Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Film Comment's Top 150 Films of the Decade

From Film Comment magazine, critics poll for top 150 films of the decade (The Naughts or Naughties?)
Top 150 of the decade - my picks and comments (ignore at your own risk!) - Films highlighted in blue are "must see"
2- In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-Wai), incredible color and cinematography as usual
10 - The New World (Malick), underrated Malick film, terrific music
12 - Zodiac (David Fincher), very good film, was amazed not a best pic nominee
18 - Elephant (Van Sant), eerie, haunting Columbine type high school story
25 - Talk to Her (Almodovar), good one, but where are Volver and All About My Mother?
30 - A.I.:Artificial Intelligence (Spielberg), was to be Kubrick's last but he died so Steven worked from his storyboards; perhaps a little too high
32 - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Gondry), love this story from Oscar winner Charles Kaufman (Being John Malkovich)
33 - No Country for Old Men (Coen Bros), an understated masterpiece of a violent world
41 - 2046 (Wong Kar-Wai), sequel to In the Mood for Love is a futuristic SF romance, totally out of character for Wong
47 - Million Dollar Baby (Eastwood), probably his best film, the most haunting
73 - Lost in Translation (S. Coppola), Murray and Johanson's best, a tender romance
78 - The Departed (Scorsese), made Infernal Affairs (Hong Kong) in to a near Shakespearean crime tale
81 - Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly), this dark 'cult hit' fantasy takes inspiration from Harvey
91 - Gran Torino (Eastwood), another gem from Clint, attacking bigotry
96 - The Best of Youth (Giordana), actually an Italian mini-series, ambitious and unforgettable
106 - Wall-E (Stanton), an animated classic, should be far higher, like 6th
113 - Mystic River (Eastwood), murder mystery won Oscars for Penn and Robbins both; should be higher
123 - Black Book (Verhoeven), another ww2 resistance film from Paul, great story
124 - The Lives of Others (von Donnersmarck), terrific espionage film should be ranked far higher, like top 10; similar to Coppola's The Conversation
126 - Oldboy (Park Chan-wook), very innovative S. Korean crime classic, updates the genre
129 - The Incredibles (Bird), lotta fun, glad it made it
133 - Ghost World (Zwigoff) - interesting and bizarre tale, very unique coming-of-age story of alienation
139 - Memento (Nolan), incredible crime mystery is usually ranked far higher on polls, like top 30 all-time! this is genius level stuff..
Some entries are good films but ranked too high:
Mulholland Drive (at #1? c'mon)
Yi Yi (good but too long, too high at #3)
There Will Be Blood (ruthless, too high at #5)
The House of Mirth (good but not the best Wharton adaptation)
Why are these even listed at all?
Collateral (Mann), Kill Bill 1-2 (Tarantino, silly pastiches of real samurai films), Dogville (cold, way too high), Werckmeister Harmonies (slow, puzzling film in which the viewer has to provide any meaning), Punch-Drunk Love (I liked 50 First Dates a lot more for Adam Sandler, this didn't touch me at all), Assassination of Jesse James (cold film, not that memorable), Time Out (like watching paint dry)
Where the heck is ATONEMENT? winner of 7 BAFTA awards (and around 40 others), the Film Comment cover pictures the amazing teen actress Siorse Ronan, who was nominated for 13 international awards for Atonement, winner of 3, all for supporting actress. This should be in the top 10-20 for sure.. also one of Vanessa Redgrave's performances, onscreen about 7 minutes..
Where is Alexander Payne's comedy Sideways?
Chris Nolan's Batman Begins and The Prestige?
Other Omissions:
Almodovar's Volver and All About My Mother, Susanne Bier's After the Wedding and Brothers, War Photographer, God Grew Tired of Us (Quinn), Turtles Can Fly (Ghobadi), Mr and Mrs Iyer (Sen), Longitude (Sturridge), In Bruges (McDonagh), 13 Tzameti (Babluani)

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