Best Film – Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Val Kilmer’s performance had me choking on my own spit from laughter. The script is so jam-packed with physical comedy, classical and modern Hollywood movie references and hilarious dialogue that it can take to be watched many times. That’s what makes a good movie in my book.
Best Musical – Moulin Rouge!
Apart from classical Hollywood film noir, I’m also a huge fan of old musicals and remember wishing as a child that someone would start making modern song-and-dance movies (and that they’d let me star in them, obviously!). Then along came Baz Luhrmann in 2001 with his hysterically colourful, musically explosive, absolutely adorably mesmerising impossible romance Moulin Rouge!. Yes, I own the DVD. Yes, I’ve got the special double-disc soundtrack. Yes, I know all the lyrics and yes, it did lead to a small crush on Ewan McGregor (which quickly died down when he grew that God-awful, unkempt facial hair in Long Way Round).
More importantly though, this movie led the way for lots of other great musical productions like Dreamgirls, Dancer in the Dark, Hairspray, Chicago, Sweeney Todd… And I rather look forward to Burlesque (currently in production) with Christina Aguilera, Cher and Dita Von Teese. May there be many more to come!
Best Quirky Comedy – it’s a close tie between In Bruges and Burn After Reading
In Bruges won a BAFTA and was Oscar nominated for best script – well deserved. Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson are darkly comical, like Laurel & Hardy assassins. I just have to own the DVD so I can watch it again (with subtitles) since I didn’t understand half of what Colin Farrell said. Even then he was funny – like Brad Pitt in Snatch.
Equally disturbing, yet hilarious, was Burn After Reading. But then you can’t really go wrong with a script by the Coen Brothers and a cast that includes Frances McDormand, George Clooney, Brad Pitt (doing funny), John Malkovich and Tilda Swinton.
Favourite scene: Brad Pitt’s face when George Clooney opens the wardrobe he’s hiding in, then George Clooney’s face when he sees Brad Pitt. Priceless.
Best Western – No Country for Old Men
Before I say anything else, I must acknowledge the other two amazing Westerns of the noughties – Brokeback Mountain and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Still, it is the genius Coen Brothers (again) that win me over. The thing is though, I don’t quite know what to say about No Country, how to sum it up. It’s just one of those movies that completely grabbed me, shook me hard, punched me in my stomach, then just left me lying there. I guess that’s the sort of viewing that makes you go a bit quiet.
Worst Film – The Mexican
Sure, there must have been at least a dozen more films as bad as this one, maybe one of the Razzie winners of the last ten years, like Swept Away, Gigli or The Love Guru. But sometimes a bad film can have the decency to at least be bad-funny, like Alexander (just the memory of Jared Leto’s death scene still has me in stitches). But The Mexican was plain boring, which is why it’s the only film this decade that had me fast asleep in the cinema.
And for the record, I am not a drooling fan of Brad Pitt, even though I’ve (unintentionally) managed to mention him four times in this post! The boy does do good, but then he also does very very bad.