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<  Third Eye Film Forums  ~  Best Films of the Decade - 2000 to 2009

lshap
Posted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 8:50 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 12 May 2004 Posts: 4246 Location: Montreal
Which films were your personal favourites, and which ones will be best remembered as the archetypal '00 film?
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Marc
Posted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 8:53 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 19 May 2004 Posts: 8423
Thanks Lorne. That was fast.
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Marc
Posted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:01 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 19 May 2004 Posts: 8423
Here's a chart that might be helpful in putting together your list. If nothing else, it may remind you of some films you might have forgotten.

http://www.slate.com/id/2238714/
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Syd
Posted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:06 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12535 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
There are two movies, Avatar and Up in the Air, coming out that have potential to make my list so I may have to wait. There's also a chance An Education may show here before New Year's, but I'm not holding my breath. Minority Report, Whale Rider and In America will certainly be there.

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Marc
Posted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:17 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 19 May 2004 Posts: 8423
I'm going to a midnight screening of Avatar tonight. I'll post a review.
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Marc
Posted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:50 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 19 May 2004 Posts: 8423
I'm going to limit my list to 20 films. Here's the first 10. I'll give a short review of each later. Right now, I'm off to see Avatar.

ALMOST FAMOUS
CHILDREN OF MEN
THE NEW WORLD
MAN ON WIRE
OLD BOY
A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE
BORAT
HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS
THE HURT LOCKER
HEAD ON
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marantzo
Posted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:07 pm Reply with quote
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Marc wrote:
Here's a chart that might be helpful in putting together your list. If nothing else, it may remind you of some films you might have forgotten.

http://www.slate.com/id/2238714/


Thanks. That's just what I needed. I forget tons of films.
Earl
Posted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:19 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 09 Jun 2004 Posts: 2620 Location: Houston
Any thoughts on doing this Blanche style? Or are we posting lists and discussing/debating?

I'm cool with either, by the way. Just wondering how the flow will go.

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billyweeds
Posted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:16 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20413 Location: New York City
Fascinating to me that two movies I actively loathe are #1 and #2 on that interactive list, and my #1 movie is nowhere to be found.
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McBain
Posted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:57 am Reply with quote
Joined: 26 May 2004 Posts: 1987 Location: Boston
The Onion's lists are pretty good. Just in case no one linked them yet:

Onion's Best Films of the Decade

Onion's Best Film Performances of the Decade

Onion's Best Film Scenes of the Decade

Onion's Best Bad Movies of the Decade

Onion's Best Honorable Mentions of the Decade

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whiskeypriest
Posted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:41 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 6916 Location: "It's a Dry Heat."
Well, since this is where it is relevant....

I’ve narrowed my still flexible list down to 15 – 6 that are definitely in, and their relative order fixed in my mind, and 9 that are under consideration.

So here’s the preliminary list. The Maybes are in alphabetical order, with a brief explanation of why they could be in my Top 10, and why they might not be.

Adaptation

Why it could be in: Cage, Cooper, Streep and Cage give four of my favorite performances of the decade. The screenplay is a marvel of wit and intelligence that turns on itself at the end, and manages to make me laugh and think.

Why it might be out: Well, sometimes Kaufman is too smart for his own good. And the movie never really totally connects with me emotionally, as much as I love it intellectually.

American Splendor

Why it could be in: Paul Giamatti delivers my second favorite male lead of the decade. Hope Davis is damned good too. The movie’s method – interspersing real people with the actors and comics – and subject – like Pekar's comics, the drama of everyday life - elevates the sort of standard episodic biopic nature of the movie. Plus... while New Yorkers may have become rather blasé about all this, there’s something about going to a movie and realizing they are filming at a run down diner you’ve had a patty melt in to nail a movie for you.

Why it might not be in: Well, it is an episodic biopic and shares a bit of the form’s weakness for events over character. Cleveland porn is not really that great of a reason to love a movie. I mean, I used to drink heavily in The Euclid Tavern, the bar they filmed the band scenes in Light of Day in, and the movie still sucked.

Chicago

Why it could be in: Some dazzling performances, notably Catherine Zeta Jones. Imaginatively staged and shot. Great tunes, well performed.

Why it might not be in: I hate Renee Zellweger. Hate. While a real good movie, it just seems to lack some undefinable element for me.

