25. The Proposition
A blood-soaked Australian film regarding the “taming” of the wild outback, cut throat outlaws, and the local Aboriginal population. With a screenplay and score from Aussie legend Nick Cave, the film resonates with the same rugged, mysterious, and even spiritual element that is so prevalent in Cave’s songwriting. John Hillcoat proves that he is a wonderfully talented director with an eye for destruction, devastation, and sparse landscape (see also The Road). With incredible performances from Guy Pearce, Ray Winstone, Emily Watson, Danny Huston, John Hurt, David Gulpillil, and David Wenham the film succeeds in every way and tackles the issues of Australia’s white origins with a ferocious honesty.
Another Aussie made film, Candy is a both beautiful and shocking film about the devastating effects of heroin and the destruction of relationships caused by addiction. Heath Ledger gives one of his most effecting and incredible performances that is in every way matched by Abbie Cornish. Director Neil Armfield skillfully heads the story to an increasingly dark and incredibly depressing outcome. This is by far one of the most devastatingly raw and painful films of the decade.
23. The Fall
Tarsem’s second film The Fall proves that the director, as a visionary, is completely unmatched by any man or woman working today. Boasting a completely CGI free visual experience, The Fall transports both the paraplegic star played wonderfully by Lee Pace and the viewer to a wholly organic and completely mind-blowing fairy tale world that is capable of whatever an imagination can conjure. The only way to truly understand the film is to experience it first hand.
22. The Fountain
Darren Aronofsky’s third feature film The Fountain, is his most ambitious and perhaps most polarizing film. Taking place in three separate time periods, but only one state of consciousness the film reaches a level of spirituality, vision, and substance that only one other filmmaker has consistently done, the equally polarizing Stanley Kubrick. The film rests on the involvement of the viewer to experience the connection that Hugh Jackman’s character shares with his wife played by Rachel Weisz. The music also benefits from an incredible score by Clint Mansell, performed by The Kronos Quartet and Mogwai. Kent Toalson, I still want my DVD of this back, haha.
Rian Johnson’s ultra-whitty homage to film noir is a film that, if enjoyed benefits from multiple viewings, not due to complexities of the story but simply because the film takes such a radically different approach to filmmaking. The film embraces its clichés and moves rather quickly past the novelty of the high school world that it is set in and settles in a more peculiar and dark reality, riddled with kingpins, seductresses, and brainiacs who all seem to be in way over their heads. The movie is smart, fast, and above all incredibly enjoyable.
Sorry about the one day delay, I was away from my computer. The Next five will continue.
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