Thursday, December 17, 2009


Why waste time with piddling lists like "Best of the Year"? Go big or go home! With film, after all, boldness is key, which goes a distance toward explaining why Charlie Kaufman is all over my lists and why, even if it doesn't quite make it here, I couldn't stop talking about Inglourious Basterds. What I love in a movie is some combination of chemistry, intelligence, creativity, audacity, and truth (in the sense that the film is true to itself and its own internal rules, not to any objective standard).

Some of these I never need to see again because they were searingly intense the first time. Others are here because I have watched them over and over again as the decade progressed and they never lost their sheen. Although my picks don't divide neatly on those lines, I do find it helpful to use the Golden Globe division: Drama Vs. Comedy/Musical. Still, most of my Drama picks are funny, since I enjoy talky-talky stuff more than the fighty-fighty-kablammo!


Best Movies of the 00's - DRAMA

Kill Bill 1&2
Brokeback Mountain
4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days
In the Mood for Love
Children of Men
Pan's Labyrinth
Y Tu Mama Tambien
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Best Movies of the Decade - MUSICAL OR COMEDY

Moulin Rouge
Gosford Park
Little Miss Sunshine
The Incredibles
Being John Malkovich
High Fidelity
40 Year Old Virgin

RUNNERS UP: Memento, Once, Talk to Her

I haven't actually done the hard work of ranking, because when movies are this good, does it really matter which one I think is ever-so-slightly better than the next? That said, my favorite movie of the decade, and one of my favorites of all time, is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Here are some other people's lists: Pajiba honors the hilarious Shawn of the Dead and the creeptacular American Psycho; the Onion AV Club hoists up the 25th Hour, and I can't fault anything that pats David Benioff on the back, even if I preferred Inside Man; and Entertainment Weekly gives its love to the LOTR trilogy, because I guess all those Oscars it got weren't enough. And Slate has a handy-dandy guide to everything.

Did I forget something? Did I make you puke? Duke it out with me in the comments.


Jon said...

c'mon, juno?

jessebeller said...

all that love for kaufman and not even a runner-up for synecdoche ny? srsly?

jessebeller said...

also, "little miss sunshine" yes, "the squid and the whale" no? definite disagree.

likewise mystified by "children of men." what's that movie even about?

ester said...

I love the idea that I would compile a list like this and then be kidding. Yes, "Juno"; yes, "Little Miss Sunshine"; yes, I like all of the CK movies (that I've seen) better than "Synedoche, NY." :) I do very much appreciate "the Squid and the Whale" though. That would be a definite runner-up.

"Children of Men" was a punch to the gut in movie form. I don't know if I can articulate what it's about, but I know it elicited a very strong reaction from me and that I found it equally compelling on the second viewing.

jessebeller said...

by far my two favorite things about "little miss sunshine" were ineffectively suicidal steve carell and the enormous portrait of nietzsche in that kid's bedroom, even that felt like it was trying really hard. i rank it behind "napoleon dynamite," which wouldn't make my list.

i actually just rewatched "children of men" and i still don't understand it as anything more than a kind of random post-apocalyptic fable with a great cast and nice photography.

shy of actually putting in the effort to try and compile such a list, and without including anything already mentioned (other than synecdoche, which might be my single favoritest favorite), i'd have to single out

-the triplets of bellville
-old boy
-let the right one in
-no country for old men
-city of god
-lost in translation

honorary fighty-fighty-kabloom mention to the bourne series, the james bond reboot, and to "iron man." also to "kung fu hustle." special amazingly-crafted-horrific-propaganda shoutout to "hero." i think this particular genre has made more progress in the past 10 years than any other.

pixar awards to "finding nemo" and "up" with a personal weak spot for "cars." (can't believe slate's guide had ratatouille ranked the highest of them all, which is clearly insane.)

in a shocker, most-depressing-best-nicholas-cage movie goes to "the weather man."

i can't think of what award to give to "a serious man" other than jewiest, and it clearly deserves something more than that, so for now the jury's out.

wow, i guess i really should make a list, huh?