Gosford Park

Why it could be in: A witty dissection of class and rank. A nice spoof on English drawing room mysteries that opens up on repeated viewings. Good performances by every third person in England.

Why it might not be in: While Altman handles the large cast well, there are several characters that are hard to differentiate. Could use a better pacing in some stretches.

The Hurt Locker

Why it could be in: A tremendous visceral experience that brings home the emotional truth of what it would be like to live in the shadow of planned, random, and risked death – which still manages to be, despite that, a penetrating character study. A great central performance my Renner, and equally stellar supporting turns by Mackie and Geraghty.

Why it might not be in: Hold the goddamned camera still. I understand the technique helps with the emotional immediacy, but the theaters might as well start selling Dramamine at the snack bar. The intrusion of one character who might as well have been named “Colonel Deadmeat” for all his fate was telegraphed.

In Bruges

Why it could be in: A sparkling screenplay that shows great verbal wit and humanity. Excellent co-lead performances. Tremendous soundtrack and cinematography. And while I am not overly enamored of him as a lead romantic actor, no one, but no one, in movies today does gleeful evil like Ralph Fiennes.

Why it might not be in: Uh... I might like a few movies better. On some undefinable level, never really seems great.

Lord of the Rings

Why it could be in: Viewing the thing as one movie in three parts rather than three movies – individually none of the movies would be under consideration - the thing has an undeniable sweep and spirit that carries it past the rather obvious bumps. It looks and feels as well made as any movie of the decade. Several breathtaking set pieces and scenes.

Why it might not be in: Well, it’s not actually one movie. Plus, there are those bumps, most notably Legolas the Expositional Elf. The best performances are the more supporting ones (Miranda Otto and Bernard Hill) and the one where there is not an actual actor there (Andy Serkin). And I realize that you need to compensate for the fact that the first two movies have no endings, really, but that’s no excuse for having five of them in the last one.

Once

Why it could be in: Because I fell in love with the damned thing when Marketa Irglova walked her little blue Hoover through the streets of Dublin like it was a puppy on a leash, that’s why. And because I spent the last 20 minutes praying that the film makers had the courage and sense to end the movie properly rather than conventionally and it is nice when prayers are answered. I liked most of the music quite a lot. The performers were charming. The movie also had the intelligence, like its heroine, to leave the most crucial bit of dialogue untranslated.

Why it might not be in: Really, the script is a cliché factory. Those standard musical hey, wait a damn minute, these guys are talented! type of scenes and shots only really work because I was already in love with the movie.

Zodiac

Why it could be in: Because considering all the love he gets, it’s nice that there’s a Fincher film I actually like. Robert Downey Jr.’s dissipated reporter is a decade supporting highlight. Deft and suspenseful handling of the suspense scenes. Manages to make the cross current of shifting facts in the case clear. Relatively speaking.

Why it might not be: Tends to drag, near the end, especially. Gyllenhaal never really sold me as the type of man to let his obsession overtake his life.

For my Top 6, they are in reverse order of preference, with why they are in. Yes, I realize what my Top Two movies make me look like.

Sita Sings the Blues

Why it is in: Paley’s retelling of and relating to an ancient Indian story manages to find the modern heart in the traditional female story and the traditional heart in the feminist modern story. The multiple style of animation works well, as does the narration’s fumbling and funny attempts to understand exactly what the story is. And the songs are perfectly chosen, sung, and animated. The whole movie is a wonder; probably my favorite animated movie of all time.

Sideways

Why it is in: Paul Giamatti gives the best male leading performance of the decade. Virginia Madsen gives my favorite performance of any kind, any gender, in any movie of the decade. And the two together, sitting on the porch and ostensibly talking about wine is the best scene of the decade. Thomas Haden Church is almost as good. The story is funny and sad, and while there were a couple scenes that looked like they were paid for by the Santa Ynez Chamber of Commerce, it was pretty beautiful throughout. Also has the second funniest nude fat man with the swinging junk scene of the decade. Plus, a great ending. As a side benefit, having this movie on my list also helps me build up a certain amount of goodwill with billy, which I will need given what comes next.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Why it is in: A sad, beautiful, emotionally true movie about love and memory – even when both hurt, and even when the first collapses. The screenplay’s inventive, and intelligent – I clearly have a mental affinity for Charlie Kaufman scripts – and funny in the right spots. It is my favorite Kate Winslet performance, and my second favorite female lead of the decade.* It’s a tough role: the way we are introduced to her character makes it easy to hate her, but Winslet makes it clear why Joel believes Clem has a personality that promises to lift you out of the mundane.

