I was just about to quit this blog today until I was told by an old friend that he read it and that one of my other old buddies reads it. Well, I’m gonna keep at it with this retrospective of my favorite films of 2 years ago, the 10 best films of 2005. I started this blog towards the end of 2006 so I have plenty of years of top 10 lists to do. Enjoy!
10. Thumbsucker (dir. Mike Mills)
-A great cast led by the standout Lou Taylor Pucci. Pucci shows real acting talent, you feel his entire transformation through the whole film. Kelli Garner is an underrated gem in this movie, and Vince Vaughn shows us that he still has talent.
9. Broken Flowers (dir. Jim Jarmusch)
-Bill Murray’s subtle performance could seem like he’s just sleepwalking through his role but he shows us how alive a character can seem by playing him as if he’s dead. Jeffrey Wright stands out as Murray’s ambitious neighbor who thinks he’s a modern day Sherlock Holmes.
8. Walk the Line (dir. James Mangold)
-The best male actor of 2005 was Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash, without question. He completely embodied the charm, sexiness, and tragedy of the Man in Black. Not only did this film prove Phoenix’s talent, but it also showed an unbelievable side of Reese Witherspoon. She easily walked away with the Oscar, and she deserved every bit of praise she received.
7. Happy Endings (dir. Don Roos)
-A Splendid ensemble dramedy led by an unbelievable Lisa Kudrow. I love every bit of this movie from it’s cool soundtrack (featuring Billy Joel covers sung by Maggie Gyllenhaal), to it’s use of subtitles to describe the characters/story. I recommend this film to everyone who wants to see what cool filmmaking is.
6. The 40-Year-Old Virgin (dir. Judd Apatow)
-The funniest film of the year, featuring an amazing cast. This film made stars out of Steve Carell, Judd Apatow, and Seth Rogen. The end of the film slightly drags but the film is so wonderful that it doesn’t matter at all. Steve Carell needs to do more unconventional comedies like this than the recent junk he’s been doing.
5. Everything is Illuminated (dir. Liev Shrieber)
-Liev Shrieber’s directorial debut shows astounding promise. The film is gorgeous and touching and hilarious at the same time. Matthew Libatique’s cinematography went completely unnoticed at the Academy Awards as did the original music by Paul Cantelon. Elijah Wood has been taking his career very seriously after the LOTR trilogy and he picked another perfect role. Finally, the discovery of Eugene Hutz as the bizarre Alex is something that rarely happens in film.
4. Match Point (dir. Woody Allen)
-This film does not sound, look, or feel like a Woody Allen film but it might just be his best. I love his classic comedies but he should really focus on more serious dramas like this one. The film is set to opera, and the entire movie builds up to an incredible ending. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is perfectly creepy yet subtle while Scarlett Johansson finds another niche of film that fits her terrifically. The script is also flawless.
3. Me and You and Everyone We Know (dir. Miranda July)
-My indie love of 2005, a film that is both joyful and heartwrenching to watch. I love this movie because of it’s completely unknown cast and because of the love that it’s writer/director Miranda July put into it. The talented cast is inimitable. I’ve never seen a movie like this, and that’s one of the many problems happening with film these days (not enough originality). See this film.
2. Good Night, and Good Luck (dir. George Clooney)
-A cool look back to 1950s television reporter Edward R. Murrow. The movie is a perfect example of how old styles are still enjoyable today. Many directors try to achieve this type of film by this one really sets the bar for me against all “old style” films released in the 21st century. David Strathairn is inspiring in the role of Murrow, showing both sides of the man who was seen on and off the camera. George Clooney is an underrated actor/director. I’ve loved both films he’s directed and I can’t wait for his future projects.
1. Batman Begins (dir. Christopher Nolan)
-To say this film is great is an understatement. There are few films that take comic books featuring superheroes and do what Christopher Nolan did to the Dark Knight. The film is a complete inspiration from Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One comics, a set of books that were what people wanted to always see in a Batfilm. Nolan took this and only made the books seem inferior. Christian Bale is the best Bruce Wayne to date. He is very serious but comes off as a playboy who really isn’t a playboy at all. His Batman is actually scary, something that I have loved every time I revisit the film. Michael Caine’s Alfred is superb as is Gary Oldman’s perfect portrayal of a young Jim Gordon. I can’t wait for the follow-up, it’s definitely my most anticipated movie of 2008.
The WORST of 2005:
The worst film of 2005 was most definitely Son of the Mask. I watched the film with a smidgen of hope that I wouldn’t completely hate it but it just turned out to be the worst film I’ve ever seen. It contained the worst screenplay, acting, CGI (even though it was professional it still sucked), and just fell flat. It fell flat and then died of a horrible disease. If you ever decide to watch this movie, make sure that you don’t own a gun because you’ll just want to blast your head off when it’s over.
Thanks for reading!