Saturday, December 19, 2009

Decade in Review: 2005 Top Ten

2009 is almost over and so many magazines and websites have already offered up their best of the year AND decade that I'm afraid y'all will get sick of the retrospectives before The Film Experience has chimed on. Remember: the tortoise wins! 2005's top ten list (in its original form) follows. New comments in red.

Public Favorites (Box Office): Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, War of the Worlds, King Kong, Wedding Crashers, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Batman Begins, Madagascar and Mr & Mrs Smith
Oscar Favorites: Brokeback Mountain, Capote, Crash, Good Night and Good Luck and Munich
My Vote For UnderAppreciated:
In Her Shoes, Happy Endings and The White Countess
Top Ten Runners Up (11-15): The Squid and the Whale, Match Point, The New World, Junebug and The Beat That My Heart Skipped. I like all five of these even better today than I did at the time... and more than a few things in my top ten list. I'd definitely reorder.

10 Corpse Bride
If there is one thing I value above all else in animated films, it's vivid character designs and cohesive artistic vision. In this area, Tim Burton's Corpse Bride has few equals. Credit goes to the titular auteur Tim Burton and co-director Mike Johnson's guiding goth-happy hands as well as one of Hollywood's finest production designers, Alex McDowell. (His past visually stunning credits include
Minority Report, The Terminal, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, and Fight Club. And still no Oscar nomination for his troubles... tsk tsk Hollywood.)
Beyond its superb visual delights, Burton's best film in years also digs up rich voicework from its cast, and offers an enchanting tale both sweet and sour. Nowhere close to perfect but Corpse Bride's got magic to spare.

09 Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were Rabbit
(Another animated film that's blissfully not of the currently homogenous CG *only* school of animation)
I have been a fan of W&G for a long time and enjoying them for an entire feature was akin to visiting with supremely droll friends whom one never sees enough of. To sweeten the reunion, they brought along the sublimely silly Lady Tottington. They even uncovered a heretofore unseen sense of humor in Ralph Fiennes (who voices bunny-hunting Victor Quartermaine). W & G's last cinematic outing was in 1995. A plea to Nick Park: Please do not make us wait another whole decade for the next adventure.

Curious that I shoved two animated films into the top ten... especially considering how strong the runners up were. I blame this partially on my own childlike delight at stop motion animation (it gets to me on some primal level) but mostly on release schedules. I know I'm too susceptible to that but it's just the way I am. I am better at loving things I'm familiar with than brand new things I've just met. And I had JUST gotten a glimpse of Match Point and I remember that I had an awful awful time processing The New World and what was going on with Oscar qualifications that year. Like Nick recently mentioned, I wasn't even sure which version of the Malick movie I was watching. And I don't know that it even still exists. I'm nervous about what this says about me but I actually felt physically angry at the idea that a movie I saw in the theater was not the same movie that my friends saw in the theater which was maybe not even the same movie that critics were writing about for their readers who would never be able to see that one. In some ways I'm still angry. It makes no sense to be this bonkers about it but I even feel like there should be laws against that ever happening again.

08 Good Night, and Good Luck.
Seasonal truth: As surely as leaves fall in autumn, "prestige" dramas arrive in movie theaters. They are generally set in the past, always aim to be 'classy', wish to delight year-end awards voters with gorgeous production values, and plan to be good for you, too. Rarely however are do they deliver on all four counts. This recreation of the 1950s media war between journalist Edward R Murrow (played by the mesmerizing David Strathairn) and Communist hunting Senator Joseph McCarthy (playing himself in archival footage) gratefully hits all of its mark. It's a prestige bullseye for writer, director, star, and emerging activist hero George Clooney.

I have had no desire whatsoever to rewatch this. Does that mean I overvalued it or is one enjoyable viewing of anything reason enough to love a movie?

