My "List of Favorite Films" and "Best Acting Performances" in 2015
by Oliver Carnay

Now that I've seen all the Oscar contender films of 2015, here are lists of films and acting performances that I thought are remarkable .. these are my top favorites. This year, I've seen about almost 500 films (see list here) including movies from regular theater commercial screenings and from different film festivals I have attended-- the yearly Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF), Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF), OUTFEST Los Angeles, Los Angeles Film Festival (LAFilmfest), Scandinavian Film Festival of Los Angeles (SFFLA), Cinema Italian Style Los Angeles - Italian Film Festival, Guadalajara International Film Festival (FICGLA), AFIFEST, European Film Promotions, French Film Festival (COLCOA), Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA), among others. Here you go ...

My list of top favorite U.S. produced movies in 2015:
THE REVENANT - Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
THE HATEFUL EIGHT - Quentin Tarantino
BEASTS OF NO NATION - Cary Joji Fukunaga
JAMES WHITE - Josh Mond
CHILD 44 - Daniel Espinosa
MARFA GIRL - Larry Clark
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD - George Miller
STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON - F. Gary Gray
YOUTH - Paolo Sorrentino
THE DANISH GIRL - Tom Hooper
SPOTLIGHT - Tom McCarthy
ROOM - Lenny Abrahamson

My favorite directors of films in 2015:
ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ INARRITU (The Revenant)
QUENTIN TARANTINO (The Hateful Eight)
JOSH MOND (James White)
GEORGE MILLER (Mad Max: Fury Road)
PAOLO SORRENTINO (Youth)

Best Female performances in 2015:
BRIE LARSON (Room)
JENNIFER LAWRENCE (Joy)
JANE FONDA (Youth)
CYNTHIA NIXON (James White)
ALICIA VIKANDER (Ex Machina, The Danish Girl)
SAOIRSE RONAN (Brooklyn)

Best Male Performances in 2015 :
LEONARDO DICAPRIO (The Revenant)
BRYAN CRANSTON (Trumbo)
EDDIE REDMAYNE (The Danish Girl)
MICHAEL FASSBENDER (Steve Jobs)
CHRISTOPHER ABBOTT (James White)
JAKE GYLLENHAAL (Southpaw)
MARK RUFFALO (Spotlight)
ABRAHAM ATTAH (Beasts of No Nation)
MICHAEL SHANNON (99 Homes)
TOM BRADY (Child 44, Legend, The Revenant, Mad Max: Fury Road)
MARK RYLANCE (Bridge of Spies)

My top documentary films of 2015:
WHERE TO INVADE NEXT
THE LOOK OF SILENCE
SHE’S THE BEST THING IN IT
CARTEL LAND
AMY
WE COME AS FRIENDS
ONLY THE DEAD SEE THE END OF WAR
GOING CLEAR: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE PRISON OF BELIEF
WHAT HAPPENED, MISS SIMONE?
THE WOLFPACK
THE HUNTING GROUND
THE LIFE AND MIND OF MARK DEFRIEST
LISTEN TO ME MARLON
THE SEVEN FIVE
(T)ERROR
PROPHET’S PREY
DIOR AND I
TWINSTERS
TALES OF THE GRIM SLEEPER
TAB HUNTER: CONFIDENTIAL
IRIS

My top favorite foreign movies seen in 2015:
SON OF SAUL (Saul Fia) - Directed by Laszlo Nemes, is Hungary's shortlisted Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film. Shots are focused on the face of lead star Geza Rohrig who gave a powerful performance as a prisoner during 1944 Auschwitz who is desperate to find a rabbi in order to give a proper burial to a boy he believed is his son.

NAKED AMONG WOLVES (Nackt Unter Wolfen) - the mood is also set in a concentration camp quite similar to "Son of Saul" but director Philipp Kadelbach decided to shoot in wide full angle. A remake of the 1963 movie about a 4 year-old Polish boy who smuggled in a suitcase in a concentration camp in Buchenwald and a group of prisoners decide to protect the child from the Nazis.

MUSTANG - also shortlisted for Oscars Best Foreign Language Film, from Dir. Deniz Gamze Erguven, the film is a story of five Turkish sisters heavily constrained by their father after setting off a scandal among town folks, accused of playing with boys on a beach.

VIVA
ACCUSED
THE FENCER
BEHAVIOR (CONDUCTA) - Dir. Ernesto Daranas Serrano
CORN ISLAND
BALLET BOYS
CUT SNAKE
IN ORDER OF DISAPPEARANCE
NO ONE’S CHILD
HEART OF A LION
ONE NIGHT IN OSLO
YOUNG TIGER
DARKER THAN MIDNIGHT
LE TOURNOI (THE TOURNAMENT)
THE SEARCH
THEEB
TANGERINES
THESE ARE THE RULES
WHAT’S BETWEEN US
A PIGEON SAT ON A BRANCH REFLECTING ON EXISTENCE
DESDE ALLA
LAND AND SHADE
NEON BULL
THE SECOND MOTHER
VIKTORIA
HOW TO WIN AT CHEKERS
THE BOSS, ANATOMY OF A CRIME
THE TREATMENT
A WOLF AT THE DOOR

My favorite gay themed movies seen in 2015:
BEAUTIFUL SOMETHING
THOSE PEOPLE
FOURTH MAN OUT
IN THE GRAYSCALE
VIVA
EASTERN BOYS
SEX BY DA SILVA
DROWN
THE NEW GIRLFRIEND
DESDE ALLA
XENIA
TANGERINE

.....



12.26.15