1. Fathers and Daughters
Starring Russell Crowe as a Pulitzer-prize winning author who, in his early days as a struggling writer, survives a violent car-crash with his little daughter which proves fatal for his beloved wife. As an aftermath of the crash, he suffers from severe mental disorder and seizures which make it incredibly difficult for him to pursue his career as a fully functioning individual. His only motivation is his 5 year-old daughter who forms a beautiful bond with her doting father. Crowe’s performance as a loving father, who despite his failing health is determined to give a good life to his daughter, is extremely emotional and makes you appreciate the sacrifices fathers make for their children.
We have seen some inspiring films last year which revolved around the world of Media and Journalism. Truth is based on a sensational research done by Mary Mapes (played by Cate Blanchett) during George W. Bush’s first presidential term, which brought to light evidence of preferential treatment meted out to Bush in the Texas National Guard. This has also been mentioned in the critically acclaimed documentary named Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore. Mapes found evidence of his not being present during his course at the Academy and that the reports of his military exercises had been forged by the commanding officers. This was a huge allegation towards an incumbent President. As this news was released on the primetime show 60 Minutes, several attempts were made to refute her claim and she was eventually forced into disrepute. A brilliantly executed narrative, right up there with Spotlight.
Genre: Animated Feature/Drama
If the name sounds familiar to you, it may probably be ‘cause it was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film this year. An off-beat work by David Thewlis who has lent his vocal talents to the protagonist in this feature, this is one of the most profound screenplays we have seen in 2015. This stop-motion animation revolves around a man going through a semblance of mid-life crisis and is trying to find meaning in life through shallow short-term relationships. A very interesting and symbolic take on how we deal with relationships and how intriguing encounters, with time, assimilate into the monotony of life leaving us gasping for meaning once again.
4. Project Almanac
Who doesn’t love Time-travel flicks ? Project Almanac is based on the classic Grandfather Paradox that if you go back in time and kill your grandfather, your father will never be born and your own self would cease to exist as you would never be born. The story begins with a teenager who is accepted into MIT but cannot afford the tuition without a scholarship. In an attempt to achieve this objective, he searches his dad’s garage so that he can make something impressive enough to get him that coveted scholarship. However, while searching he finds an old camera with a video recording of his birthday party from when he was a little kid in which he catches a glimpse of his own 17-year old self in the video. Intrigued enough ?
5. The Visit
If you are one of those who keeps asking – “Whatever happened to the immensely talented M. Night Shyamalan ?”. Well, here’s what he has been upto these days. Taking a detour from his usually visually appealing and cinematic approach, Shyamalan forays into the found-footage format in this film for the first time. This story is about a brother and sister who have never met their grandparents before, thanks to their mother who had broken all ties with them. Feeling guilty about not giving her old parents the happiness of meeting their grand-children, she allows the children to spend a week with them. What was supposed to be a warm family reunion soon turns into a nightmare, as the ‘supposed’ grand-parents start acting strange. This superbly spun story has all the substance of a classic thriller and the found-footage format takes it to the next level.
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