07 Kings & Queen
Ever since seeing Arnaud Depleschin's wondrously mutating film Rois et Reine about a single mother named Nola (the superb Emmanuelle Devos) and the four men (father, son, ex-lover, and fiancé) in her life I've been desperately trying to pin it down. Exactly what is it?
Whatever it is --melodrama, comedy, existential quandry-- it's as gripping as any fine novel. And to extend the comparison further, it seems just as rich and information packed. Like Nola herself, Kings and Queen is a mysterious and possessive creature: Ultimately unknowable but unwilling to let you withdraw from its world.

06 Brødre
I first saw this Danish drama @ TIFF in 2004 where it became one of my two favorites of the festival. A year later
Brothers was released in the states to critical acclaim but made not much of a ripple at the arthouse box office, making it one of the many lost foreign pleasures of the year.
Hollywood may soon be utilizing director Susanne Bier. It's easy to see why. This drama about a young family turned upside down by the news that the husband has been killed in Afghanistan is emotionally potent without ever once feeling forced, despite story elements that would be either pedestrian or overplayed in lesser hands. There's nary a false note struck from the entire ensemble including Hollywood actress Connie Nielsen (making her first film in her homeland) who has never looked better or been more sympathetic onscreen.

Oops. Hollywood didn't take my warning about a story that would feel "pedestrian or overplayed in lesser hands". They went and proved my point just two weeks ago.

05 Me and You and Everyone We Know
Quirky. Edgy. Precocious. Artsy. Odd. These are all adjectives that truthfully describe Miranda July's debut film. Unfortunately all of these carry a whiff of negative connotation. Any of them alone can feel like mere attitudinal posing if a film has nothing to say. Thankfully Me and You and Everyone We Know, with its endearing cast of childlike adults and children playing at adult games has plenty to say about life and connections in this digital age. So quirky yes, but blissfully so. Me and You transcends any adjective you'd like to bestow on it.

One of Miranda July's funniest affectations in her performance/digital art is her tendency to use pre-recorded crowd cheering to punctuate her lines or do her own repetitous call/response with a lowered voice creating her own sycophant lover. I didn't need the prompting to express my adulation. In a year filled with promising debut filmmakers hers was the most endearing new voice.

This movie feels a bit like a lost oddball relic now. Not that it's aged poorly... just that it was always such an idiosyncratic unfashionable feeling thing that it stills feels a bit like an installation rather than a movie that came out. I hope she makes another film soon.

04 Caché
The last time I saw a Michael Haneke picture the title was The Piano Teacher. I was completely terrified, revolted, and stunned. Though nothing in Caché (also known as Hidden) reaches the peak of Isabelle's Huppert's performance accomplishment in the earlier film, I much prefer the newer film, which offers me the same visceral mix of reactions, albeit in different quantities. Perhaps in 2002 I just wasn't ready for the way Michael Haneke mercilessly dissects human weakness.

This mind-bender (and politically-minded story) about a rich French couple and the stalker-like videotapes that begin arriving at their door is masterfully told and rewards attentive viewing. The Austrian auteur uses no musical scoring, no quick editing, and no cheap Hollywood "gotcha!" scare tactics but still manages to thoroughly unnerve the audience. And unlike most tales meant to terrify, Caché also gives the intellect a workout. Michael Haneke may be the most gifted frightener since Alfred Hitchcock.

03 Pride & Prejudice
Confession: Prior to seeing this romantic romp from debuting director Joe Wright I had not read the Jane Austen novel nor seen the BBC miniseries which many consider definitive. I have since begun to fill in those gaps. For those angered at the films many liberties taken (300 plus page novels can't make it to film without cuts --sorry) I say pshaw! What matters is the spirit of the thing. And spirit the new
Pride & Prejudice has in spades.

Austen's writing is full of memorable characters, delicious staccato banter and wit and breakneck pace. In this impressively cinematic transformation, the nimble cinematography, beautifully dexterous setpieces, and highly enjoyable performances have all been beautifully choreographed together to ape the high spirits of Austen's eternal charmer. For pure movie-movie fun and swoon-worthy romance, this film is tough to beat.

