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2005 On Film: Listing Is Fun

Posted by Drew / January 6, 2006

I saw Capote the other day and it reminded me why I haven’t been feeling it at the movies lately. Sure, Capote is fine. But it’s a slight film that wants to be a big film and ends up not giving the pleasures of either. Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Capote in a cannily compelling and compellingly canny manner: a snake in kitten’s clothing, a consummate con man who never takes his eye off the prize and never doubts that the prize will be his, all his.
Somehow, though, in nailing Capote’s counterintuitive charm, the film, and even Hoffman, miss on every other count. In playing the story classy, the film ends up being innocuously sedate and inevitably forgettable.

And forgettable is how I remember 2005 at the movies.

So, here are 5 films I do remember. Which will be followed by another 5 next week and the next week, and so on, until I am done. The good news is that much of this stuff is available for your renting pleasure.

1. Survive Style 5+ (Gen Sekiguchi): This portmanteau picture is uneven, but its highlights are embossed on my brain. When it comes to modern restlessness with overtones of curiously joyful romanticism and undercurrents of crushing alienation, the Japanese rule.
2. Crash (Paul Haggis): Sure it’s contrived and manipulative, but emotionally this film plays it straight and it manages not to sink itself under the weight of its own self-righteousness in being, you know, an issue picture. Fantastic performances from a series of lesser-known actors, too.
3. Me and You and Everyone We Know (Miranda July): As anyone who has ever attempted to make a film knows, filmmaking is fucking hard. Somehow, on her first feature effort, July pulls everything together perfectly and creates one of the few utterly surprising films of the year. Like July herself, this film is a beguiling mix of edgy-postmodern and flaky-dorky. It all works. Damn her.
4. Freaks and Geeks (Season 1 onDVD). Okay technically not a “movie” but you can rent it at the movie rental place; indeed, rent the whole first season, watch it all and pretend you just saw a 28 hour film. Seriously, if you haven’t seen it: Stop denying yourself!
5. Pride and Prejudice (Joe Wright). Yeah, I don’t care. This film is awesome. A human adaptation rather than a literary one and, truly, the most cinematic of the recent slew of “quality” pictures. Rack focus forever!



J Mac / January 6, 2006 at 04:59 pm
You know, I saw Crash, and I can't remember anything about it. At all. It's like the time I had my wisdom teeth out, and after getting home, still groggy from the gas or whatever they knocked me out with, I watched Miller's Crossing. Then my mom came into the room and said, "How was the movie?" And I replied: "What movie?"

Only, with Crash, no drugs were involved. But now I got nothing. Nothing. Matt Dillon was in it, I think.

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