TOP TV/FILM OF 2015: THE SOPHIE AWARDS

I am an absolute Film and TV nut. If it was up to me (sometimes it is) I would watch films back to back all day. You always wonder whether you are a few minute away from discovering your new favourite – one that will break your heart, change how you think about something, of make you laugh till you feel like you’re getting a six pack. Please watch my video below to see some of my favourtie of last year. 

If you can’t be arsed…or hate to see my face in motion, then I have outlined some of them below. I’ve left some out in the hope you’ll be encourage to press play on the video…did it work??

What were your favourtie visual treats of 2015? Let me know!!

 THE AGE OF ADALINE

I’ve not watched many brand new romantic films, purely because I return to my old favourites whenever I’m in the mood to get mushy and slushy. One film I did see was The Age of Adaline, purely because my parents were going to see it and asked if I’d like to come, and it was far more appealing than staying at home alone and working. I didn’t have very high expectation for various reasons. Quite often a TV star’s early forays into film aren’t particulary impressive. You just have to think of Jennifer Anistons first lot of films (I actually love them, but they didn’t receieve critical acclaim). I wondered whether Blake Lively would be able to carry a motion picture. I was also expecting it to be formulaic and generic in its storyline. Of course there were some well oiled cliches, but there was also the inclusion of a twist – which is a nice surprise with a film of this genre. 

I will also be forever indebted to this film because it introduced me to Michiel Huisman, who is going to me my crush…probably till the end of time. CORRRRRRR.Harrison Ford plays his small part incredibly well too and Blake is simply stunning to watch. What a babe she is!

 MONTAGE OF HECK

Much more than just a music documentaty, this is a multi sensory heartbreaker of a movie. Brett Morgan gives as an unrivalled look at the grunge icon via artefacts and the people who knew him the best. You view never seen before home movies, photographs, drawing, notes, and hear tapes you’ve never been privy to. You feel like you get a genuine insight into the real relationship between him and Courntey, a view which actually affects your perception of the much talked about widow. Brett incorporates visuals and animation which add another texture to the movie too. This movie is bound to blow your mind, and make you want to ask even more questions about the tragic Cobain, but also the director. You can’t help but wonder what the very private Kurt would think about such an exposing film.

 MAKING A MURDERER

Unless you’ve been on a break from Social media or trapped under something very heavy for a long time, you will be extremely aware of this documentary at the moment. The last week it has been trending on Twitter and debated all over my Facebook.  It seems the documentary has got people so riled up, that pettitions have been made and signed in attempts to get this case opened and retrialed. This blog is not here to offer up spoilers, so I won’t go into detail about the show, but I must urge you to watch it. It concentrates on a guy called Stephen Avery, who went to jail for 18 years for a rapem, before he was released when evidence was uncovered that put him in the clear…What happens next is so unbelievable it has to be seen to be believed.

 GOGGLEBOX

When I first heard the synopsis for Gogglebox, I thought the commissioners had finally lost it. I just thought it was such a lazy concept, and really illustrated how ridiculous our obsession with reality TV had become. I’ve very happy to admit when I’m wrong, and my god was I on this occasion. Another show which brings a lot of joy to those who watch. Its fascinating to see how different people react to the shows we are watching, and we can relate to some of the rants, the shouts at the TV, and the funny things we say to eachother in the safety and comfort of our own homes. The brilliance and success of this show is largely due to the characters it includes. We all have our favourties…Another aspect which keeps us hooked is when you seen different sides to the characters you think you know. When the crass and slightly bullish Leon says something incredibly sweet to June you can’t help but well up.

 Did any of you see Gogglesprogs at Christmas? I cried so hard during the elephant bit….all the feels, as the kids would say!

 ARTIFACT

This didn’t actually come out in 2015, but I only got round to watching it at the end of last year. It was meant to follow the band Thirty Seconds To Mars as they made their album ‘This Is War.’ It turned into something else entirely when their record label decided they wanted to sue the band for 30 Million Dollars. This is an essential watch for anyone in a band, in the music industry, and even for those that care about whats right, wrong and fair. I was truly shocked by some of shady behaviour that happens in this industry I work in. My eyes were truly opened….It was also inspiring to see how important the creative process is to Jared and the rest of the band. It clearly is a true passion..

 BLOODLINE

A Netflix series that was reccommended to me by a friend. It wasn’t long before I was hooked. One of those series where you end up binging, because you just HAVE to know what happens yet. I guess you’d catagorise it as a Drama and Thriller, all involving the members of a family from Florida Keys. The two main stairs, pictured above, are brothers who have grown up to be very different people. The acting is superb, and you’ll find yourself getting stressed by the behaviour of one of the brothers in particular. This series really explores how one persons action can drastically effect a whole family. I don’t want to say anything else….but please give it a go. I’ve just heard that it’s been commissioned for another series. I can’t wait!

STILL ALICE

Julianne Moore rarely puts a foot wrong, but this has to be one of her stand out performances. But girls, don’t watch this film during your time of the month, because it’s not an easy watch at times. However upsetting it is, it’s a film every one should take the time to see though. For those that have witnessed the deterioration of someone with dementia, many of the scenes will be devastatingly real. I feel it really captured how you’d feel if you were diagnosed, and in turn how family and partners would respond to such a harrowing diagnosis. It was fascinating to see how different family members dealt with the news and the ongoing changes in Julianne’s character. It isn’t going to be easy for anyone to deal with, but seeing an accomplished professional and lecturer unable to do tasks which a few weeks ago would have been innate and automatic, was even more shocking.