I am not at all embarrassed by my love for this film, but I do think I overstated the case with the bronze medal. I'd move Caché up a spot for sure.

02 A History of Violence
David Cronenberg, the legendary Canadian director, is a shining beacon to all fringe dwelling filmmakers with a taste for mainstream exposure. You can make an accessible film without losing any of your maverick qualities or subversive spirit. Cronenberg hardly sold out upon taking the reins of this graphic novel adaptation. His signature offputting bits, like his taste for body-horror are still present, just less visible. In one of the film's many masterfully pivoting scenes, Edie Stall (Maria Bello) suddenly vomits upon learning a disturbing truth about her husband. This isn't the in-your-face gynecological terror of Dead Ringers (another Cronenberg masterpiece) but damned if it's not psychologically connected to Mrs. Stall's genitals

...Violence is one of those rare movies that expands and contracts with the audiences expectations. For film fanatics wishing to get lost in the celluloid, it's as deep as you want it to be. For the more casual moviegoer it's a shocking thriller. Either way it's a superbly crafted piece of cinema.

01 Brokeback Mountain
When I read the famous short story upon which this instant classic is based it haunted me for weeks. In very few pages with precise and spare prose, Annie Proulx gave me a portrait of two lives and broke my heart in the process. The film version has that same lean spirit but miraculously never missteps in expanding her original story. This portrait has fresh details and a stunning humanism. Ang Lee paints the secondary characters, wives, mothers, employers, fathers nearly as vividly. In the process the confident auteur has deepened the tragedy of the original story. Brokeback Mountain is no longer just a small but perfect romantic tragedy. It's now an improbably behemoth portrait of tragedy spilling out all over; this is the price of love rejected and forbidden --both for all those who find it and all those who deny its place in society.

Brokeback, which felt like an instant classic at the time, has never disappointed on repeat visits. If anything its familiarity works for it. Like Jack and Ennis, this love deepens. Will it haunt for a whole lifetime?

How does 2005 hold up for you? Which were your favorites at the time and which have snuck up on you as enduring loves?


Walter L. Hollmann said...

It's curious: Good Night and Good Luck is the 2005 movie I can *always* revisit, no matter what. And it wasn't even in my Top Ten! Munich was my number one, followed by Capote, Pride & Prejudice, Batman Begins, March of the Penguins, The Squid and the Whale, March of the Penguins, Wedding Crashers, The 40-Year-Old Virgin and...I don't remember my Ten. It may have been The Producers.

Of these, I have only re-watched Capote, Batman Begins and The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Munich I saw the one time in theaters, and that was it. Capote was probably my actual Number One, seeing as how I watch it annually (but only when I have a that weird?). And Brokeback is the only 2005 Picture nominee that I don't own (aside from that other one...but I don't count that).

James Hansen said...

Good Night and Good Luck was certainly the overrated critical darling of the minute for some random reason. I still don't know why people liked Capote. And if you saw the critics screening of The New World, oyu saw 15 minutes more than everyone! Lucky you! But, on further reflection, it is definitely a masterpiece. Just rewatched it last weekend for the first time in a few year. Gorgeous and tremendously emotional. If you want a good movie about people being connected to their land this weekend, The New World is the one to see.

Deborah said...

Brokeback persists in breaking my heart, and remains an all-time favorite. I hated Me & You & Everyone We Know. Many of these movies languish on my Netflix, waiting for me. My list will follow.

Deborah said...

Okay, here comes the list:

Upon review, I find that 2005 has an embarrassment of my favorite movies. Brick! Bubble! Brokeback! An amazing year. Also a great year for documentaries, including one of my very favorites, Murderball.

