Best Films of 2015

This is the annual tradition, and you know my baby is two years old here.

Image of Star Wars: The Force Awakens
1.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

 10/10
Three decades after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, a new threat arises. The First Order attempts to rule the galaxy and only a ragtag group of heroes can stop them, along with the help of the Resistance. (135 mins.)
Director: J.J. Abrams
“ The Most Entertaining among the last three Star Wars, Is an “Almost There” gathering for every hard-boiled fan. With Daisy Ridley shining as Rey to personify a sit-in for nostalgic moments everybody had with princess Lea character, the movie rides to the top easily. But my most favorite was the scene where BB-8 uncovered the beloved R2-D2. Watching it on IMAX was a pure joy, and made it more flawless to me. May the force be with you. ” – Babak Geranfar
Image of Taxi
2.

Taxi (2015)

 10/10
Jafar Panahi is banned from making movies by the Iranian government, he poses as a taxi driver and makes a movie about social challenges in Iran. (82 mins.)
Director: Jafar Panahi
Stars: Jafar Panahi

“ =1

The very question pops up every time when we see a masterpiece: Can movie-making gets more subtle than this?

1- From the very first frame of his latest movie Taxi, Jafar Panahi alerts the audience that he is willing to go deep under the skin of a society: A still life font window of a cab in a long master shot, stopped behind the red light of crossroad in Tehran of Taleghani Avenue & Valiasr Street, waiting and waiting for the the countdown to the green light. Why he chose such a long shot in such a place to start his movie? Does he trying to convey any meaning with this names? That is left for the interpretation, But as an Iranian i can`t stop my imagination from flying; In one hand, there is Taleghani which was one of the founding fathers of Iranian Islamic Revolution, A clergy who is now conceived if it was not for his early death right after the revolution, his modern interpretation of Islam could have ruled the spirit of the governing body of the country after the revolution. A father figure who has often seen smoking his cigarettes in those nostalgic black and white photographs of the revolution. On the other, there is Valiasr, a religious epithet to the 12th *beep* Imam who is believed by most Iranian religious people to be the messiah and absent from us; The word itself means “The Warden of Era”. Personally, i respect both of these figures believers and has nothing to do with their own beliefs, but ironically enough, that shot gives me the impression that he is contemplating on the dilemma. Is he asking about the turn of history?

more to come… ” – Babak Geranfar

Image of Carol
3.

Carol (2015)

 10/10
An aspiring photographer develops an intimate relationship with an older woman. (118 mins.)
Director: Todd Haynes

“ How can i put it? Okey, here it goes;

To be a Women`s Filmmaker is the most sublime fame every director can wish for.It is hard enough you can only name a few auteurs from the history of cinema to emblem it; Ozu, Fassbinder, Sirk and the contemporary Arnaud Desplechin to name a few. But Todd Haynes took all the great features of this masters and pulled them together to portray women in a new high, to own this fame.

He now reigns the genre of melodrama. From “Far From Heaven” to “Mildred Pierce” to “Carol” he has shown the classic mastery of this often scrutinized genre. His routes might even go back to before 50s, to 30s and 40s; to Von Sternberg and his “Blonde Venus”, King Vidor and “Stella Dallas”, to Micheal Kurtiz and his “Mildred Pierce”, to Irving Rapper and his “Now, Voyager”, to Yonggang Wu and his “Goddess”, and maybe even to “Nora” in Ibsen`s “Dollhouse”.

How he can manage to do that in 2015 I don`t know, But I do know that Carol now stands beyond the cliches such as Tear-jerker/Lesbian Melodrama. It is an ode to love. A love as such every man can also desperately demand from another person in the fairy tales, A love for Love. A Love per se. Am i getting too emotional or turning to a cry-baby? I don`t know. But I do know that when Rooney Mara`s smiles at the final scene beyond that table, it was me who would have wanted to jump into the screen and say yes. What a Movie! ” – Babak Geranfar

Image of The Assassin
4.

