And so to the final list relating to films released in Australia in 2015. And, to make life more interesting (and a little easier), my list is ten rather than five for the performances.
10: The Theory of Everything (dir: James Marsh w/Eddie Redmayne)
9: Still Alice (dir: Richard Glatzer & Wash Westmoreland w/Julianne Moore)
8: The Martian (dir: Ridley Scott w/Matt Damon)
7: The Imitation Game (dir: Morten Tyldum w/Benedict Cumberbatch)
6: Far From Men (dir: David Oelhoffen w/Viggo Mortensen)
5: Selma (dir: Ava DuVernay w/David Oyelowo)
4: Birdman (dir: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu w/Michael Keaton)
3: Sicario (dir: Denis Villeneuve w/Emily Blunt)
2: Leviathan (dir: Andrey Zvyagintsev w/Aleksey Serebryakov)
1: Inside Out (dir: Pete Docter & Ronnie Del Carmen)
Powerhouse performances were the order of the day for most of the films on the list, with no less than four biopics (The Theory of Everything, Still Alice, The Imitation Game and Selma) featuring.
Films 6-10 are possibly interchangeable, with a couple of others on the periphery (most notably Southpaw, Black Mass and the German film Phoenix).
But for all my love of serious drama and powerful performances, I’ve surprised even myself in selecting the Pixar animation Inside Out as the best film of the year (sorry, Leviathan!). But with arguably the best script of the year and a fabulous concept that is extraordinarily entertaining, Inside Out is intelligent, imaginative, adventurous and very funny.