49 Up
Brokeback Mountain
Good Night, and Good Luck.
Inside Deep Throat
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Mozart and the Whale
Sin City

Serenity (the only thing wrong with Serenity is that it's not Firefly)
Munich (I rated this more higly at first, but, eh.)
Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing & Charm School
King Kong (I am not ashamed)
The Family Stone (not even a little ashamed)
Mrs Henderson Presents
A History of Violence
Mr. & Mrs. Smith
The Matador
Water (Deepa Mehta)

Victor S said...

It makes me feel kind of ashamed but I just don't get Brokeback Mountain. I realise how great Heath Ledger and the cast were, the sophisticated (in good way) directing by Ang Lee, but I simply don't get the movie. My best friend cries so freaking hard every time she watches Brokeback and I just stay put.
It just doesn't inspire the love in me like other 2005 films do like A History of Violence, The Constant Gardener and Pride and Prejudice.

Arkaan said...

Moved up: Match Point. Match Point. Match Point. The New World. Tropical Malady. The Beat that My Heart Skipped.

Moved Down: Cache. Okay, not so much, but my desire to punch Haneke in the face has increased.

The same: Brokeback Mountain. A History of Violence. Munich.

Though I haven't watched Brokeback Mountain since Ledger died. I have a feeling it would be way too sad.

Devin D said...

10. Sin City
9. Capote
8. The Constant Gardener
7. The Squid and the Whale
6. Howl's Moving Castle
5. Pride & Prejudice
4. A History of Violence
3. Brokeback Mountain
2. Batman Begins
1. Good Night, And Good Luck.

Goran said...

Another strong year:

1. Brokeback Mountain
It only deepens upon further viewings.

2. The New World
So transporting, intoxicating - I never wanted it to end. I've only seen one version (no idea which) but I have a feeling all three of them would be too short.

3. Me and You and Everyone We Know
I've also noticed how nobody talks about this one - even people fixated on indie relationship dramedies seem to overlook it. Is it because a woman's perspective is automatically so much less resonant? In any case, it's a near-masterpiece and I insist on seeing Miranda July's second film straight away.

4. The Italian
I'm generally weary of children's perspectives of crumbling societies, but this one was staggering. So dark, so melancholy, yet so clear-eyed and detailed. Between young Kolya Spiridonov and The Return's Ivan Dobronravov, it's clear that the Russians have a monopoly on the world's great child actors.

5. The Squid and the Whale

6. Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story
A gem of a movie in its own right, but bonus points for capturing its source novel's spirit in a totally idiosyncratic way. The rare literary adaptation that doesn't feel redundant (or like a hack director purely intent on slapping his name to a work of art well beyond his scope).

7. Peacock
A rich, textured, thoroughly lovable but thoroughly sharp Chinese rural family drama. It is so artful yet so accessible - I have no idea why it never found a distributor (despite winning prizes and warm reviews at Berlinale). One of the decade's genuinely and freakishly underrated gems.

8. The Beat That My Heart Skipped
We have an exemplary literary adaptation in Tristram Shandy and an exemplary movie remake here. Absorbing, vivid and pulsing with great performances.

9. Brick
Such a bold, bracing, layered piece of moviemaking.

10. Junebug
It shouldn't work, it really shouldn't, but the actors make it work. I hate to neglect the other, inevitably underappreciated performances, but I do have to single out Amy Adams' - my favourite English-language performance of the decade.

Honourable mentions:
Capote (the only reason it's not higher is that several of its best bits already existed in the timeless 1967 adaptation of In Cold Blood); The Death of Mr. Lazarescu; Grizzly Man; The Sun (these last 3 could move up upon repeat viewings); Broken Flowers; Tim Burton's Corpse Bride; The Aristocrats (Borat aside, the decade's funniest film in that crass, laugh-out-loud way); Kiss Kiss Bang Bang; Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic (or maybe this one is - the crassest/funniest); Cache; The 40-Year-Old Virgin; The Wayward Cloud. I'll stop here though there are at least another two dozen really solid films I'd love to bring up.

