decade revisited: 2005, part 1
The Nominees: Once again, let’s get the obvious strange one out of the way. 2005 was definitely a year in which my friends and fully enjoyed the resurgence of Rent — we listened to the music constantly, going to the film in theaters was an event, and I was blinded by my sheer excitement into thinking that it was one of the best movies of the year. Granted, it was a pretty weak year all around, but surely there was something better that I skipped. As for the other four, Brokeback and Munich both managed Oscar nods and are undoubtedly still great movies. Though Goblet of Fire wasn’t nearly as great as its predecessor, I still can’t help but give Harry a shot at the big prize every year. And finally, Mad Hot Ballroom remains one of my all-time favorite documentaries.
Revisions: So as you probably guessed, Brokeback and Munich are sticking it out (and the former very clearly remains the victor). As for the three vacant spots (though Mad Hot would very easily place sixth), I would insert Junebug, King Kong, and Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
The Nominees: At last a great group of nominees! All five of these guys deserved some attention for their performances this year. And though Ledger and Phoenix were the only ones to manage major award attention, the others were certainly critical darlings. Bana is the most obvious fifth wheel, since his film garnered a lot more kudos than the performance itself. But I’ll stand by my decision to nominate him, if nothing else then for the phone call scene. I think it’s probably time I (and all of you) revisit Munich! The real paradox with this category was Mortensen, whose performance I loved and the film itself I just didn’t understand — what exactly was the big deal?
Revisions: I think I’m going to go ahead and let this one stand pat. I haven’t seen anything since or found new meaning in anything I’d already seen that would topple any of these five. (Yes, I’ve seen Capote, and no, I was not that impressed.) Ledger is still the clear victor, as well.
The Nominees: For this one, I took a little bit of a step away from the year’s traditional awards fare (mostly because it wasn’t exactly a stellar year for Lead Actress). And to be honest, I still feel pretty good about my stretches. Witherspoon and Knightley were fixtures that year (and both gave some of their best performances). Watts was certainly someone who should have seen some more red carpet time for her role in King Kong, which was understated (and yet beautiful) and was able to transcend the effects-driven blockbuster around it. Not an easy feat for a performance in a big-budget adventure pic. Kudrow and Mitchell were both unsung showings — the former gave a great quirk-comedic performance in the underrated ensemble piece Happy Endings and the latter was a Woody Allen muse who received absolutely none of her due attention for easily her career best.
Revisions: Though I’d probably opt to keep this one as previously set (which I fear will probably happen often with the remainder of this series), it should be noted that a close sixth and seventh would be Embeth Davidtz in Junebug and Emily Blunt in My Summer of Love, two sort of polarizing performances. But Davidtz was a significant part of a surprisingly fantastic ensemble cast, and Blunt was sneakily brilliant as the sort-of-evil seductress in an otherwise flawed movie. Now, the win is a little tough. I’d be tempted, truthfully, to go for Watts or Kudrow this time around.