January 22nd, 2006

The best movies of 2005

The Hong Kong Film Critics Society just announced their awards for 2005, with Johnnie To's Triad action thriller Election taking top honors. The best part of the HKFCS announcement every year, though, is their list of recommended films. Here's what made it this year: Election; Seven Swords, Initial D, Sha Po Lang (aka SPL), Colour of the Loyalty, Home Sweet Home, Crazy and the City, Perhaps Love and Everlasting Regret.

Now, aside from the fact that I agree with virtually everything on that list (although there are still a couple I haven't seen yet), I'm fascinated by the topics of these films. What do you find on most American critical best-of lists? Drama. Drama. Drama. Drama. Here's how this one breaks down:

Seven Swords - Historical action epic
Initial D - Teen car racing flick
Sha Po Lang - Kickass contemporary action
Colour of the Loyalty - Crime thriller
Home Sweet Home - Horror film
Crazy and the City - Low-key cops-on-the-beat comedy/drama
Election - A bit o' the old ultra-violence
Perhaps Love - Musical
Everlasting Regret - Historical drama

Can you imagine any but the last two appearing on an American list? I've no doubt that Brokeback Mountain is very fine (and I do still want to see it), but...well, I do think it's too bad that action movies are automatically precluded from best-of lists in this country. Of course it's also too bad we don't know how to make action movies in this country any more.