I did very much like A History of Violence but it didn't quite live up to the hype (maybe upon a second viewing it will). A second viewing however, only managed to decrease Good Night and Good Luck in my estimation: it's too TV-sized, the black-and-white feels like an afterthought (which unsuprisingly it was) and it's a wasted opportunity for a great documentary - David Straithairn (my actor of the year) is the only reason it's as absorbing as it is. Match Point I did very much enjoy, though I think Woody made a couple of better films this decade (Vicky Cristina as well as the routinely and idiotically abused Anything Else).

Kings and Queen is a 2004 release for me - if I had to put it on this list, it would be battling Brokeback for the top spot. Brothers is another 04 release, and an honourable mention on my list for that year.

par3182 said...

1. brokeback mountain
2. paradise now
3. mysterious skin
4. match point
5. murderball
6. heights

adri said...

I still want to see:
"The Beat that My Heart Skipped"; "Kings and Queen"; "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada".

1) "A History of Violence".
Sharp, tight, and perfect.
Dad: "In this family, we don't solve problems with our fists". Son: "No, in this family, we solve problems with guns".

2) "Good Night and Good Luck".

3) "Pride and Prejudice".
I loved the director's comment: "I got to spend the summer in the English countryside with a whole group of women. What could be more delightful?" Two of the sisters are now in "An Education", Rosamund Pike and Carey Mulligan.

4) "A Very Long Engagement"
5) "King Kong"
6) "Walk the Line"

7) "Constantine" - with Peter Stormare as the Devil, Tilda Swinton as the Angel Gabriel, Rachel Weisz as the twin heroine, and Keanu Reeves as the perfect world-weary hero in a nifty little psychic noir.

8) "Transporter 2" - Yes!!
9) "Finding Neverland"
10) "Rent" - I never saw it on stage.

Snuck up on me: "Just Like Heaven". Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo as a winning romantic duo.

Agent69 said...

One word: Cache.

Way ahead over everything that year, even over the brilliant Brokeback Mountain, that's how good it is.

adri said...

Goran - yes, I'd forgotten about "Tristam Shandy". That one made me laugh and now everytime I see Steve Coogan's name on a film, I want to go see it.

Rebecca said...

I'm afraid y'all will get sick of the retrospectives before The Film Experience has chimed on.

No way that will happen, I'll look forward to reading it whenever you get around to writing it.

David Coley said...

I completely agree about your thoughts on Pride and Prejudice. I have long maintained that a film's accuracy to its source material means next to nothing. I've seen the miniseries and I enjoy watching Wright's version so much more. It really does capture the book's spirit.

joe burns said...

BrokeBack Mountain is a bit overrated for me. I felt Crash deserved Best Picture. Although everyone hates it though.

OtherRobert said...

Capote played me right like nothing else that year. I still love the film. Hoffman, Keener, and Collins Jr. were fantastic. The direction was spot on. The screenplay strayed from the tide of Hollywood biopics, focusing on a singular series of events that made it all the more compelling. I felt like I was watching the loss of a genuine writing talent to bizarre circumstances and was devastated by the finale. An underrated film, even then. I recall an undercurrent of head scratching as to why the acting showcase was nominated for Best Picture. Perhaps because it was an excellent film?

Kurtis O said...

No Crash? Haha, I kid.

Curious to see where Brokeback falls on your Best of Decade list.

I love Good Night, And Good Luck. It feels so...old. I love it. But, then, I'm a sucker for journalism films. Which, btw, brings me back to 2003: did many people mention Shattered Glass? Looooove that one. Made me fall in love with Sarsgaard.

And brilliant, though I didn't see it until well after 2005 wrapped up. A gentle giant, that one, letting the tension simmer and then all but knocking your lights out.

