Best of 2005 - sans 1
Monday, January 23, 2006

Well folks, I've managed to get a whole third done of my Best of 2005 list. Every year, I write a Ten Best list of my own, but as of now, I've only got 9 on the list. There are a few that I havn't seen that I think might be on the list (GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK, CAPOTE, MATCH POINT) and some that I thought would be on the list but didn't do it for me and probably need a repeat viewing (CRASH, THE CONSTANT GARDENER, A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, SYRIANA) and some flicks that had good individual components, but not overall quality. But just so that I have something out there, here in the order of when I saw then first, here are my fave films of 2005.

THE UPSIDE OF ANGER- The first incredible film I saw this year is the best kind of movie. It's a hidden gem that you find unexpectedly, but end up treasuring a long time after you've found it. A scathingly funny and startlingly poignant family drama that end the film on a note of serene tragedy, it makes you take a look at the world around you in a new way. And has, excluding our BDH'S the best ensemble cast in any movie this year.

SIN CITY- Not only the best comic book adaptation this year, but also a high energy jump start of the film noir. This is trashy filmmaking pushed into the realm of pop art.

SERENITY- I'm preaching to the choir here.

EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED- A road movie unlike any other. What starts out as a comedic romp through the Serbian countries turns into a touching tribute to the Holocaust. One to search for on DVD.

WALK THE LINE- While it hits the same notes that other musical biopics have, this one does so with the same energy, vitality and truth that came with Johnny Cash and his music. And Reese Witherspoon as June Carter reminds us why we liked her in the first place.

GRIZZLY MAN- I am so pissed that this flick is out of contention for the Best Documentary Feature Oscar. This doc about Timothy Treadwell, a man who for thirteen summers lived with the grizzly bears in the Alaskan wilderness is an amazing film about how the line between man and nature sits on top of the line between sanity and madness.

MUNICH- In regards to the war on terror and the state of the world we live in, this flick more than any other is the most relevant in examining the wars we fight with each other and with ourselves.

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN- Admit it. When first hearing about this, you think back to SOUTH PARK and Cartman's comment on indie flicks being "black and white hippie movies about gay cowboys eating pudding". But upon seeing this flick, it becomes so much more than that. It's a straightforward love story that transcends cliches and becomes something relatable and haunting.

THE NEW WORLD- Terrance Malick movies are as common as comet sightings. But when they do come around, they are cinematic wonders to behold. His take on the Jamestown settlers and their clash with the Natives dispenses with common narrative and becomes something completely different. A hypnotic, lush and involving slice of history that should be viewed on the biggest screen possible so that the images can wash over you.

Other mentions:

Funniest individual scene - The whale scene from HITCHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY. Probably the most absurd thing ever put in a sci-fi film. The idea alone is funny as it is, but the voice over monologue had me laughing so hard, tears were streaming down my face.

Best soundtrack - ELIZABETHTOWN. Cameron Crowe's films vary with quality, and admittedly this is a bit of a letdown after the superb ALMOST FAMOUS. But one thing you can count on is a top notch soundtrack that can be appreciated without the movie.

Best "escapist" film - THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE. While most fantasy flicks transport you into another world, the kingdom of Narnia, unlike the world of Harry Potter, Skull Island and Middle Earth, is one world you'd actually want to go to. Perfectly captures the magic that the novel has and making it appealing to the children in all of us.

If the other three flicks I mentioned above don't make the cut, I'll probably add this to my official list as well.




You must log in to post comments.