The Mancunion

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Year In Film: 2004

Parizad Manghi tells us why 2004 produced a bumper crop of films

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The year 2004 at the movies saw what can only be described as a cinematic avalanche. It was easily one of Hollywood’s most profitable years, both in terms of money and quality. The film conglomerates churned out some monster productions but plenty low-budget labours of love also graced our screens and gained deserving accolades. Here are some of the most memorable and impressive films of 2004.

It was a year that came with its fair share of Oscar bait, giving the Academy some of its most significant additions to the collection. Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese collaborated for a second time on the highly acclaimed Howard Hughes biopic The Aviator, proving once again what a masterful team they make. However, they lost out to the big winners Clint Eastwood and Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby, thanks to which Swank was rewarded her second Best Actress gong. It seems biopics were the flavour of the season, another being Ray starring Jamie Foxx, who swept up the Best Actor awards. Smaller films such as Sideways, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind and the Spanish The Sea Inside garnered great praise and were certainly noticed during award season. 2004 also came with an ample amount of controversy fodder. Mel Gibson’s Passion Of The Christ definitely stirred some passions in the global community and Michael Moore’s documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 proved to be an eye-opener on the aptly controversial president Bush.

To say that a plethora of epics were presented to us on celluloid would be an understatement. We witnessed biggies such as Disney Pixar’s The Incredibles, Alien Vs Predator, the futuristic I Robot, the apocalyptic Day After Tomorrow, mythical Troy, Dreamwork’s Shark Tale and Lemony Snicket’s much loved A Series Of Unfortunate Events also made its journey from page to screen. These also included a surprising number of sequels, such as Spiderman 2, and Blade: Trinity. Tarantino was back with our kick-ass heroine in Kill Bill, Vol 2. It was  the return of the stylish heist gang in Ocean’s Twelve. Scooby Doo 2 also came along. Our funny bone was tickled by the hilarious cast of Meet The Fockers and the Harry Potter franchise added their third instalment with Prisoner Of Azkaban. The sequel that beat out not only other sequels of that year but also snatched the title of highest grossing film of 2004 was everyone’s favourite fairytale, Shrek 2.

Suffice to say, 2004 has stayed with us as one of the best years in film.