Amir said...

my personal top 5:

1-Brokeback Mountain
2-Oldboy (I know you hate this Nathaniel, sorry!)
4-Wallace and Gromit
5-Tie: 40 Year Old Virgin/ The New World

steve said...

also thought "History of Violence" was a brilliant film, as a few others have mentioned

big fan of "Match Point" too

also wanted to mention "The Descent" - mostly because horror films never make anyone's best of lists... but it was a tight, well paced piece of film making

Faux said...

Just two words: Brokeback Mountain. All is said. Period.

I hated AMPAS with all my heart. But that day I really understood that AMPAS is only business. No art, no social engagement, no nothing, just industry and money. I was a Romantic one, with sentimental favorites, and I wake up for that dream with this terrible 'crash'. Poor of me, a poor dreamer.

Scott said...

Nice under-appreciated picks in Happy Endings and In Her Shoes (haven't seen Countess).


@KURTIS O... i love your description of CACHE although i wouldn't call it "gentle" haha. Damn that movie is cold. Ugh i love it though. So haunting.

@HOLLMAN ... actually glad to hear that on "Good Night" maybe i should give it another spin.

@JAMES ... but doesn't it bother you that the NEW WORLD is so shifty? ;)

@DEBORAH... i like "kiss kiss bang bang" a lot too. I'm still surprised more people didn't get into it. It was so obviously the sign that RDJ was not done and totally ready to be a huge star and yet only a handful of wise people (like yourself) noticed :)

@ARKAAN... i haven't either come to think of it. nervous about that, yeah.

Paul Outlaw said...

It was the best year...until the Oscars put a stain on it. I loved so many releases that year, but Brokeback Mountain, The New World, A History of Violence, The Beat That My Heart Skipped and Pride and Prejudice are my Top 5 in retrospect. At the time I would probably have said Brokeback Mountain, Good Night, and Good Luck, Munich, Batman Begins and Walk the Line. Go figure.

Nate Tyson said...

When I first watched Junebug, I was pleasantly surprised, but not especially blown away. I haven't watched it since, but I can still remember almost every moment as vividly as I did that night 3 years ago. I need to rewatch, but it might well-be one of my favorites of the decade, and it definitely had one of the best ensembles to grace the silver screen in that same time frame. Obviously the double-a's performance is a modern classic, but Celia Weston's has stayed with me too; such a moving, subtle thing it was.

(btw, not to derail, but while I agree with your general feelings on Brothers, I have to stand up for the ensemble [minus boring Maguire]: Gyllenhaal gave a wonderful amount of nuance to his role, Mare Winingham and Sam Shepard were both terrific, and the kids were noticably great, especially Bailee Madison. Her dinner table tantrum scene was the best piece of acting I've seen a kid do in a while...Kodi Smit-McPhee not withstanding.)

Nate Tyson said...

I didn't do to much film-related anything in 2005, but here's my 2009 edition of my 2005 faves:

01. Junebug
02. The New World
03. A History of Violence
04. Primer
05. Grizzly Man
06. Brokeback Mountain
07. The 40-Year Old Virgin
08. The Squid and the Whale
09. Brick
10. Broken Flowers

Obviously I have some non-english language catch-up to do.

cal roth said...

Nathaniel, close your eyes. You feel tired, sleepy. Kings and Queen is the best film of the decade. Wake up.

cal roth said...

I always like to think again about the performances, so how can Mathieu Amalric not have won your gold medal? You gave that Ledger's method gimmick thing (it's very good, still) gold, but have you thought about how complicated, difficult and brave Amalric's work with no accents and voice tricks? It's so tender, compelling, energetic and feels fresh and new. Wow. Mathieu Amalric is the best actor of the decade, and his performance in Kings and Queen is best one but for Heartbeat Detector.

Brokeback Mountain is still a great great movie, but Jake Gyllenhaal was clearly the best in show, soulful, full of humanity, in love with the role and absolutely spontaneous. No tricks there, but no one observed that since he was the bottom (u r so smart).

