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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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.