February 28, 2006

Conservative Film Critics Top 10 list

Jim Hubbard of American Film Renaissance, who runs the AFR film festival, has released his organization's poll of conservative film critics and industry insiders:

BEST FILMS of 2005

1. Cinderella Man 138
2. The Chronicles of Narnia 106
3. Walk the Line 75
4. Crash 70
5. Downfall 67
6. Pride and Prejudice 58
(Tie) Batman Begins 58
8. Capote 48
(Tie) The World's Fastest Indian 48
10. King Kong 44


1. March of the Penguins 71
2. Grizzly Man 49
3. Mad Hot Ballroom 27
4. Enron: Smartest Guys in the Room 21
5. Murderball 14

A good list, but it's hard to avoid the conclusion that, from any political perspective, 2005 was a fallow year for films.

I haven't seen "World's Fastest Indian," with Sir Anthony Hopkins as a motorcycle speed record setter, but the trailer with Sir Anthony's helmeted head skidding across the Bonneville Salt Flats to the accompaniment of The Clash's version of "Police on My Back" looks great. It's certainly an appropriate role for Sir Anthony, who, due to his superb diction, has been stuck for decades playing highbrows even though in real life his main cultural interest is 1960s American muscle cars.

Here's the Top Ten list I submitted at ARF's request:

1. "2046" -- Probably my favorite movie of the year, with sexy, glamorous performances from Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi, gorgeous cinematography by Christopher Doyle ("Hero"), and a terrific soundtrack assembled by director Wong Kar-Wai.

2. "The March of the Penguins"

3. "Head-On" -- Deracinated Turkish immigrants in Germany re-enact "Sid and Nancy." So, that's assimilation?

4. "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" -- Brilliant screenplay and performances in my favorite genre

5. "Millions" -- Snazzy little family movie about a very religious little boy who finds a duffel bag full of cash.

6. "Junebug" -- A semi-comedy ensemble effort in which a Chicago yuppie takes his cosmopolitan bride to visit his downscale family in North Carolina. Insightful and surprisingly sympathetic to all sides.

7. "Yes" -- Yes, "Yes" is in rhyming iambic pentameter couplets.

8. "Crash" -- Too contrived to be a great movie, but a contrivance of a high order. And if Matt Dillon doesn't win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar ...

9. "The Squid and the Whale" -- It's past time for Jeff Daniels, as egomaniacal novelist Jonathan Baumbach, to get his first Oscar nomination.

10. "Walk on Water" -- Israeli comedy-drama about a Mossad agent who has to pretend to be a tour guide for a New Agey German tourist so he can locate and murder the tourist's 100 year old Nazi grandfather.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

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