Of the many films that released this year, these ten films managed to foster conversation at the various film festivals this year.
Cinema as a landscape ably fuses aural and visual treatments to, sometimes, stirring effects. And for film aficionados, filmmakers, critics and just cinema lovers, alike, it does not get better than being at a film festival. Film festivals feature movies from around the world, belonging to different cultural reasonings and treatments and deliver them as a one wholesome experience to the audience members. In fact, film festivals are so prestigious, that it indeed is an honour to have your films selected for them.
The Sherp had a look at the most popular film festivals – The Toronto Film Festival, Mumbai Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Cannes and some others to come up with the ten most talked about films that featured in them.
Here’s our cohesive list –
1. Mad Max : Fury Road
Discounting the Nolans and the Tarantinos, rarely does a big budget Hollywood movie get it right. Rarer still for a reinvented action flick to be warmly received by critics and audiences. But George Miller’s killer reinterpretation from the Mad Max franchise, screened at Cannes Film Festival was unanimously agreed upon to be one of the best films to come out of America in 2015. The post-apocalyptic theme armed with the stunning, chaotic picturisation, featuring stunning acts by Charlize Theron, Tom Hardy and Nicholas Hoult made it an absolute winner.
2. The Lobster
The foreseeable grim future seems to be a recurring theme in Sci-Fi films, as The Lobster won the Jury Prize at Cannes and was screened at several other festivals such as TIFF and BFI. Much like the two year old genteel drama, Her, The Lobster is a movie predicting an ominous future where coupling is but a necessity for survival. A matter of life and death, even. Starring Colin Farrel and Rachel Weisz, the movie is a dystopian drama where one must either find a mate in fourty-five days or risk being turned into a monster.
Suddenly, Phoebe’s, ‘He’s her lobster’, doesn’t seem so cute anymore, does it?
Masaan by debut director Neeraj Ghaywan was a film representing India at the Cannes Film Festival this year, where it did not only receive a five-minute standing ovation by the audience, but also bagged two awards at the festival’s Un Certain Regard category. A poetic ode to a country traumatised by the plagues of its past, Masaan is a sensitive story of four characters, aiming high but landing low. The film was noted for the praise it received from the international press, and audiences.
Given how Feminism makes for controversial conversations in today’s times, it is probably the need of the hour to have a movie that sets the movement’s records straight. The British film is a dramatic telling of the beginning of the Suffragette movement in Britain, when a group of women rebel to fight for women’s rights. The film stood out, not only for its compelling story, but for its ability to shine light on one of the most important historical events, with the portrayals of Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep equivocally praised.
Kanu Behl’s directorial debut Titli, premiered at Cannes Festival, and has won several awards at film festivals such as FIFIB, Seattle South Asian Film Festival, Hawaii International Film Festival, SAIFF, Malatya International, Gijón International Film Festival, and Festival du Film d’Asie du Sud Transgressif. The film ventures deep into the parallel, dystopian world that thrives in India’s capital city of Delhi, one where devilishness, greed and violence overtake humane simplicity and rational. It’s an escapist film, without the unnecessary overtures of romanticism.
6. Black Mass
No one can discount Johnny Depp’s fine talent, but the actor has, of late, found himself in roles of little meaning and effect. Black Mass is Depp returning to the actor we knew, shape-shifting and goosebump-worthy. Having premiered at this year’s Venice International Film festival, the movies sees Depp essay the role of organised crime leader James ‘Whitey’ Bulger and the incidents that took place due to his alliance with the CBI. The critics were overjoyed at Depp’s return to form. And the audience received it wholeheartedly.
7. The Danish Girl
Eddie Redmayne is undoubtedly the man of the moment. From having won an Academy Award for his career-defining act as Stephen Hawking to his latest role as Newt Scamander in the pre-extension to the Harry Potter series to his character in The Danish Girl, which sees him play Lili Elbe, one of the first known people to have received the sex-reassignment surgery. The film having competed at TIFF and Venice International Film Festival was lauded for inducing a conversation for the transgender movement.
Dheepan was this year’s winner of the esteemed Palme D’Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival and a highly deserving one at that. The French film, directed by Jacques Audiard is a heartbreaking story of three Tamil refugees who flee the civil-war rummaged Sri Lanka to come to France to begin a new life. The tribulations and struggles that follow the protagonists makes for an extremely sensitive drama, one highly critical in today’s war-rid times.
A story of love, deceit and loss, Macbeth has always been touted as one of The Bard’s strongest works of writing. A cinematic portrayal of this story with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard is enough to get film-heads interested. The absolutely fearless retelling of the story has had critics raving about just about everything to do with the film, from the bold performances to the scene-stealing visuals.
According to Indiewire, Carol was the most popular film at London Film Festival this year. Made by the brilliant and critically acclaimed filmmaker, Todd Haynes, Carol, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara is the story of a young photographer and her relationship with an older woman going through a difficult divorce. The romantic and sensitive film was loved by everyone who saw it, making it one of the most invigorating dramas of the year.