Tapeworthy

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Decadeworthy - Best Films of The Decade

So I've already posted my Favorite Films of the Decade. Now I'm going to post my picks for the 25 BEST Films of the Decade. If I have to explain the difference, why are you even reading me in the first place?

Here are my picks for the Best 25 Films of the Decade (in alphabetical order):

About Schmidt (2002)
A Single Man (2009)
Billy Elliot (2000)
The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
Boy A (2008)
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Casino Royale (2006)
City of God (Cidade de Deus) (2002)
The Class (Entre Des Murs) (2008)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Dancer in the Dark (2000)
District 9 (2009)
Far From Heaven (2002)
(500) Days of Summer (2009)
Good Bye Lenin! (2004)
The Incredibles (2004)
Lost in Translation (2003)
Moulin Rouge! (2001)
The Pianist (2002)
Ratatouille (2007)
Talk to Her (Hable con ella) (2002)
United 93 (2006)
Up (2009)
The Wrestler (2008)
You Can Count On Me (2000)

Stats:
5 are foreign language films.
3 animated films (all Pixar).
10 English films directed by a non-American
2 films by Ang Lee
2 films by Paul Greengrass

The list in more detail below (with poster images and all! Fancy!):

About Schmidt (2002)
Directed by Alexander Payne
Written by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, based on a novel by Louis Begley


I find Jack Nicholson always plays Jack Nicholson but here, Payne manages to pull a great PERFORMANCE in an anti-Jack Nicholson role in a moving story about a man who loses his wife and tries to reconnect with his daughter and his own life. Great support from Kathy Bates, Dermot Mulroney and Hope Davis, but Payne beautifully creates portrait of a man learning to live for the first time in his life.



A Single Man (2009)
Directed by Tom Ford
Written by Tom Ford and David Scearce, based on a novel by Christopher Isherwood
Original Review


Tom Ford's brilliant directorial debut imbues all his talent as a fashion designer in a well focused, beautifully shot film that manages to present a glossy stylistic surface that pulsates with a human core yearning to crack the perfect outline. The film's style manages to mirror the central single man's emotional swings as Colin Firth creates an intimate portrait of a man yearning to show his broken soul while living in the glass house society of LA in the 60's.



Billy Elliot (2000)
Directed by Stephen Daldry
Written by Lee Hall


A perfect blend of fairytale underdog story with a sense of harsh reality. Daldry and Hall keep the film grounded and heartbreaking while the joyous spirit of a boy's love for dance against the backdrop of the miners union strikes in Great Britain during the 80's manages to make it a crowdpleaser.



The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
Directed by Paul Greengrass
Written by Tony Gilroy, Scott Z. Burns and George Nolfi, based on a novel by Robert Ludlum


Fast and furious, Greengrass manages to perfect what Doug Liman started in the first film and creates a jagged, unflinching action movie that remains intelligent and fresh.



Boy A (2008)
Directed by John Crowley
Written by Mark O'Rowe, based on a novel by Jonathan Trigell
Original Review


A wonderfully small story about a young man who gets re-introduced to society and without spoiling the film, there's a darkness played against the innocence of Andrew Garfield's breakthrough performance that just pulls you right in.



Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Directed by Ang Lee
Written by Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, based on a novel by Annie Proulx


A beautiful love story and it's pretty much as simple as that. The politics surrounding the movie may make great arguments, but Lee brings his usual patient and quietly observant style to the tale of two cowboys in love in a time that it was forbidden.



Casino Royale (2006)
Directed by Martin Campbell
Written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Paul Haggis, based on a novel by Ian Fleming
Original Review


Campbell and Daniel Craig punches in a fresh new action packed energy into the Bond franchise with a hyper-real look spinning the wild tales of our favorite agent spy. 007 has never looked this sexy while actually breaking a sweat.



City of God (Cidade de Deus) (2002)
Directed by Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund
Written by Bráulio Mantovani, based on a novel by Paulo Lins


A frightening look into the slums of Rio de Janeiro with a kinetic style and heartbreaking pace. There's a sadness to the humanity of the situation but fear takes over as Meirelles and Lund propel their cameras through the dark alleys that exist for this underlying class living in Brazil.



