2015 was a great year for movies. It was a year where creative filmmakers continued to thrive and challenge the status quo. It was also a landmark year for documentaries and animated cinema. And of course, the quality of television continues to increase, with Netflix continuing to ramp up their production of original material – dominating the cultural discussion with a diverse range of original programming that continues to captivate audiences all over the world. Amazon Prime, while slower to adapt than Netflix, also has its fair share of impressive original material, which will continue to expand into 2016, as Hulu starts to get in on the game as well.
The less said about Yahoo’s botched offerings, the better.
As the availability of technology increases, independent cinema is becoming more and more ambitious, which in turn pushes more mainstream cinema to take risks. 2015 was the year of the 140 minute action thriller, all in one continuous shot. The year that an independent director shot a beautiful looking film with an iPhone and a handful of cheap apps. The year that Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu reached peak levels of insanity and somehow got a film greenlit that was shot all in natural light, made in a place where there is incredibly limited natural light (and that was barely habitable for humans, like a modern day Apocalypse Now).
2015 was also the year that Marvel had a weaker year on their film side, at least critically (they still made close to $2 billion), but had an incredible run on the television side, creating some of the best new shows of the year. Universal Studios had one of the best years on records, with the runaway successes of Furious 7 (RIP Paul Walker, thanks for the huge payout), and Jurassic World, which was only eclipsed by a certain little known space epic in December.
Quentin Tarantino released another new movie set in the past, displaying a fierce love of the ‘n’ word, and a fetish for beating on women – in a time as culturally sensitive and explosive (there were unparalleled amounts of moral outrage last year) as we’re in, The Hateful Eight has proven…divisive, even within my own brain. Is it his worst or best film yet? You’ll find plenty of arguments for both.
It was also the year of the return of the western, with several impressive revisionist westerns being created last year – not just Tarantino’s latest effort. If revisionist westerns aren’t your thing there was also comedy westerns, feminist westerns, and even horror westerns. Westerns are showing no sign of slowing down in 2016 either (and even making their way to television with HBO’s remake Westworld, and AMC’s Preacher), so yes, it does seem like the genre may actually be here to stay for a little while.
Oh, and of course, there was this little thing called Star Wars: The Force Awakens. You may have heard of it? It was kind of a big deal. It also turned out to be pretty good! It also obliterated the combination, to the surprise of absolutely no-one. It was the perfect cap to a year that seemed heavily focused on nostalgia, with the highly praised end sequence of Furious 7, Jurassic World, and even Creed, which arguably is the first film to truly perfect the delicate hybrid formula for a successful remake/reboot/sequel.
And so continues my extensive rundown of the high points of 2015 in film, across independent, Hollywood, and international cinema. Previously, we covered the best cameo appearances of 2015, and the best deaths. It’s going to be a wide ride. And hopefully, some of you will enjoy reading it. Without further ado, let me present to you the best characters from Film in 2015:
What makes a great character? In this world of remakes, reboots, sequels, and real life adaptations, audiences are being inundated with new versions of already existing characters, or people that already exist. This list is not meant to celebrate those characters – this is a list dedicated to the most memorable new character creations from 2015 – characters that will live on in movie lover’s consciousness for years to come.
To be a great memorable character you don’t need to be the most fleshed out, or have the most screen time, you just have to be a stand out of the film that you’re in. A character that you will instantly think of as a defining positive aspect of that particular movie. A character that you will remember either through fondness, or hate. Some characters while minor, are just so well drawn that you can imagine they have a rich history, and that’s enough to demonstrate that they are a great character.
Without further ado, here are the best new characters that appeared in Film 2015:
Warning: Some minor spoilers are included within, although I tried to keep them at an absolute minimum.