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Films of the Decade

InTheMoodForLove_still

Looking through the new films seen over the past decade, I’ve rounded up a dozen as my particular favorites. A great decade for those with the vision to go outside the norm. — with that thought I wish you all a great 2010. In alphabetical order, and with no emphasis on one over the other:
Amores Perros (Love’s A Bitch) (2000) and Y Tu Mama Tambien (2002). Besides actor Gael García Bernal, the emergence of great Latin filmmaking in the ’00s is what unites these two ambitious dramas. The gritty Amores Perros is one of the best examples of the “diverse characters thrown together” genre, and Y Tu Mama is an unforgettable story of two friends and the memorable road trip they shared. Muy bien to them both.
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007). Speaking of unforgettable — who would’ve thunk that the country Romania would produce something this uniformly top-notch? Deliberately paced, beautifully made and with a fantastic performance from actress Anamaria Marinca.
In the Mood for Love (2001). Wong Kar Wai presents an achingly beautiful tale of unrequited love in ’60s Hong Kong. Probably the most gorgeously photographed movie of the decade, and Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung make a celluloid couple for the ages.
Mulholland Dr. (2001). A trip, in the best sense of the word. Like David Lynch took 20th century pop culture and mashed it up into a single long, dreamlike reverie.
Spirited Away (2001). Alice in Wonderland filtered through a distinctly Asian sensibility. Only Hayao Miyazaki could accomplish something this visually audacious.
28 Days Later (2002). The gold standard for zombie movies — Danny Boyle envelopes the viewer in a terror that only lets up at the (blessedly peaceful) ending.
United 93 (2006). From fictional terror to real terror. I wasn’t sure about a film examining the events of September 11th so soon, but as far as gripping docudramas go this one was without equal.
WALL•E (2008) and Up (2009). Make no mistake — the 2000s were Pixar’s decade. WALL•E and Up go to touching, warm places that I never dreamed computer animation could go, something almost unheard of in mainstream Hollywood.
Yi Yi (2000). Long, utterly absorbing drama about various generations in a contemporary Taiwanese family. The story is so simple and drama-free, which is probably what makes it one of the greats.
Zodiac (2007). David Fincher’s untraditional serial killer film. Mesmerizing.

My other favorite films of the aughts are classified below, with no further explanation.
Oscar Bait: Crash, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain, Flags of Our Fathers, Milk.
British: Shaun of the Dead, Iris, Gosford Park, Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Casino Royale.
German: The Lives of Others, The Princess and the Warrior.
Spanish/South American: Nine Queens, The Devil’s Backbone.
Asian: Infernal Affairs, Lust, Caution, Nobody Knows.
Retro: The Man Who Wasn’t There, Far from Heaven.
Musicals: Sweeney Todd, Dreamgirls, Chicago, Moulin Rouge.
More Pixar: The Incredibles, Ratatouille.
Documentaries: Capturing the Friedmans, In the Realms of the Unreal, The Bridge, Show Business: The Road To Broadway, Winged Migration.
Indie: Chuck & Buck.
Scary: Children of Men, Cloverfield, Monster, Dawn of the Dead.
Weird: Donnie Darko, Oldboy, Requiem for a Dream.

One Thought on “Films of the Decade

  1. Christopher on January 2, 2010 at 10:47 am said:

    Maggie Cheung in “In The Mood for Love” (which you have pictured) is the most beautiful woman in the world. And Tony Leung (in the same pic) is no slouch, either.

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