Friday, November 4, 2016

2005--The Year in Review

A remarkable year for movies, especially for the top ten. But, for me, there is only one choice–my favorite film of the 2000s, Terrence Malick's uplifting retelling of the now-mythic discovery of North America, guided by the delicate yet complex romance between an unruly British ship captain, John Smith (Colin Ferrell) and a young Native American princess Pocahontas, unnamed here and played impeccably by newcomer Q’Orianka Kilcher (whose previous brush with fame had been as the sister of then-popular singer Jewel; this unknown stance unjustly kept her far away from the Best Actress race). The New World is, when seen on the big screen, a tremendously moving account of innocence lost, its gorgeousness first commanded by an uplifting use of Richard Wagner's ever-escalating prelude to Das Rheingold as bookends to Malick's ravishing work (the use of Wagner's spectacular music, alone, moved me to tears, especially when coupled with Emmanuel Lubezski's unbelievable cinematography and Malick's perfect direction; this was as sublime as anything I'd ever seen cinema offer). The New World, throughout, still moves me to copious tears with its overwhelming beauty, but so does Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain, the Hollywood movie that everybody thought was destined for Best Picture glory. Both Heath Ledger's and Jake Gyllenhaal's performances as conflicted '50s-era cowboy lovers jolted the collective culture. Yet the Academy decided for Paul Haggis' race-driven, early year hit Crash, in probably the most unfortunately surprising Oscar conclusion ever.

Meanwhile, more moving, foreign-flavored pictures like Michael Haneke's tense tale of family secrets Caché, Belgian brothers Jean-Luc Dardenne and Pierre Dardenne's devastating L’Enfant, and Grizzly Man, Werner Herzog's belated collaboration with animal-loving loner Timothy Treadwell (who deserved a co-director credit); all were worthy of Best Picture consideration, even though each of these movies emerged with not a single nomination between them. I nonetheless loved the remaining Best Picture nominees--Steven Spielberg's continually rewarding and mature Munich, George Clooney's Good Night and Good Luck, an elegant black-and-white account of the clash between CBS news scion Edward R. Murrow and scuzzy US senator Joseph McCarthy, and Bennett Miller's Capote, detailing that author's internal struggle to get In Cold Blood down on the page (which resulted in the exquisite Philip Seymour Hoffman winning the Best Actor Oscar, even if it now seems another actor, Toby Jones, later proved himself better suited for the Capote role). As for the Supporting Oscars, Clooney justifiably nabbed the top spot for his tense portrayal of a conflicted CIA operative driving himself insane on behalf of U.S. oil superiority, but I was devastated at Amy Adams being denied the Supporting Actress victory for her lovely, wide-eyed mother-to-be in Junebug; this fine actress has been searching for a make-up award ever since. NOTE: These are MY choices for each category, and are only occasionally reflective of the selections made by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (aka The Oscars). When available, the nominee that actually won the Oscar will be highlighted in bold.

PICTURE:THE NEW WORLD (US, Terrence Malick) (2nd: Brokeback Mountain (US, Ang Lee), followed by: Caché (France, Michael Haneke); L’Enfant (Belgium/France, Jean-Luc Dardenne and Pierre Dardenne); Munich (US, Steven Spielberg); Grizzly Man (US, Werner Herzog and Timothy Treadwell); Capote (US, Bennett Miller); The Constant Gardener (UK, Fernando Meirelles); Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (UK, Michael Winterbottom); Bob Dylan: No Direction Home (US, Martin Scorsese); The Squid and the Whale (US, Noam Baumbach); Good Night, and Good Luck (US, George Clooney); In Her Shoes (US, Curtis Hanson); Into Great Silence (Germany/France, Philip Gröning); Junebug (US, Phil Morrison); Hustle and Flow (US, Craig Brewer); The 40 Year Old Virgin (US, Judd Apatow); The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (US, Tommy Lee Jones); Syriana (US, Stephen Gaghan); Paradise Now (Palestine, Hany Abu-Assad); Me and You and Everyone We Know (US, Miranda July); A History of Violence (US/Canada, David Cronenberg); Batman Begins (US, Christopher Nolan); Mirrormask (US/UK, Dave McKean); Shopgirl (US, Anand Tucker); Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (US, Shane Black); Forty Shades of Blue (US, Ira Sachs); Joyuex Noel (France/Germany/UK, Christian Carion); Ballets Russes (US, Daniel Keller and Dayna Goldfine); The Matador (US/Ireland, Richard Shepard); Oliver Twist (UK/France/Italy/Czech Republic, Roman Polanski); Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (UK, Nick Park and Steve Box); Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World (US, Albert Brooks); Sophie Scholl: The Last Days (Germany, Marc Rothemund); Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (US, Alex Gibney); The Upside of Anger (US, Mike Binder); Stay (US, Marc Forster); Jarhead (US, Sam Mendes); March of the Penguins (France, Luc Jacquet); Match Point (UK/US, Woody Allen); Mad Hot Ballroom (US, Marilyn Agrelo); Duma (US, Carroll Ballard); The Descent (UK, Neil Marshall); Why We Fight (US, Eugene Jareki); Corpse Bride (US, Tim Burton and Mike Johnson); I Am a Sex Addict (US, Caveh Zahedi); Everything is Illuminated (US, Liev Schreiber); Happy Endings (US, Don Roos); Murderball (US, Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro); Walk the Line (US, James Mangold); Lord of War (US, Andrew Niccol); North Country (US, Niki Caro); Down in the Valley (US, David Jacobson); Sin City (US, Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino and Frank Miller); Crash (US, Paul Haggis); Transamerica (US, Duncan Tucker); Dark Water (US, Walter Salles); Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic (US, Liam Lynch); Cinderella Man (US, Ron Howard); Manderlay (Denmark, Lars Von Trier); Serenity (US, Joss Whedon); The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Romania, Cristi Puiu); The Proposition (Australia, John Hillcoat); V for Vendetta (US, James McTeague); King Kong (US, Peter Jackson); Memoirs of a Geisha (US, Rob Marshall); The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (US, Andrew Adamson); Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (US, Tim Burton); Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (US, George Lucas); Mysterious Skin (US, Gregg Araki))

