Best of 2015



The Big Short: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling

The Big Short

Me & Earl & The Dying Girl
The Hateful Eight

Male Lead:
Steve Carell – The Big Short

Bryan Cranston – Trumbo
Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl
Paul Dano – Love & Mercy
Samuel Jackson – The Hateful Eight
Oscar Isaac – Ex-machina

Female Lead:
Lily Tomlin – Grandma

Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn
Anne Dorval – Mommy
Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl
Greta Gerwig – Mistress America

Male Support:
Christian Bale – The Big Short

Ryan Gosling – The Big Short
Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight

Female Support:
Jennifer Jason Lee – The Hateful Eight

Cara Delevingne – Paper Towns
Rooney Mara – Carol
Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs
Julie Walters – Brooklyn

Adam McKay –The Big Short

Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight
Paul Weitz – Grandma
Xavier Dolan – Mommy
Asif Kapadia – Amy

Adam McKay –The Big Short

Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight
Paul Weitz – Grandma
Greta Gerwig & Noah Baumbach – Mistress America

Hank Corwin – The Big Short

Film Music:
Ennio Morricone – The Hateful Eight

Long Strange Golden Road – The Waterboys

Listened to this year:
Where Did You Sleep Last Night – Nirvana

Modern Blues – The Waterboys

Van Morrison – Duets
Covered – Robert Glasper Trio
The Epic – Kamasi Washington

The Waterboys – Roundhouse

The Waterboys – Colosseum, Watford
Van Morrison (No. 3) – Nell’s Jazz & Blues Club
Van & Tom Jones – Blues Fest – Millennium Dome
Marc Almond – Empire Shepherds Bush

Beautiful – Aldwych

Death of a Salesman – Noel Coward Theatre (Anthony Sher)
Guys & Dolls – The Savoy

Art Exhibition:
Peter Lanyon: Soaring Flight – Courtauld

Barbara Hepworth – Tate Britain
Frank Auerbach – Tate Britain

Purity – Jonathan Franzen

Read This Year:
The Long Goodbye – Raymond Chandler

A Streetcar Named Desire – Tennessee Williams
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
Then Again – Diane Keaton


Walking the Nile
House of Cards S3
The Murder Detectives
And Then There Were None

All Blacks in Rugby World Cup Final at Twickenham

Paris climate change agreement

Dearly departed:

  • BB King
  • Warren Mitchell (Alf Garnett)
  • Leonard Nimoy (Spock)
  • Ron Moody (Fagin)
  • George Cole (Arthur Daley)
  • Anita Ekberg (Sylvia, La Dolce Vita)

Warren Mitchell as Alf Garnett

Best of 2014

Best of 2013

Best of 2012

Best of 2011

Best of 2010

Best of 2009

20 comments so far

  1. theluckhabit on

    I will be along with my list shortly. You’ve got to do something about the music. The best year for at least twenty years! I have at least 20 albums that are essential on my list.

    • ArkAngel on

      I look forward to your list as always, Doug. On my part, this is just a work in progress for now…

  2. theluckhabit on

    Mostly music for me.


    Kamasi Washington at The Barbican – the support ‘Go Go Penguin’ were also outstanding.

    Runner Up: Richard Bona at ‘Fasching’, Stockholm


    It was a truly exceptional year – the best for twenty years.

    1. Jamie XX – ‘In Colour’

    2. Kamasi Washington – ‘The Epic’

    3. Tame Impala – ‘Currents’

    4. Khurangbin – ‘The Universe Smiles Upon You’

    And then a whole host of great albums which I cannot really separate…new albums from: Robert Glasper, Father John Misty, Panda Bear, Polar Bear, Follakzoid, Beach House (‘Thank Your Lucky Stars’ Not ‘Depression Cherry’), Grimes, Moon Duo, Mette Henriette, Matthew E White, Vijay Iyer Trio, Blanck Mass. I know I am missing a few here.

    Sport: Stuart Broad’s 8- 17 against Australia; Japan beating South Africa at The Rugby World Cup – a fantastic atmosphere and a great, great match; Chris Froome overcoming appalling roadside behaviour to win Le Tour.

    Sad to see the loss of George Cole (it may be an obvious reference point but I have revisited some of the old Minder episodes recently and he is so good in them), Warren Mitchell, John Taylor (possibly the greatest ever British jazz pianist), Lemmy, Alain Toussaint, Andy Fraser (The Free bassist, composer of ‘All Right Now’ – a band who still sound great, check out the track ‘Come Together in the Morning’), John Renbourn, Ornette Coleman, Wilton Felder (The Crusaders album ‘Those Southern Knights’ is one of my favourites), Clark Terry, Denis Healey.

    Book: ‘The Brain’ by David Eagleman. And I enjoyed Bill Bryson’s new one too as an ‘easy read’. No political biography this year in my selection – I just can’t push myself to read the Charles Moore biographies of the milk snatcher.

    TV and Film: It will hurt you greatly I know but I don’t recall watching any TV programme this year (apart from re-runs of Man vs. Food of course) and I didn’t go and see a film either! I did watch ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ about three years after it come out and I thought it was superb and very funny.

    Place visited: Greatly surprised by the excellence of The Eden Project. Bedruthan Steps in Cornwall on New Year’s Eve were wondrous in the high winds and heavy rain. But for me the real discovery was Albania. Fabulous food, stunning scenery, lovely people.

