The 2015 Jeff Malone Academy Awards

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If I were in charge of unilaterally selecting the Oscars, here is who would be recognized. Nominees are listed in order of preference, winners at the top.

Best Picture
1. The Big Short
2. Spotlight
3. Ex Machina
4. Inside Out
5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Lead Actress
1. Alison Brie, Sleeping with Other People
2. Brie Larson, Room
3. Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
4. Charlize Theron, Mad Max: Fury Road
5. Cate Blanchett, Carol

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9 Best Music Videos of 2015

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I almost exclusively picked dance videos this year. Go figure.

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1. Missy Elliott ft. Pharrell, “WTF” [Director: Dave Meyers] – If more music videos were reminiscent of Being John Malkovich, this would have been a harder decision.

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The Best Albums of 2015 That I Listened To

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As my best albums list is the “Best Albums I Listened To” as opposed to just the “Best Albums,” it is more pointedly subjective than my other best of lists. I usually do not listen to enough albums each year to really be able to definitively say which are the absolute greatest. Thus, instead of focusing on objective critical analysis, I am concentrating more on my own personal experiences with each of these entries.

Currents

1. Tame Impala, Currents – The Australian psychedelic rockers’ latest gets my top spot because it is one of those vaunted albums in which I wanted to listen to every track over and over, both as a whole and individually. Tame Impala’s previous release, Lonerism, is one of my favorite albums of all-time; I am counting my blessings that its follow-up is now in the same category.

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The Best Commercials of 2015

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1. Apple TV – “The Future of Television” – The spot for Apple’s latest innovation has the bouncy sort of colors and sounds that portend utopia.

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Best New TV Characters of 2015

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Rad Cunningham

1. Rad Cunningham (Will Forte), Moonbeam City – On an underseen show, Will Forte worked his indelible powers of empathy and open-mindedness to birth another one of his beautifully pathetic creations. In the patently ridiculous Moonbeam City PD, Rad is the most ridiculous, and the most childish, but also the most profoundly human.

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Best TV Scenes of 2015

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These were the moments that had me had me keeling over, on the edge of my seat, and begging for mercy.

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10. The Eric Andre Show, “Bird Up!” – Focus group – This is how TV gets made, apparently.

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Best Movie Scenes of 2015

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The best mini-movies that had us rocking in and falling out of our seats in the past year.

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10. Jurassic World, T. Rex vs. Indominus Rex – A.K.A the 2015 Late Night War.

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Best Film Performances of 2015

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Here is a rundown of the excellence in individual performances in films in 2015, starting with my choices for the 2 best and then the rest in alphabetical order. At the top are a fellow who talked and talked his way through a freaky-cerebral premise, and a lady who cracked her buoyant starting point into a heartbreakingly complicated interior.

Oscar Isaac, Ex Machina
Alison Brie, Sleeping with Other People

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Christian Bale, The Big Short
Elizabeth Banks, Love & Mercy
Angela Bassett, Chi-Raq
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Josh Brolin, Sicario
Steve Carell, The Big Short
John Cusack, Chi-Raq
Paul Dano, Love & Mercy
Benicio Del Toro, Sicario
Robert De Niro, The Intern
Deanna Dunagan, The Visit
Joel Edgerton, Black Mass
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Walton Goggins, The Hateful Eight
O’Shea Jackson, Jr., Straight Outta Compton
Michal B. Jordan, Creed
Brie Larson, Room
Peter McRobbie, The Visit
Jason Mitchell, Straight Outta Compton
Daisy Ridley, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Seth Rogen, Steve Jobs
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Jason Segel, The End of the Tour
Phyllis Smith, Inside Out
Sylvester Stallone, Creed
Charlize Theron, Mad Max: Fury Road
Lily Tomlin, Grandma
Stanley Tucci, Spotlight
Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina

Best Film Ensembles of 2015

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When the folks who say the words and act out the movements flocked together, these were the groups who made the most thunder.

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Best Films of 2015, 11-20

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I already posted my top 10 list on Starpulse, but wouldn’t you know it, there were plenty of other great movies. Here are three less than a baker’s dozen worth:

11. Mad Max: Fury Road – Charlize barks at the moon, giving us our most iconic image of 2015.
12. Krampus – The tricks are a treat, as is the teamwork among a dysfunctional family.
13. Creed – Adonis unapologetically forges ahead to be true to his identity and establish his family.
14. Sleeping with Other People – The question this time isn’t, “Can men and women be friends without wanting to sleep with each other?” but “Why wouldn’t they if they like each other enough?”
15. The Visit – Right at home on the corner of creepy and hilarious.
16. Brooklyn – Even when Eilis Lacey’s life is hard, there is so much love in her world.
17. Unfriended – The most formally ingenious movie in years, perhaps decades even.
18. The Peanuts Movie – Charlie Brown is preternaturally neurotic; ergo, this one’s a thinker.
19. Room – Tight corners promote empathy.
20. Furious 7 – The first F&F movie in which I actually remembered some of the plot aftewards.

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