This year I continued to embrace my love of animation and Alfred Hitchcock, and you will find both represented in the top 10. Here are the best movies that I watched in 2015, numbers 10 through 6!
10. Fantastic Mr. Fox
This year I took my first foray into the world of Wes Anderson. I liked Moonrise Kingdom and The Grand Budapest Hotel, but naturally my favorite was his stop-motion animation film. The autumnal coloring of Fantastic Mr. Fox is visually pleasing, and the depth of voice talent is insane. My favorite characters are the teenage foxes, Ash and Kristofferson, who are pictured above. Nothing brings joy to my heart like an angsty, stop-motion animated fox who’s just…different.
Of the several Hitchcock films that I watched this year, Notorious was my second favorite. Cary Grant is a federal agent who recruits Ingrid Bergman to spy on her father’s Nazi pals, now hiding out in South America. The two are a strong pairing, and I’ve already spent time analyzing Bergman’s complicated character in a previous post. There’s also a classically suspenseful party scene involving a wine cellar key and a dwindling supply of champagne. Essential Hitchcock moment.
8. Mockingjay: Part 2
If the Harry Potter franchise taught us anything, it’s that adaptations of a beloved book series will have their ups and downs. Catching Fire was the high point of the Hunger Games films for me, and I was beyond pleased to see that director Francis Lawrence recaptured some of the magic in Mockingjay: Part 2. Invading the Capitol provided amazing sets and action, but I was even more satisfied by the quiet moments that came after. (You can read my full review here.)
7. Inside Out
Pixar plays with our emotions again, this time quite literally. Inside Out follows the five primary emotions inside a girl’s brain, with perfect vocal casting like Amy Poehler as Joy and Mindy Kaling as Disgust. I found the movie endlessly clever when it came to physical representations of psychological ideas. Think of a storage facility for memories, a production studio for dreams, and security guards for repressed memories. I laughed, I cried, I felt all the things.
I saw Trainwreck with a group of girlfriends at the adorable Grandview Theatre in St. Paul, which was probably the perfect way to watch it. There’s a lot of feminist debate surrounding this movie, but Anne Helen Petersen can tell you about that. I know that it made me laugh like a crazy person, and Bill Hader is gold as a romantic lead. For all the comedic exaggeration, Trainwreck delivers truthful moments about the state of dating in the 21st century.
Come back tomorrow for the top 5!