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The Best in Film 2005

What a great, gay year it was in cinema! Three of our writers share their favorite flicks below. Think they missed one? Fill out a comment and tell us! Jeffrey Epsteins Top 10 Films of 200510) Hellbent Finally a gay movie I could scream at and not because of how awful it is. This queer slasher flick made me jump out of my seat. 9) Heights This very un-Merchant/Ivorylike Merchant/Ivory film gave us a queer James Marsden in present-day New York City. The twisting plotlines all weave together to form a surprisingly intriguing tapestry. 8) The Dying Gaul Craig Lucas did a masterful job adapting his dark play about a gay screenwriter (Peter Sarsgaard) who becomes entangled in the lives of a bisexual producer (Campbell Scott) and his wife (Patricia Clarkson). 7) Mysterious Skin Joseph Gordon-Levitt turned in a chilling performance as a queer hustler in this story of the long-lasting effects of sexual abuse. Out director Gregg Araki makes his most accessible film yet, while remaining true to his personal style. 6) D.E.B.S. A lipstick lesbian love story hilariously works its way into a tale of plaid skirtwearing super-spies. Gay director Angela Robinson scored with this campy confection, and Jordana Brewster as vixen Lucy Diamond can tie me up any day. 5) Transamerica The unlikely, surprisingly funny story of a pre-op transsexual woman (the astonishing Felicity Huffman) who takes the queer hustler son she never knew she had (Kevin Zegers) on a cross-country drive made for a refreshing new look at the road trip film. 4) Loggerheads This quiet film, which follows three seemingly separate stories all taking place on Mothers Day, is a must-see, with Kip Pardue turning in a heart-breaking performance as a gay, HIV-positive runaway hoping to help save the Loggerhead turtles. 3) Capote In playing Truman Capote, Philip Seymour Hoffman could easily have descended into parody. But Hoffmans dead-on take as Capote following the story that would eventually become In Cold Blood left me wondering if the actor wasnt channeling the author from the beyond. 2) Rent Having family-friendly Chris Columbus direct a contemporary rock musical that deals with AIDS, homelessness, and homosexuality may have had people scratching their headsuntil they had to break out the hankies. 10) Brokeback Mountain Its all been said before. But this is what every gay movie should aspire to be. Ironic that it was made by a bunch of heteros. Gary M. Kramers Top 10 Films of 200510) Mr. and Mrs. Smith Sure the romantic rumors off-screen overshadowed this mindless piece of eye candy, but the sight of the luscious Angelina Jolie in heels on a tilted chair arranging drapes was priceless, as was her confession Im Jewish! And whats not to love with Brad Pitt wearing a white T-shirt and boxers? 9) Rize David LaChapelles fabulous documentary about crumping and clowning was an underseen gem. Miss Prissy rules! 8) Girl Play A film version of the play about two lesbians (writers/stars Robin Greenspan and Lacie Harmon) who meet and mate, Girl Play is a lesbian romantic comedy that is both hilarious and sensual. It also contains what is one of the best coming-out scenes ever committed to film. 7) Walk on Water Eytan Foxs gay Israeli film with Holocaust themes was exceptional and showcased a fantastic performance from the undeniably sexy Lior Ashkenazi as a straight man who befriends the gay grandson of the man he is assigned to kill. 6) Cote DAzur A wonderfully naughty and quite funny French comedy about mistaken sexual identity. An attractive cast sings, showers, and has sex in a summer house in this irresistible farce. 5) Three of Hearts Better than reality TV, this outstanding documentary about two gay men and the woman they both love and live with spoke volumes about sexual identity, relationships, and what it means to make a family. 4) My Summer of Love Hypnotic little British film packs quite a wallop as two teenage girls fall in love during a particularly fateful summer. 3) Brokeback Mountain Heath Ledgers fantastic turn as a gay cowboy in this absorbing film is as valid and important as it is that Hollywood has produced a gay cowboy film. 2) Mysterious Skin Joseph Gordon-Levitt gives a miraculous performance in Gregg Arakis astonishing adaptation of Scott Heims novel about child sexual abuse. 