers' "Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter" or Mia Hansen-Løve's "Eden" at festivals in 2014, they slipped into theaters this year, as did John McLean's "Slow West," Robert Machoian and Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck's "God Bless the Child," and Nick Berardini's "Killing Them Safely,"
which got quiet releases shortly after festival premieres in 2015.
(Patrick Wang took it upon himself to start showing his bewitching "The Grief of Others" at
the Loews Village 7 in NY through Tugg, and I had no idea whether to
consider this an official release or not.) All of these are highly
recommended, but the *technically* 2015 title that gets the most "huhs?"
when I bring it up is Noah Buschel's "Glass Chin," a devilish
thriller featuring Corey Stoll as a washed-up boxer who gets in over his
head with the wrong people (including one played by Billy Crudup that
has a fetish for silver needs to be seen to be believed). The film
recently scored a well-deserved Spirit Award nomination for Marin
Ireland, suggesting at least a few other people have seen it since its
debut at Tribeca at 2014 and a blink-and-you'll miss it release in June,
but it deserves a far larger audience.
Gary M. Kramer, Gay City News, Philadelphia Gay News
Here are a handful of films I loved this year that did not appear on my top 10 list:
"The Duke of Burgandy": it's
deliriously inventive (a credit for perfume!) and features fabulous
sound design. But any film that overlaps the Venn diagrams of lesbians,
S&M practitioners and lepidopterists can't be ignored.
"The D Train": Jack Black and James Marsden play the year's best/oddest couple in this homage to the discomfiting "Chuck and Buck"
Lawrence Michael Levine's hilarious screwball comedy thriller had me
laughing so hard the man sitting next to me yelled at him.
Not a punch is thrown in this film about a boxer, but this highly
theatrical film sucker punches you when you least expect it. Bravo.
"The Mend": A messy first feature about siblings in crisis. It's hard to watch but impossible to shake.
"The Boy Next Door": The guiltiest of pleasures. So head-scratchingly, jaw-droppingly fantastic I could not help but fall under it's spell.
was knocked out by Josh Lucas's performance in "The Mend" and Billy
Crudup's sly turn in "Glass Chin" and Ryan Guzman was fun to watch in
"The Boy Next Door" Jason Segel dumbfounded me in "The End of the Tour"
and Rinko Kikuchi was extraordinary as "Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter"
Some of my favorite screen moments this year have been:
The salt falling in a character's wound during the climactic shootout in "Slow West"
The bride throwing her groom's mistress into a mirror in "Wild Tales"
Adam Scott and Jason Schwartzman letting it all hang out in "The Overnight"
The carwash sex scene in "Tangerine"
And I was moved by the Paul Walker montage in "Furious 7"