The Class (Entre Des Murs) (2008)
Directed by Laurent Cantet
Written by Laurent Cantet, Robin Campillo and François Bégaudeau, inspired by the memoirs of François Bégaudeau
Original Review


The lines blur between real and re-created when Bégaudeau recreates his own life in a dramatic re-telling of his own memoirs based on his life as a teacher in France. The scenes feel so raw and real that it seems like a documentary, which only makes Bégaudeau's unsaintly portrayal all the more moving and all the more honest.



Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Directed by Ang Lee
Written by Hui-Ling Wang, James Schamus and Kuo Jung Tsai, based on a novel by Du Lu Wang


A fantastical epic Chinese tale told at the sure hands of Lee with an all-star Chinese cast, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon cast a spell on worldwide audiences and introduced the masses to the style of ancient Chinese legends and martial arts in bamboo forests.



Dancer in the Dark (2000)
Directed by Lars von Trier
Written by Lars von Trier


It stars Bjork! It's a musical! It's directed by Lars von Trier! And it's depressing as hell. The story of a woman whose situation gets continuously worse and worse makes you want to kill yourself, but it's also an emotional wallop and a stomach churning experience.



District 9 (2009)
Directed by Neill Blomkamp
Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell
Original Review


A clever and highly entertaining satire on the segregation in South Africa using space aliens and the sad state of our human hospitality. Sharlto Copley and a father and son extra-terrestrial manage to create a humane look at a government's treatment of a differing race.



Far From Heaven (2002)
Directed by Todd Haynes
Written by Todd Haynes


Haynes' beautifully directed film about a 1950's White housewife discovery of her husband's true sexuality and her own self-discovery through a friendship with her Black gardener is bold in it's colours and subtle in its emotions. Julianne Moore, Dennis Haysbert and Dennis Quaid give solid performances of the lives of people living in a 50's who don't fit the times constructs and it's truly heartbreaking.



(500) Days of Summer (2009)
Directed by Marc Webb
Written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber
Original Review


A wonderful and witty spin on the romantic comedy that pulls you in with the wonders of romance, spits it back on the floor with the truths of relationships, and gives a ray of hope for a happy ending. Joseph Gordon-Levitt gives a manly performance that carries the film in the relationships ups and downs, and we are willing to follow the chopped up tale told backwards and forwards because we've all seen ourselves in Gordon-Levitt's Tom Hansen and we've all yearned to fall in love the way he does.



Good Bye Lenin! (2004)
Directed by Wolfgang Becker
Written by Bernd Lichtenberg and Wolfgang Becker


A son does everything he can to keep the charade that the Berlin Wall has not fallen when his mother wakes up from a coma. The story of familial love turns into a tense comedy that devolves into a shattering statement on politics and family devotion.



The Incredibles (2004)
Directed by Brad Bird
Written by Brad Bird


A brilliant and brilliantly fun satire AND homage to the super-hero pic. Pixar not only spoofs the genre, but creates one of the best action adventure movies in the process by creating a central family that remains relatable despite their incredible talents. The movie flies all over the place aided by an incredible score by Michael Giacchino but let it be made very clear, it never flies with a cape! NO CAPE!



Lost in Translation (2003)
Directed by Sofia Coppola
Written by Sofia Coppola


Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray contemplate about life while stuck on the other side of the world in Sofia Coppola's beautiful ode to lost souls.



Moulin Rouge! (2001)
Directed by Baz Luhrmann
Written by Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce


An explosion of sight and sound in this spinning dizzy hallucinogenic musical of everlasting love (until the end of time!). Ewan McGregor exudes romance in his sensational performance while Nicole Kidman breathes an air of sensuality in her musical debut. Luhrmann's celebration of undying love is a feast for the senses and the heart.



The Pianist (2002)
Directed by Roman Polanski
Written by Ronald Harwood, based on the book by Wladyslaw Szpilman


Adrian Brody plays Wladyslaw Szpilman in the true story of his survival during WWII by surviving in the ruins of Warsaw. It's a harrowing story filmed by Polanski with a chilling still calmness.



