February 20, 2006

Top 5 Films Of 2005

So many films that popped out in the last quarter year or so, that it took a long time to get through it all. I find that overhyped films that other people seem to enjoy don't persuade me, seemed more like they wanted to enjoy it because it makes them feel highbrow or something, I don't know – that's generalisation. What I do know is these – I've finally found my own perfect list. The others that people talk about, like Brokeback Mountain, Capote, Good Night, & Good Luck., Munich, Crash and The Constant Gardener did not get to me.

Instead, films which were truly emotional, which heavily affected me, caused me to think about it days after, the kind that sucks one into the screen and refuses to let go, in ways that I do not know how to explain they way I usually can for other films where my tendency to analyse prevails – these films are:


This could have so easily been the most boring concept, most unnecessary film of the year, but under the inexplicable je ne sais quoi that Ron Howard and Brian Grazer puts into it, add to that the more than competent acting that the cast put into it, and with the combination of a creative cinematographer, excellent sound mixing and the services of the incredible talents of Thomas Newman for the score – the film actually made me tear up for the first time in a long time at a cinema.


Lots of people don't get it – I shan't address that for fear of insulting anyone. But I think Spielberg delivered one of the most frightening films. I don't care about frightening films in the horror or suspense genre – what this film did is to convince that all that is happening is real, and that the characters would do what they did. In effect, they are like billiard balls, being knocked around, and they react the best that they can – a metaphor applied to Crash, but apparently no one sees it here. Perhaps I have a higher capacity to suspend disbelief than others – I understand the flaws in the ending, some apparent 'plotholes' (they're not), but I think this came out a better film than most last year.


Sure it's a kids film. What I like about it: depiction of the elder brother's sense of responsibilities, medieval knights, the dated way in which the kids speak, the way the film can be touching in unexpected ways (the scene at the train station), the brilliant shot when the two armies approach. Now, there are lots of films with clashing armies nowadays – but this one did it in momentous silence. The film is without its flaws, but it is forgivable as the undertaking was huge. For example, I thought the kids were potentially great – they just need someone to tell them to cut down on the pouting and the insecure mannerisms.


The most important film of the year. Frightening in the way it reveals how ignorant all of us are, and why. Depressing in its truthful conclusion that nothing will change because that's the way it is. We are all heading towards the precipice; some of us see it, but we cannot turn back because we are tied to those who don't see. A sincere but violent look at the realities of our hopelessly capitalistic world.


Period dramas get me – except when they're boring like Ang Lee's Sense & Sensibility. Director Joe Wright infuses this with such furious passion that every single nuance and subtlety is highlighted to the audience – if the audience fails to perceive it, it is no one's fault but their own. Less about telling the story and more about making the audience feel every single idea and emotion that the characters go through. Every single one of the cast turned up top notch performances. As I haven't seen the BBC one I cannot say whether I'd ever think the BBC version of Darcy and Bennet are better. Chances are I won't – MacFadyen and Knightley were completely compelling.

- 3 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Cat


    Watch the original BBC version, it's wonderful. But, very very different. i'll admit I had reservations about watching the recent version having grown up with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle but I really enjoyed it. To be honest, the two versions are hardly comparable, and not just due to their varying lengths!

    20 Feb 2006, 21:58

  2. About Narnia:

    The film is without its flaws

    I assume you mean isn't? I understand the film is charming, but really, do you think in a serious attempt to make fantasy look real, cardboard decors and paper mache icicles are acceptable? With LOTR, I felt the set was so vivid that I could walk right into the screen and smell all that was going on. With Narnia, I was afraid that if I were there I'd punch a hole in the blue sky or push over the ice palace.

    I agree with you that the battle [though the armies looked appallingly small being comprised of all creatures in Narnia] introduced a stunning new idea with the power of silence, and the kid who played actor is among the best child performances I've ever seen. Still, I think it's too much credit putting the film in a top 5.

    Can't wait to see Syriana, though – do you know when it's coming out here?

    21 Feb 2006, 00:23

  3. Yeah, you're right on the first point.

    I suppose a healthy suspension of disbelief helps. Did I notice how fragile the special effects were? Yes, but didn't bother me. The emotions and atmosphere got to me. Plus it helps that the soundtrack was good. I was completely absorbed, and I thought of the film for a whole month … couldn't get it out of my head. Charming films are much better than self-important fillms.

    Syriana will be out in the UK early March. Do not miss.

    22 Feb 2006, 17:21

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