2005 is shaping up to be one of the most forgettable years for movies, especially if all you have to choose from are multiplex movies: Batman Begins, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Cinderella Man, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy — and the unremarkanble list goes on and on. So I’ve decided to jump the gun and pick what I think will be the best movie I’ll see this year. (Some 2005 movies I’ve seen in the theatre that are worth taking a look at: Saint Ralph, Sin City, and House of Flying Daggers. That’s it.)
The best movie of the year for me came out six years ago: HIMALAYA. It wasn’t released on DVD until 2001, and I didn’t get around to seeing it until last night, but I was captivated. Himalaya is a beautiful film and a remarkable cultural document. It tells the compelling story of some Nepalese villagers who have to trek down the mountains to trade their mountain salt for grain while trying not to get killed along the way. The plot is simple but contains all the elements of a great story, and the backdrop provides an epic feel to every single frame of the movie.
I also watched the DVD feature, “Himalaya: The Making Of.” When you see what these people went through to make this movie, which was filmed entirely on location, with real Nepalese mountain people who you’d never suspect were non-actors, under environmental conditions that put all their lives at risk, it’s incredible the film, one of the best I’ve seen in years, was ever finished. Anyway, it’s my pick for best movie of 2005. I doubt very much I’ll see better movie this year.