Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Jim Chastain's Best Films of 2006

Best Films of 2006

In any given year, there are always more films to see. Some never make it to Oklahoma. Some are screened at a time when you cannot go. Some appear briefly in a “metro area” theater, which may be forty miles away, then head off to some other limited release venue.

And sometimes your life is just too crazy busy.

So with that brief disclaimer, I give you my personal list of the year’s best films, in order. The list will change as I see the ten or so films I would have seen if the world was perfect and I had all the time in the world.

1. The Queen – It’s a quiet drama, the story of a dysfunctional family in crisis. Helen Mirren will likely win an Oscar for her portrayal of the ever stoic Queen Elizabeth II in the days following Princess Di’s untimely death. And the film is, as they say overseas, bloody brilliant.

2. An Inconvenient Truth – Horror films are all the rage these days, and there is no scarier film than this Al Gore documentary about the dangers we are facing due to global warming.

3. Wordplay – Okay, as a writer, I’m a sucker for books and films that focus on words. And I dearly loved this documentary about those word freaks who can knock out the New York Times crossword in less than five minutes.

4. The Departed – This was the best acted film of the year and it would have been in competition for the tops of my list had it not been for a few minor flaws in logic that kept nagging at me.

5. Little Miss Sunshine – It’s a great little road trip film with great characters who are as imperfect and flawed as, well, you and me.

6. Half Nelson – What a great film! An addict school teacher and one of his culturally-challenged students become fast friends, in spite of life.

7. Notes on a Scandal – Remember those strange knock-out high school female teachers who appear on the morning talk shows after being arrested for molesting their teenage male students? Have you ever wondered how things like that happen? Yeah, me too.

8. Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing – The third documentary on my list is a fascinating look at the economic crisis facing the popular country trio after they denounced President Bush and were then shunned by their fans.

9. Cars – I’m not a race car fan, which is why I’m still in shock over how good this Disney/Pixar film is. A great nostalgic look at life as it probably never existed in the 20th Century.

10. Stranger Than Fiction – While it is the first film that will be bumped off when I see one of the must-see films I missed, this film will always have a special place in my sometimes sentimental heart.


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4:36 PM  

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