I have to say that I've seen Rachel Weisz's work again in The Constant Gardener and I love love love her even more than in 2005. Love love love love her. What's up with her career?

James Hansen said...

It seemed less "shifty" this time to me. Firm, dedicated, and beautiful in every aspect. You should give it another go sometime soon and see if you react differently. (I have the DVD...I can loan if I ever see you again!)

As far as the cuts go, that's just Malick. Every movie undergoes cuts like that. Think about how many times things are shown at Cannes and re-cut. Same thing happened to NEW WORLD (albeit in a shorter period of time). It's all about the final product, and the product, now, seems almost undeniably great...and it wasn't even on my top 10 that year! Whoops!

Lucky said...

Roger Ebert put KNOWING on his top 10 of the year. Weird, I only know about one movie named Knowing that came out this year. The one with Nicolas Cage, but that can't be it, no.


@LUCKY... I love Ebert's passion for movies but I have never fully understood why people trust him so much because he likes some *total* crap and he likes it pretty regularly ;) to each their own!

RJ said...

The Best of Youth. Period. End on discussion.

Sid said...

My original top 3 was...
1. A History of Violence
2. Brokeback Mountain
3. The New World

After multiple viewings though, my top 3 has now changed to:
1. The New World
2. A History of Violence
3. Brokeback Mountain

... I think all three are terrific films.

Andrew K. said...

I am always oddly miffed that you liked Wallace & Grommit [more than Corpse Bride, and at all even]. My top 5 was Corpse Bride, Pride & Prejudice, A History of Vioelence, The Constant Gardener and Brokeback Mountain. In that order, more or less.

Anyways Nathaniel, OT but I can't resist. I find it rather interesting that the year you join the BFCA Kristin Chenoweth joins as hostess.

Jeff said...

1. Brokeback Mountain
2. The New World
3. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
4. The Best of Youth
5. The Beat that My Heart Skipped
6. Saraband
7. 49 Up
8. The Squid and the Whale
8. A History of Violence
10. Good Night, and Good Luck.

Lorenzo said...

10. Transamerica
9. Romance and cigarettes
8. Match point
7. La bestia nel cuore (Italy's oscar contender that year)
6. Me and you and everyone we know
5. Caché
4. Crash
3. Mysterious skin
2. A history of violence
1. Brokeback Mountain

But I've never watched Munich and Capote, shame on me!

Edward L. said...

I'm so pleased to see so many people mentioning Match Point. I have a lonely old time of it, living in London and loving that film, surrounded by film fans (and even Woody fans) who hate it! Yet I think it's one of Woody's very best, and one of the best films about London I've ever seen. Not that it's specifically about London...but I think it captures the place very well indeed. Something about the outsider's eye, perhaps. Makes me think of Antonioni with Blowup and Polanski with Repulsion.

Cache, The Constant Gardener, A History of Violence, Oliver Twist...and yes, Revenge of the Sith, all fond films from this year. I really need to see the New World a second time - I did like it the first time.

And Nathaniel, I feel similarly about Good Night, and Good Luck. I enjoyed it when I saw it but I have never had any desire to do a repeat viewing. I remember what a friend said about it at the time: "It's not a movie." Maybe that in itself is a good reason to give it a second go. That and the cinematography, which was rather lovely.

Glenn Dunks said...

My top ten for 2005 would be as follows

1. Mysterious Skin
2. The New World
3. Brokeback Mountain

-These routinely shift around, but I think I've settled on those placements. All pieces of A-grade masterwork though-

4. Pride & Prejudice
5. Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit
6. Good Night & Good Luck.
7. Look Both Ways
8. Match Point
9. Me & You & Everyone We Know
10. The Constant Gardener

I think #8 and #9 definitely need to move up. Me & You is like the black sheep of the quirky-indie-scene which is far more infatuated with faux quirk and faux indie, but I loved that movies undercurrent of nastiness and sad-sack mentality. Plus Miranda July is amazing.

