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The 10 Best Movies of 2015 You Don’t Want to Miss

The 10 Best Movies of 2015 You Don’t Want to Miss

2015 was another impressive year for movies. Some of the best movies are being nominated, and the lines at the cinemas to watch these movies are getting longer and longer by the day. However, not just Hollywood blockbusters caught our eye this year. There were also many underrated hidden gems,and foreign movies that proved that the art of filmmaking is still alive.

The below list features a few brilliant films that came out in 2015. While more recently released films get all the Oscar buzz, there are definitely a few movies worth watching from earlier in the year.

1. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

A high school senior, Greg (Thomas Mann), is forced by his mother to befriend his classmate, Rachel (Olivia Cooke), who has fallen gravely ill. They surprise themselves by becoming the best of friends. This encounter forever changes Greg’s life. The movie shows the true ways someone deals with cancer and how the people around them react. I swear, the realism in this movie is high.This is an excellent indie film with a hint of humor. It is one of those great feel-good films. However, the way the story was done would definitely leave you thinking about this movie for a very long time. It has a brilliant screenplay, brilliant direction, and a  brilliant cast. What can I say? It was a brilliant film altogether.

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2. Mad Max: Fury Road 

Mad Max: Fury Road, the fourth Mad Max movie directed by George Miller proves to us this action-packed series can get better and better. This post-apocalyptic movie follows a woman saving a group of female prisoners, with a drifter named Max from an oppressive leader, while being chased by the leader’s psychotic followers. This is one of those movies with very few words said, but at the same time, it speaks so much to the audience. It will definitely leave you with something. Aren’t those the best type of movies? It’s rare to leave the cinema, and still think deeply about the movie and how it greatly affects you. The one thing I HAVE to mention would be the cinematography. It was beyond brilliant. Truly a masterpiece. Everything about this movie was perfect!

3. The Tribe

This Ukrainian film is about a boy who is sent to a boarding school for the deaf and later joins a group of rebels. This is an incredible and underrated movie. This movie has no dialogue, and no subtitles – nothing. However, that’s not going to stop a great movie. As the movie has a high level of sign language (but no subtitles), the audience must rely heavily on the characters’ facial expressions and the music. Please, don’t be put off by this because it’s still a very good film with an easy flow. This film is beyond extraordinary.

4. Kingsman: The Secret Service

Here’s another great action movie by director Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: Days of Future Past) based on another great comic book. Eggsy (Taron Egerton), a boy who lost his father at a very young age protecting his country, now lives a life of crime. Early in the story, this young man gets recruited by an ultra-secret spy organisation – the same organisation his father was involved in. Meanwhile, Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson as the villain) has an evil plan to solve climate change by going on an international killing spree. This stylish spy movie is a definite must-watch because it’s a new take on the Bond films. The franchise collaborated with Mr Porter, so everything worn in the movie (and more) is being sold. The finest menswear designers, such as George Cleverly, Swaine Adeney Brigg, Drake’s, and more, designed everything worn in the movie. Vaughn has a different way of looking at violence and shows it in its true form, where it is still bearable to watch. Kingsman is a great movie with an amazing cast. It has a fun take on spy movies with a hint of humor and a dash of style. Vaughn definitely does not disappoint here.

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5. Macbeth 

This adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is one of the great cinematic adaptation yet. Michael Fassbender was truly excellent in this movie. He has truly proven that he can take on any role and it seemed like this role was made for him. The reason this movie is beyond amazing is the way the story was adapted. It was moving, it was emotionally complex, and it had everything you could want from a drama. The movie was so powerful. It is everything you would expect it to be and more. It was one of those movies where you know it is a masterpiece.

6. Mommy 

This French-language film comes to us from Canadian director Xavier Dolan. The story follows a widowed mother supporting her violent child. She also gets help from a new neighbor. This movie was so moving, and so heart-warming. It is one of the best foreign feel-good movies out there. Dolan has proven that he is a rising director. Mommy truly proved how brilliant his filmmaking methods are. This underrated movie is a spectacular must-watch. It has all the ups and downs it needs, and will leave a mark on you. You will feel every emotion you can feel. Mommy was a beautiful work of art that left me awfully fulfilled.

