I’m having my own Oscars: 2015

I haven’t seen nearly enough films released in 2015 (just around 120, not including the animated and short ones) to make a list like this, but since we’re already in the middle of January, I decided to give it a go anyway.

I have yet to see all the critically acclaimed films from the past year, such as Carol, Cemetery of Splendour, El club, Macbeth and The Forbidden Room, so there’s probably going to be some changes on the list in the following month. Also, dear Star Wars fans, I must disappoint you: I am not a fan of the franchise.

I hope you’ll still find something to your liking here – and please, do tell what were your favourite films of 2015!

Best Films

  1. Son of Saul (dir. László Nemes)
  2. The Tribe (dir. Miroslav Slaboshpitsky)
  3. The Assassin (dir. Hou Hsia-Hsien)
  4. Taxi (dir. Jafar Panahi)
  5. The Duke of Burgundy (dir. Peter Strickland)
  6. 45 Years (dir. Andrew Haigh)
  7. Amour fou (dir. Jessica Hausner)
  8. Phoenix (dir. Christian Petzold)
  9. Slow West (dir. John Maclean)
  10. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (dir. Ana Lily Amirpour)
  11. Room (dir. Lenny Abrahamson)
  12. The Lobster (dir. Yorgos Lanthimos)
  13. White God (dir. Kornél Mundruczó)
  14. Mad Max: Fury Road (dir. George Miller)
  15. The Diary of a Teenage Girl (dir. Marielle Heller)
  16. Victoria (dir. Sebastian Schipper)
  17. Mistress America (dir. Noah Baumbach)
  18. Ex Machina (dir. Alex Garland)
  19. It Follows (dir. David Robert Mitchell)
  20. Faults (dir. Riley Stearns)
  21. Timbuktu (dir. Abderrahmane Sissako)
  22. Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (dir. David Zellner)
  23. A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (dir. Roy Andersson)
  24. Appropriate Behavior (dir. Desiree Akhavan)
  25. Respire (dir. Mélanie Laurent)
  26. Tu dors Nicole (dir. Stéphane Lafleur)
  27. Tangerine (dir. Sean Baker)
  28. Clouds of Sils Maria (dir. Oliver Assayas)
  29. Sicario (dir. Denis Villeneuve)
  30. Spotlight (dir. Tom McCarthy)

Best Woman-Directed Films

(In 2015, more than half of the films I saw were written and/or directed by women. Here’s the whole list of women-directed films that I’ve been working on this past year).


  1. Amour fou (dir. Jessica Hausner)
  2. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (dir. Ana Lily Amirpour)
  3. The Diary of a Teenage Girl (dir. Marielle Heller)
  4. Appropriate Behavior (dir. Desiree Akhavan)
  5. Respire (dir. dir. Mélanie Laurent)
  6. Beyond the Lights (dir. Gina Prince-Bythewood)
  7. The Wonders (dir. Alice Rohrwacher)
  8. Girlhood (dir. Céline Sciamma)
  9. Mustang (dir. Deniz Gamze Ergüven)
  10. Goodnight Mommy (dir. Severin Fiala & Veronika Franz)

Most underrated films

(They’re far from being flawless, but they deserve more love and recognition)

  1. Unexpected (dir. Kris Swanberg)
  2. Dear White People (dir. Justin Simien)
  3. Christmas, Again (dir. Charles Poekel)
  4. Dope (dir. Rick Famuyiwa)
  5. Heaven Knows What (dir. Ben and Joshua Safdie)
  6. Nasty Baby (dir. Sebastián Silva)
  7. The Final Girls (dir. Todd Strauss-Schulson)
  8. My Skinny Sister (dir. Sanna Lenken)
  9. 6 Years (dir. Hannah Fidell)
  10. The End of the Tour (dir. James Ponsoldt)

Best cinematography


  • Ping Bin Lee (The Assassin)
  • Robbie Ryan (Slow West)
  • Roger Deakins (Sicario)
  • Nic Knowland (The Duke of Bergundy)
  • Hans Fromm (Phoenix)
  • Sturla Brandth Grøvlen (Victoria)

Best Original Screenplay

  • The Lobster (by Yorgos Lanthimos)
  • Ex Machina (by Alex Garland)
  • Faults (by Riley Stearns)
  • Appropriate Behavior (by Desiree Akhavan)
  • Mistress America (by Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig)
  • Spotlight (by Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer)

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • The Diary of a Teenage Girl (Marielle Heller)
  • Room (by Emma Donoghue)
  • 45 Years (by Andrew Haigh)
  • Phoenix (by Christian Petzold and Harun Farocki)
  • 52 Tuesdays (by Matthew Cormack)
  • Brooklyn (by Nick Hornby)

Best Lead Performances: Women

  • Charlotte Rampling (45 Years)
  • Brie Larson (Room)
  • Nina Hoss (Phoenix)
  • Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn)
  • Alicia Vilkander (The Danish Girl)
  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Beyond the Lights)
  • Bel Powley (The Diary of a Teenage Girl)

Honourable mention: Desiree Akhavan (Appropriate Behavior), Elisabeth Moss (Queen of Earth), Arielle Holmes (Heaven Knows What), Laia Costa (Victoria), Maika Monroe (It Follows), Tessa Thompson (Dear White People).

