Sara Colangelo

Spinning Platters film critics present their top 10 films of 2015

Spinning Platters film critics Carrie Kahn and Chad Liffmann each share their ten favorite films of 2015. Here is Carrie’s list, presented in alphabetical order. (And you can find Chad’s here.)

1.) Brooklyn

Eilis (Saoirse Ronan) shares a tender moment with boyfriend Tony (Emory Cohen).

The immigrant experience in America is exquisitely captured in director John Crowley’s finely crafted film about love, loss, and longing in 1950s Brooklyn. Based on the novel by Colm Tóibín, Nick Hornby’s screenplay presents us with the intrepid young Irish woman Eilis, who leaves her family in the Irish countryside for adventure and opportunity in New York. Saoirse Ronan suberbly conveys Eilis’s gradual shift from shy newcomer to confident cosmopolitan. Called back home for a family emergency, Eilis must choose between familiar comforts and new possibilities, and Ronan depicts Eilis’s struggle with heartrending openness and aching honesty. Emory Cohen and Domhnall Gleeson, as competing suitors on opposite sides of the Atlantic, also deliver strong, sharply drawn performances.

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Spinning Platters brings you more spotlights from the 57th San Francisco International Film Festival (SFIFF), which continues through this Thursday, May 8th. Program notes and tickets available here.  There is still plenty of time to catch some screenings, and you can also see many of the films as they open widely throughout the year.

Boyhood
(USA 2014, 162 min)

Life awaits young Mason (Ellar Coltrane) in Boyhood.

Life awaits young Mason (Ellar Coltrane) in Boyhood.

Stunning, remarkable, and amazing don’t begin to do justice to Richard Linklater’s new movie. Filmed over the course of 12 years using all the same actors, the picture follows young Mason (a captivating Ellar Coltrane) from the ages of six to 18; in one scene he’s maybe 8, and maybe 30 minutes later, he’s 12, in seamless transitions that will leave you astounded. The film could have just as easily been called Childhood or Parenthood (Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette are equally terrific as Mason’s parents), as it’s about nothing less than the ephemeral nature of time and the meaning of life itself. Is life just a series of events – marriages, divorces, birthdays, graduations? What can we count on in life besides change? Breathtakingly original and achingly poignant, Boyhood is sure to be on many critics’ top ten list at year end; I know it will be on mine.

Screenings:

  • Opens July 18th at the Landmark Embarcadero Cinema

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