Despite the lengthy list of nominees and award winners pertaining to the 2016 edition of the Sundance Film Festival and the steadily approach of the other notable events in cinema, such as TIFF, LA Indie Film Fest, Tribeca or Cannes, devoted moviegoers should reassess the titles of the past year, considering greater attention so as to notice the ‘hidden gems of cinema’. The surfeit of prestigious performance, expressivity and artistic nuances have conjured 2015 as a year redolent of experimental and dramatic imageries, enveloped in phantasmagorical film.
#20 The Danish Girl
The film captures the essence of the psychological frustration associated with transgenderism and follows a lengthy, but detailed process towards a culminating plot twist. The Danish Girl is altogether provoking and compassionate, thriving with the selection of Eddie Redmayne who underwent a striking transformation for his role, attaining an androgynous appearance, impressive in all its aspects and constituents. Beyond a mere movie, it is an experience – The Danish Girl evokes the tragic circumstances transgendered people dealt with nearly a century ago, with the help of director Tom Hooper (Les Misérables, The King’s Speech) who successfully recreated the vexatious period.
#19 The Look of Silence
Joshua Oppenheimer laid the foundation for a moving documentary which focuses on the portrayal of a post-genocide Indonesia, moreover focusing on elevating the survival struggle of a common family eking out a living. Revealing key details with respects to the communist background of the populace, the documentary is certainly a remarkable journey experiencing the doleful actuality of many guiltless families.
#18 The Lobster
Considering a comical tribute for the irksome situations celibates encounter, Lobster efficiently pens and reveals the story of a group of single people set in a dystopian future. In the given period, those unmarried must register themselves at a curious hotel, where they must discover and fancy a romantic partner within forty-five days of their arrival. Failing to do so, guests will be transformed into beasts and consequently thrown off into the eerie Woods.
Bearing an innovative animation and a superb dramatic plotline, Anomalisa was described as ‘the most human movie of the year’. Michael Stone lives a mundane and horridly sporadic life until the moment when he meets an extraordinary stranger who manages to cure his irrefutable negativity and distrust in mankind.
#16 Far From Men
‘Loin Des Hommes’ stars Viggo Mortensen (Hidalgo, the Road, Lord of the Rings) as Daru, an introverted teacher who must flee Algeria through the Atlas mountains and help Mohamed, a man convicted with murder to escape imprisonment and public shame.
#15 Bang Gang
Bang Gang’s alias name, A Modern Love Story is spawned from a seemingly inoffensive game of ‘Spin the Bottle’, depicting the lascivious and ribald entourage a group of teenagers assemble, attempting to follow a singular path. French, raw and inviting! A cinematic landmark to debut Eva Husson’s work on the big screen.
An intelligent action-packed crime film featuring Benicio del Toro and Emily Blunt disclosed at the U.S. and Mexico border, where a fierce war on drugs is hastily expanding. Encompassing both the warpath of the FBI and the complex conditions issued by drug cartels, Sicario holds a palpable and realistic point of view – well captured and executed!
An intense psychological drama and thriller presenting the daily struggle of a family attempting to escape into the world “outside”. Revealing the tragic story of Joy Newsome (Brie Larson) and Jack (Jacob Tremblay) who have been held prisoners for seven years after being kidnapped by Old Nick (Sean Bridgers), the motion picture is based on the novel written by Emma Donoghue. Trapped inside a distressing 10-by-10-foot space with no windows, Lenny Abrahamson does a masterful job at effusing empathy and sorrow into the hearts of viewers.
#12 Mistress America
Yet another marvelous picture from Noah Baumbach (While We’re Young, Frances Ha, The Squid and the Whale), this time set in New York, revealing the uncanny Tracy, a college freshman who tries desperately to get around the ever fascinating Brooker, her soon-to-be stepsister. Mistress America is a powerful ode about youth and inescapable reveries entrapped within the grip of a makeshift family.
#11 The End of the Tour
David Lipsky (played by Jesse Eisenberg) is a prolific reporter for Rolling Stone and his most coveted interview has to be that with David Foster Wallace, author of Infinite Jest. A diverting and enlightening trip which will most certainly render viewers complete, bearing a sense of serendipity.