Friday, February 10, 2006

Last Android, best picture

The final installment for my favorite movies of 2005 and winner of best ANDROID...

3. Me and You and Everyone We Know. This was one of the most refreshingly different films I saw all year and the first film from performance artist Miranda July. The film follows a group of people—in various stages of isolation and ages, from kids to adults—as they attempt to connect with one another. The film is unabashedly romantic in a quirky kind of way and seems to scream out that to find connections with others in the lonely, isolated world we live it—we will have to be brave and take chances. Me and You and Everyone We Know is not for everyone (I saw it at a free public/press screening and people walked out left and right) but those who are daring will get a sweet, strange and romantic film they aren’t likely to forget.

2. The Squid and The Whale. This film, the most venomous film I’ve ever seen about divorce is this set in ‘80s Brooklyn comedy/drama from Noah Baumbach. It makes seem like a dated, silly piece of Disney fun. Divorce is most often fueled by bitterness so the acerbic quality in this I found refreshingly dark and full of barbed-wire hostility. It’s also one of the smartest scripts you are likely to have the pleasure of hearing all year. These are smart people who get to unleash intelligent diatribes on one another as their family lives crumble. This film makes Kramer Vs Kramer seem like a dated, silly piece of Disney fun. Jeff Daniels gives a career performance as the head case of bitterness. The Squid and The Whale is dark, funny, smart as a whip and honest.

And the ANDROID goes to...

Capote. Capote is not only a riveting story that chronicles how the writer, Truman Capote, wrote his legendary book In Cold Blood, it also tells how the project damaged the man beyond repair. At the heart of the film is a mesmerizing performance by one of the best American actors working today—Philip Seymour Hoffman. It’s a complete transformation by Hoffman that doesn’t have him imitating a character like some recent high profile biopic roles have embraced (Johnny Cash and Ray Price for example) but sees him completely becoming Capote on screen with such a depth it’s hard to believe. Hoffman’s performance is that good. Luckily, the film isn’t just about Hoffman—it’s got a great ensemble cast and is told in an assured, confident and artful way by director Bennett Miller. Terrific in every aspect.

Whew! No more ANDROIDS to hand out.

1 comment:

Jory-san said...

Philip Hoffman is such a good actor, that he showed up in a dream of mine the other night. He played a monster that had to periodically collect human skeletons (he had no skeleton of his own) and put them inside his blob-like body. It was very strange and akin to a movie. I won't go into details, but it was a horror/love story.