28 Days Later
When Jim (Cillian Murphy) wakes up in a deserted London hospital, he discovers that the city - and the country - have been ravaged by a mysterious virus that turns victims into mindless, blood-thirsty zombies.
28 Days Later has achieved four nominations, including recognition for its chilling trailer and for the effective graininess of its video cinematography (as well as the complexity of succeeding to make a bustling London look deserted without having to construct elaborate sets). Newcomer Cillian Murphy (who had a busy year with additional roles in Cold Mountain and Girl With the Pearl Earring) almost achieved his own acting nomination; we expect great things from him in the coming years.
Part sci-fi futuristic thriller, part Zombie horror. I'm not the typical fan of the zombie horror genre, but I loved this film. The graininess that comes from being shot on digital video enhances the apocolyptic feel of the film. The cinematography of the first part was absolutely amazing -- more worthy of that honor than some of the other big-budget films that will vie for it. The film's end lapsed into fairly conventional horror mode, but it's still among the best films I've seen this year.
My grade: A
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