In 2015, I beat a personal record: I've been to the movies 92 times, and maybe it is because of that, but a simple TOP 10 wasn't enough... Looking at my list, all I can tell you is that, for me, the most important thing is to get out of the cinema completely shaken. By an idea, a feeling, a mise-en-scène, a laugh, a word, a sound, a gesture. Something special. Otherwise, let's admit it, life is too short for wasting it over bad, lame or useless movies.
Here's Zazie's list of the movies you shouldn't have missed in 2015:
15 - The Man from U.N.C.L.E. by Guy Ritchie (UK)
I swear this was the biggest surprise of 2015. I went to see it without any expectation and I enjoyed every minute of it. It is brilliant, intelligent, funny, well directed, the actors are irresistible and it has the most wonderful vintage touch (it is set in Berlin and Rome in 1963).
James Bond can get his pension!
14 - Vincent n'a pas d'écailles by Thomas Salvador (France)
If you think super-heroes are coming just from the US, well, you need to change your mind because France has his super-heroe too, and he is the funniest and the sweetest one you can ever imagine: Vincent. This was the most cheerful film of the whole year.
Vincent n'a pas d'écailles mais il a la grosse pêche!
13 - La Isla Minima by Alberto Rodriguez (Spain)
This is an unforgettable film mainly for his atmosphere, for the rot you can smell, coming from the wet soil as much as from the people around. The two policemen are so well sketched (and the two actors who played them, Javier Gutiérrez and Raúl Arévalo, so good) that are able to eclipse any True Detective of the world. Que viva España !
12 - Les Cowboys by Thomas Bidegain (France)
A very sad movie on a very actual theme: the story of a young girl leaving behind her family and her life to embrace a new religion that will take her (for ever) apart from the world she knows. Thomas Bidegain's (Audiard's screen writer) breakthrough is a precious and sorrowful thing.
The last scene is the most intense one I've seen in ages. Believe me.
11 - Louder than bombs by Joachim Trier (US)
The first American movie of the Norwegian film-maker Joachim Trier is about secrets, family relationships, the inner life of people, the worst fears in life, and the deep solitude we can feel being part of this strange world. His universe is so particular and well defined, that you just want to lose yourself in it. Simply mesmerising.
10 - Life by Anton Corbijn (US)
Anton Corbijn has the special power of making interesting and original biopics, a genre usually devastated by common places and boring details. Here he has the guts to resuscitate James Dean (the absolutely astonishing Dane DeHaan) and the facts behind the famous picture in Times Square under the rain. The rest is history...
9 - Maryland by Alice Winocour (France)
An ex-soldier suffering of post-traumatic disorder becomes the body-guard of a rich business-man and his family (a wife and a kid). The so-called “Belgian Brando”, Matthias Schoenaerts, gives another amazing performance as a troubled, fragile and simple man lost in his obsessions: his boss wife and the sounds he hears in his head. The most incredible use of sounds after Punch-Drunk Love. Alice Winocour, the woman behind the camera (and Mustang's co-writer) really rocks!
8 - Youth by Paolo Sorrentino (Italy)
The most visionary of Italian film-makers strikes back after the world-wide success of La Grande Bellezza with a much more accomplished and mesmerising film. Youth is about the passing of time, of beauty, of desire, but also a meditation on vocation and talent. The images are luxurious, magnificent and inspired. And Michael Caine as the main character is the best possible choice (but I have also adored the brief appearance of Jane Fonda). Flamboyant, is the word.
7 - La loi du marché by Stéphane Brizé (France)
6 - Sicario by Denis Villeneuve (US)
Denis Villeneuve’s cinema is one of the most interesting of these last years. With just a bunch of titles: Incendies, Prisoners and Enemy, he proved to be a superb film-maker. Sicario is his best work to date: he puts a woman (great Emily Blunt!) at the centre of the movie obliging the audience to a complete identification with her and he shows us one of the most terrifying stories set on the border between the US and Mexico. The best direction of the year, a visual and human shock. Breathtaking.
5 - Mustang by Deniz Gamze Ergüven (Turkey)
This was a breath of fresh air, a driving force that can’t be easily stop: the one of 5 Turkish sisters ready to fight against a mean, archaic and macho’s mentality to have back their freedom and their lives. Written by two women, the Turkish Deniz Gamze Ergüven and the French Alice Winocour, the film represents France to the Oscar as Best Foreign Film. The reality is: it represents any place in the world where women still have to fight to have what they simply deserve. Girls Power!
4 - Dheepen by Jacques Audiard (France)
Jacques Audiard must have put a smell on me: I go simply nuts every time I see one of his movies. He’s got something that other film-makers don’t. A sense of the direction, a capacity of talking about human beings’ darkest corners and that mix of prosaic and poetic elements which is the “Audiard’s touch”. Palme d’Or at the last Cannes Film Festival (he already deserved that for Un Prophète but, hey, better later than never!).
3 - The Lobster by Yorgos Lanthimos (Greece/Ireland)
In a not-so-far away future, singles are not accepted anymore. Men and women who can’t find their soul-mates within 45 days, will be transformed into animals. The genial idea of Greek film-maker Yorgos Lanthimos gives birth to one of the most unsettling, original and brilliant movies of these last years. One of those works that divides audiences in two. As the French say: ou ça passe, ou ça casse.
I have personally adored it.
2 - Saul Fia by László Nemes (Hungary)
The best movie about the Holocaust ever made.
You don’t spend two hours at the movies, you spend two hours in Auschwitz.
The experience is far beyond cinema, and it is almost unbearable. If you manage to arrive till the end, you’ll see what a man is capable of. When it’s over, you don’t know if you’re still alive, but you’ll see the world with different eyes.
First feature film of a 38 years old guy, László Nemes. Mazel tov!
1 - As Mil e Uma Noites (Vol. 1-2-3) by Miguel Gomes (Portugal)
There are the other movies and then there is this one: a monster, a protean creature, a space oddity.
6 hours long divided into 3 volumes, As Mil e uma noites is a new form of cinema, the weirdest mix of fiction, documentary, real life, poetic vision and mythological tale.
How Miguel Gomes had such an incredible idea to talk about the economic crises that recently hit Portugal in this way, it is a great mystery. The most wonderful of all.
As you must have guessed, this is a masterpiece.