Posted: 01/27/2005


Kristin’s Best & Worst Films of 2004

by Kristin Schrader

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1. Fahrenheit 9/11—Michael Moore. Almost always annoying. Almost always right. He matured so much with this film, and he should get almost as much credit for that great leap as for the content.

2. Napoleon Dynamite—Special! This film is just plain special. I’ve heard it said that the Pedro vote cost John Kerry the election, but I guess we’ll never know for sure.

3. Saddest Music in the World—I wanted to sit in the theater and wait for this to start again when it ended. Jiminy Cricket it was an exquisite piece of oddity!

4. Closer—Ouch! Hard to watch, but in a good way. I think. For the love of all things good and holy don’t see this with your spouse or significant other, you will only feel the need to resolve some years-old perceived slight.

5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind—I know that we were supposed to walk away feeling like the salty makes the sweet that much more precious, but anyone who didn’t leave that movie selecting the memories they would ditch was fooling themselves. One brain scrub to go, please!

6. Anchorman—Why didn’t more people love this? Big fat elitists, that’s what they are. That’s OK. More for me!

7. Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Spring—Oh boy, this was good. Quiet, strong, and powerful, this film held me all the way with its simple story and painful lessons. And the cinematography was stunning.

8. The Motorcycle Diaries—Based on the diaries of Che Guevara, this pretty, idealistic film gives a little insight into the boy who became one of South America’s heroes. The scenery and the people are rich and saturated in a million colors, it’s easy to see how Che fell in love with them.

9. Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou—Not exactly what one was hoping for, but I am willing to let a director evolve. There are ten second nuggets in this piece that are worth more than most feature length films any day.

10. A Home at the End of the World—Sad sad sad. But well done and intimate.


Bewitched—Columbia Pictures. Will Ferrell and Nicole Kidman and the story of the century. I watched Bewitched every day for years, and I am sure I am a better person because of it.

Beowulf and Grendel—Arclight Films. I am hoping for something along the lines of Excalibur. I am also this brings back “Beowulf” as a popular baby name.

Elizabethtown—Paramount Pictures. Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst, and Susan Sarandon in one of my favorite genres, the eccentric southern family film.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy—Touchstone Pictures. Can it possibly have taken this long for the Guide to be out on film? I want this to be great, but I am scared it won’t translate like Even Cowgirls Get the Blues.

Jiminy Glick in Lalawood—MGM. Cult favorite Jiminy Glick gone feature length. Yes!

Memoirs of a Geisha—Columbia Pictures. What a great read this was, and there is no reason it shouldn’t translate beautifully to the screen.

The Passion of the Clerks—Miramax. It’s about time! A sequel to the 1994 classic.

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio—DreamWorks. OK I am really, really looking forward to this. Julianne Moore is a 1950s housewife (again) with a ton of kids, too many bills for her husband’s salary to keep up with, and who turns to the jingle contests of the age for some much needed cash. How could this not be good?

Rumor Has It—Warner Bros. Jennifer Anniston goes back home to Pasadena to follow rumors that “The Graduate” was based on her family. What a great premise, and with Rob Reiner directing this should be well done.

Wannabe—Lion’s Gate. A good ensemble cast for a story about achieving fame and what it costs.

Kristin Schrader is a film critic who defines herself as “someone who skips the program and watches the commericals,” living in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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