Ratatouille (2007)
Directed by Brad Bird and Jan Pinkava
Written by Jan Pinkava, Jim Capobianco, Brad Bird, Emily Cook, Kathy Greenberg and Bob Peterson
(My Review)


A beautiful film about the enduring trials of artistic perfection and the pursuit of one's dreams, that just happens to star a rat with great taste buds. Again in perfect Pixar style, the film runs from adventure to art, from comedy to drama, in a luscious (and luscious looking) tale of Ratatouille and his finesse in the kitchen.



Talk to Her (Hable con ella) (2002)
Directed by Pedro Almodóvar
Written by Pedro Almodóvar


A bookend to All About My Mother, Almodóvar this time follows two men whose lives intertwine but it's still really about the women in their lives in this ode to the female species. Always odd, always colourful, and extremely touching and haunting.



United 93 (2006)
Directed by Paul Greengrass
Written by Paul Greengrass


A movie people probably don't want to see, Greengrass recreates the hours and minutes leading up to the morning of 9/11 with painstaking detail and documentary like precision (including a cast made up of many of those involved that day, playing themselves on film) and clarity that remains unjudgemental throughout. Incredibly disturbing yet truly cathartic, the recreation of flight United 93 before it plunged into a Pennsylvanian field becomes both eye opening and comforting to see the heroism that arises from such a human tragedy.



Up (2009)
Directed by Pete Docter and Bob Peterson
Written by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson and Thomas McCarthy
Original Review


An old man finally takes the dream trip he planned with his longtime wife and takes his house, and a boyscout along for the adventurous fantastical ride. But not before we get a quick explanation of the old couple's entire life that is guaranteed to make you tear up in the first 10 minutes of the movie, only to be replaced by tears of laughter during the rest of the trip Pixar has so brazenly imagined.



The Wrestler (2008)
Directed by Darren Aronofsky
Written by Robert D. Siegel


The painful life of a hasbeen wrestler making his way through life while trying to recorrect his mistakes, Mickey Rourke gives a tremendous performance (that partly mirrors his own life) against the reliably sharp performances of Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood. Aronofsky gives us a tour through the wrestler's harsh life and the glimmer of winning moments that may soften his journey.



You Can Count On Me (2000)
Directed by Kenneth Lonergan
Written by Kenneth Lonergan


Laura Linney, Mark Ruffalo and Rory Culkin give terrifically subtle and smart performances of a single mom and her quiet life and the upheaval caused by the arrival of her less-responsible brother (with a great side performance from Matthew Broderick as her boss). A wonderful peak into the lives of a woman trying to hold on to her family as things seem to spin out of control, in a wonderfully directed film by the writer Kenneth Lonergan that keeps the drama honest and simple.


______________________________________

Decadeworthy - The Best of 2000-2009 Lists: Coming soon
SYTYCDworthy (w/ Videos) - List Format
Theatre of the Decade
Best Films of the Decade
Favorite Films of the Decade
Television of the Decade
Television of the Decade - 1 Season Wonders

Best of 2009 Lists: Coming soon
Best of Music 2009
Best of Television 2009
Best of Stage 2009
Best of Movies 2009

Previous Best-of Lists:
Best of 2008 Lists:
Best of Music 2008
Best of Television 2008
Best of Stage 2008
Best of Movies 2008
Best of Television Fall '07 - Winter '08 List

Best of 2007 Lists:
Best of Music 2007
Best of Television 2007
Best of Movies 2007
Best of Stage 2007
Best of 2007 (The Final Wrap Up)
Best of Television Fall '06 - Winter '07 List

Best of 2006 Lists:
Best of Music 2006
Best of Television 2006
Best of Movies 2006
Best of 2006
Best of Television Fall '05 - Winter '06 List

Best of 2005 Lists:
Best of Television 2005
Best of Movies 2005

Vance at http://tapeworthy.blogspot.com

2 comments:

theTVaddict said...

We have *very* different tastes in movies!

highbrow said...

What about Avatar??
So the story lacked imagination (although NYT published an article about how every group out there has interpreted the movie's themes to be about them or their advesaries - but tbh I don't think Cameron is deep enough to have thought all that up on his own) but the VFX/CGI work was easily the BEST that there has ever been.
And I'm not just saying that cos of you know who...

International Jock Crocs, Inc. Bare Necessities>