Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Year in Review - Updated/Revised

The New Year is here, and everyone and their mother is making out their year-end wrap up lists: music, tv, et al. Things aren't any different here, I guess.

Unlike many of my critic brethren, I happen to think that 2005 was a truly great year for film. For once, the Hollywood studios kept pace (and often surpassed) with the indies and international distributors. 2005 was especially rich with solid genre films.

What I have below is a list of the best films I saw in 2005, as it stands today, having not seen a few of the "prestige" pictures (Munich, most notably). I will, of course, change and repost the list if it is altered in any way.

So, without further ado:
  1. Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee)
  2. Match Point (Woody Allen)
  3. Munich (Steven Spielberg)
  4. A History of Violence (David Cronenberg)
  5. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Shane Black)
  6. The World (Jia Zhangke)
  7. Kings and Queen (Arnaud Desplechin)
  8. The Devil's Rejects (Rob Zombie)
  9. Grizzly Man (Werner Herzog)
  10. Last Days (Gus Van Sant)
  11. Murder-Set-Pieces (Nick Palumbo)
  12. The 40-Year-Old Virgin (Judd Apatow)
  13. Land of the Dead (George A. Romero)

The others, all films I'm extremely postive on; some of which could easily switch places with films from the above list with time:

  • 10 on Ten (Abbas Kiarostami)
  • 2046 (Wong Kar-Wai)
  • 3-Iron (Kim Ki-duk)
  • The Ballad of Jack and Rose (Rebecca Miller)
  • Batman Begins (Christopher Nolan)
  • The Constant Gardener (Fernando Meirelles)
  • Fever Pitch (Peter & Bobby Farrelly)
  • Frank Miller's Sin City (Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller)
  • In Her Shoes (Curtis Hanson)
  • Junebug (Phil Morrison)
  • Keane (Lodge Kerrigan)
  • King Kong (Peter Jackson)
  • Kung Fu Hustle (Stephen Chow)
  • Match Point (Woody Allen)
  • MirrorMask (Dave McKean)
  • Mysterious Skin (Gregg Araki)
  • Nobody Knows (Hirokazu Kore-eda)
  • Pride and Prejudice (Joe Wright)
  • Star Wars Episode Three: Revenge of the Sith (George Lucas)
  • Syriana (Stephen Gaghan)
  • Unleashed (Louis Leterrier)
  • Walk the Line (James Mangold)
  • Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (Nick Park and Steve Box)
  • War of the Worlds (Steven Spielberg)

Best short film of the year: Cigarette Burns (John Carpenter) (runner up: Joe Dante's Homecoming; I debated this for quite a while and, though I love the ballsy politics of Dante's brilliantly comic film, the Carpenter/McWeeny/Swan creation was simply the most breathtakingly cinematic short of, not only the "Masters of Horror" series, but the entire year; in fact, Cigarette Burns is easily as good as half the films in my top 13)

Special Notice for Promotion of the Director as Auteur: Showtime's "Masters of Horror" series

Best Director: Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain

Best Actor: Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain

Best Actress: Emmanuelle Devos, Kings and Queen

Best Supporting Actor: Val Kilmer, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Best Supporting Actress: Amy Adams, Junebug

Best Screenplay: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Shane Black)

Top Ten Television:

  1. Arrested Development
  2. Gilmore Girls
  3. Lost
  4. The Shield
  5. My Name is Earl
  6. The Office (U.S.)
  7. Project Runway
  8. Extras
  9. Wonder Showzen
  10. Stella

Best Film on Television: No Direction Home (Martin Scorsese)