 FIRST DATES

One of the most joyful TV shows of the year. It’s one of the only shows I clear my social life for. I refuse to miss my Thursday night date with Channel 4. Anyone who has been on a date can relate to the nerves, the expectations….and the disappointments. But even if you haven’t been on dates, there’s so much to be enjoyed by watching those living out theirs. There’s been many adorable, beautiful, sweet and endearing moments. There’s been those couples you thought were clicking and totally into eachother, that expressed the opposite when it came to giving their verdict to the camera at the end of the date. There’s also stories that bring you to tears and the characters you are willing on with all your might. There’s a few characters I still think about now, and hope they’re ok. You really feel like you get to know the people because you seem them being extremely vulnerable. It has everything and I really think the world would be a more lovely and mushy place if everyone was made to watch it!

God I love romance…

 CUCUMBER

I have to admit that this is one I didn’t see where it actually aired. After I saw some tweets say how marvellous the series was I got stuck in via 4OD. I was intrigued about the series when I saw the trailors for the packcage of shows appear on channel 4. They were vibrant, modern and brazen. I did wonder if they would be a bit to cartoony and lack raw emotion. I shouldn’t have worried. I should have had faith in you Russel T Davis! It starts as a story focused on Henry and his relationship with his long term partner….I can’t say much more without ruining the story for you. One epsiode truly shocked me to the core though. If you’ve seen the show you’ll know what I’m talking about. I actually gasped…and wept. You start thinking it’s going to be a frivolous, fun and camp show about a gay relationship….in turns into something much much more.

 

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY

In the early part of the year this was the most hyped film. I’m not sure people expected it to be good, but millions were eager to see it all the same. My gal pals had it booked in the diary for months. I hadn’t read the books, so I didn’t have the same urgency, but I wanted to see if I’d get sucked in to the story like so many others have. We had heard in the news about the problem with the making of the film and the difference between the books author and the film’s director. This lowered my expectations even more, and I think because of this, I wasn’t overly disappointed with the film. It wasn’t wonderful, but it was definitely adequete and I had a fun evening watching it with a gaggle of giggling girls. I also though Dakota’s was an endearing and relateable character. I could actually imagine me doing/feeling some of the things she did….I’m not referring to the sexual stuff with that statement btw.

 FURY

One of my only DVD purchases of the year was FURY. I had watched it twice at the cinema, because I was blown away first time round, and dragged my fella to see it so I had someone to talk to about it. I think it has more impact in the cinema because the action, the noises, the gore feel more dramatic and terrifying due to the volume and scale.  That said, the emotion, suspense and horror of war translates with extreme clarity on a small screen too. It’s brutal and savage at times, but you do feel like you are getting an unglossed view of what it may have been like to live through those terrible times. Fantastic performances by the ensemble cast too. Poor Shia LaBeouf has tears in his eye throughout.

CATASTROPHE 

Another channel 4 gem. I have always enjoyed Sharon Horgan’s work but I wasn’t aufait with Rod Delaney until this series commenced. They had both admired eachother’s comedic talents and over Twitter came to the decision they should work together…the result being Catastophe. In short, this show is about a couple who have a one night stand which ends in a pregnancy. It’s hilariously uncensored and at times, quite gross…which totally appeals to my oversharing tendency’s. It’s great that both characters are funny…quite often the women is enrolled to be the sensible or sexy one…but Sharon manages to be all of them. They talk about those cringe, taboo and oh so real things you’re not meant to admit to also saying in your partnership, and you’ll find yourself laughing and nodding along as they tackle the difficulties of being in a couple, and being expectant parents. 

My favourtie scenes involved a smear test….I think that gives you a hint about what to expect from the show.

THE MARTIAN

 
I didn’t to get to see some of the films I was most excited about seeing in 2015…and my memory is awful. However, I do remember coming out of The Martian and feeling more than satisfied with the hours I’d spent following Matt Damon’s horrendous time in space. With Sci Fi there is a danger of a clinical coldness. The characters can lack warmth and empathy, alongside the environment. However this tale and it’s performances had a warmth to them. Even when things became seemingly dire for Matt Damon’s character, there were humorous moments. I guess finding humour in darkness is vital to ones survival. Having seen Intersteller I was a bit concerned when I saw the trailor for The Martian…it too stars Damon and Chastain. Luckily they were different enough in mood and tone that there wasn’t any confusion between the two movies and their roles within them.

WHIPLASH

One of the most tense watches of the year. I think I held my breath during some of the secenes. The way it was shot really heightens the feeling of stress too. The performances by both of the two males stars are incredible in different ways. 

Having previously warmed to J.K Simmons courtesy of his role as Juno’s dad. I was rather shocked at his ability to instill fear. He was absolutely terrifying. The scenes featuring Teller’s attack of the drumkit were incredible to watch, you felt the passion, the energy, and the desperation to improve the craft (and please Simmons). You woudln’t think a film about a drummer at a music school could keep you so enthralled. Very worthy of all the award attention and critical acclaim. 

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