The 2000s are no more. Our top 50 of the decade has been finalised – let the retrospective investigation of the period begin.
What did cinema in the 2000s leave us? What were the trends? How did cinema progress? What directors established themselves? What directors committed career suicide?
What are your lasting memories of cinema in the 2000s?
The following awards are given based on Top10Films’ Top 50 Films of the 2000s:
1st place – 2000 (8 films)
2nd place – 2005 (7 films)
3rd place – 2007 & 2006 (6 films)
1st Place – Christopher Nolan (4 films)
2nd Place – Alexander Payne (2 films), Michael Winterbottom (2 films), Paul Thomas Anderson (2 films), Peter Jackson (2 films)
Best Genre: Comedy-Drama (12 films)
When it comes to genre the rather indefinable comedy-drama wins out. What is comedy-drama or as it is sometimes known ‘Dramedy’. It isn’t straight-forward comedy or drama – it’s funny and uplifting but downbeat and dark in equal measure. Like Hithcock said – “Drama is life with the dull bits cut out”. Comedy-Drama, I think, is life with the funny bits left in.
1st Place – USA (35 films)
2nd Place – UK (10 films)
3rd Place – New Zealand (4 films)
More an indication of my viewing habits throughout the decade than anything else. I have seen many non-English language films (several from mainland Europe, and many from east Asia) but must see more.
The following awards are based on the votes of the Top10Films judging panel (the judging panel is made up of Dan Stephens, his superhero alter-ego The Fiend, and five of his eight split personalities – the other three aren’t film fans):
1st Place – Patrick Bateman (“American Psycho”, played by Christian Bale)
2nd Place – Wikus Van De Merwe (“District 9”, played by Sharlto Copley)
3rd Place – Gay Perry (“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”, played by Val Kilmer)
4th Place – Jack (“Sideways”, played by Thomas Haden Church)
5th Place – Willie (“Bad Santa”, played by Billy Bob Thornton)
1st Place – Heath Ledger (“The Dark Knight”, as The Joker)
2nd Place – Daniel Day-Lewis (“There Will Be Blood”, as Daniel Plainview)
3rd Place – Sam Riley (“Control”, as Ian Curtis)
4th Place – Paul Dano (“There Will Be Blood”, as Eli Sunday)
5th Place – Christian Bale (“American Psycho”, as Patrick Bateman)
Most Memorable Moment:
“Sideways” – For me, the best scene of the decade occurs in Alexander Payne’s masterpiece “Sideways”. Paul Giamatti’s Miles and Virginia Madsen’s Maya discuss the virtues of wine. In what is a perfectly mannered moment between the two, Payne sees their discussion of wine as a metaphor for life itself. It is one hell of a moving moment, delivered so subtly by the actors. It concludes with Maya saying, “I like to think about what was going on the year the grapes were growing; how the sun was shining; if it rained. I like to think about all the people who tended and picked the grapes. And if it’s an old wine, how many of them must be dead by now. I like how wine continues to evolve, like if I opened a bottle of wine today it would taste different than if I’d opened it on any other day, because a bottle of wine is actually alive. And it’s constantly evolving and gaining complexity. That is, until it peaks, like your ’61. And then it begins its steady, inevitable decline.”
Best Action Sequence:
“Ocean’s Eleven” – nothing comes close to the entire casino heist sequence.
“Sideways” – deciding to fake an accident Miles unwillingly allows Jack to put a brick on the accelerator peddle of his car in order to crash it into a tree. Unfortunately, as the driverless car sets off, the steering wheel inadvertently turns sending the car past the tree, through a fence, and into a ditch.
“City of God” – so many to choose from but the one that remains so memorable is the sequence depicting the children being forced to be shot in the hand or foot. And then the consequences which follow.
Best first ten minutes:
1st Place – “There Will Be Blood” (Nothing really compares to this graceful, beautiful, wordless opening sequence that sees the beginnings of one man’s lifelong obsession to purge nature to fill his own pockets. Anderson’s glorious panoramic views and Jonny Greenwood’s haunting score add to the almost surreal yet riveting first few minutes.
2nd Place – “The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring” (Jackson crams lots of back story and a huge great war into the first few minutes of the film – what a start to this epic)
3rd Place – “Unbreakable” (M. Night Shaymalan sucks his audience into the film with the mysterious birth of an unusual child)
4th Place – “District 9” (It’s Independence Day in South Africa!)
5th Place – “The Dark Knight” (fast-moving, perfectly composed; a bank heist to rival the best)
Best Ending: (spoiler alert):
1st Place – “Gran Torino” (Walt Kowalski’s heart-wrenching sacrifice)
2nd Place – “There Will Be Blood” (a fitting closure to the greed and self-absorbed obsession of two of the decade’s most memorable characters)
3rd Place – “The Prestige” (Nolan knows how to do twist endings – did you see this coming)
4th Place – “Memento” (Another twist, another Nolan movie. At the end, we find out what the beginning was all about in this reverse chronology movie)
5th Place – “Unbreakable” (More twisty goings on, this time with M. Night Shyamalan)
Top 50 Films of the Decade (2000 to 2009):
Fantastic Voyages: There Will Be Blood
David H. Schleicher: There Will Be Blood
Paste Magazine: City of God
Wonders In The Dark: Far From Heaven
Movie Mobsters: The Lord of the Rings trilogy
Anomalous Material: Mulholland Dr.
Andrew at the Movies: Children of Men
Let’s Go To The Movies: Million Dollar Baby
Times Online: Hidden
Film Junk: The Wrestler
Supercords: City of God
Alternative Chronicle: City of God
Too Much Cinema: Memento
Cinema Door: Almost Famous
Earl’s Blog: The Dark Knight
Movie Retriever: The Lord of the Rings
Cinematic Passions: Closer
Notes of a Film Fanatic: Mulholland Dr.
Crash Landen: Adaptation
Cinema Autopsy: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Cinemascope – No Country For Old Men
Too Much Cinema: Memento
Movie Hole: Almost Famous
The Joshua Centre: Almost Famous
No Cure For That: The Royal Tenenbaums
The Movie Examiner: The Lord Of The Rings trilogy
Good News Film Reviews: The Lord Of The Rings trilogy
We Are Movie Geeks: Kill Bill Vol 1
Hugo Stiglitz Makes Movies: Inglorious Basterds
Mo’ Better Blogging: Match Point
Magic Lantern Film Blog: Almost Famous
No Cure For That:The Royal Tenenbaums
Average Film Reviews: The Royal Tenenbaums
PB and J Strike Back: (no order listed)
If you would like me to link to your top films of the decade list (whether it is a top 10/20/50/100 or whatever) please drop me an email. Click the ABOUT link at the top of page for email address.
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