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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Monday, September 19, 2016

The 2015 RyMickey Awards - Best Breakthrough

Who broke onto the scene in a big way in 2015?  For the first time last year, I rewarded the Best Breakthrough to someone other than an actor -- writer-director Damian Chazelle took the top spot.  Will a non-actor win this year as well?  Read on to find out.  Remember that placement in this category doesn't necessarily mean these folks were complete unknowns prior to 2015 -- it's simply that they made a significant impact for the first time in their careers.

Best Breakthrough of 2015

Honorable Mentions (in alphabetical order)
Jamie Chung - Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong
Lily James - Cinderella
Shameik Moore - Dope

And the Top Five...

#5 - Abraham Attah
Beasts of No Nation
In his first film role, Abraham Attah captivated in Beasts of No Nation, appearing in nearly every scene as a carefree boy sent into the hellish world of becoming a child mercenary.  He achieved the emotion needed for his character and really carries the heavy film on his shoulders.  Attah recently booked a role in the upcoming Spider-Man movie (featuring RyMickey Award 2012 Breakthrough fourth-place finisher Tom Holland) so I'm pleased to see he's moving on to exciting opportunities.

#4 - Alex Garland
writer/director - Ex Machina
Although he'd already written a few films (some of which I wasn't a huge fan), Ex Machina was Alex Garland's first trip behind the camera and he came up gangbusters.  Not only did he write an incredibly intelligent film, he knew how to shoot it so that it created an overwhelming sense of building tension and dread not only for the characters, but for our society at large.  Hopefully he can continue this success with his next feature which I'll eagerly await.

#3 - Dakota Johnson
Black Mass, Cymbeline, 50 Shades of Grey
I fully recognize that 50 Shades of Grey was not a good film, but Dakota Johnson is surprisingly watchable in the great amount of dreck that surrounds her in terms of a "story."  She certainly didn't embarrass herself -- which is one of the reasons no one wanted to take this part.  Although I had never heard of her before, Johnson had a decent resumé prior to the role that really put her on the map, but now she'll likely see a lot more opportunities come her way.

#2 - Jacob Tremblay
In his first live-action film role, Jacob Tremblay fascinates in Room.  Although I'd like to say a lot more about the young man here, (spoiler alert) his name is going to be popping up quite a few other categories so I'll restrain myself from effusively praising him at the moment.  Needless to say, I'm greatly hoping that his parents can help him keep a good head on his shoulders as he continues down his Hollywood path.

#1 - Alicia Vikander
Burnt, The Danish Girl, Ex Machina, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Although Alicia Vikander had many roles in her native Sweden, 2015 was the year she really made her mark on the US film scene.  Winning an Academy Award for The Danish Girl (a film that I despised, though found Vikander fantastic), she also starred in the fascinating Ex Machina.  2016 has already seen her take the big screen in Jason Bourne and The Light Between Oceans (the latter of which already places her in contention for next year's RyMickey Awards) so she's not going anywhere anytime soon...and that's a good thing, for sure.

Previous RyMickey Award Winners
2014    ----    2013    ----    2012
2011    ----    2010    ----    2009    

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