    • ArkAngel on

      By way of holding message, I’m gradually working my way through your music list

      • theluckhabit on

        I would be surprised if you liked any of it!

  3. catalanbrian on

    The best of 2015. I have no contenders for films or television as I have no access to either where I live, but, like theluckhabit I do have a best music list.


    Public Enemy at FIB
    Portishead at FIB
    Soledad Velez at Heliogabal, Barcelona
    Lo Gitano Blanc at Sota de Copes, Mora D’Ebre and other places


    The Epic – Kamazi Washington (surely on everybody’s list
    Same as you – Polar Bear
    From Kinshasa – Mbongwana Star
    Eska – Eska
    Lo Rumba Ebrenca – Lo Gitano Blanc

    My book of the year is Sweet Caress by William Boyd, which was a joy. It would have been Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie but, whilst I read it in 2015 it was first published in 2013, so it cannot qualify, other than in a special category..

    Event. The Catalan Independence Rally in Barcelona. Real passion, but I am afraid in search of what will prove to be an unlikely if not impossible outcome.

    The rest has already been said by either one of you

  4. ArkAngel on

    Any views on the Julia Holter LP?

    • catalanbrian on

      I am afraid that this has been below my radar, so I have just listened on Youtube to a couple of tracks – good enough to make it worthy of purchasing!

  5. theluckhabit on

    I heard the Julia Holter stuff a while ago. I thought ultimately a lot of fuss about very little.

    • ArkAngel on

      It’s not doing much for me – good but not cahones grabbing

  6. ArkAngel on

    TLH, you were right – worked my way through the list but they weren’t my cup of char. You were closer with Robert Glasper.

  7. ArkAngel on

    TLH, some thoughts on your list….

    I’m sure I would have enjoyed Kamasi Washington at The Barby – shame that date didn’t work for us (thanks again for offering the ticket). You know my views on his record – can’t get to grips with the vocals though he is clearly an exceptional instrumentalist and band leader with the energy of a new generation.

    Jamie XX, Tame Impala and Khurangbin I may need to give more time to.

    I’ll work my way through: Father John Misty, Panda Bear, Polar Bear, Follakzoid, Beach House (‘Thank Your Lucky Stars’), Grimes, Moon Duo, Mette Henriette, Vijay Iyer Trio, Blanck Mass.

    Matthew E White I listened to a bit last year (end of 2014). Good but my socks remained on.

    Cricket is largely off my radar (though you’ve had a helluva week this week) but that Japan v South Africa match at RWC was indeed something special. Share your Chris Froome admiration.

    Andy Fraser, Ornette Coleman, stand out for me from your Dearly Departed list.

    David Eagleman is a good tip.

    Don’t worry about any TV sensibilities on my part (most of it is poor) but no films is more of a crime. (Glad you enjoyed ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ though, albeit a bit behind the curve). Do check out The Big short this month in similar vein – even better.

    Enfant Terrible No. 2 has a bunch of Albanian pals which is why the notion of going there has crossed my mind in recent times – interested to hear your less partisan perspective.

    Enjoyed your list as always, thanks.

  8. theluckhabit on

    Actually I do have TV nomination. That documentary on the six-day war was superb.

    Albania – I may well be there myself this summer. Thinking of a surprise holiday for my daughters in Sarande in the South.

    Yes, thought that about the music – I would describe each of my top 4 albums as classics. The live Kamasi gig revealed him to be the weakest musician (only by comparison) in a sublime band. He is a leader/composer – not the best musician but a great band leader. Perhaps in the way Ellington was.

    The Eagleman brings together all the best recent science about the brain in a Bill Bryson ‘A short history of nearly everything’ way but he is an expert who has the gift of making it easy to understand. It’s also beautifully presented.

    I have a good cultural weekend coming up. At St Martin in the Fields on Saturday night for a candlelit concert and then The Vortex Jazz Club on Monday night with Catalan. As I have now completely knocked the alcohol on the head I intend to invest my evenings in a continuous orgy of culture. Big Short tip duly noted. And I want to go to some of these ‘Sofar’ gigs this year.

  9. theluckhabit on

    I meant to say that Grandma has caught my eye and I will see that.

  10. ArkAngel on

    CB, enjoyed your list too.

    The best of 2015. I have no contenders for films or television as I have no access to either where I live, but, like theluckhabit I do have a best music list.

    Would have enjoyed the Portishead gig. The only gig I’ve evr been to in Barcelona was Afrika Baambaata.

    Going to work my way through your list too:
    Same as you – Polar Bear [listening to this as I write]
    From Kinshasa – Mbongwana Star
    Eska – Eska
    Lo Rumba Ebrenca – Lo Gitano Blanc

    I’ve been humming and hurring over Sweet Caress so you may have pushed me to the point of giving it a go. I like William Boyd but wasn’t sure about the blurb on this one.

    The Independence Rally must have been pretty resonant.

    Have a great 2016 Brian – meeting you in 2015 with Dylan can also go down on the list of events!

    • catalanbrian on

      Yes, I listened to this the other day and have decided that this has to be a purchase.

      • ArkAngel on

        Which “this” (has to be a purchase)?

  11. ArkAngel on

    OK, Polar Bear – now we’re getting somewhere… 🙂

  12. theluckhabit on

    A little bit of Mette Henriette for you:

    • ArkAngel on

      Ta – pleasant, good for writing to – otherwise a bit too minimalist for my tastes (a computer could probably write this without too much trouble)

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