Thursday, October 06, 2005

Oral Fixations & Other Delights: My Favorite Films of 2005

Oral Fixations & Other Delights: My Favorite Films of 2005

I first posted this list on October 6th, 2005. At the time, I had seen 216
films. By December 31st, I had seen 52 more and made two revisions.
The first time was to make room for Capote, the second for Breakfast on 
Pluto, which meant kicking Look at Me and Kontroll off the list. That
said, these selections are in no particular order, with the exceptions of
Breakfast and Thumbsucker, my current favorite—despite the prepon-
derance of Polyphonic Spree on the soundtrack (a little goes a long way).


1. Thumbsucker (Mike Mills)
2. Breakfast on Pluto (Neal Jordan)
3. Mysterious Skin (Gregg Araki)
4. The Beat That My Heart Skipped (Jacques Audiard)
5. Grizzly Man (Werner Herzog)
6. A History of Violence (David Cronenberg)
7. The Constant Gardener (Fernando Meirelles)
8. Me and You and Everyone We Know (Miranda July)
9. Capote (Bennett Miller)
10. Broken Flowers (Jim Jarmusch)

Quick analysis: This is my most American-centric list since, well, ever. I'm a huge fan of French and Japanese films and, although I saw some good ones this year (Hana and AliceTony Takitani, etc.), there isn't a single Japanese film on this list (although there is one from France). Past Japanese favorites include Seance (Kiyoshi Kurosawa), All About Lily Chou-Chou (Shunji Iwai), The Happiness of the Katakuris and Audition (both by Takashi Miike), Hana-bi (Takeshi Kitano), and Battle Royale (Kinji Fukasaku), my number one for 2001.

Here are a couple of previous top 10s:


1. The Good Thief / L'Homme de la riviera (Neil Jordan)
2. Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola)
3. City of God / Cidade de deus (Fernando Meirelles) (2002)
4. Chaos (Coline Serreau)
5. Capturing the Friedmans (Andrew Jarecki)
6. The Man Without a Past / Mies vail-
la menneisyyttä (Aki Kaurismäki)
7. 28 Days Later (Danny Boyle)
8. Elephant (Gus Van Sant)
9. Morvern Callar (Lynn Ramsay) (2002)
10. Divine Intervention / Yadon ilaheyya (Elia Suleiman) (2002)


1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry)
2. Last Life in the Universe / Ruang rak
noi nid mahasan (Pen-ek Ratanaruang)
3. The Mother (Roger Michell)
4. Hellboy (Guillermo del Toro)
5. Tie: Bright Future (Akarui mirai) /
Doppelgänger (Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
6. The Best of Youth / La Meglio
Gioventù (Marco Tullio Giordana)
7. Before Sunset (Richard Linklater)
8. Kill Bill, Vol. 2 (Quentin Tarantino)
9. Tamala 2010: A Punk Cat in Space (Tol)
10. Coffee & Cigarettes (Jim Jarmusch)

And here are my runners-up for 2005:

11. Look at Me (Agnès Jaoui)
12. Kontroll (Nimrod Atal)
13. 3-iron (Kim Ki-duk)
14. Million Dollar
Baby (Clint Eastwood)
15. Murderball (Henry-Alex
Rubin & Dana Adam Shapiro)
16. Asylum (David Mackenzie)
17. Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee)
18. Pulse (Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
19. Head-On (Fatih Akin)
20. The Holy Girl (Lucretia Martel)
21. Downfall / Der Untergang (Oliver Hirschbiegel)
22. King Kong (Peter Jackson)
23. Kings and Queen -- Mathieu Amal-
ric portion only (Arnaud Desplechin)*
24. My Summer of Love (Pawel Pawlikowski)
25. Tony Takitani (Jun Ichikawa)
26. Tie: Domino (Tony Scott) and
Pride and Prejudice (Joe Wright)
27. Junebug (Phil Morrison)
28. The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio (Jane Anderson)
29. Hotel Rwanda (Terry George)
30. Happy Endings (Don Roos)

*Amalric also rocks the house in Munich. Kudos to Steven Spielberg for casting this fine French thespian, an irresistibly elfin cross between Jean-Pierre Leaud and Roman Polanski.

And my favorite documentaries:

1. Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Sant (Margaret Brown)
2. New York Doll (Greg Whiteley)
3. The Aristocrats (Paul Provenza)
4. White Diamond (Werner Herzog)
5. That Man: Peter
(Jim Tushinski)
6. William Eggleston in the
Real World (Michael Almereyda)
7. March of the Penguins (Luc Jacquet)
8. The Gits (Kerry O'Kane)
9. The Loss of Nameless Things (Bill Rose)
10. Tell Them Who You Are (Mark Wexler)

Note: Images from, the All
Music Guide
and The New York Times.

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