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March 13, 2005

The decade so far

DJW lists his ten favorite movies of the Oughts at Lawyers Guns and Money.

Here's my list, in no particular order:

1. Y Tu Mama Tambien
2. The Fog of War
3. Spirited Away
4. Mulholland Drive
5. The Corporation
6. The Control Room
7. The Royal Tenenbaums
8. Ghost World
9. Almereyda's Hamlet
10. The LOTR saga

Regretfully, Being John Malkovitch just missed the chronological cut, having been released in 1999.

See also: Nurse Lebo's new and improved list of great '00's movies.

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The decade so far :

» My Best of the Oughts from Jim Snowden's Second Omnibus
Majikthise has her best of the oughts list. Now I have mine. [Read More]

» The Decade's Best from Rox Populi
Majikthise responds to DJW's Best of the Oughts --a list of ten best films released from 2000 to the present-- with a list of her own. Here are mine: Traffic The Royal Tennebaums American Splendor Momento Y Tu Mama Tambien [Read More]

» The Decade's Best from Rox Populi
Majikthise responds to DJW's Best of the Oughts --a list of ten best films released from 2000 through present-- with a list of her own. Here are mine: Traffic The Royal Tennebaums American Splendor Momento Y Tu Mama Tambien Minority [Read More]

» Best of the Aughts from After School Snack
This is too good an opportunity to pass up: Rox, Shakespeare's Sister, Majikthise, and DJW are listing their noms for best/favorite movies of the "aughts." There's no WAY I'm not getting in on that action. [Read More]

Comments

Like Dave, a fine list, but conspiculously missing two masterpieces with some variation of "Piano" in the title...

Control Room is programmed into the TiVo on Sundance. I don't know what was wrong with me that I missed it in the theatres.

LOTR Saga is sneaky-tricky. I wanted to include one of them in the honorable mentions, but I can never decide which one, so I gave up.

Wow, three documentaries. Interesting. I may try to compile a list on my blog when I have more time, but I know it would likely include up to three Latin American films, with Amores Perros, City of God and Maria, Full of Grace.

djw- I'd probably just go with The Fellowship of the Ring. I guess you have to include the trilogy as definitive films of this decade. Or at least likely definitive films. Who knows. Nobody appreciated Citizen Kane until the 70s. (thank you, William Randolph Hearst)

Hey Lindsey... is it too late to get Motorcycle Diaries and Goodbye Lenin on there?

All those movies suck except for Fog of War. Especially Ghost World.

Eternal Sunshine should be on there.

No ''Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle''?

This is fun! I have four things to say here:

(1) The LOTR saga does NOT belong on any top ten list!

(2) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind does. (And it's better than Being John Malkovich.)

(3) So does City of God, probably.

(4) Good call on Royal Tennenbaums. But maybe it should be a little higher.

Okay, I give! I'll see Eternal Sunshine, I promise. I got into a kind of philosophical snit and refused to see it while it was in the theaters. I don't remember what troubled me so much about the trailer, so I guess it can't have been all that substantive.

To be honest, I haven't seen any of the other movies that have been recommended on the thread so far, except Amores Perros.

I was very impressed with some aspects of AP, but I wouldn't put it on my top ten list. The fundamental plot conceit didn't work for me--finding out how the three vignettes related detracted from my appreciation of each of them. The first dog fighting vignette deserved a film of its own and I could have done without the whole dog-in-the-floor schtick.

I believe that the LOTR saga deserves to be evaluated as a single film. I think that's how Tolkien wanted us to think of the LOTR, and how Peter Jackson approached the task of adapting it to film. After all, people quantify over Wagner's Ring Cycle as a single entity, even though it consists of operas that are performed separately.

I have to say that Hamlet was a big disappointment. The casting was great in theory but underwhelming in practice. The line readings seemed to be given as if the audience wouldn't understand the language, and I groaned audibly at Hamlet having the Oliviet version playing on his TV.

I'm sure Hamlet can be brought to the modern day, but there should be more to him than a whiny, self-absorbed contrarian (not unlike Enid from Ghost World actually).

Spirited Away is an excellent choice.

I would remove Mulholland Drive, just because I like coherence in stories. Or at least, for there to be some justification for the belief that the director had a coherent idea.

I would replace it with Hero. I love the strong moral principles and self sacrifice. I cannot believe Jet Li could actually be in a good movie.

The one with Dustin Hoffman was better.

