My Favourite Films of the Past Ten Years
With the caveat that I am not calling this list my "Favourite of the Decade" because I'm not really convinced the that decade is over (don't our decades begin with the year ending in the number one, not zero? And aren't the last years of any decade the ones that end in zero? Because we began our calendar with the year ONE, not the year ZERO, correct?)
So, with that off my chest, let me note that I am gonna do this slightly differently than most other lists of this sort that you are gonna see. Rather than throw all the films into a giant vat to compete against each other, at least at first I'm gonna list my favourites year by year, along with the names of any notable films that either (a) made the decision a difficult one at the end of the year (b) could have been the number one pick in a "weaker" year. Then, when done, I will toss 'em all together and rank the "winners" to give you my top ten of the past ten. And for those who do their homework and uncover my best of lists from back in the day, and discover that these lists don't match up with those, I reserve the right to change my opinion about any film. Time, reflection and repeated viewing has a way of settling matters, and there's every chance that if I revisited this exercise ten years from now, the list would be altered again. I'm not a slave to consistency on these matters.
All that said, here goes:
2000 O Brother Where Art Thou? (hon. men: In the Mood for Love, Dancer in the Dark)
2001 Mulholland Dr. (Memento, Audition, The Man Who Wasn't There, LOTR:FOTR, Moulin Rouge)
2002 Spirited Away (Talk to Her, 25th Hour, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Gerry, City of God)
2003 Dogville (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...And Spring, All the Real Girls, Kill Bill Vol. 1, LOTR: ROTK). Probably my favourite year of the past ten, movie-wise.
2004 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Before Sunset, Primer)
2005 2046 (Brokeback Mountain, Grizzly Man, A History of Violence, Kung Fu Hustle)
2006 Once (Lives of Others, Away from Her, When the Levees Break)
2007 Into the Wild (There Will be Blood, Sweeney Todd, No Country for Old Men, ADDITION: Climates)
2008 Hunger (Chop Shop, The Wrestler, WALL-E. 4 Mo. 3 Wks. 2 Days)
2009 A Serious Man (Up! The Messenger, Goodbye Solo, Inglourious Basterds)
A fine ten years for the Coens, despite some pretty weak material in the middle of it (anyone really want to see or recall Intolerable Cruelty? The Ladykillers?) And while I loves me some Kim Ki-Duk, Wong Kar-Wai and Hiroki Miyazaki, I am also reminded by this list that I MUST see more foreign language films, dammit!
Finally, here are the films ranked, counting down like they do when launching rockets...
Once, A Serious Man, (addition: Climates), Spirited Away, 2046, Talk to Her, 25th Hour, Kill Bill, Primer, Chop Shot, The Wrestler and Up!
The Top Ten
10. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and ... Spring (Korea, Kim Ki-Duk)
9. Mulholland Dr. (USA, D. Lynch)
8. Into the Wild (USA, S. Penn)
7. In the Mood for Love (Hong Kong, Wong Kar-Wai)
6. Memento (USA, C. Nolan)
5. O Brother Where Art Thou? (USA, Coen Bros.)
4. Before Sunset (USA, R. Linklater)
3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (USA, M. Gondry)
2. Dogville (European Common Market, L. Von Trier)
1. Hunger (UK, S. McQueen)