Top Ripples 2015

Here are the books and movies, experiences and encounters that I’d rated 4 Ripples this year. Click on the links to read my reviews.


~ ~ ~ ~ Ripples 2015 Movies

The Assassin 


Clouds of Sils Maria

Ex Machina

Mustang (Review upcoming)



Worthy mentions  ~ ~ ~ 1/2 Ripples

Bridge of Spies

The End of the Tour

Jafar Panahi’s Taxi


The Martian



Testament of Youth


At the Cineplex, I’d also enjoyed four National Theatre Live performances on screen direct from the London stage. All of these are memorable. CLICK HERE to read my post on the first three, and HERE for Hamlet:

The Hard Problem by Tom Stoppard

The View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller

Man and Superman by Bernard Shaw

Hamlet by William Shakespeare (with Benedict Cumberbatch)


As in years past, the number of books I’ve read is only about half of the films I’ve seen, a stat that I’d like to improve in the future. Here are the Top Ripples in books I’ve read in 2015, not all published in this year obviously.

Nora Webster by Colm Tóibín

Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín

Satin Island by Tom McCarthy

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

Beware of Pity by Stefan Zweig

The Post Office Girl by Stefan Zweig

Terrapin: Poems by Wendell Berry

Leavings by Wendell Berry

Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays by Joan Didion


Here, I must mention my 4 Ripple Experience: Fall Foliage Road Trip across four New England States two weeks in Sept/Oct., prompting me to write 10 blog posts when I came back. Starting here.

Kancamagus Hwy

Another 4 Ripple Encounter is attending the Merchant Ivory Retrospective in December. I’d never thought I could actually see director James Ivory in person. And so I did. It was fascinating listening to the 87 year-old, legendary director who’d brought us A Room with a View (1985), Howards End (1992), The Remains of the Day (1993), and many other literary to film adaptations talk about the working dynamics of Ismael Merchant, writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and himself in the creative process.

Here’s a photo of the occasion, a Q & A session with film critic Katherine Monk after the screening of Heat and Dust, adaptation of the Man Booker winning novel (1983) by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala:

James Ivory1


And that’s a wrap for 2015.



Related posts you might like to read:

Howards End by E. M. Forster

The Merchant Ivory Dialogues 

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala: A Tribute to Rootlessness

Can a Movie Adaptation Ever be as Good as the Book





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If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Creator of Ripple Effects, bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

21 thoughts on “Top Ripples 2015”

  1. I love your top ripple posts! Many of those films are on my Check it Out list! Books, too. Maybe between the holidays here (although as Rick reminds me, I’m retired — I don’t have to wait for vacation!).

    Hope your holidays were and will be terrific! Happy New Year and here’s a toast to lots of wonderful new movies and books in 2015. (Oh, I found in my car, wedged between the seats, an envelope with clippings from Suffragette, Trumbo and I don’t know if there’s anything else in there. I think it’s been around for about a month and don’t know how it went between the seats but there you have it! Off to you later this week!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Jeanie, and I can’t wait to write my Top Ripples post, only once at the end of the year. I’ve enjoyed tallying all the books, movies and other experiences I’d encountered in the past year. And thanks … can’t wait to get hold of those clippings too. NYT… don’t know how long we can still cut from the actual hard copies. This is what I’ll miss, one day, paper clippings. 😉


  2. Excellent movie list. I love Bridge of Spies and Suffragette but somehow I did not like Martian, don’t know why. Plan to see Brooklyn soon. My only gripe is how could you leave out Mad Max Fury Road, which to me is the best movie of the year. Charlize Theron’s steely performance in a macho movie was superb.
    Arti, you did it to me again. I was working on getting rid of that Barry Manilo song and you had to remind me of your New England trip. Oh well…. When will our eyes meet……………….When will this strong yearning end…………

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bob,

      LORL! (R=Real) So I can tell you’re a Barry Manilow fan big time! As for Mad Max Fury Road, it’s exactly as you said, I’m not too keen about ‘macho’ movies, or superheroes, or action extravaganzas. I know how critics had raved about this Mad Max movie, but for some reasons, couldn’t get myself to go see it, even though it has an actor i like in there, Nicholas Hoult. 😉


  3. The National Theatre Live performances have yet to be seen my anyone in my house but with two kids in theatre, we are bound to see one soon.

