2006 is coming to a close, and it's natural for this list to come out at this time of the year. From 242 theatrical releases to decide from, it's not easy, but here goes! Unlike 2005's which had a dominant romantic theme, this year's selection is pretty eclectic... though 3/10 had something to do with road trips...
I continue my love with Cameron Crowe movies, and Elizabethtown is something I enjoyed. Perhaps it's also because I'm looking for that perennial sunshine girl, full of optimism, joy, etc to add that spark back into my life. You'll also probably know if she's the right one for you if she can send you on a road trip complete with kick ass music to accompany you, and be there at the end of the journey.
9. The World's Fastest Indian
Anthony Hopkins as a fuddly-duddly New Zealander with a passion for his little Indian motorbike. Yet another road trip movie across the USofA, the people he interacts with make this a gem.
8. An Inconvenient Truth
Al Gore presents the inconvenient truth that we are polluting the world, and Mother Nature is pissed about it. Not really an apocalypse warning, but you get to see the signs. Start changing your lifestyle people. Reuse, Reduce, Recycle!
7. Thank You for Smoking
Superb satire about the tabacco industry, and its smooth operating spokesperson. In a game of who plays who, who convinces who, get tips in learning how to win an argument. I'd say again, superb satire, a must watch!
6. Little Miss Sunshine
The finale nailed this movie into the top 10. Never had I laughed so hard in a long time, and it had to surprise you coming out of the blue. The ensemble cast rocks, and this is probably one of the most dysfunctional family put on screen in a long while.
5. The Host
Korean's answer to the monster movie genre, by breaking all the rules. There are plenty moments which keep you glued on screen and at the edge of your seat, and you feel for the characters, from the bumbling to the unlucky, from joy to complete sadness. It's bold in making a statement, and unconventional enough to constantly pull the rug from under your feet.
4. The Prestige
Starring the sexiest woman alive (so says Esquire Magazine), together with two of the hottest actors in Hollywood at the moment - Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman, and directed by Christopher Nolan, this is one movie which kept me at the edge with its theme of obsession and revenge, and that twist ending which I didn't see coming. One to put on your DVD collection when it comes out, hopefully with tons of extras.
3. Crazy Stone
The best heist movie on screen this year, and it came from China! Part of the Focus First Cuts, it's tight plot and non linear timelines bring out the best you'd come to expect from the genre. Pay close attention!
Two words - Yasmin Ahmad! 'Nuff said! Go watch!
and my number one movie for 2006...
1. Singapore Dreaming
Colin Goh and Woo Yen Yen are famous for their satirical website Talking Cock and their first feature length comedy of sorts with the same name, but you continue to wonder in amazement how they pulled off Singapore Dreaming. To date, I still rate it as THE movie to show your friends from overseas, and THE movie which has the best ensemble cast ever put together for a local movie. For a local movie, I'm proud of it, at long last something to boast about from our fledging industry. Winner of the San Sebastian Mont-blac New Scriptwriters Award.
20 Other Notable Mentions (in alphabetical order)
After This Our Exile
Citizen Dog (ASEAN Film Fest)
Imagine Me and You
In Her Shoes
Lady In The Water
Paprika (Animation Nation Film Fest)
Robocon (Japanese Film Fest)
The Devil Wears Prada