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The Best Films of the Decade: 2005

Fireworks2005.jpgHere we are at 2005, rapidly approaching 2009 and giving us enough time to see everything released in the final year, unlike most awards ceremonies. Now the Filmstalker Best Films of the Decade is looking at the year 2005, and while I might be picking what I think are the top films, that doesn’t mean I pick the winner, that’s up to you.

You get to vote on the Best Film of each year, and you can even choose something that’s not on the list, and come the end of the decade I’ll pull the winners all together and the voting will begin for the actual Best Film of the Decade.

Until then we’re starting the voting on 2005. Remember you can visit all the previous years and still vote on them, until the final of course.

Brokeback Mountain
On paper it’s hard to believe that this film would make it anywhere near the top, the story of two lonely modern day cowboys working on the range for months on end who form an incredibly close bond that moves closer than just friendship and becomes something altogether more sexual. Add to that the fact that it’s filmed by Ang Lee, a director who had previously given western audiences Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hulk, The Ice Storm and Sense and Sensibility. With all of that it really is tough to believe that it could become a hit, but it did, and not just in art house audiences either.

Cinderella Man
I still haven’t seen this film with Russell Crowe at the helm, but from all accounts it’s one of his best performances and one of the best films of the year. Is it? Really?

Good Night, and Good Luck
George Clooney was really making a name for himself at this point, this was the second feature he directed and the first he wrote, well co-wrote, and he did really well with it, showing that there was a lot more to this man than the actor we had seen to date, although to be fair films like Out of Sight, The Thin Red Line, Fail Safe, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Solaris and especially Confessions of a Dangerous Mind were already showing this to a great degree, however here he showed he had a talent across the board and the directing wasn’t just a one off.

A History of Violence A superb film from David Cronenberg giving Viggo Mortensen another very powerful role and an equally strong script and supporting cast, the wondrous Maria Bello plays his wife and Ed Harris turns in one of his great performances, of which there are many, and there are actors like William Hurt and Stephen McHattie there too. It’s a great film with some really powerful moments, and shows a very good adaptation of the graphic novel.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Filmstalker review)
I thought Val Kilmer and Robert Downey Jr. were never going to produce good roles again, and this film hit and with Shane Black giving them an excellent script with some hilariously crafted moments and lines, and getting the chance to direct, they had all the ammunition they needed to come back fighting, and they did. It’s an excellent and much underrated film, and it was clear that Downey Jr. still had the talent should the moment arise, as did Kilmer, except his moment hasn’t arisen again since.

Munich (Filmstalker review)
After seeing Steven Spielberg’s powerful film based on actual events I read the book, and I have to say I think the film had much more impact, although the book is still worth reading. There are only a few times in cinema when I’ve seen a death scene that really got inside me and made me think that it could have been real, here we saw one of them. However it’s the excellent cinematography and the great performances from Eric Bana, Ciarán Hinds, Daniel Craig, Mathieu Kassovitz, Hanns Zischler, Ayelet Zurer, Geoffrey Rush, etc. They really do get to provide a strong emotional connection and core with the film. Munich is powerful and hard hitting, and I believe it has to be right up there for the best of the year, I really do.

Sophie Scholl - Die letzten Tage (Filmstalker review)
It was not until quite recently that I saw Sophie Scholl, the time between seeing it and Munich was a few years so I can’t compare them directly, but I have scored Sophie Scholl much higher than Spielberg’s film, and I’m not entirely sure why I did. I know that a lot of it is down to the true story and the way the leading lady, played by Julia Jentsch, and the script pull you right in with the characters and the plight they are facing. It’s another powerful war drama that touches you on a very human level, a brilliant film that could well be fighting with Munich for the top spot for me.

Transamerica (Filmstalker review)
This shot Felicity Huffman to the fore of my favourite actresses, not only because she had the guts to take the role but that she also pulled it off with such style. Her character is one that is, at first, difficult to connect with, but I guarantee that you will be in the latter half of the film, and the relationship between her character and his/her son has some priceless moments. Huffman is engaging and the film shows what independents can do as well as what an odd film choice can do to your acting career.

Walk the Line (Filmstalker review)
The opening scene of the film had me, the stretched out beat of Walk the Line as we’re shown shots of the prison where Johnny Cash is about to perform, it builds the film from the opening seconds. I was never a Johnny Cash fan before this film, but this film and the soundtrack really did turn me around to the singer/songwriter, and the storytelling ability of some of his songs lends plenty to the script and ultimately the film. Walk the Line is stylish, tense, and features two great performances from Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon. There are also a few notable appearances from actors portraying some great stars of the time. I loved Walk the Line, a thoroughly satisfying film that packs bags of emotion, just like Cash’s songs.

Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (Filmstalker review)
Although I don’t rate this as the best of the Wallace & Gromit films, it is up there and is a fabulously entertaining film that shows many others of the year just what they aren’t getting right and why. Fantastic entertainment, clever and witty throughout, and some wonderfully imagined set-ups and jokes. I hope we see more of the pair of them before too long, and in feature films too.

There are some good choices in there, so get voting in the poll alongside, however do remember that you don’t have to stick with those choices, you can enter any film you like in the “Other” section, I’ll collate them all together.

There are some also rans that are worth mentioning too, some films that could have made that list but didn’t, and a few that I really think are worth taking a look at if you haven’t already.

Antikörper (Antibodies), Assault on Precinct 13, Batman Begins, Brick, Capote, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Constant Gardener, Constantine, Derailed, The Descent, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Hard Candy, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Jarhead, Joyeux Noël, Match Point, Memoirs of a Geisha, Mr & Mrs Smith, Serenity, Sin City, Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, Syriana, Tsotsi, V for Vendetta, Wolf Creek

Some of those you might be thinking “why?”, and I know some of the titles you’ll be thinking that on, but feel free to call me out on them, it’s opinion and if you want be to back up some of these while you vote for your own then please do.



My choice is not on the list!!! :P

But I will go for Munich and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang for this year.

Well you can still vote for your choice even if it's not on the list, that's why the "other" section is there.

I can't say my choice anyway, you lot wil boo me out of here, I did vote for Munich. ;)


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