Excellent list - I can trust you! I'd probably replace "The Royal T's" with "The Dreamers," myself, and then when I thought some more, perhaps some other subs, but I own a third of it as it stands, and I'm very picky that way.

but there should be more to him than a whiny, self-absorbed contrarian

But Hamlet is a whiny, self-absorbed contrarian -- he's a university student, after all. I agree there's more to him than that, but that's still a big part of who he is, and yet that aspect of his character has been routinely shoved under the floorboards for, well, hundreds of years now. So it was incredibly refreshing to finally see a version that foregrounded it. It was certainly a welcome tonic to Branagh's full-throttle chandelier-swinging action hero Hamlet, fercrissakes.

Also, I mentioned this at Roxie's blog, but I forgot to mention The Man Who Wasn't There, which is actually one of my favorite Coen Bros. movies. I realize this is not a widely held opinion, but I think it's brilliant.

And look, Luka, whatever else you may think of them, the LOTR films are astoudning technical achievements -- and it pains me to use the word "technical" because of the incredible artistry Jackson's team brought to the sound design, set decoration, costumes, visual effects, etc etc etc. Even if Tolkein's narrative doesn't ring your cherries, it's a bit ridiculous to assert the films do NOT belong on any top ten lists when they are so spectacularly well-crafted, right down to the tiniest details.

Lindsay: I'm not a mind reader, but the thing that troubled you about the ESOTSM trailer was the overuse of Electric Light Orchestra music. And leftover Jim Carrey suspicion from The Majestic and pretty much everything else he's ever made.

Thad is 100% right that Hamlet the Brat has been oft ignored in the past. I suppose that I felt the Almereyda version reduced the play too completely to just hipster alienation, which you can find plenty of other places.

I still haven't seen Eternal Sunshine either. It came out during second semester of my senior year at Reed, when I was extremely engrossed with finishing my thesis. Then this summer, I went to go see it in Dresden, only to find out they dubbed it into German, so that didn't work out. I can't stand films that have been dubbed into a language that I can understand.

Maybe I'd add the Kill Bill movies there too. Especially part 2, 'cos it had Pai Mei, and therefore was totally awesome. I'll get to posting this on my blog eventually . . .

Belleville Rendevous, which may not have got much of a release in the States, is bloody marvellous. I'd also shill for Buongiorno Notte, and perhaps The Dancer Upstairs.

The Royal Tenenbaums is amusing, but a long way from being great: it's too grotesque, and I found it very difficult to build up any interest in any of the characters at all.

It was called The Triplets of Belleville in English and it got quite a wide US release (as far as these things go). It's one of those movies I've been wanting to see for a long time, but haven't got around to yet.

The problem is, I refuse to sign up for Netflix again until we get around to watching all of the movies we already own on DVD, and there's still a bit of a backlog to get through.

It was called Belleville Rendevous in Britain, where, incidentally, we do also speak English. But sarkiness aside, it is, for grotesque, surreal humour, one of the best things I have ever seen. So you should watch it.

Scott, coherence in film (or anywhere else) is vastly overrated. However, that does not excuse the inclusion of any (or all) the LOTR films on any "best of" list, including "best version of LOTR".

Having read the books many times over the years, I tried, oh how I tried to love the films, and there was much good in them. But I couldn't avoid feeling that they fell far short of a satisfactory transcription from page to screen.

Since being John missed the cut, how 'bout an almost as good effort from the brothers Kauffman, Adaptation? I loved the film and there was a scene about BJM.

Great list otherwise, although Memento would have to be in the top ten for me as well as O Brother Where Art Thou

Scott

Nurse Lebo says:

1. Fellowship of the Ring, Return of the King , then Two Towers in that order and this counts as one (1) film indeed. I am referring to the Extended versions here of course.
2. Donnie Darko - Not, I repeat, NOT the director's version.
3. Wonder Boys
4. Waking the Dead
5. Jesus' Son
6. Almost Famous
7. An Everlasting Piece
8. Sexy Beast
9. Hedwig and the Angry Inch
10. Bloody Sunday
11. ESOTSM
12. Whale Rider


For a list of special mentions, see <"http://www.sarahlebo.blogspot.com">

  • .

  • Sexy Beast was awesome. Titus was great too, but missed the cut in 1999. Oh Brother Where Art Thou was darn good for Hollywood. "Meet the Parents" was very well done and funny too. Mullholland Drive very overrated- trippy but who would want to see it twice ?

    Thad,

    Right. Ok. LOTR might belong on the top ten list for best technical achievements or something.

    norbizness,

    Jim Carrey's fantastic. He's a genius. And the ELO stuff in the trailer for Eternal Sunshine was wonderful.

    grishaxxx,

    The Dreamers was interesting and exciting but not better than The Royal Tenenbaums. C'mon. TRT was brilliant. The Dreamers was very good. And hot. But not genius.

    (I meant that The Dreams was not brilliant, not that it wasn't genius. But it wasn't genius, either.)

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