Today, the countdown ends with the presentation of my top 10 movies of the decade. I won’t talk too much but I’d say that this was a good decade to become a movie fan. Not only were there many artful movies that taught me about film and what it can do, but there were also many, but not as many as I wish there had been, Hollywood produced movies that showed why Hollywood is what it is. Plus I’ve got decades and decades to look back to. Hopefully this decade we have just started will improve on this one and we film fans have something to be proud of.
Here are my top 10 movies of the decade:
10. Serenity (2005)
Directed by Joss Whedon
When I watched this for the first time, I had no idea what “Firefly” was and the cult following it had. That didn’t prevent me from loving it. The more times I watched it, it rose to the top of my 2005 list. While it does not have the greatest production values, it more than makes up for them with it’s brilliant script, great direction, and amazing performances from the entire cast.
9. Lord of the Rings (2001-2003)
Directed by Peter Jackson
I’ll just say this: the greatest cinematic achievement of the decade.
8. Where the Wild Things Are (2009)
Directed by Spike Jonze
I couldn’t possibly top what I said about this in my top 10 of 2009 list, so here’s what I said then:
A family movie is supposed to be something that doesn’t talk down to kids and something that doesn’t make the adults roll their eyes at how infantile it is. Where the Wild Things Are achieves that. Director Spike Jonze and co-writer Dave Eggers have made a movie that captures what it’s like to be a child, which something that few other movies have captured this decade, plus it does it better. The amazing production is the cherry on top. Simply amazing
7. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Directed by Michel Gondry
A romance the way only Charlie Kauffman could have written it. This movie takes on how we want to forget our bad relationships in a completely different, and brilliant way than others. Gondry brings the script to the screen in the most adequate way, while Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet give career-topping performances. I quite like the way it offers a non-Hollywood ending, and it still is very satisfying.
6. Big Fish (2003)
Directed by Tim Burton
For some reason, I had no expectations for this movie. I liked Tim Burton and I had heard about this movie but I was in no rush to see it. When I put it on it completely grabbed me and in the end, when it finally let go, I was blown away. This movie has Tim Burton’s trademark style, albeit lighter, and a story unlike any he had ever worked on before. The last scene is one of the most remarkable scenes of the decade.
5. Amélie (2001)
(Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulin)
Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Here’s a movie that has a goal in mind, has a way to achieve it, and does not pretend to be something else. All it wants to do is charm us and leave us feeling good with a story about a girl that wants to help the world, but can’t seem to help her self. The entire thing is pure cuteness, helped by the infinitely cute Audrey Tautou. Plus, great direction by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, a great score by Yann Tiersen, and great cinematography by Bruno Delbonnel help add to the cuteness and achieve its goal.
4. Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Directed by Darren Aronofsky
I have not seen a more heart-wrenching film this decade. The direction and the performances, anchored by Ellen Bursty’s performance, which was my pick for the best performance of the decade, makes this depressing story about dreams lost due to drug use reach a level of realism that only makes everything more depressing. Plus, Clint Mansell’s great score does not help the situation at all, that is if you are looking for a little bit of sunlight among the darkness.
3. WALL-E (2008)
Directed by Andrew Stanton
One of the most magical movies that I’ve ever seen. From the minute “Put on Your Sunday Clothes” stars to play, I was drawn into the life of this lonely robot who knows nothing else but to do his duty, plus collect items as a hobby. Once EVE shows up, it turns into a great romance that only Love Actually surpasses. And then when they go into space, the romance mix with science fiction, and to me that brings it to the greatest mix of genres. WALL-E is pure magic.
2. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)
(Le Scaphandre et le Papillion)
Directed by Julian Schnabel
No other movie has inspired me as much as this in all of my life. Some might think “how can a movie about a guy that is completely paralyzed be inspiring?” Because of his will to live. One has to watch the movie to understand. Besides being inspiring, it is also a great movie. The script by Ronald Harwood is among the best of the decade. The performances grab you and don’t let go. However, Julian Schnabel’s direction makes it truly work. First off, the decision to make it in French, as it should have been, instead of in English with Johnny Depp, was pure genius. Then his decision to tell part of the movie literally from the point of view of Jean-Do Bauby and make us be in his shoes is the most brillian decision any director made this decade. Not only the second best movie of the decade, but the best directed as well.
1. Moulin Rouge! (2001)
Directed by Baz Luhrmann
The first time I tried to watch it was one time late at night as I was surfing through channels after SNL was over. It was just starting and since I had heard so much about it, I decided to watch it. However, I could not stand the first 15 minutes, so I went to bed. Those few minutes I watched stayed in my head for weeks, though. So I decided to rent it on DVD and finished it, and I’m glad I did. Yes, its eccentricity seems to turn a lot of people off, but aren’t all musicals eccentric. This is nothing but the re-invention of the musical, a genre that had been dead for many years before this came along. It is over the top, it is aesthetically pleasing, it has great music that stays in your head for days despite the fact that they are not new compositions, great performances, doesn’t take its self seriously, and a nice story to boot. This means it has all that a film should be, but enhanced for modern audiences. Thank you Baz Luhrman for bringing back the movie music and for making the best movie of the decade.
That is all. This concludes my countdown of the top 50 movies of the decade and wraps up my “Decade in Review” series. Post your thoughts about my list in the comment sections. Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it.