It’s time to kick it into Oscar high gear. I can’t believe it. I’m suffering from my 2005 Oscar hangover (not to mention my disappointment). Neverthless, I recently posted my Top 20 movies to see this fall and many of the Oscar nominations will come from those films. Nevertheless, there are a few early 2006 films that may hang around (a la “Crash”) and make some noise come Oscar time. We’re at a disadvantage here in Little Rock because many of the good films haven’t yet made it here, but thanks to Matt Smith at Market Street, they’re on the way. Here are some good dramatic feature films I’ve seen that I’d recommend that your throw in your Netflix queue.
1. Inside Man. Spike Lee’s best dramatic feature since Malcolm X (his “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts” is also magnificent).
2. Little Miss Sunshine. The best ensemble performance of the year, thus far. Currently showing at Market Street Cinema.
3. Thank You for Smoking. Hilarious. Look for both Jason Reitman, who wrote and directed this film, and Aaron Eckhart to be around at least for the Golden Globes.
4. A Prarie Home Companion. My moviegoing friend didn’t like this as much as I did. Robert Altman is at his finest. If a movie makes a run in January, this could be it.
5. Miami Vice. Unlike Michael Mann’s last effort “Collateral,” I don’t expect this film to make any noise during awards season. Still, it’s one of the best of this early year and if you can catch it before it leaves theatres, watching it on the big screen is a treat.
I have not yet seen “United 93,” “World Trade Center,” “Idlewild,” or “The Illusionist.” From what I hear, those are all worth seeing.