Top Tens of the Decade: 2005
2005 was another year spend in seclusion in the former USSR. Besides a few quick trips to Estonia, I spent the the year in Vsevolozhsk, and Nezhniy Novgorod, Russia. Finally at the very end of the year, I made a short stop in Paris, but moved back to the States indefinitely. I was completely out of the loop when I got home, and the first movies I ended up seeing were March of the Penguins and The Family Stone. These two films led me to believe the whole film industry had created nothing of note while I was gone. I was happy to find out I was very wrong.
– This was, indeed, my very first Cronenberg movie. And how special it was. I watch this at least two or three times a year to this day. (I accidentally bought two copies if anyone wants one). The script is brilliant and so are the performances. And, it’s actually quite an interesting examination of how violence affects everyone.
– I’m not saying that Jarhead is a great movie. I don’t feel that way. But Jake Gyllenhaal’s courageous (if misguided) performance is worth seeing alone. It was most interesting to see how Sam Mendes would do a war movie, during a time that war was on everyone’s mind (not to mention he’s a stage director). He didn’t pull it off. But it’s an interesting attempt. He needs to stick to surrealist melodramas.
– Another intensely war focused drama that caught my attention. This one was far better than Jarhead. Syriana moved the war themes a little further to explore private cooperations and contractors benefiting financially because of the conflicts and war. Despite the fact Amanda Peet was in it, the cast was exceptional. The violence was a little difficult to take, but it’s worth it.
– Felicity Huffman as a pre-op male-to-female transsexual? Yes, please. The movie is forgettable, but Huffman’s performance is really spot on. She deserved the Oscar that year. Oh, and people to this day find my site using the search term, ‘Is Zac Efron in Transamerica?’ I’ll answer that quickly; no.
– I still get really angry when I think about the Academy giving the award for Best Picture to Crash over Brokeback Mountain. I’m not sure whether this is better than The Ice Storm or not, but it’s most definitely one of Ang Lee’s masterpieces.
– This may be the best spy movie ever (you think Daniel Craig is going to be pigeon-holed?). I’m not a big fan of Steven Spielberg flicks for the most part, but Munich made me at least reconsider him as a director I might like. Plus, who doesn’t enjoy a revenge film every now and then? Munich is cool as shit, and I could (and do) watch it frequently.
– I didn’t pick The Libertine just because Johnny Depp’s nose falls off due to syphilis. That’s just icing on the cake. Not being one for period pieces, I was doubtful when I watched this, but I ended up being very impressed. It should have garnered award attention for Depp, but it didn’t. Other notable performances include Samantha Morton and John Malkovich.
– It’s the little independent film that could. I remember this was a huge testament about the power of indie films, as I was really just testing the water back then. Junebug was also the first time I took notice of Amy Adams (it may be the first film I ever saw her in). And she clearly was a talent to be watched (now if only she’d stop her current trend of films). Since Junebug, I’ve been waiting for Phil Morrison to do something new, and I’m still waiting.
– Danny Boyle has pretty much proved himself one of the most versatile directors out there. Millions really cemented this fact. He managed to take a family-friendly, feel good script and make it one of the best films of the year (which he has done with horror, sci-fi, and drama). This movie is just charming.
– This was, most definitely, my first Jim Jarmusch film. Bill Murray initially attracted me to the film, and I’m glad he did. I hate the word quirky, but that’s how you’d have to describe Broken Flowers. The film has the weirdest, yet pleasant tone. I’ve only seen a few other Jarmusch films since then, and I haven’t liked any of them as much as this.