Labyrinth of the Faun**

Why it is in: Among its many virtues: the best cinematography of the decade, and a remarkable score. It is one of the most beautiful – as well as appropriately ugly – films of recent memory. I like the way the movie never commits to any answer to the reality/unreality question, and the way it contemplates the nature of obedience in a world not necessarily aligned with what is right. Acting performances are wonderful – I think; one of the drawbacks of foreign movies is you never really get the right sense of the line reading.

A Serious Man

Why it is in: My favorite script of the decade: it is intricate without appearing that way, taut while appearing loose (at least one aspect of the movie is neatly encapsulated in a single conversation with a grad student), and consistent in its logical development while feeling free form. Think you can’t have these things both ways? Please, accept mystery. It is also an incredibly funny and thoughtful combination of Job and Schroedinger’s Cat. Michael Stuhlbarg gives a revelatory performance in the lead role – perhaps my favorite by any male whose name does not rhyme with “Be a motey.” The rest of the cast is also superb: the Coens do a great job realizing the smaller roles in their films as well as the big ones. It is one of two movies this decade I continued to think about and relive on a daily basis two weeks after I saw them. That the other is also a Coen Brothers movie I think is due to the fact that no director(s) since Billy Wilder manages to strike something in me quite so convincingly when they are on their game.

No Country for Old Men

Why it is in: I’ll probably go into greater detail later, but I think it is the best crafted movie of the decade, for one thing. The cinematography, the sound design and score, the casting – again, even of the small parts; Gene Jones and Kathy Lamkin stick with me almost as much as Bardem. Well, all right, Brolin then. Bardem is magnificent, Brolin as good as he’s ever been, and if Ed Tom is no stretch for Tommy Lee Jones, he still nails the part. The movie got into me from the opening narration and never let go of me.

* Naomi Watts, in Mulholland Drive, as much as I dislike that movie.

** Because I know the difference between a minor woodland deity and a baby deer and rather resent the implication that I don’t, that’s why.


Last edited by whiskeypriest on Fri Dec 18, 2009 4:55 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Syd
Posted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:15 am Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12535 Location: Norman, Oklahoma


I'd forgotten Yi Yi was a 2000 film. That's certainly in my top 10.

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Befade
Posted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:32 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 3637 Location: AZ
Whiskey.......Interesting way of reflecting on films. I think A Serious Man should be up there.......it's completely unique.

I'll put Precious on the list simply because no other movie I've seen has revealed the many personalities of black women........and a director who gets his black women to portray black women very unlike themselves.

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billyweeds
Posted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 1:59 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20413 Location: New York City
Here's my list, which I've posted already:

1) Sideways (2004)
2) Mulholland Dr. (2001)
3) A Serious Man (2009)
4) 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days (2007)
5) The Hurt Locker (2009)
6) Michael Clayton (2007)
7) Sita Sings the Blues (2009)
8] Zodiac (2007)
9) Wonder Boys (2000)
10 Minority Report (2002)

Have yet to see Avatar, but doubt it will make the cut due to my non-affection for its genre.
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Marc
Posted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:56 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 19 May 2004 Posts: 8423
ALMOST FAMOUS (2000) captures the exhilaration of young love - love for rock and roll and love for that first rock chick that comes into your life. The movie is the semi autobiographical story of director Cameron Crowe's teen years writing for Rolling Stone and touring with rock bands. The movie opens with a young boy flipping through his older sister's record collection. As the iconic album covers appear on the screen, waves of nostalgia flowed through me. Each cover tapped into my memory bank. From Hendrix to Dylan, to The Doors and Janis, these images represented pivotal musical and cultural moments in my life. This was music when music meant something. For me, Almost Famous is that rare rock and roll movie that gets it right. It's a lovely film with a bigass rock and roll heart.

Kate Hudson as Penny Lane is every teenage boy's rock and roll dreamgirl.
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