Strong showings for "Eighth Grade" and "You Were Never Really Here" highlight the Independent Spirit Award nominations                Review: Round-Up: "At Eternity's Gate", "The Clovehitch Killer", "Jonathan", and "The Last Race"                "Green Book" is a crowd pleaser of the highest order and a definite Oscar contender                Steve McQueen and a phenomenal ensemble cast help make "Widows" look effortless                "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" offers something for every type of Coen Brothers fan                Updated Academy Award predictions for early November                Review Round-Up: "Dr. Seuss' The Grinch", "El Angel" "The Long Dumb Road", and "Outlaw King"                Taking a look at potential Best Documentary Feature contenders                "The Front Runner" is a terrific and timely film for right around Election Day                Hollywood Film Awards Marked the Launch of Awards Season                Taking a first crack at Golden Globe predictions                “The Favourite” and “The Front Runner”: Films to see in November                Awkwafina to Host 22nd Hollywood Film Awards                Review Round-Up: "Bodied", "The Nutcracker and the Four Realms", and "The Other Side of the Wind"                Rosamund Pike is a force to be reckoned with in "A Private War"        

The Best of the first three quarters of 2015

Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg

Believe it or not, but today is actually the last day of August, which means tomorrow stars September and the final quarter of the year. With this changing of the calendar, I wanted to again give you a bit of a look inside my mind. In short, this will be a quick little look at what I’ve enjoyed most over the first eight months of the year, as opposed to some of my slightly longer outings of this ilk. 2015 has been an interesting cinematic year for sure, so there’s no shortage of films worth praising. I’m keeping it simple this time and not being repetitive with commentary, but this does give you a look at what my favorites of the year so far look like before awards season truly gets underway. That’s something, right?

So far this year, I’ve seen 206 films, including a few that I can’t talk about yet (one is a big Oscar hopeful that I’m just under embargo for), so it’s been a busy 2015 so far. That being said, I’m limiting this to only things that have had a release date before September 1st. As such, that keeps a few great flicks off the list, like Sleeping with Other People and Time Out of Mind, of the titles I can speak freely about. Those will get their due soon enough, but right now they have to be on the outside looking in. The former of those two is sitting very pretty for a spot on my year end Top Ten list right now, so there’s that.

What’s interesting to me, before I reveal the updated list, is that of the over 200 movies I’ve seen, very few are actually going to seriously contend for Academy Award nominations. Excluding what I’m embargoed from discussing, only The End of the Tour, Grandma, Inside Out, Love & Mercy, Mad Max: Fury Road, and maybe Trainwreck will potentially show up anywhere even just on the precursor circuit. Awards season is going to be dominated by late year releases in 2015, that much seems certain. I’m not sure what that says about the year in film, at least right now, but it’s worth making a note of.

Below you’ll see my top ten films of the first three quarters of the year so far, along with my awards. Stay tuned for a longer piece at the end of the year, since there’s over 100 movies still to be seen before I can even think about putting a capper on 2015, but for now, take a look and enjoy!

inside out
10. Inside Out

Greta Gerwig 600x300
9. Mistress America

Magic Mike xxl 600x249
8. Magic Mike XXL

The stanford prison experiment
7. The Stanford Prison Experiment

Lily Tomlin Grandma
6. Grandma

Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg
5. The End of the Tour

2015 Sundance Film Festival Portraits - Day 2
4. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

it follows 2
3. It Follows

5 to 7 Anton Yelchin Berenice Marlohe 600x260
2. 5 to 7

trainwreck judd apatow amy schumer
1. Trainwreck

Life of Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys in LOVE & MERCY
Honorable Mentions: ’71, Amira & Sam, Gabriel, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, Heaven Knows What, The Hunting Ground, Mad Max: Fury Road, Love & Mercy, Slow West, and Tomorrowland

And my personal awards for the first three quarters of 2015:

Best Picture: Trainwreck (runner up: 5 to 7 and It Follows)

Best Director: David Robert Mitchell for It Follows (runner up: Victor Levin for 5 to 7 and Judd Apatow for Trainwreck)

Best Actor: Jason Segel for The End of the Tour (runner up: Anton Yelchin for 5 to 7 and Jake Gyllenhaal for Southpaw)

Best Actress: Lily Tomlin for Grandma (runner up: Maika Monroe for It Follows and Amy Schumer for Trainwreck)

Best Supporting Actor: John Cusack for Love & Mercy (runner up: LeBron James for Trainwreck and Colin Quinn for Trainwreck)

Best Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander for Ex Machina (runner up: Glenn Close for 5 to 7 and Brie Larson for Trainwreck)

Best Adapted Screenplay: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (runner up: The End of the Tour and Heaven Knows What)

Best Original Screenplay: Trainwreck (runner up: 5 to 7 and Grandma)

Best Animated Feature: Inside Out (no runner ups)

Best Documentary Feature: The Hunting Ground (runner up: Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief and Misery Loves Comedy)

Best Foreign Language Feature: White God (runner up: Black Souls and Eden)

Best Production Design: Mad Max: Fury Road (runner up: It Follows and Jurassic World)

Best Cinematography: It Follows (runner up: The End of the Tour and Mad Max: Fury Road)

Best Costume Design: Mad Max: Fury Road (runner up: Slow West and Tomorrowland)

Best Film Editing: It Follows (runner up: Mad Max: Fury Road and Trainwreck)

Best Makeup: Mad Max: Fury Road (runner up: Lost River and Spy)

Best Sound: It Follows (runner up: Lost River and Mad Max: Fury Road)

Best Original Score: It Follows (runner up: Inside Out and Lost River)

Best Original Song: Cold One from Ricki and the Flash (runner up: Love Me Like You Do from Fifty Shades of Grey and Flashlight from Pitch Perfect 2)

Best Visual Effects: Mad Max: Fury Road (runner up: Jurassic World and Ted 2)

*Bonus Category*

Best Cast Ensemble: Trainwreck (runner up 5 to 7 and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl)

Here’s to a great final quarter of the year!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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