The Assassin (2015)

 10/10
An assassin accepts a dangerous mission to kill a political leader in seventh-century China. (105 mins.)
Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou

“ Eloge de l’amour

Wuxia is a very respected genre in mainstream Asian cinema, It even went as big as Hollywood with “Hidden Dragon, Crouching Tiger”, “Hero” and “House of Flying Daggers”. But when an artist such as Hou Hsiao-Hsien touch it with his minimalistic approach you have to be ready to be shocked.
“The Assassin” is glamorous without any mega-picture setting, thrilling without any swordplay on ropes, operatic without any chorus and romantic without any catchy music. It is a piece of art presented as one-woman-opera elegantly played by Shu Qi, and as an eloge-de-l`amour touchingly narrated by Hou`s sublime visual style. ” – Babak Geranfar

Image of Hard to Be a God
5.

Hard to Be a God (2013)

 10/10
A group of scientists is sent to the planet Arkanar to help the local civilization, which is in the Medieval phase of its own history… (177 mins.)
Director: Aleksey German
“ As crazy as it sounds, we are forcefully left with no choice here: Take it or leave it.
The movie madness is beyond anything has ever happened in the cinema, and Aleksi German`s 15 years marathon (which his son finished posthumously) is a new thing which needs a term to be coined for it: like Retro-Sci-Fi,or Ahistorical-Drama or, Seriously-what-the-f-is-wrong-with-you.
In one word i`m speechless… although i can only think about one word: Masterpiece ” – Babak Geranfar
Image of Anomalisa
6.

Anomalisa (2015)

 9/10
A man crippled by the mundanity of his life experiences something out of the ordinary. (90 mins.)
“ If being tempted by dolls to have an affair is a perversion I think i am a pervert. Although i can not name it like the way they coined anomaly+ Lisa into Anomalisa. It is the recurring problem i have with every flick Charlie Kaufman makes; I think i`m not smart enough. Just like his Lisa and his intentional singular voice every other characters had in the movie. Moreover, can anyone believe we just watched a whole intercourse between dolls? and some of us – i mean the pervs like me – got tempted by it.
Since this masterpiece is redefining the borders between “Film” and “Animation” and blurring the lines which were pretty obvious before, there was another conclusion for me to stick into: If this is an animation the title “Movie Every body is wrong about” definitely goes to “Inside Out” this year. ” – Babak Geranfar
Image of Knight of Cups
7.

Knight of Cups (2015)

 9/10
A screenwriter living in LA tries to make sense of the strange events occurring around him. (118 mins.)
Director: Terrence Malick

“ They Say you have to be a Believer to Like Malick`s work, and i am one. Although as a big fan i cannot express my joy about how sublime his ecstatic style of filmmaking is in “Knight of Cups”. At least not in this little box. This movie needs a huge review, and i`m just taking a bow.

Begin… ” – Babak Geranfar

Image of Bridge of Spies
8.

Bridge of Spies (2015)

 8/10
During the Cold War, an American lawyer is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers. (141 mins.)
Director: Steven Spielberg
“ In the all glimmering glamour of new star wars era, Spielberg re-establishes his School. The movie embodies the task of how a great director can make you cry your eyes out even if you are not american, and make a spy thriller into tear-jerker with subtle twists. With Tom Hanks leading perfectly, “bridge of spies” endorses of the power of dialogue, and how is it to be a brilliant negotiator. This is where your hats goes off. ” – Babak Geranfar
Image of Brooklyn
9.

Brooklyn (2015)

 8/10
An Irish immigrant lands in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a romance with a local. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within. (111 mins.)
Director: John Crowley
“ It is unbelievable how Saoirse Rona’s becoming more and more of a superstar. With plenty of memorable acts already n her dish, she has now become a real chameleon of acting in just 21. Her couple with Emory Cohen has a chemistry in Brooklyn that will take you all that 2 hours deep into their romance and carry you around as if you are in the middle of a Jane Austin novel.
It is the little delight of the year. ” – Babak Geranfar
Image of Spotlight
10.

Spotlight (2015)

 8/10
The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core. (128 mins.)
Director: Tom McCarthy
“ … I literally can not write a word about this masterpiece! ” – Babak Geranfar
Image of Mustang
11.

Mustang (2015)

 8/10
Early summer. In a village in northern Turkey, Lale and her four sisters are walking home from school… (97 mins.)
“ The very brave debut picture for a turkish woman filmmaker, and an all-too familiar story for every middle eastern. But Mustang rides its freedom spirit over your soul, and Warren Ellis` music turns this old story all too magnificent in its new shape. Has anybody seen this turkish delight?! My eyes are still full of tears of joy… ” – Babak Geranfar
Image of Phoenix
12.

