THE MARTIAN (12)
D: Ridley Scott
20th Century Fox/Scott Free (Simon Kinberg, Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer, Aditya Sood & Mark Huffam)
W: Drew Goddard [based on the novel by Andy Weir]
DP: Dariusz Wolski
Ed: Pietro Scalia
Mus: Harry Gregson-Williams
PD: Arthur Max
Matt Damon (Mark Watney), Jessica Chastain (Melissa Lewis), Jeff Daniels (Teddy Sanders), Kristen Wiig (Annie Montrose), Michael Peña (Rick Martinez), Kate Mara (Beth Johansson), Sean Bean (Mitch Henderson), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Vincent Kapoor)
First off, The Martian is not a comedy. It may have won the Golden Globe for Best Musical or Comedy Film, it may star Kristen Wiig, it may have amusing moments and dialogue, but there is no way this falls outside the genres of science fiction or adventure.
Based on the novel by Andy Weir, Matt Damon stars as Mark Watney, an astronaut left stranded, presumed dead on Mars when he is separated from his crew following a storm which is so violent, they have no choice but to abandon their mission and head back to Earth.
Using his skills as a botanist and engineer, Watney must find a way to grow food on a planet where nothing grows, as well as managing his oxygen, water and other perishables until he can be rescued, which could be as long as four years.
Meanwhile, the suits at NASA hatch their plans to bring the astronaut back alive without compromising the crew who are already on their return home.
The Martian has shades of 2013's Gravity, putting a sole person in unimaginable position where their only goal is survival. Matt Damon brilliant carries the film in the majority of scenes where he is the only character, sharing his thought-process via a video diary where his biggest plan for survival is to "science the shit out of the planet".
This is amongst the best films of 2015, and thoroughly deserves to be amongst the Best Picture Oscar nominees.