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DIDGE - The View From Down Under

An Aussie’s ridgy-didge view of world affairs and popular culture.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Top 10 films of 2004

Hope you had an enjoyable holiday period and welcomed in the New Year safely. Here are my favourite films of 2004. Please note that many were made in 2003 but were released in Australia in 2004. Tomorrow I’ll post the worst films of 2004.

#1 Vozvrashcheniye (The Return)
Director: Andrei Zvyagintsev
Two brothers are taken on a road trip from hell when their father, whom they've never known, returns home. An astonishing piece of cinema.

#2 21 Grams
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Mexican director Iñárritu's second feature-length film, after his masterpiece Amores Perros, is an emotional ride as we follow three characters that are connected to a car accident.

#3 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Director: Michel Gondry
French music video director extraordinaire Gondry has crafted a mind-bending film out of Charlie Kaufman's bizarre but human script. Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet give terrific performances.

#4 Five Dedicated to Ozu (Five)
Director: Abbas Kiarostami
As one of Iran's greatest directors, Kiarostami has created an extremely poetic, meditative work of art. The premise is smiple: five sequences without plot (people walking along the beach, a piece of driftwood, a pond illuminated by the moon.) But the result is deeply profound.

#5 The Mother
Director: Roger Michell
The touching and absorbing depiction of an older woman beginning a relationship with a man considerably younger. Anne Reid is magnificent.

#6 House of Sand and Fog
Director: Vadim Perelman
Jennifer Connelly and Ben Kingsley are terrific in this film about a woman evicted from her house, the new residents and their sad struggle.

#7 Monster
Director: Patty Jenkins
The true story of Aileen Wuornos, who was executed after killing six men. Charlize Theron puts in one of the best performances I’ve ever seen. Christina Ricci is also fantastic.

#8 My Life Without Me
Director: Isabel Coixet
A young woman told she hasn't got long to live writes a list of things to do before she goes. It sounds like fodder for an overly sentimental TV movie, but intelligent writing and beautiful performances made this film shine. See this before you die!

#9 Irreversible
Director: Gaspar Noé
A remarkable study of violence and our reactions to it after a woman is raped and her attacker is brutally murdered.

#10 Collateral
Director: Michael Mann

Engaging and stylish journey as hitman Tom Cruise takes hostage a cab driver for a night of murder. Pity the ending wasn't as good as the rest of the film.


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