7. The Stanford Prison Experiment 

Based on a true experiment conducted by Dr Philip Zimbardo in 1971, this movie tells the story of twenty-four male students randomly selected to play as prisoners and guards in a ‘prison’ as part of a psychological experiment. This movie was truly mind-blowing. You will realize things you never once realized before. I mean, you knew people did it, but maybe you never really thought about it. The one thing that struck me was the fact that the prisoners never questioned the guards’ authority. They fought back at times, but that was it. These people were all randomly selected with no qualification. You can see that these guards tortured the prisoners and it was greatly difficult to fight back. This is one of those movies that will affect an audience forever, because this really happened and it shows what the human mind is capable of.

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8. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. 

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is a movie based on the hit TV series from the 60’s about the United States and the Soviet Union having to team up to take down a mysterious criminal organization. Classic characters from the TV series are still here, like CIA agent Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and KGB agent Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer). Both actors, as well as Swedish rising star Alicia Vikander (also appearing in 2015 award nominated features Ex Machina and The Danish Girl) who plays Gabi, acted brilliantly. We knew the director would have to be a great one to produce a fine film such as this, so it’s no shock Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes and Snatch) did a brilliant job here. This is a movie that will fully grab your attention from the start to the end. It was not a disappointment in any way. The film also had beautiful cinematography, colors, and style. Actually, eveverything was on point.

9. The Martian 

Ridley Scott is back to direct another great science fiction movie, and this time it’s The Martian. Based on a book by Andy Weir, this story stars astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) who is stuck on Mars and struggles to survive. The movie was visually stunning and brilliantly acted. As science fiction films have been on a rise recently, this movie was slightly different as it had a lot of humor. The way the movie was produced made you feel like everything was real. This is one of those stories where you’re just hoping for a happily ever after ending, but it also plays with your emotions throughout. Everything about this movie was great, from the directing, the visual effects, the script, to the cast. Everything combined to make this movie a perfect one. It will leave you at the edge of your seat.

10. It Follows 

This movie is about a curse passed on through sexual intercourse. The cursed are the only ones to see a stranger (or even a person who looks like someone they know) following them. It will kill them if it can get to the current victim of the curse. I definitely understand just by that synopsis, you might think this would be a horrible movie, made as a joke; however, I promise you, it is a fantastic horror film. It also has a low amount of jump-scares, nudity, and vulgar language for the horror genre. Being in a generation with very few good horror films, this is definitely one you don’t want to miss.

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Featured photo credit: Sam Howzit via flickr.com

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NOORMARINA ANWAR

Student, Monash University

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Last Updated on February 18, 2019

13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

Fear. I spend my life talking about fear — fighting fears, fixing fears and understanding fears. And yet I doubt I get 10 calls a year from people saying “Mandie can you help me fix my fear?”

Why is this so critically important to you?

The realization for me is that fear is not the fundamental driving force in your life it’s what regardless of whether I’m talking to a doctor, a teacher, a CEO’s, a senior citizens or teenager – every single one of those conversations has a direct correlation with your world.

Fear can range from the overwhelming desire to look away or stop in your tracks to literally fleeing your country and the life you knew. In this article, I will share you with 13 tips to face your fears and enjoy the ride.

1. Know That Fear Is Real, but Can Be Overcome

Right now around the world people are facing fear — real fear. Fear that I pray my children and I will never experience. Does that lessen my fears or your fears in your relativity safe 21st century life?

When I look at the world we all live in, I find that fear like so many other emotions can mean so many different things to so many different people:

  • The child who has to be physically dragged to their first day of school.
  • The man facing the judge.
  • The woman with her hand poised over the buttons over her phone because she has to walk down a dark corridor late at night alone.
  • The man as the surgeon says “count backwards from 10 Mr Smith.”
  • The woman that’s told “We are sorry, we can’t help you.”
  • The man that faces the empty circle of a gun and prays for his very existence.

These and a million more (Portrayed in every kind of movie, book or song you could imagine) are what make us human. We face fear and somehow move forward or are stopped in our tracks.

Like the rabbit in the headlights of the car that veers off through the field away from the tyres of the car or stays still praying for salvation. Like someone will save them. Sound familiar?

