Best motion picture of the year
“Brokeback Mountain” (Focus Features) A River Road Entertainment Production Diana Ossana and James Schamus, Producers
“Capote” (UA/Sony Pictures Classics) An A-Line Pictures/Cooper’s Town/ Infinity Media ProductionCaroline Baron, William Vince and Michael Ohoven, Producers
“Crash” (Lions Gate) A Bob Yari/DEJ/Blackfriar’s Bridge/ Harris Company/ApolloProscreen GmbH & Co./Bull’s Eye Entertainment ProductionPaul Haggis and Cathy Schulman, Producers
“Good Night, and Good Luck.” (Warner Independent Pictures) A Good Night Good Luck LLC Production Grant Heslov, Producer
“Munich” (Universal and DreamWorks)A Universal Pictures/DreamWorks Pictures ProductionKathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg and Barry Mendel, Producers
Achievement in directing
“Brokeback Mountain” (Focus Features) Ang Lee
“Capote” (UA/Sony Pictures Classics) Bennett Miller
“Crash” (Lions Gate) Paul Haggis
“Good Night, and Good Luck.” (Warner Independent Pictures) George Clooney
“Munich” (Universal and DreamWorks)Steven Spielberg
Some people think that these two categories must go hand in hand, that whoever wins one should automatically win the other, but I don’t necessarily think so. A movie could be wonderfully directed but still might not be the Best Film of the year. Usually it is, but not always.
This however, is not one of those years. I know, the Brokeback Bandwagon has come and gone and the backlash for Brokeback has begun but it still was By Far the Best Movie of 2005, and definitely the Best movie in this list of 5 nominees.
Crash may crash the party but let’s hope not. It was a good film, but not a great one. It wasn’t directed particularly well as it felt like an overly long miniseries (strange since it was only a 2 hour movie) and while it had some great lines, I didn’t think it had the best script/story, with all its convoluted storylines all coincidentally converging and yet STILL not really? You know? It wasn’t like an Altman film or even like a J.J. Abrams show where the coincidences seem somewhat credible (and that’s saying a LOT after watching Lost, Alias or Felicity), but, at least Crash didn’t have raining Frogs as its ending. What Crash had best was getting great actors in roles they were not usually characterized for, and throwing in deep political and social issues into the mix. Too bad they banged us over the head with it. Yes. I get it. LA is a racist place. Get over it. We know that. Can we find a solution instead now and not reiterate the obvious?
Maybe the same can be said for Brokeback, but since it has really actually become such a socially divided item, the quiet and simple movie about denied love seems all the more powerful, without needing to resort to fancy editing and crisscrossing storylines. All it has, is Heath, Jake, some Mountains, and a whole lot of lovin’ and grunting, then Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway, and the brittleness that becomes them due from their husbands’ secrets. Ang Lee, always so brilliant (and who should have won for The Ice Storm and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), takes his time in recreating what it must have felt in that time, in that situation. Every shot is important in giving some kind of detail perspective of life in Wyoming for Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist.
Capote, Good Night, and Munich will just have to settle for the nominations, but the fact that Capote and Good Night, two tiny indie films, got nominated either shows the Academy’s growing acceptance of smaller films, or how the bigger budgets are producing schlock (debatable since I thought Harry Potter, Charlie and a few others were pretty good).
Munich had some great moments and was a much faster paced thriller than I thought the political movie would, but still, it gets bogged down by its own ambiguity. I actually thought it wasn’t ambiguous enough and too slanted to actually become anything worth discussing politically, but too bad since I thought Eric Bana did a great job in the lead.
Capote was a great script but I thought it was only a pretty good movie. The best thing about this movie was Clifton Collins Jr. as the killer Capote befriends while writing his article, but alas, he was shut out of the Oscars.
Good Night, and Good Luck. had good intentions and makes for interesting conversation, and while directed beautifully with an incredible roster of actors, I still felt the best moments were in the historical clips they showed.
So alas. I still think Brokeback Mountain will win Best Picture and deservedly so.
Here’s my list of what I thought were the best movies of 2005:
1. Brokeback Mountain
2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
3. Wallace and Grommit and the Curse of the Were-Rabbit
4. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
6. A History of Violence
8. The Constant Gardener
9. Match Point
10. The 40-Year Old Virgin
11. Pride & Prejudice
12. King Kong
13. War of the Worlds
16. Good Night and Good Luck
17. Batman Begins
19. North Country
20. Hustle and Flow
21. Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride
22. The Family Stone
23. Walk the Line
24. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
25. Mrs. Henderson Presents
26. Red Eye
27. Cinderella Man
28. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
29. Mad Hot Ballroom
Comments? (NOTE. LIST was changed March 4th to add Pride & Prejudice)
Friday, March 03, 2006
Best motion picture of the year