2006 Year in Film

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Although 2006 seemed like a weaker than usual year in cimema, there were still several stand out films. Here are some of the highlights for me, and some of the disappointments.. Happy 2007 to all!

Best Film of the Year – The Departed

The most enjoyable two and a half hours I’ve spent in a movie theatre in a long time. I wish every film could be this much fun. First time I’ve liked Leo in an adult role. Didn’t have high expectations coming in so I basically left the theatre floored.

Runner Up – Borat

Amazing on so many levels. Truly captures this time in America. An important, thought provoking film as well as a hysterically funny comedy. Executed to perfection. Sasha Baron Cohen is brilliant.

The rest of the best –

13 Tzameti – The most exciting film debut since The Return. Determined to confront the ugliest aspects of mankind, this film is shocking and demanded my attention like no other this past year.

L’Enfant – Another great film by the Dardenne brothers.

United 93 – Closer to an intense therapy session than entertainment, this film was one of the most difficult I’ve ever sat through. Would not be willing to subject myself to the experience again. Having said that I highly respect the filmmakers approach and am still amazed that this film exists. I can’t think of a more challenging studio film that’s been made in recent years.

Battle in Heaven – Hard to describe, but different, visceral and completely engaging.

Man Push Cart – A very well made film about a recent immigrant trying to get by in New York. The cinematography gives me a new faith in HD.

A Scanner Darkly – A faithful adaptation of a very good book. Solid performances and animation. It moved me.

Honorable Mentions – I am a Sex Addict, The Puffy Chair, Half Nelson, A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, The Devil and Daniel Johnston, Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story

Special Screenings – El Topo, The Last Movie, What is It?

Biggest Disappointment – Inland Empire

Most Overrated Films – Little Children, Little Miss Sunshine, Inside Man, The Illusionist

Haven’t Seen Yet – Children of Men, Pan’s Labryinth, Pusher 1,11,111, Army of Shadows, The Proposition, Mutual Appreciation, The Queen