Best Performances of The Year: 2015

This year’s awards season started off with so much promise and a wealth of contenders. You had inspired choices like Kristen Stewart in Clouds of Sils Maria cleaning up with the critics, Idris Elba on the cusp of his first Oscar nomination for Beasts of No Nation and Michael B. Jordan having a true breakout moment in Creed. You had films like Chi-RaqThe End of the TourTangerine and Love & Mercy all of which were brilliant, but ultimately passed over in favor of mindless Oscar bait. In the end, the Academy’s narrow scope once again limited the possibilities of what was possible to a mindless lineup that required no imagination. In doing so, they saw the revival of #OscarsSoWhite for the second consecutive year.

But what if the Academy thought outside their narrow bubble? What if they used their imaginations and rewarded actually great performances, instead of the ones with the biggest campaigns behind them? I imagine we would see Mya Taylor’s brilliantly rendered Alex from Tangerine, instead of Jennifer Jason-Leigh’s half-baked “feminist” take on a battered woman in The Hateful Eight. Or maybe Benicio Del Toro’s menacing Alejandro from Sicario over Christian Bale’s hammy, phoned in performance in The Big Short.

2015 gave us so many amazing films with fully realized performances, that still live on despite the Academy’s ignorance.

Here’s my acting ballot. Who really deserved a nomination this year. 

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National Society of Film Critics Announce Winners

The National Society of Film Critics are the last of the big precursor awards before we get into the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

At this point, it’s really tough to pin down any of the frontrunners in the categories. It’s been a really tough year; All of the awards have been pretty spread out between CarolMad Max: Fury Road and Spotlight. A lot of the higher profile contenders (JoyThe RevenantThe Danish Girl) not dominating in the way we previously expected. They could still resonate with the Academy, however, because as well all know, the critics do not vote on the Oscars.

In any event, the NSFC adds a nice little boost to some contenders that really needed it, especially Michael B. Jordan. Creed is a bit of question mark in the Oscar race. It has the critical love and the box office, but the only member of the film that’s received any attention at all is Sylvester Stallone. Again, that’s not to say the Academy won’t embrace the film, but it’s nice to see Jordan get a shout out here over Leonardo DiCaprio and Johnny Depp.

Check out the full list of winners below.

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