Note: I’ve watched a lot of movies this year. Only ten of them released in 2015.
5. The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared. (Hundraåringen som klev ut genom fönstret och försvann). After living a long and colorful life, Allan Karlsson finds himself stuck in a nursing home. On his 100th birthday, he leaps out a window and begins an unexpected journey. To say this movie is goofy would be an understatement. It’s based on a book and neither the book nor the film are very high on the movie critics’ lists. But I don’t care about those a-holes because I have my own list and this is my #5. It’s silly, ridiculous, light-hearted fun. It’s as if the Sweeds took a Swedish Mr. Bean and threw him into a Wes Anderson movie. Kinda. My grandpa used to tell me stories that would bend and blur the facts of history with his own bizarre imagination, so I feel like my Grandpa could have written this book and screenplay. So thankful this came to the States this past spring so I could mention it.
4. Naked Among Wolves. (Nackt unter Wölfen). A prisoner arrives at the Buchenwald concentration camp with a boy hidden in his suitcase. I’ve been watching a lot of films dealing with WWII, but this is my favorite. I don’t think I have to convince anyone of the hell it was “living” in a concentration camp, so just imagine the hell you already know of it. And then put a little boy in the middle of it. And then take grim and terrifying and quadruple it. Yet despite it all, the hope this boy brings to these men is profound and life-changing, life-saving even. Throughout the film you get small glimpses of every angle of WWII.
3. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya. (Kaguyahime no monogatari). Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter and his wife, a tiny girl grows rapidly into an exquisite young lady. The mysterious young princess enthralls all who encounter her – but ultimately she must confront her fate, the punishment for her crime. I’m a fan of almost anything Studio Ghibli puts out. If I were to rank 5ive best Studio Ghibli films, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya would be my #2. (#1 will always be My Neighbor Totoro. If you haven’t watched it, if your little kiddies haven’t watch it, go watch it.) This film uses a hand drawn charcoal and simple but beautiful watercolour animation. The charcoal and watercolours change as the mood of the story changes, as events progress. It’s fascinating. It’s beautiful. And I love it. (And I can put it here because it was released in the States on DVD in February.) TidBit: Her nickname is Takenoko meaning Little Bamboo. Which is also the name of my favorite Japanese board game.
2. Mad Max: Fury Road. A woman rebels against a tyrannical ruler in post apocalyptic Australia in search for her homeland with the help of a group of female prisoners, a psychotic worshiper, and a drifter named Max. The YouTube video I added isn’t the 2015 movie. It’s the 1990 video game because I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t mention the Mad Max video game. Anyway, Fury Road is so boss. I had a lot of fun watching this movie. I don’t know if it’s supposed to be a movie you laugh through but I was dying. “Witness me, Bloodbag!” I wonder if I can get this to be my baby’s first phrase… “widess me, bwudbag!” as he points his fat finger at his older brother. I wonder what a Mad Max themed birthday party for a one year old would look like and how much it would cost to have little cans of chrome spray paint as party favors. And since Jeremy and Matt threw out their 2cents; I’m a fan of Miller, I don’t hate Nolan, not sure why everyone hates Armaddon, but Bay is eew.
1. Room. After five-year-old Jack and his mother escape from the enclosed surroundings that Jack has known his entire life, the boy makes a thrilling discovery: the outside world. I could talk with you about this movie and its tiny details for hours. It’s not an easy film to watch. Just when your anxiety goes down it spikes back up. Brie Larson (Ma) and Jacob Tremblay (Jack) are gems. Beautiful gems. This particular scene kills me. “I WANT A DIFFERENT STORY!” Just watch the movie. Like, I’m serious. I know you’ve been putting it off but stoppit. Watch it. I’m not even gonna talk about the movie right now. I’m just gonna STRONGLY ENCOURAGE you to WATCH THIS MOVIE. And if it turns out you hate it… No. You won’t. You just won’t. I mean, this is my #1 pick. I’m not really good at ranking 3-5 (ever) but my 1&2 are solid. Always. Right now. Watch it.