Sunday, January 16, 2005

Beating the buzzer - Best of 2004

I meant to add my two cents to all the "Best Movies of 2004" lists released over the past couple of weeks, but more interesting stuff - at least to me - came up. With the Golden Globe Awards coming up tonight, however, I thought I'd blurt out my Top 5 list beforehand, just so I could say "Oh yeah, I picked that movie." Thanks for indulging my ego. In order, I thought the best movies I watched in 2004 (and very early 2005) were:

1. Kinsey
2. The Aviator
3. Sideways
4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
5. Ray

As a copout, I'll also list as honorable mention: Before Sunset, I ♥ Huckabees, Garden State, The Incredibles and Collateral.

I think The Aviator will be the film to clean up at all the big awards ceremonies. Even though the nominees haven't been announced yet, I'd be surprised if it didn't win Best Picture at next month's Academy Awards. And I'd be shocked if Martin Scorsese didn't finally receive his long-deserved Best Director Oscar. Maybe Scorsese's last two films have tried a little too hard to win the golden guy, but I think The Aviator deserves it, unlike Gangs of New York. It's a really good movie (though not as good as Kinsey, in my opinion).

The worst film I saw in 2004? Taking Lives was one of the dumbest movies I've seen in the last 10 years (and that's including shit like Dude, Where's My Car?). Everyone associated with that dreck should be embarrassed.

Here are some other "Best Of" lists: David Edelstein has a good one at Slate, the guys at indieWIRE always have interesting takes, and A.O. Scott's list at the New York Times is interesting because he says Sideways is the most overrated film of the year and critics love it mostly because they identify with Paul Giamatti's schlubby, abrasive lead character. I'm sure Scott's a big hit at those critics dinners.