I posted my Top 10 Films of '04 List on the GreenCine Daily, if anyone's interested. I like creating these lists because they help me think back on what the year looked like, what sorts of things are ultimately important to me, and most of all, as a way to stimulate discussion and respectful arguments with friends and colleagues.
Other than that, these lists are fairly pointless and redundant, if still a lot of fun.
Closer was the "at the wire" film I saw last night before finishing the list. It didn't quite have the uniqueness I look for or the artistic chops for my taste, but the script, adapted by Patrick Marber from his play, is still as sharp as ever, and it's really well done. I don't really like any of the people in the story, but they're very human and the flaws only make them more interesting - not to mention being a fine showcase for acting. Natalie Portman and Clive Owen come off most memorably because they seem to have really hit the ground running with their characters, giving them teeth and life, whereas Roberts and Law, who are also good, seem to have been so depressed by their characters' own f***ed up behavior that they make a bit less of an impression, ending up looking wan and sick. Uncomfortable viewing to be sure, but Closer does have cojones.