I'd drop The Constant Gardener out for something like Hidden (Cache's title here) or In Her Shoes, which I've watched quite a lot, actually.

Ryan McNeil said...

I think in fives, so my top five for the year would go like this...


As for Brokeback, I've never thought it was fair that it became the lightning rod that it became. Pure and simply, it's nothing but a heartbreaking love story...but too many people tried to hold it up as a symbol of something greater.

Alex said...

I was a big big big SYRIANA fan back in the day, and ranked it as my #1, but 'm not so sure how it stands up. THE SQUID AND THE WHALE may take it's place.

Tom Steele said...

As you know, Nat, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN was my favorite movie of the decade. No movie pulled me in so inexorably, no movie had such sparse lyricism, and both Ledger and Gyllenhaal were robbed by the Academy.

And I think CRASH was the worst movie I saw in the last 10 years. Nothing but a clumsy collision of cliches and stereotypes, very uneven acting, and very bad writing.

So there.

Ryan said...

Jack & Ennis 4ever!

Notas Sobre Creación Cultural e Imaginarios Sociales said...

Count me in among those who don't get Brokeback. That Best Picture lineup was the worst for me this decade, so selfconscious and "important", straight out of a Stanley Kramer wet dream.

With that said my Top 10 of 2005 would be:
10-Happy Endings
9- The 40 Year Old Virgin
7-Tristram Shandy: a Cock
and Bull Story
6- The New World
5- Caché
4- A History of Violence
3- The Constant Gardener
2- King Kong
1- Pride and Prejudice

Bing147 said...

Well, I'd like to shout out for The Best of Youth, the best of the decade. And for Kings and Queen, one of the top 10 of that same time. However I have neither in 05, as I put foreign films in their original year of release.

My top 10, keeping in mind that I'm sure there's plenty I need to see.

1. L'Enfant
2. The Proposition
3. Lady Vengeance
4. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
5. The Beat That My Heart Skipped
6. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
7. Munich
8. Murderball
9. The Matador
10. A History of Violence

The top 3 are masterpieces and the 4th isn't far off. Beat That My Heart Skipped is wonderful and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is amazing. Munich is Spielberg's best 'serious' work and The Matador is perfect. Murderball is a fantastic documentary and I love a History of Violence.

I'd also like to shout out 10 runner ups in no order. The Squid and the Whale for being an amazing look at a broken family and touching me deeply... don't know how its not in my top 10, may have to remedy that... Man Push Cart for signaling the arrival of a major talent in Rahmin Bahrani. His worst film but still fantastic. Joyeux Noel for proving that even when the Academy's foreign branch goes sappy, they can do a good job. La Moustache for being brilliantly acted and done in a way that would make Lynch proud. Sin City for being action packed and visceral with amazing visuals. The 40 Year Old Virgin for being incredibly honest and all the funnier for it. Time to Leave for honestly looking at what its like to die and for a fantastic lead performance. The New World for stunning cinematography... if anything needs a rewatch... Match Point for proving to the public that Woody still had it. (though I personally slightly prefer his previous film in Melinda and Melinda) Broken Flowers for giving Bill Murray a vehicle to continue rocking.

That's 20 films without even mentioning Cache, King Kong, Pride and Prejudice, Walk the Line, Brick, Good Night and Good Luck, Thank You For Smoking, Sophie Scholl: The Final Days, Lord of War, Hustle and Flow... great year.

Melanie said...

Brokeback Mountain will stand the test of time.

Steolicious said...

Pride & Prejudice
Match Point
Breakfast on Pluto
The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

bettekate said...

1. Brokeback Mountain
2. Cache
3. 2046
4. Old-Boy
5. The Constant Gardner
6. A History of Violence
7. Pride and Prejudice
8. Grizzly Man
9. March of the Penguins
10. Munich
Runners-up: Brick, The 40 Year Old Virgin