I'm not big on Ten Best Lists. And I really hate the Oscar predictions - it's just all so reductive. The oscar pundits take space and energy away from so much other deserving fare. But since some of you always ask me what's worth seeing - here's my year end tally. It's more than ten, but not 100% inclusive. I see a lot of films before they're released or even in festivals alongside purely festival and mainstream work just not worth including. As I was working on this, I was just struck by how many movies there are out there. So many I haven't seen that I'm interested in, and I'm still a hard core moviegoer! How can civilians possibly keep up?
Half Nelson - tour de force acting. great. really loved this.
Science of Sleep - magical, romantic, a truly creative world grounded in real emotion. Didn't want it to end.
Babel - loved this too. epic. visceral. Don't get why people didn't get this more. It's how my mind works.
Shortbus - surprisingly charming, wonderfully natured, full of humanity
Idiocracy - funny as hell. brilliant ideas.
The Queen - beautifully done. love the intimacy inside the public life.
Pan's Labyrinth - Tremendous accomplishment. Feels like an old time classic.
51 Birch Street - again deeply moving in ways that surprised me. beautifully constructed.
Borat - hilarious. complex in what it's saying about us now.
Dreamgirls - pure entertainment. Terrific translation from stage to screen. Some critics criticized the music..Duh, it's the movie version of a real musical! And Eddie --whew!!!
Clerks 2 - hilarious, moving and original. I loved every second.
The Devil Wears Prada - Meryl Streep a delight.
C.R.A.Z.Y. - obscure canadian film. one of the best on families ever. great style.
LOL - raw but dead on modern social moires.
Lion in the House - True tearjerker, very much worth the time.
Fast Food Nation - Admirable.
Scanner Darkly - Funny and mindblowing in parts. Even better on second viewing.
(ok it's clear from my brief descriptions - I love movies that "move" me. Funny and poignant I guess what I'm looking for.)
Films I've Haven't Seen yet but I'm dying to:
Dead Girl - curious from all the year end lists
Stranger than Fiction
Pursuit of Happyness - my son says I'll love.
Just Like a Son (kurt cobain)
Deliver Us from Evil
Letters from Iwo Jima
Missed but will try to catch up with:
The death of Mr. Lazarescu
Sleeping Dogs Lie
The Refugee All Stars
Iraq in Fragments
My Country, My Country
Lives of Others
Last King of Scotland
Army of Shadows
Road to Guantanamo
Didn't love at all contrary to critical opinion
Little Miss Sunshine
Enjoyed just not most favorite
Apocalyptic - wall to wall native faces - a feast for the eyes visually. Story inconsequential, it's just Braveheart redux.
Casino Royale - He's hot. not crazy about the poker or love story
Quinceara - enjoyable. surprised it wasn't more popular.
Shut Up and Sing - moving, intimate, a peek inside the eye of the storm
Rescue Dawn - harrowing
Departed - fun to see the Boston guys playing Boston
Children of Men - not the greatest story but the bleak vision of the future terrifying. What i worry about.
Blood Diamond - Not perfect but gripping, thought provoking and Leonardo sublime.
Talledega Nights - funny
Tales of the Rat Fink - very inventive
Prairie Home Companion - fluid, entertaining, made me appreciate the show
Jackass 2 - ok, so I laughed.
Jam - really moving, transcendent doc on SF roller derby
Infamous - loved Capote, loved this. Great story, why not different interpretations? -like with symphonies.
Tristam Shanty - enjoyable romp
Clean - obscure rock n roll drug fallout but pretty great traditional art flick. Strong lead and very fine Nick Nolte.
Friends with Money - surprised how much I liked this. Particularly the husband character everyone assumed was gay.
Dave Chappelle's Block Party - funny, good music, good time
Wassup Rockers - charming enough
49 Up - continuation of this fascinating series. My generation.
Breakfast on Pluto
Black Dahlia - for the look alone. lush.
Guide to Recognizing Your Saints - you've seen it before but appealing performances
Host - entertaining and foreign
District B13 - breathtaking stunts
Thin - upsetting but very close
The World - provocative original foreign film
Inside Man - solid
Thank you for Smoking - amusing
Ballet Russe - was this 2005? Superb and deeply moving. About more than dance,about time and what's worth doing.
World's Fastest Indian - I really loved this. Hopkins reminded me of my Dad.