    Love your ripple list!


    1. Ti,

      The NTL productions from stage to screen are just wonderful. For the price of a Cineplex movie ticket, I got transported to a London theatre and got front row view of the plays. Simply amazing! The stage designs are excellent too. I’m sure your teenagers would love them.


  4. Such a fantastic year you had! Your movie list reminds me of some videos I need to keep an eye out for! Also, seeing Wendell Berry on your list reminds me I have been wanting to read his poetry for ages so I just went and requested one of his books from the library. Thanks! 🙂


    1. Stefanie,

      I admit I’m a recent reader of WB. I particularly like Terrapin because the illustrations are charming. And only after I breezed through the book did I find out that it was meant for younger readers. Well, who cares, poetry is poetry. And I esp. loved the joy of simplicity in them.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, how did I miss your Martian review — will remedy that soon. I’d seen the movie and wanted more of the sciency bits so I listened to the audiobook during my (new) commute to my new job — indeed, a new world 😉


  6. I wish I had seen/read all
    Of these. Many are on my rental list. At least I got to experience Brooklyn and Nora Webster – Toibin was a new find for me this year.


    1. Denise,

      You still have movie rental stores over there? Anyway, do go for Brooklyn the movie when it comes to your area. I think you’ll enjoy it. As for Nora Webster, I sure hope someone would pick up the film rights and do an adaptation. I’ve some ideas for casting if they care to ask me. 😉


        1. Denise,

          I think Kristin Scott Thomas would make a good Nora Webster, although she’s not Irish. As for Aine, at first I thought Saoirse Ronan would be a good choice but no, since she’s Eilis in Brooklyn. I think Asa Butterfield (Hugo, Ender’s Game) would make a good Donal. Your take?


          1. For Nora, two very different actresses – either Gina McKee, or Sarah Lancashire (but glammed down and not blonde). I think Carey Mulligan would have been a good Aine, but she is too old now (she still looks very young, but might come across as ridiculous casting.) Kristin would be good at putting across the ambiguity and internalness of Nora.


  7. I always enjoy end-of-year reviews. Mine will be coming up over the weekend I hope! I have only seen two films in your 4 ripples group – Ex machina and Spotlight. Both excellent movies. I think Brooklyn is starting here now, but tonight we are going to see The Belier Family. Could have seen Carol but I think it will be a bunrush on New year’s Eve so will save that for when it opens.

    In your 3 1/2 group I’ve only seen Bridge of Spies. Again, a good movie. Plan to see Suffragette soon – maybe next week if I can. My daughter badly wanted us to see Martian but the second half of the year has been so tricky we got to see far fewer films than usual.

    BTW, how wonderful James Ivory looks for 87!

    As for books, so glad to see Edith Wharton there. She is one of my all time favourites.

    Anyhow, Happy New Year, Arti. I look forward to seeing you around the traps in 2016.


    1. WG,

      Yes, James Ivory is wonderful… I hope he’ll be around for much longer while and bring us more. But according to what he’d said, the Merchant/Ivory/Prawer Jhabvala trio were the sole masterminds of their most wonderful works, and then when the other two passed, an era seemed to have passed too. As for Edith Wharton, did you know I went to visit The Mount in Lenox, MA when I was on my New England road trip? That was an inspiring experience.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I bet it was. I must read those travel posts. That is such a beautiful area of the world. You wrote up that trip in mid October which was exactly when we were touring Tasmania and I just didn’t get to read many posts. And then 4 days after our return my Sydney aunt died and that was the end of catching up!


  8. A friend and I are going to see “Brooklyn” Sunday evening. I’m looking forward to it, primarily because of your reviews. She’s already seen it, but wants to see it again. That’s a pretty high commendation, I’d say.

    Wendell Berry is one of my favorites. I actually came to him through a book of essays (no surprise, there) but I soon discovered his poetry was equally good. I don’t always agree with him, in terms of life decisions. He swears he’ll never get a computer, and that’s not something I could embrace. Of course, I understand the impulse, since I’ve managed to stay away from a smartphone, still.

    I’m so looking forward to this coming year, and all your ripples. I have so much I want to do I’ll never get it all done, but a book a week and a film a week are goals. Will I get it done? Sometimes, for sure. But it will be fun to be a little more dedicated.

    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

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