Fear is huge. Fear is everywhere and yet fear can be overcome, controlled and can even be a power for good.

2. Accept Your Fear

Firstly if you aren’t facing the barrel of the gun, atrocities that make the news or impeding death, that’s a good start. However it doesn’t mean your fear is any less real.

We are quick to say “I can’t moan, my life is not as bad as X.” While in theory, that’s honorable your appreciation of Mr. or Mrs. X’s horrific life won’t change anything directly. So accept your fear is relative to you.

And here’s what can be done.

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3. Get Some Perspective

I found myself asking anyone that would answer “what is your worst fear”. The answer that intrigued me the most came from my daughter (15 years old and she usually has a copy of Fight the Fear – my book – in her school bag so she can help someone else be as positive and confident as her. No matter what life throws up.)

And her fear, surprised me — heights. I pointed out that we live in a sprawling bungalow (one storey) and the highest she goes is two storeys’ at school! She laughed but added, fear isn’t like that Mum. I know it’s not a real fear, but it’s like when you stand on a chair and feel unsafe.

That girl will go far. Because she truly gets fear.

We know something is scary and yet we still do it. Why? Because we have a perspective to the fear. When you lose perspective, it can feel too big, and too scary.

So look around you to get some perspective on your fear:

  • Are you really at risk?
  • Will this kill you?
  • Which leads us on to..
  • If the worse was to happen what would it be?

4. Hold a Hand

As a coach, it is my job to holds someone’s metaphorical hand and help them face a fear.

Like the child petrified of the thunder storm or the teen that can’t get back in a car again after failing their test, your job as a parent is to reassure, encourage, enable and motivate someone to face something that ideally they never would choose to again.

We know many of our fears aren’t real. However, it is only when someone guides us with love, respect, lack of judgement and safety are we able to get through fear. And trust me, you can get through your fears. I’ve seen it so many times.

Ask yourself:

  • If the worse were to happen, what would that be?
  • Could that really happen?
  • If the worse did happen, how would you recover?
  • If the worse were to happen, what would you need to do next?

By seeing fear as not the end destination but part of being human, you can see through it’s wily evil ways and move forward.

5. Know Whose Hand You Hold Either Physically or Emotionally

This helps with fears for the rest of your life.

Think of someone you can always rely on (and ideally you won’t just answer yourself because that adds a lot of pressure to your existence!) And you will find that you’ve already found a way to get through fear.

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The beauty of this is that it means that fear becomes part of life not something to be feared and shied away from.

It means you know you can turn to your friend, partner, colleague, parent, sibling and say “Right I need to deal with this, and I’m going to need you to help me.”

For one moment, think about it from the other person’s view point. When we get to help other people we feel valued, loved, respected and lots of other positive emotions and we get a good dose of positive chemicals setting off in our bodies too.

Your fear, and your determination to fight it, helped someone else too. Now that’s cool right?

6. Understand That There Are Some Things Fear Will Never Touch

I like to find role models in life — people who have faced heroism, history changing moments, war, atrocities, miracles, life saving inventions.

Not everyone was looking for greatness, however they all found it. And one of my favourite books to date is written about Alistair Urquhart, the forgotten highlander. If this doesn’t get turned into a film in the future, then no man’s story is likely to.

Alistair went through the most horrific experiences in the 2nd world war. If you think of one of the awful things that happened back then in our world, Alistair went through at least 3 of them! Asked afterwards how did you cope? He talked about how whatever they did to his body, no matter how they starved, tortured, threatened or mocked him, they couldn’t have his mind. In his mind he was free.

Of all the people’s voices I’ve heard in my head over the years, this is one of those statements that reminds me anything is possible if you have faith and hope.

Look for the things in life that fear can’t touch. They will create confidence and faith for the future, whatever you face. And they will give you a sense of why being you is awesome.

Of all the billions of people on this planet, no one will have an answer identical to yours!

7. Process Your Fears to Carry on with Life

Being brave is not about sticking your chest out and smiling regardless of what hell you endure. It is about finding a way to emotionally process your fears to be able to keep going.

