Dec. 31st, 2015

briarwood: Girl in a cowboy hat (3d rendered image) (Cowgirl)
2015 was the year I felt truly ashamed to be British, watching what my government is doing to the sick and disabled at home, seeing our pathetic response to the refugee crisis and hearing our psychopathic leaders lie and lie and lie. Politically, the only high point was the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of Labour, but I fear he is doomed to fail as even the left-wing press seems determined to help his opposition.

So let's not talk about the real world. Here's the year's high points in fiction.

Best film of the year: The Martian

OMG this movie! When I first saw the poster and trailers I thought this was some attempt to do Gravity but with a male lead, because that's what Hollywood does. If a woman can be awesome, a male actor has to do it better. I was so wrong. I mean, yeah, on the surface it's Gravity with Matt Damon playing the stranded astronaut. But I love it. I love the snarky humour, the crappy 80's music, the ridiculous edge-of-the-seat climax... I have never been so happy to be wrong about a film.

Honourable mention to: Carol because it's about damn time.

Most disappointing film of the year: Mockingjay part 2. (Note, I don't mean worst film, I mean the one that most disappointed me.) It was always going to be tough to make this work as a film. Mockingjay is the weakest book of the trilogy and while I do think it was the right decision to split it into two, that put most of the best moments into part one. They did a good job with tough material, but it just didn't spark for me the way the first three did.

Best book of the year: Rawblood by Caitriona Ward

A father raises his daughter in isolation, hoping to avoid the curse that falls on every generation of his family. But the daughter wants a life of her own. It feels like a gothic horror, a bit of Woman in Black, a bit of The Haunting of Hill House. As the story flits back and forward in time it gets a bit hard to follow, but the payoff is so very worth it. As the story unwinds toward its climax and you come to understand just what the curse/ghost really is, it's almost like being part of the story - I didn't know what I should feel (pity, horror, empathy, revulsion) and it blew me away. Not for bedtime reading!

Best audiobook: Locke and Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

It's an audio dramatisation of a graphic novel. The story of the Locke family and Key House, where magical keys open doors to the weird, the wonderful and the horrific. It's a horror story - it has to be called that because some really awful things happen, but I loved it for the other stuff, the characters and relationships. A full cast, sound effects and music really bring the story to life. I've got to read the original as soon as possible!

Best TV show: Jessica Jones

'Nuff said. Worth the price of a Netflix subscription on its own. Season 2, please!
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