28 December 2009

My Favorite "Noughtie" Films

Here it is.  I refuse to call it the "Best of the Decade," and shall instead call it "Favorite Noughties," because of the sly double entendre and the James Bond allusion.  Without any further adieu...

10.) Mulholland Drive
written and directed by David Lynch
I love this movie.  I have no idea why I love this movie.  I just do.

9.) There Will Be Blood
written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
Daniel Day-Lewis's greatest performance, a wonderful score, a superb supporting performance by Paul Dano, powerful direction by Anderson, and one of my favorite endings of all time.

8.) The Diving Bell and The Butterfly
directed by Julian Schnabel, screenplay by Ronald Harwood
I usually loathe bio-pics.  This is a rare exception.  The second most exquisitely beautiful film of the noughties, topped only by number 3.

7.) The Incredibles
written and directed by Brad Bird
For my money, Brad Bird is one of the best writers and directors working today.  1999's The Iron Giant is a classic, and The Incredibles is my favorite superhero film.  It's a shame that Bird is so overlooked when talking about "the great directors."

6.) Gladiator
directed by Ridley Scott, screenplay by David Franzoni, John Logan, and William Nicholson
Derided by many, loved by many.  Is it predictable? Yes.  Is it an exciting spectacle with a real hero at the center? Absolutely.  The mask removal scene ("and I will have my vengeance") remains one of my favorites.

5.) Casino Royale
directed by Martin Campbell, screenplay by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and Paul Haggis
The bold reinvention of Bond (by way of Bourne - who nearly made the list) with Daniel Craig in the title role is the best action film of the decade.  Amazingly enough, it has a touching and ultimately tragic love story at the heart of it.  When Craig finally said, "Bond, James Bond..." I could only respond, "Yes, you are."

4.) Once
written and directed by John Carney
Sorry Chicago.  Sorry Moulin Rouge!Once is the best movie musical of the decade.  A simple, low-budget indie featuring the Swell Season's Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, no film made during this 00-decade has more heart.

3.) In the Mood For Love
written and directed by Wong Kar-Wai
The most beautiful film of the decade.  Never has longing and unrequited love been captured so passionately and sensually.

2.) Children of Men
directed by Alfonso Cuaron, screenplay by Cuaron & Timothy J. Sexton.
Never has our future looked so bleak - or so hopeful.  Clive Owen's best performance, with equally towering supporting performances by Michael Caine, Julianne Moore, and the underrated Chiwetel Ejiofor.  Much has been made of the long run through the streets shot - my personal favorite is the death of Julianne Moore scene - painful, powerful, and remarkable.

1.) 25th Hour
directed by Spike Lee, screenplay by David Benioff
A bargain bin blind buy yielded my favorite film of the noughties.  A career-best performance by Ed Norton (topping American History X, in my mind), and featuring an ensemble of wonderful supporting performances by Philip Seymour Hoffman, Barry Pepper, Rosario Dawson and the inimitable Brian Cox.  The final sequence ("It all came so close to never happening") is one of the most stunning sequences put to film in the decade, heightened by the haunting and powerful score by Terence Blanchard.  Never fails to elicit tears when the bus pulls away and the music inverts on itself.

So there you have it.  Rock and roll.


King is a Fink said...

Fabulous list, Tyler. So happy I found someone who enjoyed "The Incredibles" as much as I did. And I'll always remember the rush of feeling that overcame me when I saw "Once" and heard "Falling Slowly" the first time. Simply beautiful.

Tyler Weaver said...

Thanks! One of my favorite moments in "Once" is the "If You Want Me" sequence. So simple and so beautiful. With bunny slippers. Or sheep - I can't remember.

Mike said...

Awesome list -- it's certainly narcissistic to say it aloud but any list where I agree regarding almost all the movies I've seen is okay by me -- particularly because Once is one of my favorite movies of the last decade and probably on my all time favorite list too.

And anybody with the balls to stand up so tall for Gladiator must be respected, even if one doesn't necessarily agree.

Tyler Weaver said...

Hi Mike - thanks for having a read!

Phil said...

Great list! All good picks, but I love that you put 25th Hour in there. I hardly ever hear it mentioned and I loved it.

Tyler Weaver said...

Thanks Phil!

25th Hour really blew me away. That final sequence has stayed with me since I first saw it six years ago. It was a hard choice between "Children" and "25th," but that sequence sealed it.

Terence Blanchard's score was the most perfect blend of music and film this decade. Melodic, poignant, and beautiful.

Joanna D'Angelo said...

Great list! I'm shameless - I loved Gladiator too. Along with many other films on your list "In the Mood for Love" WOW!

moderndaystoryteller said...

Ha, just found this. What superb taste you have - bar Gladiator (ugh). But like Mike says, anyone with the balls to admit it... 25th Hour in first place? I take my hat off to you. Loved the film and the book. Definitely top of my Noughtie list.

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