Can I say that I continue to love all the little blogathons and memes that pop up by my fellow bloggers. I’m a couple of of days late on the newest one proposed by Fandango Groovers called “My Movie Year” but better late than never, right? This one involved picking your favorite year in film and select five of your favorite films from that year. My choice is the year 2005, which I think had a great mix of stylish indie and mainstream movies. This was also around the time I really started my love affair with movies and awakened what has proven to be one of the biggest passions in my life so this year will always have a huge place in my heart. My list below is comprised of a variety of genres, from romantic thrillers to social commentary to graphic novel adaptations. Hope you enjoy it:
Written and Directed by Woody Allen
I have to say I jumped on the Woody Allen bandwagon late, watching some of his most recent films before his earlier era, but ever since I have, I have enjoyed every minute of it. Match Point, which centered on a tennis pro turned teacher who has an affair with his soon-to-be brother-in-law’s girlfriend, was a great film to me. It’s intriguing and sexy (never thought I would think that of anything connected with Woody Allen) thanks in part to the very mysterious and intense Jonathan Rhys-Meyers as well as Scarlett Johansson who puts her sultriness to good use. The story is constructed beautifully and is narrated/lead by a complex character who is in one respect driven, intelligent, and seemingly put together but in another respect calculating and plagued with a sense of entitlement that threatens to be his undoing.
Based on the musical written by Jonathan Larson, directed by Chris Columbus
Yes, a musical is on my list! It’s not any musical though, it’s RENT! RENT, a Tony-award winning musical that sorta defined a generation with its look at the impact of HIV/AIDS and the bonds of friendship in a group of young New Yorkers in the late 80’s early 90’s (Broadway fans know what I mean). I will not argue with the fact that it wasn’t all that it could of been. In some ways, it does not hold a candle to the original stage production but in some respects it was even better than it for me in film form (i.e. the amazing use of colors and visuals, the choice of songs matched with narrative, some of the directing choices). I do love the way most of the original cast reprise their stage characters in this. I’m not ashamed to say that I still love the amazing soundtrack and can’t help singing out every time I watch it.
Directed by Ang Lee
Yes, this movie has been the butt of jokes throughout the years, being dubbed “the gay cowboy movie” but I have never heard it being said that it wasn’t an amazing movie. You can’t deny it that. It was a beautiful story set against a beautiful landscape with beautiful characterization of two very different lost souls who find each other but can never really have each other. It’s a movie riddled with social commentary but one I have never felt was preachy; it spent its energy more in appealing to the one’s emotions and humanity. Brokeback Mountain was the movie that confirmed the talents of Heath Ledger and really made me think of Jake Gyllenhaal as a leading man. I would also like to put out there that I feel Brokeback Mountain was robbed of the Best Film Oscar (though if it had to lose, Crash was a great one to lose to).
A History of Violence
Directed by David Cronenberg
Seriously, if you haven’t seen this you need to. I think A History of Violence for me stands as one of the best entries in independent cinema in the last decade. Viggo Mortensen is so good in this it’s otherworldly, playing a small town restaurant owner who kills two robbers in self-defense, becomes an overnight celebrity in his community, and then is visited by a mysterious man who accuses him of being a gangster who pulled jobs with him in the past. The story unfolds in a way that makes you question his character’s past, second guess the events its presents you with, and makes you think about the very nature of violence.
Based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller, directed by Robert Rodriguez
Have you ever compared the visuals of Sin City to the graphic novel source material? If you have, you would understand how brilliant this film is. Frame by frame, Robert Rodriguez took Frank Miller’s vision from the page to the screen. Sin City is dangerous. It’s modern film noir. It gets under your skin and makes you uneasy. It’s irresistibly compelling. It’s a star-studded piece of great filmmaking.