Phoenix (2014)

 8/10
A disfigured concentration-camp survivor (Nina Hoss), unrecognizable after facial reconstruction surgery, searches ravaged postwar Berlin for the husband (Ronald Zehrfeld) who might have betrayed her to the Nazis. (98 mins.)
“ I was really hoping to watch something far from the the cliches about Post-Nazi era in the past year , and I`m lucky because i just saw caught off-guard. Nina Hoss is breathtakingly good and Petzold -her artistic couple – played along in a duet to reveal an emerging piece of mastery in storytelling. That Noir touch in the movie, tells you a lot. It is not common, it`s just Genius. ” – Babak Geranfar
Image of 45 Years
13.

45 Years (2015)

 8/10
A married couple preparing to celebrate their wedding anniversary receive shattering news that promises to forever change the course of their lives. (95 mins.)
Director: Andrew Haigh
“ When two acting giants try to make a saraband, you just have to kneel and take a bow. Far from anything i expected, 45 years has the every quality art-house cinema is missing today. It was entertaining, mesmerizing and elegantly charming. I felt in love with these young hearts on the old disguise. ” – Babak Geranfar
Image of Amy
14.

Amy (2015 Documentary)

 8/10
The story of Amy Winehouse in her own words, featuring unseen archival footage and unheard tracks. (128 mins.)
Director: Asif Kapadia
“ Still my tears dry on their own! ” – Babak Geranfar
Image of Winter on Fire
15.

Winter on Fire (2015 Documentary)

 8/10
A documentary on the unrest in Ukraine during 2013 and 2014, as student demonstrations supporting European integration grew into a violent revolution calling for the resignation of President Viktor F. Yanukovich. (102 mins.)
“ The most compelling documentary of the year: Insightful and breathtaking. A good match for “Look of Silence”, to draw the road map of our never ending fight for freedom! ” – Babak Geranfar
Image of Mad Max: Fury Road
16.

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

 8/10
A woman rebels against a tyrannical ruler in post apocalyptic Australia in search for her homeland with the help of a group of female prisoners, a psychotic worshiper, and a drifter named Max. (120 mins.)
Director: George Miller
“ Pure Juiesance ” – Babak Geranfar
Image of Tangerine
17.

Tangerine (2015)

 8/10
A working girl tears through Tinseltown on Christmas Eve searching for the pimp who broke her heart. (88 mins.)
Director: Sean Baker
“ The indie surprise of the year! Powerful performances from T Actors! A controversial look into Armenian Diaspora! Thumbs up for Smartphone filmmaking! ” – Babak Geranfar
Image of The Diary of a Teenage Girl
18.

The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015)

 7/10
A teen artist living in 1970s San Francisco enters into an affair with her mother’s boyfriend. (102 mins.)
Director: Marielle Heller
“ Coming-of-age movies are so cheesy and neat all the time that they so easily lure into RomComs, but Marielle Heller`s brave look at this now renowned sub-genre (Juno, Me, Earl and the Dying Girl) with her subtle style of blending comic techniques and live flesh movie came as a bit surprise. Though the blunt subject matter of the movie and Bel Powley`s brave performance giving it a sweet appetizer. Thumbs up. ” – Babak Geranfar
Image of Theeb
19.

Theeb (2014)

 7/10
In the Ottoman province of Hijaz during World War I, a young Bedouin boy experiences a greatly hastened coming of age as he embarks on a perilous desert journey to guide a British officer to his secret destination. (100 mins.)
Director: Naji Abu Nowar
“ The little gem where you couldn’t guess there would be film culture! Thumbs up! ” – Babak Geranfar
Image of The Revenant
20.

The Revenant (2015)

 7/10
A frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820’s fights for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team. (156 mins.)
“ There is definitely two superstars shining in that movie; One is DiCaprio with his unforgettable performance and the other is the Maestro Emanuel Lubezki; Just Remember the Grizzly scene or the Indian Chase Scenes and remember how a good magical can catch your eyes. ” – Babak Geranfar

5 thoughts on “Best Films of 2015

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