Top Films of 2015
HK Magazine has picked the movies that defined the year in cinema.
(Argentina) The year’s been full of juicy little stories, but no one has captured the sheer rage that stems from everyday frustrations quite like Damián Szifrón. A collection of six darkly hilarious stories about petty revenge gone extreme—from a diner waitress serving the man who ruined her family to an idealist who plots against government bureaucracy when his car is unfairly towed—“Wild Tales” is a poisonous, well-written and well-acted gem of a black comedy.
A Most Violent Year
(USA) Coming to Hong Kong in spring, “A Most Violent Year” was one of the most beautifully shot dramas of 2015, concerning a couple making a crucial deal to expand their fuel supply business in violent and corrupt 1981 New York. Moving along ever so gently, the story—and Jessica Chastain’s badassery disguised behind a perfectly manicured self—had us on the edge of our seats.
Mad Max: Fury Road
(Australia) If Tom Hardy’s stone-hearted lone soldier act hadn’t won us over before, it surely did here. But what really caught our attention was “Mad Max” creator George Miller’s return to his signature action—on steroids. It’s a high-octane car chase from the first moment to the last, with all the over-the-top fixings we never knew our eyes needed: What’s that? A War Boy shredding a double-necked, flame-throwing guitar atop a speeding truck? Hell yeah.
(USA) Handily scooping up the award for Film Most Likely to Ruin Your Childhood, “Inside Out” centers on the five emotions of 11-year-old Riley as she copes with a family move away from her hometown in Wisconsin. The subject and plot are simple enough, but it uses some pretty advanced psychology to pull in all the adults too. If you walk out of this without at least your eyes getting a little moist, you are a monster.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
(USA) You thought it’d be a pleasant teen drama about a loner kid who befriends a girl with cancer, makes her life better and learns about friendship along the way. But just as the funny, relatable weirdness of the plot eases you into a false sense of security, the film pulls the rug from under you. You’ll hate them for it and love its characters even more.
Love & Mercy
(USA) Exploring the inner life of The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, this biopic did more than put “Surfin’ USA” back in our heads. It also cemented his music-making genius, and sensitively described the struggle of mental illness without judgment or disdain.
Port of Call
(Hong Kong) We couldn’t imagine a nicer way to paint this picture of the real-life murder of a teenage girl. Instead of exploiting the violence, Philip Yung’s artful approach takes into account the delicate psychology of killer and victim. Christopher Doyle’s elevated Hong Kong grunge doesn’t hurt, either.