ACTOR: Heath Ledger, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (2nd: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Capote; followed by: Daniel Autiel, Cache; Terrence Howard, Hustle and Flow; Pierce Brosnan, The Matador; Jeremie Renier, L'Enfant; David Straithairn, Good Night, and Good Luck)

ACTRESS: Q’Orianka Kilcher, THE NEW WORLD (2nd: Juliette Binoche, Cache; followed by: Dina Korzun, Forty Shades of Blue; Cameron Diaz, In Her Shoes; Toni Collette, In Her Shoes; Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line; Charlize Theron, North Country)

SUPPORTING ACTOR: George Clooney, SYRIANA (2nd: Matt Dillon, Crash, followed by: Ed Harris, A History of Violence; Paul Giamatti, Cinderella Man; Clifton Collins Jr., Capote; Jake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain; Rob Brydon, Tristam Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story)

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Amy Adams, JUNEBUG (2nd: Rachel Weitz, The Constant Gardener, followed by: Michelle Williams, Brokeback Mountain; Taraji P. Henson, Hustle and Flow; Deborah François, L'Enfant; Sheetal Sheth, Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World; Catherine Keener, Capote)

DIRECTOR: Terrence Malick, THE NEW WORLD (2nd: Michael Haneke, Cache, followed by: Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain; Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne, L’Enfant; Steven Spielberg, Munich; Werner Herzog and Timothy Treadwell, Grizzly Man; Bennett Miller, Capote)

NON-ENGLISH LANGUAGE FILM: CACHE (Belgium/France, Michael Haneke) (2nd: L’Enfant (Belgium, Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne) followed by: Into Great Silence (Germany/France, Philip Gröning); Paradise Now (Palestine, Hany Abu-Assad); Sophie Scholl: The Last Days (Germany, Marc Rothemund); The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Romania, Cristi Puiu))

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: GRIZZLY MAN (US, Werner Herzog and Timothy Treadwell) (2nd: Bob Dylan: No Direction Home (US, Martin Scorsese), followed by: Into Great Silence (France/Germany.Switzerland, Philip Groning); Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (US, Alex Gibney); March of the Penguins (France, Luc Jacquet); Ballet Russes (US, Daniel Geller and Dayna Goldfine); Mad Hot Ballroom (US, Marilyn Agrelo); Why We Fight (US, Eugene Jarecki); Murderball (US, Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro))

ANIMATED FEATURE: WALLACE AND GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT (UK, Nick Park and Steve Box) (2nd: Corpse Bride (US, Tim Burton and Mike Johnson))

ANIMATED SHORT: THE MOON AND THE SON: AN IMAGINED CONVERSATION (US, John Canemaker) (2nd: Rabbit (UK, Run Wrake), followed by: 9 (US, Shane Acker); Milch (US, Igor Kovalyov)

LIVE ACTION SHORT: CASHBACK (UK, Sean Ellis) (2nd: Starcrossed (US, James Burkhammer), followed by: Mute (US, Melissa Joan Hart); Boys Grammar (Australia, Dean Francis))

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Michael Haneke, CACHE (2nd: Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne, L’Enfant, followed by: Noah Baumbach, The Squid and the Whale; Guillermo Arriaga, The Three Burials of Meliquiades Estrada; Angus MacLachlan, Junebug)

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (2nd: Tony Kushner and Eric Roth, Munich, followed by: Jeffrey Caine, The Constant Gardener; Frank Cotrell Boyce, Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story; Jennifer Weiner, In Her Shoes)

CINEMATOGRAPHY: Emmanuel Lubezki, THE NEW WORLD (2nd: Dion Beebe, Memoirs of a Geisha, followed by: Wally Pfister, Batman Begins; Robert Elswit, Good Night and Good Luck; Philip Groning, Into Great Silence)

ART DIRECTION: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA, Good Night and Good Luck, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The New World, Mirrormask

COSTUME DESIGN: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA, Walk The Line, The New World, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Oliver Twist

FILM EDITING: MUNICH, Brokeback Mountain, Syriana, The New World, Grizzly Man

SOUND: KING KONG, War of the Worlds, The New World, Brokeback Mountain, Batman Begins

SOUND EFFECTS: WAR OF THE WORLDS, King Kong, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith 

ORIGINAL SCORE: Gustavo Santolalla, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (2nd: John Williams, Munich, followed by: James Horner, The New World; Dario Marianelli, Pride and Prejudice; Julian Nott, Wallace and Grommit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit)

ORIGINAL SONG: “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” from HUSTLE AND FLOW (Music and lyrics by Jordan Houston, Cedric Coleman and Paul Beauregard) (2nd: “Travelin’ Thru” from Transamerica (Music and lyrics by Dolly Parton), followed by: "Whoop That Trick" from Hustle and Flow (Music and lyrics by Alphonzo Bailey))

SPECIAL EFFECTS: KING KONG, War of the Worlds, Sin City, Mirrormask, Batman Begins

MAKEUP: THE NEW WORLD, Sin City, Memoirs of a Geisha

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