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2005’s five best flicks

Megan Mowbray

It’s been a helluva year for movie folks. Between romantic couples, superheroes, religious zealots and Harry Potter, who can narrow down some 500 movies (and that’s just mainstream) to the top five? Well, here goes nothing. The top five movies for 2005 in no particular order are as follows.

Title: Crash

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Matt Dillon, Ludacris

Rating: R

Running Time: 113 minutes

Finally a movie that pulls its weight in plot as well as in A-list actors. “Crash” takes us on a course that reiterates the idea that things are only defined by what they aren’t. Whites, blacks, Iranians, Hispanics, rich, poor, cops, criminals, you name some “group” of people, and “Crash” attacks the standard day stereotypes, with a passion. Given someone’s background in combination with a current state of affairs, you might guess how they would react to a given situation. However, when people’s fears and prejudices come in contact with an accident, there is no telling what their next action may be. Everyone ends up assuming in this movie, including the viewer, and we all know what that does. It makes an “ass” out of “u” and “me.” With outstanding, and more importantly, believable performances, the actors make director Paul Haggis’s movie a smash hit.

Title: Brokeback Mountain

Starring: Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal

Rating: R

Running Time: 134 minutes

Known to the lay-man’s world of cinema as the movie with the gay cowboys, “Brokeback Mountain” is so much more than a simple love affair between men. That would be like saying Romeo and Juliet is that play about hormone driven kids. The love that abounds between the two cowboys transcends the silver screen and shakes you to the core, leaving you with the hope of the understanding involved. For anyone who has ever felt the wrong emotion at the wrong time and place, this movie will strike a chord, or even a whole melody. Fighting against social constraints to parental influences these boys make a stand against how everything “should be.” Personal, intense, and emotionally powerful, every one who sees this movie can relate to, and lament a loss.

Title: The Whale and the Squid

Starring: Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney

Rating: R

Running Time: 88 minutes

When talent and jealousy rear their ugly heads into the middle of a family, competition abounds. So what happens to the kids? They are forced to choose sides, leaving the living room as the no-man’s land between war zones. As the divorce continues, the parents’ quirks and eccentricities rub off on their unsuspecting sons. In the perpetual cycle that is life, we watch ourselves turn into our parents, swearing all the time it isn’t so. And then when we can no longer deny that we have in fact inherited more than a will from the parental units, we have our revenge on the next generation. And yet, just like the movie, it somehow all works out in the end.

Title: A History of Violence

Starring: Viggio Mortenson

Rating: R

Running Time: 96 minutes

In a cinematic world of vomiting special effects and over-the- top plot lines, director David Cronenburg presents a movie all about character. Character both in the sense of the main character in the film, and the nature of his disposition. Small town man Tom Stall, played by the ever studly Viggio Mortenson, saves the day when a pair of thugs try and knock over his mom-n-pop style restaurant. As the press and other events unfold, we find out that Stall’s character is actually Joey and we begin to wonder exactly what he is capable of to protect those he loves. When past becomes present and no one is sure what the future will bring, true character unfolds, leaving a breathtaking outcome.

Title: Me and You and Everyone We Know

Starring: Miranda July

Rating: R

Running Time: 91 minutes

This movie is a perfect metaphor for life and all its quandaries, wrapped up neat as a pair of new shoes in a box. Director Miranda July presents some of the more difficult and perverse scenarios that people are faced with everyday, like divorce, love, sexual curiosity and future plans, in a way that appears innocent and almost familiar. When a struggling artist meets a recently divorced shoe salesman with two young sons experimenting in grown-up sexual conduct, July shares a small slice of the American pie. Shameless and fearless, “Me and You and Everyone We Know” is a refreshing take on some old questions.

After watching these movies, it’s no wonder that the box office rakes in millions of dollars every weekend. The cinema takes us away from our everyday lives, and yet sometimes manages to bring us right back to reality. Other honorable mentions of the cinematic view of 2005 are “Junebug,” “Goodnight and Goodluck,” “Walk the Line,” “Munich,” and “Sin City.” VT


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