'Tis the season when it becomes increasingly hard to find any movies worth mentioning that haven't won some award or other. Denis Villeneuve's highbrow sci-fi Amy Adams vehicle has a whole separate Wikipedia page just for the List of accolades received by Arrival (film). And we're still one full award-dense month shy of the Oscars...
Paul Verhoeven + Isabelle Huppert! Throw in a key grip or two and you've got the recipe for a psychological thriller that won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film and ranked #10 on Metacritic's tally of appearances on critics' best of the year lists. Plus there's a cat on the poster. Who doesn't love cats?
This Colombian drama was nominated for Best Foreign Language film at this year's Oscars, and took home an award at Cannes.
Three films into Kenneth Lonergan's directorial career and we can confidently name him as our foremost purveyor of emotionally intense character studies. Never were two actors better suited to carrying this kind of picture than Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams and the result, predictably, might be Lonergan's finest achievement to date.
Hou Hsiao-Hsien won Best Director at Cannes for his unexpected foray into the martial arts genre. The New York Times Manohla Dargis called it "staggeringly lovely".
Anna Rose Holmer bears a nomination for Best First Feature at the upcoming Independent Spirit Awards. The Fits is a vital coming-of-age drama set in and around a Cincinnati rec center and is built around a revelatory performance by young actress Royalty Hightower. The NY Times' Manohla Dargis said, "The miracle of the movie is that, like [protagonist] Toni, it transcends blunt, reductive categorization partly because it's free of political sloganeering, finger wagging and force-fed lessons. Any uplift that you may feel won't come from having your ideas affirmed, but from something ineluctable - call it art."
Exerpted from Noel Murray's review for the AV Club:
"Throughout this year's Sundance Film Festival, whenever I'd run into my fellow critics, we'd go through the usual ritual exchange of, "What have you liked so far?" Passing movie titles back and forth, more often than I could count, the conversation would end with one or both of us saying, "Of course, the best thing I've seen is that Don Hertzfeldt cartoon, World Of Tomorrow. I don't expect anything to top it."
Can an animated short be the best film at a festival? Or the best of the year? Because although World Of Tomorrow is only 15 minutes long, it's as funny, imaginative, and heartbreaking as anything released so far in 2015, and I wouldn't be surprised if I could make that same claim on December 31. At Sundance, where I had a link to an online screener, I watched World Of Tomorrow nearly every night before I went to sleep, as a pre-bedtime devotional."
World of Tomorrow is available BluRay only. It was nomintated for the Best Animated Short Oscar.