TEN BEST FILMS OF 2006

TEN BEST FILMS OF 2006

(As seen in the Cinema)

 

1)  Syriana directed by Stephen Gaghan

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Stephen Gaghan takes his directorial cue from Steven Soderbergh in this engaging multi-faceted drama about the international oil industry focusing particularly on America’s real involvement in the Middle East. Featuring a superb performance by George Clooney who won Best Supporting Actor at the 2006 Academy Awards. Also featuring Matt Damon, Jeffrey Wright, Chris Cooper and Amanda Peet.

 

2)  Memoirs of a Geisha directed by Rob Marshall

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In this lush cinematic version of the best selling novel by Arthur golden, Memoirs of a Geisha is an entrancing tale about the life of a Geisha girl and how she survives in a typically patriarchal society like mid-20th century Japan. Also stars Ziyi Zhang, Tony Leung and Ken Watanabe.

 

3) The Matador directed by Richard Shepard

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Pierce Brosnan quickly sheds his James Bond screen persona in this quirky and engaging comedy about a hitman who is on the verge of retirement and befriends a naive American businessman in a Mexico City Bar. Also featuring Greg Kinnear, Hope Davis and Philip Baker Hall.

 

 4)  Brokeback Mountain directed by Ang Lee



In this breakthrough film about an unlikely love affair between a ranch hand and a rodeo cowboy in the summer of 1963 features superb performances by the late Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as the doomed lovers who flout all boundaries of masculine friendships. Brokeback Mountain was a natural hit with the international gay population, exploding any pre-conceived myths about cowboys and is brilliantly directed by Ang Lee who won a 2006 Best Director Oscar as well as the film winning Best Adapted Screenplay. Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway also star.

 

5)  Mrs Henderson Presents directed by Stephen Frears

 mrs_henderson_presents

This delightful and at times irreverent comedy about a widow who buys the Windmill Theatre in London’s West End in 1937 is beautifully directed by Stephen Frears who creates the right balance of frivolity and frankness and never becomes sentimental. Dame Judi Dench as Mrs Henderson is brilliant as is Bob Hoskins as her Theatre Manager Vivian Van Damm.

 

6)  Inside Man directed by Spike Lee

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A wonderfully inventive and engaging crime heist film by Spike Lee about a New York City Bank robbery which is not what it seems. Featuring a hugely underrated Clive Owen along with Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster and Christopher Plummer in a superb and slick thriller definitely making it one of Lee’s best films.

 

7)  The White Countess directed by James Ivory

 white_countess

Director James Ivory ‘s gorgeous tale of a stranded Russian aristocracy stuck in Shanghai during the Japanese invasion just before the outbreak of World War II. The White Countess features a unique family portrait played by the British thespian dynasty Vanessa Redgrave, Lynn Redgrave and Natasha Richardson. Ralph Fiennes also stars as nightclub owner out to seduce the White Countess.

 

8) The Devil Wears Prada directed by David Frankel

 devil_wears_prada

Meryl Streep relishes the opportunity to play super-bitch Miranda Priestly as icy Editor in Chief of a leading New York Fashion Magazine with Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt playing her unfortunate, slave-driven assistants. David Frankel directs this fabulous film version by the hit novel by Lauren Weisberger and revels in the cut-throat designer world of Haute Couture. Costumes are designed by Patricia Field.

 

 9) TransAmerica directed by Duncan Tucker

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Felicity Huffman sheds her Desperate Housewife TV role playing this transsexual saving up for a sex change in this extra-ordinary film in the gender-bending tradition of Victor Victoria and more recently Albert Nobbs. Keven Zegers and Fionnula Flanagan also star.

 

10) Casino Royale directed by Martin Campbell

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Daniel Craig’s first outing as James Bond in Casino Royale is a box-office smash in this action-packed and thrilling 21st installment of the 007 franchise as Bond is properly reinvented for the 21st century. Casino Royale features amazing action sequences, girls, gambling and exotic locations from the Bahamas to Venice. Mads Mikkelson plays the gambling villain le Chiffre and Eva Green is brilliant as the elusive Vesper Lynd.

 

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