Friday, January 1, 2010
A sucky decade, but some good movies
The past decade may have sucked, but the movies didn't. My friend Connie challenged me today to make a list of my top 10 movies of the 2000s. Wow! Who can even remember that far back? But I Googled some other lists and films and here are my picks in no particular order. (By the way, if you haven’t seen It’s Complicated, you’ve gotta—especially if you’re middle-aged. It’s HILARIOUS!)
1. Almost Famous. Kate Hudson’s debut in a Cameron Crowe film about rock and roll—the bands, the groupies, the journalists, the fans. It was touching, it was funny, and it was evocative of an earlier, more innocent era.
2. Wonder Boys. Fantastic, funny, inventive adaptation of the equally great Michael Chabon book about a disheveled author, Michael Douglas, with major writer’s block and big life problems.
3. The Bourne Identity. Incredible action and Matt Damon is great as the amnesiac-assassin. In a word: Tense.
4. Mr. and Mrs. Smith. I could watch this one all day. Not only does it have Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as warring spouses (and they are hot, hot, hot together!), but the action scenes are fantastic (directed by the same guy who did The Bourne Identity) and it’s funny.
5. Lord of the Rings. I have to mention this one for the spectacle and Viggo Mortensen!
6. Lost in Translation. Bill Murray as a disaffected movie star connecting with a young woman, Scarlett Johansen, in Tokyo. Funny, touching, stays with you.
7. The Royal Tannenbaums. Wes Anderson’s quirky comedy about a strange but loving family. This was on TV last night and it’s still fun to watch. The pacing and dialogue are so unique. Angelica Huston, Gene Hackman, Luke Wilson, Gwyneth Paltrow, etc.
8. Wall-E: In a decade filled with great animated films (Ice Age, Bolt, Shrek, Up) this one stood out for me. Maybe it was the tune from Hello Dolly! in the beginning of the film…
9. Little Miss Sunshine. I’m partial to comedies, so I loved this bizarro film about a dysfunctional family that gets behind their little beauty queen. Greg Kinear, Toni Collette, Alan Arkin (who won an Oscar).
10. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. This film is SO imaginative and engaging, and so are the performances by Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey. Imagine if we really could erase a broken heart…
1. Memento: For the backwards plot.
2. Gladiator: For the spectacle and Joaquin Phoenix's crazy emperor.
3. Pan’s Labryinth: Disturbing, fascinating, fantastical.
4. Traffic: A great ensemble film, serious subject, interesting filmmaking.
5. 21 Grams A trio of performances--by Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro, and Naomi Watts--make this film about a freak accident and intersecting lives a stunner.
6. 500 Days of Summer: A surprising and touching twist on the romantic comedy genre.
7. Up in the Air. My new favorite (I’ve seen it twice already) for George Clooney’s performance as an unattached man who travels over 200 days year firing people. His life gets upended by two women in this dark comedy: One, a fellow traveler who is truly his equal; the other, a young naïve woman who thinks she knows his business better than he does.
8. It’s Complicated. My other new favorite with Meryl Streep as a middle-aged divorcee whose ex-husband comes back for me. As I said up top, it’s hilarious!
9. Something’s Gotta Give. Fun, surprising comedy with Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson, plus a gorgeous Hampton’s home facing the beach.
10. The Hours. Lovely, affecting performances by Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, etc.