1) Tropical Malady This mesmerizing Thai import presents two great gay love stories, one real, the other mythic. The filma diptychis absolutely gorgeous and equally challenging, and thats what makes it so great: It demands multiple viewings. Mark Griffins Top 10 Films of 200510) Loggerheads This quiet, character-driven drama directed by Tim Kirkman wasnt wholly satisfying, but a strong ensemble lead by Bonnie Hunt and Tess Harper compensates, along with a genuine feeling for the plight of its gay, HIV-positive protagonist in search of a place to call home. Kip Pardues exquisitely defined abs deserve a Best Visual Effects Oscar. 9) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory The fact that this slick morsel made the list at all is revealing of what a truly lackluster year this was for movies. Still, Johnny Depp can do no wrong. Like a prettier Meryl Streep, Depp could play a Wheat Thin and be riveting. While this version of Roald Dahls brilliant fantasy didnt upstage the 1971 original, Depps dandified Mr. Wonka is a sly tribute to Andy Warhol and his own Factory. Julia Winters Veruca Salt makes Paris Hilton look self-sacrificing, and just try to get Danny Elfmans infectious Augustus Gloop tune out of your head. 8) In Her Shoes All right, Grand Illusion it isnt, but the return of the womens picture had certain neighborhoods in West Hollywood lining up to see Cameron Diaz wear out Toni Collettes best Jimmy Choos and go a few rounds with Shirley MacLaine, still reigning supreme as the screens most lovable hardass. Move over, Barbra and Barry, this is the years most irresistible guilty pleasure. 7) Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room No glitz, no pumped-up pecs, and only peripherally gay with Judy Garland and Marilyn Manson gracing the soundtrack. Nevertheless, this was unquestionably one of the most engrossing and overlooked films of the year with director Alex Gibney digging beneath the tabloid headlines to get to the harsh truth of the despicable Enron scandal. Bush buddies Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling get the unsparing skewering they deserve in this jolting documentary. 6) Transamerica Who knew that Felicity Huffmanshe of Christmas With the Kranks and Quicksand: No Escapehad it in her? Kudos to director Duncan Tucker for pushing the envelope that much further. 5) Wide Strokes Youll be reaching for a yardstick as Chris Wide displays his stunning primary asset in Whoops! Wrong list. 4) Good Night and Good Luck David Strathairns Edward R. Murrow interviewing Liberace instantly qualifies this intensely alpha male outing as having a repressed gay side. And Robert Downey Jr.s presence lends a metrosexual vibe to the testosterone-drenched proceedings. 3) Capote As Faye Dunaway channeled Joan Crawford, Philip Seymour Hoffman summons up the spirit of literary wunderkind Truman Capote. Not a full-scale biopic but an exploration of Capotes In Cold Blood period, Bennett Millers portrait plays it close to the vest where queer content is concerned and the authors relationship with fellow writer Jack Dunphy (Bruce Greenwood) is only skittishly glimpsed. Hoffmans portrayal of Capote is eerily on target and whets the appetite for next years all-star Capote flick, Have You Heard?2) Brokeback Mountain If the phrase gay cowboy lovers doesnt send you racing to the nearest cineplex, check your pulse. The Canadian Rockies (doubling for Wyoming) didnt stand a chance with scenery like Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in Stetsons and spurs. Ang Lees remarkably faithful and poignant adaptation of Annie Proulxs acclaimed novella qualifies it as one of the best gay-themed films ever produced. 1) Blackmail Boy Joining such illustrious company as Valley of the Dolls, Johnny Guitar, and Myra Breckinridge, this Grecian import is unquestionably one of the most delectably awful movies of all time. The bastard love child of Jacqueline Susann and Tennessee Williams, this is an unintentionally hilarious cult classic for the ages.
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