We spoke with family, friends, and the UpFront team to figure out the best movie, TV show, song, and Ottawa-related happening of 2015. Here are our favourite responses.
The Best Movie of 2015
Jurassic World, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Avengers: The Age of Ultron were the top-grossing movies of 2015. According to Rotten Tomatoes, Mad Max: Fury Road, Inside Out, and Selma are the top-rated movies of the year. Here’s what our panel had to say.
Straight Outta Compton – Brock M.
Mad Max: Fury Road – Ammie M.
Best Movie: Amy. This movie is a documentary on the life and death of Amy Winehouse. This was an incredible movie that really shows the life and struggles of a celebrity who suffers from addiction. It was a truly eye opening and absolutely heart breaking movie. As an Amy Winehouse fan, I loved seeing her write her songs and also learn the story behind them. After watching this movie I have a whole new love for celebrities and artists, but especially the incomparable, Amy Winehouse. She will go down as one of the greats, beside Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. – Lindsay K.
Brooklyn. A sucker for period dramas, I just recently streamed this movie online because it hasn’t been available at major theatres. I cried twice. This heartwarming drama will bring you back and make you think of our family members that immigrated from other countries. It shows you that assimilating is not easy, and can give you a different take on the situation with those refugees currently coming to Canada. I highly recommend this film, and it is up for a number of different awards. – Krista B.
I don’t watch many movies, but I have to give my vote to Whiplash (technically released at the end of 2014, but I saw it in 2015!) The lead performances by J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller were beyond impressive, and that unending drum solo sequence was absolutely captivating. The range of emotions that this simple and sparse film can conjure have me still thinking about this movie months after having watched it. – Amanda M.
The Best Song of 2015
We started the year with the reign of Bruno and Uptown Funk, ended it with the dominance of Adele’s Hello, and Taylor Swift owned the charts every other day of the year. Will our panel choose pop hits or recommend under-the-radar gems?
Best Song: When We Were Young. Adele’s newest album really shows how she hasn’t lost the ability to connect with her listeners and make you emotional. When We Were Young is a song that can resonate with everyone, and it really shows off her flawless voice. – Lindsay K.
Say It by Torey Lanez – Brock M.
Circus Of Your Mind (from the Finding Neverland soundtrack which debuted on Broadway this year. If you like whimsy, imagination, and theatre, go listen to it ASAP) – Ammie M.
Army by Ellie Goulding – Krista B.
Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars. This song was such a refreshing hit in 2015. Upbeat, energetic, endlessly singable, it takes top place for me. It’s unfortunate that it started to get backlash for being overplayed but this will be the definitive song of the decade. – Amanda M.
The Best TV Show of 2015
The Big Bang Theory, NCIS, and The Walking Dead are the top rated shows on TV. Game of Thrones and Veep are the reigning Emmy winners for Best Drama and Best Comedy, respectively. What did our panel think was the best TV show this year?
Fargo – Brock M.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. As long as you are not easily offended and enjoy laughing, this is the show for you. This is definitely a crude but hilarious show that you probably will only want to watch with your best friend or by yourself as some of the humour is AWFULLY crude. But this show is hilarious and only 30 minutes. This is a show you can pick up and watch from any point, but I recommend starting at season one so you can learn about all the characters and pick up on some of the jokes that they will use throughout the entire show. – Lindsay K.
Jane the Virgin – Gina Rodriquez is a star. Her humble personality on screen and off screen makes you think of what a wonderful person she is, and how amazing it would be to be considered one of her friends. This TV show is a perfect fit for many people. Moms who would like to bond over something with their pre-teen and teen daughters. Girlfriends who are desperately trying to find a show both her and her boyfriend can enjoy. It’s so outlandish it’s hilarious. I love how they brought a soap opera drama to night time television. – Krista B.
Jessica Jones – Ammie M.
Wentworth – I have a habit of binging through shows for 3-8 episodes and then forgetting about it for months or longer. Not the case with Wentworth, a hit Australian TV show about a women’s prison that makes Orange is the New Black look like middle school detention. We barreled through three seasons of this outlandish and dramatic show in a couple of weeks. My only regret is that now we have to wait for the next season! – Amanda M.
Best of Ottawa in 2015
We had a lot of fun with this category. Your submission could be anything related to the city – a hip new restaurant? A must-see museum exhibition? A great event you attended? Let’s see what the panel had to say.
My favourite thing is OCCO Kitchen. It is a tiny take-out restaurant in Orleans with a gourmet twist on fast food. Is Ottawa’s Best Restaurant located in a strip mall in Orleans? OCCO Kitchen is ranked #1 out of Ottawa’s 2,200 restaurants on Trip Advisors (even thought it has no tables and doesn’t serve alcohol). The owner and executive chef Mark Steele will be on the upcoming season of Chopped Canada. All of the ingredients are fresh – even the ketchup is made on site. It’s Orleans’ best kept secret…although it’s not much of a secret anymore… – Derek C.
The Revived Lansdowne – especially Joey Lansdowne – Brock M.
Paintball at Karters Korner. The weather was so mild in December, it was great for playing paintball. I don’t have my own equipment, but every once in a while my friends and I email in and book some time at this paintball field in Stittsville. It’s a family-friendly facility and it’s always lots of fun! The biggest advantage is that it is affordable to rent your equipment and play for at least 3 hours. I am looking forward for the snow fall so I can try paintball in the winter! – Lindsay K.
Cineplex VIP Theatres – Although visiting the Cineplex VIP theatres at Lansdowne can be pricey, there are ways to ease the cost that totally make going to see a film there justifiable. They do cheap movies on Wednesdays, and you can redeem your Scene points for tickets. Those with Virgin Mobile can also receive a two-for-one code once every other week. (*This promotion comes and goes.) – Krista B.
Bluefest! We didn’t actually have tickets, but we live nearby so we got live music every night. We even had people over for a balcony Kayne viewing party. – Ammie M.
The Hamburglar! The way Andrew Hammond and the streaking Senators tore apart the NHL in the final months of the season was absolutely electrifying to be around. It hasn’t been an easy road for the Senators in the past seven years, so these little moments of joy and excitement should be appreciated. The Hamburglar craze was silly and fun, but it was also rooted in a guy being given the chance of a lifetime and running with it. Ottawa should be grateful for the experience! – Amanda M.
Happy New Year, UpFront readers! Let us know your favourites in the comments.