May 4, 2006

Glenn Presents his Top 10 of 2005 (+ 10 Worst)

So, I'm gonna post my Top 10 of the year (as well as a quick summary of the worst of the year) and after that move on to the awards. It shall be fun, non?

10 WORST OF 2005
10. (tie)
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, dir. Lucas
War of the Worlds, dir. Spielberg
9. The Wedding Date, dir. Kilner
8. Cursed, dir. Craven
7. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, dir. Jennings
6. Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous, dir. Pasquin
5. The Illustrated Family Doctor, dir. Stenders
4. The Ring Two, dir. Nakata
3. Oldboy, dir. Park
2. Elektra, dir. Bowman
1. The Perfect Man, dir. Rosman

Trash, the lot of 'em!

Now after those entrees, it's time for the main meal.

THE TOP 10 OF 2005
10. The Constant Gardener, dir. Meirelles

There's not really much I can say about this film. I was a huge fan of Fernando Meirelles' prior film City of God and he didn't disappoint with his sophomore effort. His already clear and identifiable style works well with the chaotic backdrop of the story. He manages to get excellent performances out of all involved and technically the film is extraordinary. But what gives the film that extra oomph is the finale. A eulogy in the figurative sense. This film was great.

9. Me & You & Everyone We Know, dir. July

Definitely one of the most confident and accomplished debuts of recent years. Miranda July wrote, directed and starred in this ode to eccentrics. But what's great about this film is that it grabs ahold of each characters' quirks and makes us see them as normal. So while you laugh at the start, and continue all the way through, by the end you're not laughing at them but with them.

8. Match Point, dir. Allen

Woody Allen takes a complete 180 degree turn and in the process creates one of the best thrillers of the last couple of years. It works so sneakily that while you are working it out in your head you think it couldn't be so simple - yet it is. Audiences have come to expect these days to get twist turns every five minutes and hyper-kinetic plots and so forth that Allen decided to go back to basics and managed to succeed is a miracle. And yes, the so-called twist of this movie isn't even a twist if you think about it (what else was gonna happen?) yet due to Allen's supurb filmmaking me and everyone else in the cinema all managed a gasp and an immediate hand to the mouth function. Wonderful.

7. Look Both Ways, dir. Watt

One of the finest Australian films in quite some time is so great because it's so Australian. It's charms are in the fact that it looks, sounds and acts just like Australia. I loved the fact that the town it is set in is the exact sort of town that I pass all the time when on the train. I loved hearing these characters speak. I just loved it all. The added animation by writer-director Sarah Watt was a bonus treat too. It's about death, fate and mortality, but you walk out of the cinema feeling rejuvinated and that's more than I can ask for.

6. Good Night, and Good Luck., dir. Clooney

What Clooney has constructed here is a movie that is more thrilling than pretty much all Hollywood thrillers, and with twice the skill. Twisting already well documented facts into a taut (it only runs 90minutes) and exciting movie is not an easy thing to do. Add that in with the use of pre-existing footage, black and white, and musical interludes and this could've turned into some bizarre and horrible "Down with the goverment" project, but it's not. It's smart and wonderful. And it looks a treat, too.

5. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, dir. Park and Box

I don't think I stopped laughing once during this movie. It's is so delightfully entertaining like so few movies are these days. It's hilarious send ups of horror movies (the makers of Shrek could take a few pages out of this movie's book - these jokes won't be old in 3 years time) was always endlessly tickling my funny bone (even a mere swinging of a rusty gate in the midnight air had me in chuckles). And then there is the fact that watching this movie was exciting. It was wonderful to watch the animation and the effort that obviously went into everything as opposed to some disposable CGI claptrap (usually from Dreamworks or Fox). Those fingerprints were choice.

