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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,...

Friday, September 23, 2016

The 2015 RyMickey Awards - Best Director

For the second year in a row, my Best Director wasn't even nominated for an Oscar.  You'll also see that the eventual Oscar winner - Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu - doesn't even make an appearance here despite his film having several fascinating sequences.

Best Director of 2015
(SoN = Streaming on Netflix // SoA = Streaming on Amazon // SoH = Streaming on HBO)

(in alphabetical order by film)
Cory Joji Fukunaga - Beasts of No Nation (SoN)
Aaron Hann and Mario Miscione - Circle (SoN)
Niki Caro - McFarland, USA
Alfonso Gomez-Rejon - Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (SoH)

Honorable Mentions

8 - Ridley Scott - The Martian
Keeps things moving at a surprising clip, effectively balancing the various tones the movie creates. (SoH)

7 - Kenneth Branagh - Cinderella
Plays things old-fashioned in this modern era and there's an undeniable charm that accompanies this decision.

6 - Alex Garland - Ex Machina
Debut director has me looking forward to what I hope is a promising future. (SoA)

And the Top Five Are...

5 - Ryan Coogler - Creed
The visceral, in-your-face style Ryan Coogler (and his cinematographer) bring to the fighting sequences of Creed haven't been seen before in Rocky flicks.  The lengthy one-take fight sequence is blissfully choreographed and amazingly shot, leaving me awestruck.  Coogler also adeptly lets the quieter moments shine as well.  Fantastic work from this young director in what is only his second film.

4 - Lenny Abrahamson - Room
Mr. Abrahamson keeps the audience riveted with a emotionally intense relationship between a mother and son, getting great performances from his two leads.  In addition, he is adept at formulating a suspenseful atmosphere (that escape sequence!) as well as wonderfully lensing both the confines of Room and the wide-open spaces outside of the small enclosure. (SoA)

3 - Sebastian Schipper - Victoria
Could Sebastian Schipper have found a way to make his lengthy story a bit shorter?  Yes.  However, what he was done with his 132 minute-long single take movie is astonishing.  No tricks, just masterful camera work and well-thought-out timing.  Sure, it's a gimmick, but it's a gimmick that I always love. (SoN)

2 - John Crowley - Brooklyn
Brooklyn is a film that could've been made in the 1950s and director John Crowley embraces the simplistic and gentle aesthetic accompanying that era.  It's a heartwarming story filled with fantastic performances that exudes charm and elegance.  Plus, it's beautifully and lushly lensed. (SoH)

1 - Danny Boyle - Steve Jobs
Lensing Aaron Sorkin's talky script is no easy task, but Danny Boyle steps up to the plate and hits a home run with Steve Jobs.  He creates a rhythm that causes this talky, play-like film to move at a surprisingly breakneck pace.  The real-time aspect of the film (broken up into three acts) ingeniously keeps the tension palpable.  Plus, the decision to film each act using different formats of film (16mm, 32mm, and digital) creates unique visual imprints for the viewer.  Stunning work.  (SoH...Sept 24)

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

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