I have a tool kit of things I can rely on – tools, strategies, techniques. They include people to hug or talk to, music. hobbies, walks on the beach and even my favourite food. It sounds mad but at the times where I have questioned “how will I get through this?” I’ve found immense joy in doing the most unlikely of thing that makes me smile.

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It may be a short lived moment of happiness. However, it reminded that nothing stays the same and I can find away.

One client told me that it was crazy when it felt like their world was falling around their ears to run a bath to the brim (you don’t waste water) get the best bath oils, light too many candles, lock the door and drink a glass of bubbly (champagne is only for special occasions.)

Did that moment fix the disaster that my clients life felt? No, however it gave them a moment of calm and the brain is far quicker to find solutions, resolve and motivation to keep going when you do that.

It may feel like madness to do something you love, however it can be a powerful way to help you find solutions to the fears you face in life.

8. Assume the Worse

If you read the statement from the client above. Notice how they assumed it was wrong to fill the bath up to the top? How bubbly is only for special occasions?

Think how naughty they felt to be doing something that was not allowed?

  • Think about what age it may have made them feel?
  • Think about how they feel about champagne?
  • What special moments it’s been a part of in their lives?

And you can see how the assumptions they made about their “right” to have these things was not healthy.

When I drag the assumptions out of people’s words for them to see, they are often struck by how negative the words make them feel.

Don’t assume your words aren’t impacting on you. You can go through fear and actually enjoy the ride when you take the time to understand how you are letting words get to you.

9. Take a Fear That Feels Insurmountable Right Now.

If you were to repeat it to me out loud, what would you say?

Would you have blame on yourself in there? Would you assume others can do it and it’s just you? Would you feel small, unsuccessful, useless, unworthy?

Usually, when you do this exercise, you are able to spot the untruths that run wild in your head convincing you that you are doomed. And rarely when we are faced with our assumptions is there is a lot of evidence to them.

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10. You Are Not Defined by Your Fear

One fear does not define your life – be mindful of that. It is likely to lead you to thinking of all the times you’ve succeeded and bring a moment of calm, confidence and faith back to you.

11. Go with Fear

When you learn to go with fear, you could find yourself actually having fun, no seriously – having fun.

I have a few amazing clients I’m working with right now who would describe themselves as life long worriers, or pessimists. In the past that has served them well, enabling them to keep safe, steer clear of risks and even develop strategies in the event of disasters. However, now they find it’s becoming hard to break the cycle and they really want to because it’s holding them back.

Notice how they’ve found their hidden fears and want to face them?

One client said “I knew this was going to be tough, and I knew I couldn’t fight it alone and I knew you would be the one to help me.” Before I sat an incredibly successful, confident, capable business owner with a family and a social life to die for.

However, I’ve learned that the most successful looking lives can hide things that impact on life, success, love, happiness and business.

We didn’t start with the fear that they felt was holding them back, we broke the fear down, and found lots of little obstacles that had been deemed as “life” and “unchangeable” and “that’s just the way it is” by developing awareness to the little steps on the road to their obstacles to happiness and success they were able to tackle them in a different way.

12. Discover Great Skills in Your Scary Moments

And in that clients words “I came here to work with you to grow my company, and my own personal skills. I didn’t expect to get the children to be cleaning up after themselves and my partner being more attentive! It all feels a little magic.”

The moral is that out of the scariest of moments, we can find great skills we didn’t know we had. Find better, healthier, happier ways to live and find ways to enjoy life more. (And have a bit of magic!)

What a great place to be in ready for the next fear that thinks it’s going to get in the way of you, right?

13. Own Your Fear

Think back over these tips and come up with at least one example for each one. Write them down. Put them on your phone. Turn them into a piece of art. Turn them into a poem. Frame them. Go for a fast walk across the fields, beach, down town and repeat these things in your head to the sound of your feet on the ground.

We rarely take the time to appreciate how far we have come, how much we can achieve or what we are capable of – by really owning the tips in this article you will have given your brain a big fat dose of “Damn right I can do this!” and the motivation and accountability to say “Let’s find a way” through any fear.

You can’t help but feel good when you see that can you? And fear doesn’t stand a chance, does it?

More Resources About Fighting Fear

Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

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