Best Lead Performances: Men

  • Tom Courtenay (45 Years)
  • Colin Farrell (The Lobster)
  • Leland Orser (Faults)
  • Michael B. Jordan (Creed)
  • Mark Ruffalo (Infinitely Polar Bear)
  • Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs)
  • Bryan Cranston (Trumbo)

Supporting performances: Women


  • Kristen Stewart (Clouds of Sils Maria)
  • Mya Taylor (Tangerine)
  • Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina)
  • Katherine Waterston (Queen of Earth)
  • Kristen Wiig (The Diary of a Teenage Girl & Nasty Baby)
  • Joan Allen (Room)

Supporting performances: Men

  • Oscar Isaac (Ex Machina)
  • Benicio del Toro (Sicario)
  • Paul Dano (Love & Mercy)
  • Emory Cohen (Brooklyn)
  • Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight)
  • Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation)

Best Documentaries


  • The Look of Silence (dir. Joshua Oppenheimer)
  • The Hunting Ground (dir. Kirby Dick)
  • Dom (dir. Metod Pevec)
  • Listen To Me Marlon (dir. Stevan Riley)
  • What Happened, Miss Simone? (dir. Liz Garbus)
  • Amy (dir. Asif Kapadia)

Best animated films

  • Summer 2014 (dir. Wojciech Sobczyk)
  • Song of the Sea (dir. Tomm Moore)
  • Anatomy of a Spider (dir. Vojtech Kiss)
  • Teeth (dir. Daniel Gray)
  • Splintertime (dir. Rosto)
  • World of Tomorrow (dir. Don Hertzfeldt)
  • O Menino e o Mundo (dir. Alê Abreu)
  • The Magic Mountain (dir. Anca Damian)
  • Anomalisa (dir. Duke Johnson and Charlie Kaufman)

Best music scenes


  • Phoenix – the most powerful/devastating ending scene I have ever seen.
  • A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night – my favourite vampire in hijab and Persian James Dean listening to “Death” by White Lies and falling in love.
  • Victoria – Victoria playing the piano.
  • 45 Years – ending scene with The Platters’s Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.
  • Ex-Machina – the legendary dance scene with Oscar Isaac.
  • Girlhood – girls dancing to Rihanna’s Diamonds in a hotel room.
  • Anomalisa – Jennifer Jason Leigh singing Cindy Lauper’s Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.

Biggest disappointments

  • Crimson Peak (dir. Guillermo del Toro)
  • The Experimenter (dir. Michael Almereyda)
  • Youth (dir. Paolo Sorrentino)
  • The Stanford Prison Experiment (dir. Kyle Patrick Alvarez)
  • Suffragette (dir. Sarah Gavron)
  • The Danish Girl (dir. Tom Hooper)
  • Digging for Fire (dir. Joe Swanberg)
  • Paper Towns (dir. Jake Schreier)

Worst films of the year

  • The Longest Ride (dir. George Tillman Jr.)
  • Hot Pursuit (dir. Anne Fletcher)
  • Fifty Shades of Grey (dir. Sam Taylor-Johnson)
  • The Loft (dir. Erik Van Looy)
  • Pitch Perfect 2 (dir. Elizabeth Banks)
  • Trainwreck (dir. Judd Apatow)

10 thoughts on “I’m having my own Oscars: 2015”

    1. Thanks, Courtney! 🙂 Yes, cinematography in Sicario was OUTSTANDING. I’ve been a fan of Roger Deakins for some time now, but with this film he really blew my mind. I mean, wow.

      And I’m so glad to hear that you loved Amirpour’s film! It was fantastic, I can’t wait to see what she does next. 🙂

    1. Yes, I know! I decided to make a list of my top 30 films and this one sadly didn’t make the cut. I considered including it among the most underrated films, but there was a lot of other films that I thought were equally good, but much less known than this little indie gem. Queen of Earth and Wild Tales are another two films that didn’t get mentioned, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like them – I just had to draw a line somewhere, otherwise the list would be too long. 🙂

  1. Like you, I haven’t seen nearly as many films as I’d like to from 2015. Because of that, I’m struggling to even compile a list. As it stands The Revenant and Ex Machina are two that really stand out. This is an interesting compilation though. So many I want to see.

    1. Thank you, Mark. 🙂 I haven’t seen The Revenant yet (it’s supposed to start playing in theatres next week, I think), but I absolutely loved Ex Machina.

      And I know, I struggled whether to make a list or not for quite some time too. I decided to do it in the end, but there’s still a lot of 2015 films on my watchlist.

      1. I feel like I should have made my list by now but if I did, it wouldn’t accurately reflect what I believe to be the best of the year. I’ll probably end up posting it at the end of 2016 at this rate 😉

  2. I feel like I saw hardly any new releases this year, but I am glad that some of my favorites made it on to your list — including Ex Machina, Mad Max, and It Follows. The worst movie I watched was American Sniper. Oh wait — actually I think The Falling was even worse, in a different way!

    1. I am glad that we liked some of the same films! I still haven’t seen American Sniper, but I am sure that it would make it on my “Worst movies” list if I did.
      The Falling was horrible, I agree! I barely managed to watch it until the end, which almost never happens to me, no matter how much I hate the film.

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