Wednesday, January 06, 2010

My Favorite of the Decade that I Can Actually Remember

1. The Proposition. Everything about this film is perfect. The look, the music, the themes perfectly delivered by Nick Cave's script, but especially the outstanding cast.

2. Kontroll. A subterranean fairytale that switches between truly frightening to truly funny to truly touching. It leaves a residual feeling that's hard to shake off, even if you've seen it five times before.

3. Breakfast on Pluto. Another fairytale-type, this time set in 1960s and 1970s Ireland. Based on a book by Patrick McCabe, it also has a badass soundtrack.

4. Infernal Affairs. Tight and thrilling. I usually can't describe films like that, but Infernal Affairs, which was remade as The Departed, was able to deliver. Tony Leung excellent, as always.

5. Sexy Beast. Not only a good crime caper but also featuring an outstanding cast. One of my favorite parts of this film was that it featured older, mature characters rather than slick People's Hottest People of the year. Not because those people are necessarily bad actors, but rather because it brings life to a somewhat worn-out genre. Another film that earns the descriptor of "menacing."

6. Eastern Promises. This film was exactly the right length, not just because it clocked in at 100 minutes. A controlled and succinct plot, punctuated by moments of violence that were all the more starker for their scarcity, resulted in a tight film that doesn't waste any time but is never rushed.

7. Momento. When a film is as good as everyone says it is, it's kind of a big deal.

Best Genre: I usually eschew this as a category, and you'll notice mostly genre (crime, thriller) above, but I want to mention these separately for what they did for their respective genres-- fine films on their own and also hopefully models for future genre films.

Sin City. Nobody had seen a film that looked quite like it til it came out. But it wasn't pretty empties. The plot was exciting and it pulled off pulp noir in a way that you don't see a lot.

Serenity. Great cast, great script, a nice dystopian anti-government ending which is most remarkable for featuring a dark ending that wasn't trying to show off its own daring the way other films try to do when they decide to involve deep scary plot twists to show how they're not genre.

King Kong/The Mummy Returns. These two films really show what you can do with the genre-- the Saturday matinee, B-movie vibe-- something that Indy IV stunningly failed to do.

Best Made a Funny: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy. Strangely, this film was a return to Monty Python & Marx Brothers' type absurdity, from 2004 before we were sick of Will Ferrell.

Best Animated Film
: The Emperor's New Groove-- self-aware and still hilarious.

What about you guys??

1 comment:

C said...

The beginning of the decade is a bit spotty in my memory, but a more recent one that I thought was especially good was IN BRUGES.....


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