Films of 2006

I’ve thought long and hard about my ranking of the films I’ve seen in the cinema in 2006. Here’s the result, with capsule reviews:

6) Memoirs of Geisha
Way back in January I made the mistake of watching this. It was just about watchable, though somewhat irritating. Penny nearly walked out since she was comparing it to the book which she thought was excellent.

5) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
A good fun film that, while not as good as the first, was still enjoyable. It’s only due to the strength of the other films I saw in 2006 that this is second last. But at the end of the day, Jack Sparrow my be a comedy pirate, but it would have been nice if they’d have focussed less on the comedy and more on the pirate. I still intend to see the third in the cinema though.

4) Happy Feet
This was surprising as I mainly went to see this because Penny wanted to see it. It was however very good indeed, balancing comedy yet weighty concerns. Not as easily quotable as, say, Shrek and, with hindsight, it was often an animated ‘March of the Penguins’ with dancing but very enjoyable.

3) Pan’s Labyrinth
I wrestled with the ranking of this one and I know Penny will disgree; It was her favourite film of the year. It was beautiful, fantastical, awe-inspiring, terrible and touching. I’m really glad I got to see it on the big screen, but I still enjoyed the next two films more.

2) Casino Royale
It might have been a fatal error, but I re-read the book before watching the film. It ended up really enhancing my experience of the film because I could really see that it was in excellent hands. I truly excellent film, one of the great Bonds and an excellent reboot of a tired franchise. Bond Begins indeed.

And finally…

1) A Scanner Darkly
I really loved Linklater’s rotoscoped adaption of Phillip K. Dick’s tale of paranoia, drugs and loyalty. It’s definitely a film to lose yourself into, no matter how unpleasant that may feel, it doesn’t have a nice neat ending and is way too weird for ‘shoving something on in the background’. Totally loved it.

Update: The Movie of 2006 went to Pan’s Labyrinth, together with the prestigious Penny Award while the award for 2006 went to Pirates 2.