citylog
The E-
Edition:
CW
page
by page

Tumblr.jpg Google_Plus.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Home / Articles / · Archive / Film & TV /  Anyone for Tens?
Film & TV

Anyone for Tens?

Three critics praise their favorite films of 2005.

By Scott Renshaw, Greg Beacham & Mary Ann Johanson
Posted // June 11,2007 -

Scott Renshaw’s Top 10 of 2005

nn

1. Brokeback Mountain

nn

2. A History of Violence

nn

3. Kung Fu Hustle

nn

4. King Kong

nn

5. Mr. & Mrs. Smith

nn

6. Tony Takitani

nn

7. The 40-Year-Old Virgin

nn

8. Murderball

nn

9. The Matador

nn

10. Mirrormask

nn

Every year I think the same thing: This is the list that will forever obliterate whatever shards of credibility I have left.

nn

Sure, there are popular top-10 choices (Brokeback and Violence, a pair of knockouts with as much style as substance), subtitled films (the lovely and mournful Tony Takitani and the inspired Kung Fu Hustle) and even a documentary (the don’t-call-it-inspirational Murderball). But will all that matter if gasp! Hollywood makes an appearance in a list of favorites? Whatever will Jonathan Rosenbaum, Armond White and other members of the “If it makes a buck, it must suck” critic crowd say?

nn

Genre fare, however, continues to enjoy a renaissance in American moviemaking, and it would be churlish to reject big-ticket flicks just because they were as satisfying as they were well publicized. King Kong is that good, every one of its 187 minutes worth the ride. The 40-Year-Old Virgin is that funny'perhaps nobody’s idea of slick storytelling but surprisingly sweet along with its terrific gags. And Mr. & Mrs. Smith'well, Greg Beacham and I may be the only ones to consider it both a swell piece of action and a touching study of relationships gone wrong.

nn

So credibility, schmedibility. I’ll settle for celebrating anything that hits me in the head, heart, gut or funnybone in a way that makes me love what I do more than anyone has a right to love what they do. 'SR

nn

MaryAnn Johanson’s Top 10 of 2005

nn

1. A History of Violence

nn

2. Good Night, and Good Luck.

nn

3. Serenity

nn

4. Walk the Line

nn

5. Brokeback Mountain

nn

6. King Kong

nn

7. Kiss Kiss, tBang Bang

nn

8. Pride & Prejudice

nn

9. The New World

nn

10. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of tthe Were-Rabbit

nn

Communication: It’s why we go to the movies, craving connection with others through the fictional construct of a story. And it’s the common thread that connects the very best movies I saw in 2005.

nn

Often, as in real life, the link is hard to forge and seemingly tenuous until tried to the extreme'see the troubled marriage of A History of Violence or the cross-species relationship of King Kong. In other cases, the world at large does its best to deny the connection, render it invalid'see the frowned-upon couples of Brokeback Mountain or The New World. Even when it’s a comical ’toon (Were-Rabbit), a science-fiction adventure (Serenity) or a neo-noir farce (Kiss Kiss), it’s the characters and their urgency to cling to their fellows that informs the action, the drama or the comedy. The very best performance by any actor this year'Joaquin Phoenix in Walk the Line'is all about the desperate need for another person.

nn

What makes these 10 films so powerful is, in part, what we bring to them as an audience. We desire to see these pretend people overcome the barriers before them and make that all-important human connection'to friends, to lovers, to any kindred soul. Through them, we connect, too. 'MAJGreg Beacham’s Top 10 of 2005

nn

1. Grizzly Man

nn

2. Capote

nn

3. Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill

nn

4. Good Night, tand Good Luck.

nn

5. Kiss Kiss, tBang Bang

nn

6. Murderball

nn

7. Mr. & Mrs. Smith

nn

8. A History tof Violence

nn

9. The 40 Year-Old Virgin

nn

10. King Kong

nn

Everybody knows 2005 was a breakthrough year for documentary filmmaking, which finally became a viable commercial outlet for that creativity and poignancy that’s hard to match when you’re making it up. I came up with just three for my top 10, mostly because of penguin backlash; Grizzly Man was the best, with Werner Herzog’s supremely confident telling of Timothy Treadwell’s death registering with more impact and profundity than anything that came out this year.

nn

My list is further slanted to fact-based stories because several of the year’s most lauded feature films actually were surprising disappointments, from the boring, pointless The Squid and the Whale to the thoroughly unconvincing Brokeback Mountain. I also haven’t seen several late-arriving contenders for top honors (blame early deadlines), but several features deserved mention: Capote and Good Night, and Good Luck both earned high marks for the phenomenal creation of atmosphere, while A History of Violence proved more psychologically complex than any other fiction. And for pure entertainment, you can’t beat this year’s major studio archetypes of comedy (The 40 Year-Old Virgin), buddy action (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang and Mr. & Mrs. Smith) and just plain big-time moviemaking (King Kong). 'GB

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Post a comment
 
 
Close
Close
Close