Best of 2015: The Davids

david-and-goliath

2015 was an enormous year at the box office and produced four of the biggest films of all time in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Jurassic World, Avengers 2: Age of Ultron and almost inexplicitly, Furious 7.

These were all big, bold and brash and perhaps with the exception of Ultron, all kinds of fun. However amongst these Goliaths they were also a few Davids who dared to be different, who stood out from the crowd and captured the heart of this little man.

So here are the 2015 Davids, five films from 2015 in no particular order, which for numerous reasons failed to capture an audience at the box office, but deserve to be seen by more people. We have two satires, a short film, a character drama and one to sit back, crack a beer and tap your foot to.

Some of these will no doubt find their way onto my 2015 Top Ten List, which should be dropping in the near future, but some will not, though they are all worthy of your time. I urge you seek them out and give them a go.

So without further ado, here’s to all the Davids out there, this ones for you.

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Screen Time: 2015 Edition

Canberra Sunset

So it’s been a while……but anyway, back to business and as the sun has set on another year, welcome to a special 2015 edition of Screen Time where I look back at 2015 and see where all the time went. I thought it might be interesting to have a look at some of my viewing stats from the past year which have been compiled from a combination of my own records and the good folks over at Letterboxd, which if you haven’t checked out then you should, as it’s a must for any lover of film.

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Bite Size: Ricki and the Flash (2015)

  • Director – Jonathon Demme
  • Starring – Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Mamie Gummer
  • Writer – Diablo Cody
  • Year – 2015
  • Running Time – 101 mins

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Meryl Streep gets behind the mike once more in this foot-tapping tale of Ricki, the lead singer, of a house band (The Flash), who returns home after the break up of her daughter Julie’s marriage, to face what has been left behind in her search for rock and roll stardom.

The key strength of Ricki and the Flash is its authenticity. The bar feels like a real bar (you know, how they used to be), you can feel the rough and ripped plastic of the bar stools, the saltiness of the bar snacks, and hell, even the sawdust under your feet. Then the band takes the stage, and Ricki and the Flash feel and sound like an authentic house band – grungy, loud and you know, not great, but fun.

Family, personal decisions and their consequences take centre stage.  The fractious relationships between Ricki and Julie, played wonderfully by Streep’s real life daughter, Mamie Gummer, and her ex-husband Pete (Kevin Kline), ground and anchor the film. Their exchanges are both raw and bitter, while also touching and at times tenderly funny.

The narrative unfolds in a predictable, yet engaging way, with Diablo Cody’s usual whip smart dialogue in abundance; though helped on this time by some rousing and emotionally fuelled musical performances, thanks in part to the impressive Rick Springfield. Things get a tad heavy-handed towards the end, but by that point all involved have fully earned it and you suddenly realise just how invested you are, in both the family and the Flash. Encore!

★★★★

Review by Will Malone

If you liked Ricki and the Flash, then try Rock of Ages.