4. Pride & Prejudice, dir. Wright

The reason this film is so high is probably due to lowered expectations. I didn't expect to particularly like this movie, let alone to the enthusiastic level that I did. I was shocked. From the very first scene of Keira Knightley's Lizzy traipsing through the mud I was hooked. Every little thing had be fascinated even down to how Lizzy's mother was going to get all that muck and grime out of the hem of Lizzy's dresses. And all of this in a compact and breezy two hours! Bliss.

3. Mysterious Skin, dir. Araki

Again, this is another movie that I didn't expect to like as much as I did. It's sort of weird to say, but I fell in love with the characters of this movie. Despite it's incredible dire subject matter, I really grew fond of them. Once the movie ended I actually didn't want it to. Usually when a movie ends you can tell that it's the end, but with Skin I felt it could've kept going and I wouldn't have minded one single bit. Yes, the movie is startlingly in your face and abrupt but why shouldn't it be? It's weird to say I enjoyed this movie, but I did. I don't particularly like watching paedophelia and rape, but something about this movie put me in a trance where it didn't matter.

2. The New World, dir. Malick

Malick's dream-like re-enactment of the arrival of the British to the shores of Virginia is just absolutely mind-bogglingly beautiful. How does Terrence Malick do it? Is it because he makes movies so infrequently that he needs to get all the images he has stored up in his head out into one picture? How is it that you don't even need the dialogue and you can completely follow it all? I tuned out of the voiceovers at time, even though they were beautifully written prose, and just got swept up in the immages by Emmanuel Lubezki and the haunting score by James Horner featuring Wagner and Mozart amongst others. By the time the stunning finale came around I was close to tears. This movie was astounding.


I really don't think there's anything that I can say about this movie that hasn't already been said. So I won't. Just know that it is excellent beyond words.

Now, whenever I can be bothered, I'll start the awards segment. Yay.


JavierAG said...

I liked "Revenge of the Sith" better than any other "Star Wars" movie, but then again, I get bored very easily by them. I also enjoyed "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", it was just so absurd. And Alan Rickman has a fabulous voice.

Nice Top 10... haven't seen everything, but the only one I thought was rather bland was "Good Night..."

Kamikaze Camel said...

Hitchhiker's was stupid. But I did like Rickman.

Georgie said...

Seeing Miss Congeniatilty 2 was SO MUCH FUN!!!

Kamikaze Camel said...

lol, that's where we pioneered the Olsen Twin Poster Pose! That was more entertaining than the movie, which was horrible.

Remember Sandy's lopsided boob. "Is that MEANT to be there?"

Ali said...

Largely agree with the picks, Glenn, although I'm not quite sure Revenge of the Sith deserves to be called one of the worst of the year. Either of the two prequels, I'm on board, but I thought this one was the strongest of the lot. But you are right on the money in regards to The Wedding Date (appalling) and Hitchhikers's Guide... (zzzzzzz).

As for the top ten, I have no major quibbles (a special yay to The New World and Me and You...) except for the lame Match Point, which had not a shred of truth or plausibility to it. It was really quite distasteful, how Allen expects us to swallow the most ludicrous of plot turns. Blah.

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

Hehe, it takes at least an extra five months before Australians can comfortably make up a Top 10 of the year. For me, it takes something like an extra two years (in a few weeks, I might be confident enough to list you my 10 best pictures of 2004) but I'm a bit of a nutcase.

I've seen five of your bottom 11, none of which come close to mine (I even quite liked Oldboy) but then I watch an inordinate amount of trash - even if I did manage to miss The Perfect Man and The Illustrated Family Doctor (Australian cinema, what happened to you?).

As far as your Top 10 goes, we've only got 2 in common (Brokeback and Me and You, which are actually my no. 1 and 2 for the year so good on you; there's also Mysterious Skin, which is in my 2004 Top 10). But I quite liked nearly all of the titles you listed.

I wasn't too big on Sarah Watt's quirks or Joe Wright's adaptation of a Bronte novel posing as an Austen novel, but I didn't necessarily dislike either of them.

I'm catching The New World tomorrow night, I hope it lives up to expectations but I don't know if that's possible.

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