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Film Honors: 2015

My own personal choices for the year. They reflect not just necessarily what I think is the best or essential cinema, but perhaps resonate with me or inspire, both at the time, and still today. Subject to alter choices based on viewings.

Actor Support

Paul Dano (Love & Mercy)
Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation)
Oscar Isaac (Ex Machina)
Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight)
Michael Shannon (99 Homes)

Filmmaking Breakthrough

Desiree Akhavan (Appropriate Behavior)
Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night)
Sean Baker (Tangerine)
Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl)
Chris Messina (Alex of Venice)

Sound Design

Ex Machina
Mad Max: Fury Road
Sicario
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Wild Tales

Special Effects

Ex Machina
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The Walk

Acting Breakthrough

Jason Mitchell (Straight Outta Compton)
Bel Powley (The Diary of a Teenage Girl)
Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Karidja Touré (Girlhood)
Alicia Vikander (Testament of Youth)

Cast Ensemble

The Big Short
Inside Out
Spotlight
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Wild Tales

Actor Lead

Raúl Arévalo (Marshland)
Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs)
Javier Gutiérrez (Marshland)
Tom Hardy (Legend)
Mark Ruffalo (Infinitely Polar Bear)

Set Design

The Assassin
Brooklyn
Cinderella
Crimson Peak
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Costume Designing

Brooklyn
Carol
Cinderella
Crimson Peak
Mad Max: Fury Road

Youth Breakthrough

Abraham Attah (Beasts of No Nation)
Evan Bird (Maps to the Stars)
Raffey Cassidy (Tomorrowland)
Natalia Dyer (I Believe in Unicorns)
Jacob Tremblay (Room)

Score Composing

Craig Armstrong (Far From the Madding Crowd)
Michael Brook (Brooklyn)
Disasterpeace (It Follows)
Lim Giong (The Assassin)
Thomas Newman (He Named Me Malala)

Song Composing

“Bhoomiyilenghanumundo” (Jalam)
“Dreamsong” (The Diary of a Teenage Girl)
“Fine On The Outside” (When Marnie Was There)
“Koodu Vaykkan” (Jalam)
“Simple Song #3” (Youth)

Picture Editing

The Assassin
Ex Machina
Mad Max: Fury Road
Sicario
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Cinematography

Cary Fukunaga (Beasts of No Nation)
Mark Lee Ping Bin (The Assassin)
Emmanuel Lubezki (The Revenant)
John Seale (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Lyle Vincent (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night)

Documentary

Amy
A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness
He Named Me Malala
Listen to Me Marlon
What Happened, Miss Simone?

Actress Support

Olivia Cooke (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl)
Camila Márdila (The Second Mother)
Julianne Moore (Maps to the Stars)
Érica Rivas (Wild Tales)
Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina)

Screenwriting Adapted

Emma Donoghue (Room)
Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl)
Nick Hornby (Brooklyn)
Hou Hsiao-hsien, Chu T’ien-wen, Hsieh Hai-Meng, Ah Cheng (The Assassin)
Aaron Sorkin (Steve Jobs)

Screenwriting Original

Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night)
Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley (Inside Out)
Efthimis Filippou, Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster)
Alex Garland (Ex Machina)
Damián Szifron (Wild Tales)

Animation

Anomalisa
The Good Dinosaur
Inside Out
Song of the Sea
The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Actress Lead

Regina Casé (The Second Mother)
Brie Larson (Room)
Carey Mulligan (Suffragette)
Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn)
Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)

Pride And Prejudice And Zombies
Youth
Sunset Song
My Skinny Sister
Dior And I
Mommy
Force Majeure
John Wick
The Avengers: Age Of Ultron
Far From The Madding Crowd
Girlhood
Clouds Of Sils Maria
The Wonders
Mia Madre
The Martian
Listen To Me Marlon

Directing

Alex Garland (Ex Machina)
Hou Hsiao-hsien (The Assassin)
Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster)
George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Damián Szifrón (Wild Tales)

Motion Picture

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (Ana Lily Amirpour) USA / Iran
The Assassin (Hou Hsiao-hsien) Taiwan / China / Hong Kong
Beasts of No Nation (Cary Fukunaga) USA
Brooklyn (John Crowley) UK / Canada / Ireland
Ex Machina (Alex Garland) UK / USA
Inside Out (Pete Docter) USA
Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller) Australia / USA 
The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos) Ireland / UK / Greece / France / Netherlands
The Second Mother (Anna Muylaert) Brazil
The Tale of Princess Kaguya(Isao Takahata) Japan
Wild Tales (Damián SzifrónArgentina / Spain

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