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The Decade in Movies

As you probably know from my incessant yapping about it, the A.V. Club is in the middle of their best-of-the-decade coverage. We wrapped up TV coverage today, and next week, we're heading into Music, where I'll be listing my favorite metal albums of the 2000s. I'm not part of the AVC's Movie coverage (and it's probably a good thing, too; since moving to SATX, my watching habits -- with the exception of the Austin festivals -- are a good three months behind the curve, because nothing ever plays here), but I thought I might as well post my picks for the 20 best movies of the decade. I'm very excited to see how this jines up with my colleagues' picks, but I'll have to wait a month to find out, just like the rest of y'all.



1. Huayàng Niánhua [In the Mood for Love] (Wong Kar-Wai, 2000, HK)
2. Mulholland Dr. (David Lynch, 2001, USA)
3. Synecdoche, New York (Charlie Kaufman, 2008, USA)
4. Wòhu Cánglóng [Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon] (Ang Lee, 2000, CHI)
5. Adaptation. (Spike Jonze, 2002, USA)
6. Dogville (Lars Von Trier, 2003, DEN)
7. Sud Pralad [Tropical Malady] (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2004, THA)
8. No Country for Old Men (Joel Coen, 2007, USA)
9. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007, USA)
10. Memento (Christopher Nolan, 2000, USA)
11. Amores Perros (Alejandro Iñárritu, 2000, MEX)
12. Los Angeles Plays Itself (Thom Anderson, 2003, USA)
13. Femme Fatale (Brian DePalma, 2002, FRA)
14. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004, USA)
15. Les Temps du Loup {Time of the Wolf) (Michael Haneke, 2003, FRA)
16. The Saddest Music in the World (Guy Maddin, 2003, CAN)
17. Batoru Rowaiaru [Battle Royale] (Kinji Fukasaku, 2000, JAP)
18. Il y a Longtemps Que Je T’Aime [I’ve Loved You for So Long] (Philippe Claudel,
2008, FRA)
19. The New World (Terrence Malick, 2005, USA)
20. Elephant (Gus Van Sant, 2003, USA)

Nothing extremely shocking there. A couple of surprises, maybe, and at least one pick that'll get me yelled at by the usual suspects, but there you have it. One thing that surprised me: I'd thought of this as being an exceptionally strong decade for documentaries, but when it came time to put this list together, I couldn't think of one strong enough to make the top 20. If I'd gone to 50, though, there'd be a bunch of them, including Man on Wire, When the Levees Broke, and at least a couple of Herzogs.


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Nov. 12th, 2009 09:15 pm (UTC)
Let me guess...
The DePalma will cause the yelling.

I believe some of these will turn up on Nerve's best o' the decade list, coming soon to an internet near you.
Nov. 12th, 2009 09:23 pm (UTC)
Re: Let me guess...
Yep, that's the one. Guy's got a lot of haters. Of course, if I had a wider audience, there'd be some beefing about the Von Trier too -- there'a a lot of people who just hate "Dogville" to no end.

I'm looking forward to the Nerve list, too. Who all's doing it? You and Phil N., I'm guessing?
Re: Let me guess... - scottvond - Nov. 12th, 2009 09:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Let me guess... - ludickid - Nov. 12th, 2009 10:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 12th, 2009 09:18 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to see Il y a longtemps . . . on your list. Kristen Scott Thomas just killed that role. Killed it.
Nov. 12th, 2009 09:27 pm (UTC)
Absolutely -- it's one of my favorite performances, if not my favorite, of the decade. It's really striking how great she is in French, because, while she's not bad in English, she's not nearly as electrifying as she is in "Il y a Longtemps...". Not a lot of people picked that one for their best-ofs, but I thought it was just terrific.
Nov. 12th, 2009 09:23 pm (UTC)
OK, my girlfriend and I sat down to watch Synecdoche, New York last night with high hopes. Halfway through the movie, we both decided we couldn't stand to be inside Charlie Kaufman's neurotic head any longer and shut it off. Everyone says it's great. What the heck am I missing?
Nov. 12th, 2009 09:28 pm (UTC)
Man, you know that's a question that no one can answer, right? "Everyone says this is great but I hated it. What am I missing?" No one can answer that. If you didn't like it, you didn't like it.
BLANK - lester22 - Nov. 12th, 2009 09:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 12th, 2009 10:03 pm (UTC)
Nov. 12th, 2009 10:06 pm (UTC)

Was there a "Firefly" novelization? Because that needs to go on the book list, too.
Nov. 12th, 2009 10:16 pm (UTC)
Nov. 12th, 2009 10:20 pm (UTC)
I don't have a problem with the #1 slot, but Mulholland is way too high, Femme Fatale definitely doesn't deserve to be on the list, The Saddest Mustic In The World is the worst kind of criticwank, and Dogville might be influential but that doesn't make it good.
Nov. 12th, 2009 10:29 pm (UTC)
Interestingly, I disagree with all of those statements.
BLANK - calamityjon - Nov. 12th, 2009 11:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
BLANK - easyalchemy - Nov. 12th, 2009 11:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 12th, 2009 10:34 pm (UTC)
Having Battle Royale on there makes me love you.
Nov. 12th, 2009 10:50 pm (UTC)
I'm confused. Isn't "Los Angeles Plays Itself" a documentary? Which would mean one did make your top 20.

Also, ditto on the Battle Royale love.
Nov. 12th, 2009 11:25 pm (UTC)
Re: Documentaries
And how on earth did you ever find a copy of "Los Angeles Plays Itself"? I downloaded what claimed to a torrent of it once and got german gay porn. It was good porn, don't get me wrong, but not exactly what I was looking for.
Re: Documentaries - hipsterdetritus - Nov. 13th, 2009 04:42 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Documentaries - ludickid - Nov. 13th, 2009 05:21 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Documentaries - ludickid - Nov. 13th, 2009 05:20 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 12th, 2009 11:49 pm (UTC)
I think I would take any Herzog over Dogville, Adaptation, or Memento. Probably over Crocheting Tiger, Knitting Dragon also.
Nov. 12th, 2009 11:55 pm (UTC)
am I doing this wrong?
Any objections I could raise would be to order more than presence. It's a good list.
Nov. 13th, 2009 12:58 am (UTC)
I'm glad Guy Maddin made the list, even if it's not my favorite of his flicks. Femme Fatale is the kinda jaw dropping one for me. I assumed you were being perverse.

For Von Trier I'd go with The Idiots. Really troubling and ambitious.

I sure like The Cruise. And Sexy Beast. And The Celebration. But I'm a homo.
Nov. 13th, 2009 05:23 am (UTC)
"The Idiots", "The Cruise" and "The Celebration" all came out in 1998.
BLANK - larrondo - Nov. 13th, 2009 02:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 13th, 2009 04:09 am (UTC)
In the Mood for Love is one of my favorite movies of all time (although I'd go with Cache for the Hanneke...)
Nov. 13th, 2009 05:26 am (UTC)
Yeah, I knew I wanted a Haneke on there and I was torn between "Cache" and "Time of the Wolf". I think what made me finally go for the latter was Huppert's performance, combined with how Haneke steps out of his normal comfort zone of menacing comfortable bourgeoisie/skewering middle-class morality and into a much bleaker and more powerful moral and social context.

It's also one of the most depressing movies I've ever seen, even by Haneke's standards.

"Cache" is a mighty fine flick, though.
Nov. 13th, 2009 08:53 am (UTC)
I watched Synecdoche, New York earlier this week. It's a film that makes you hurt to watch it. Not only because it makes as much sense as asking for change from a penny, but because it's so achingly beautiful in construction and implementation. I didn't know that Charlie Kaufman had written and directed it, but I did after the closing scene.
Nov. 13th, 2009 09:53 am (UTC)
I've seen one of those! Woohoo! Who says I'm out of touch? Why, I'll duck them in the village pond.
Nov. 13th, 2009 05:56 pm (UTC)
Is it possible to see "Los Angeles Plays Itself" anymore? I half remember reading the rights were so limited it can only be shown at festival screenings or something.
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