Top Films Of The Decade
Published: Thursday, November 19, 2009
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
| 1. Almost Famous (2000)
At the outbreak of the decade came the ultimate big break story. 15-year-old William Miller (Patrick Fugit), the outcast of his school, gets the chance of a lifetime to write for Rolling Stone, following his favorite band Stillwater around the country. Kate Hudson delivers the most radiant performance of her career as Band-Aid Penny Lane, earnestly chasing after lead singer Russell (Billy Crudup) as subtly as a floating daisy in the noonday sun. Cameron Crowe's masterpiece proved that wherever we go in life, we are never far from the pure of heart and the solace of home.
| 2. No Country for Old Men (2007)
Joel and Ethan Coen may have the most perverse, twisted sibling body of work since the Brothers Grimm, but that's only benefited our joy. In this sparse thriller, the Coen's capture the demise of morality as a product of greed in the 1980s. But instead of lodging the film on Wall Street, they move it to a barren Texas. Javier Bardem seizes our souls with his terrifying portrayal of mop-haired serial killer Anton Chigur. The Coens create moment after moment of cringing and squirming, somehow, without any music.
| 3. There Will Be Blood (2007)
Once every 20 years or so, an actor embodies a role with such diabolical energy, such unforgettable potency, such simultaneous delight and terror that he becomes the unanimous Oscar winner the moment the film releases. Daniel Day-Lewis' volatile, convoluted, biblical performance as maniacal oil man Daniel Plainview is like living a three-hour simultaneous nightmare and wet dream. But TWBB may also reign as P.T. Anderson's magnum opus – luscious, luring, seemingly-endless zoom-ins on Day-Lewis, timely, stark scores from Radiohead's Johnny Greenwood, and the daunting feat of converting a mammoth, boring book into one of the most refreshing screenplays of the decade. Drainage, Eli, drainage.
| 4. Lost in Translation (2003)
Isolation, language barriers, life crises. Only Sofia Coppola could make this into a tranquil Technicolor dream. Coppola's creation tells the story of washed up actor Bob (Bill Murray) and domestically stifled braniac Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) and the ferocity of their unlikely friendship. The two Americans who are worlds away find depth in their shared silence as the audience tries to capture for themselves that still, peaceful silence full of bright, Japanese beauty. Who needs words when there is infinite depth to read in Johansson's walk through cotton-light cherry trees?
| 5. Children of Men (2006)
"Baby Diego, the youngest person in the world, has died today at the age of 18." So begins Alfonso Cuaron's post-apocalyptic saga. Including some of the most innovative and daunting cinematography of the decade, Children of Men flows by with awe-inspiringly long single-shot scenes, including a poetically choreographed battle scene. Though wrought with political commentary and gore, Cuaron's film ultimately captures the beauty and preciousness of a human life.
| 6. Amelie (2006)
Before she committed career suicide and signed on to The Da Vinci Code, Audrey Tatou helped writer/director Jean-Pierre Jeunet strike gold in 2001. Amélie reminded international audiences to appreciate life's small pleasures through its chimerical humor and insight. Cute and playful, the eponymous main character Amelie magically glides through Paris, doing the little things to make others' lives better as Yann Tiersen's score enlivens the effortlessly enthralling and poignant romantic comedy.
| 7. Mulholland Dr. (2001)|
Plenty of criticism and speculation has been given to its mind-numbing plot jerks, bizarre sex scenes, and disturbing suspense, but Mulholland Drive reasserted David Lynch's spot as one of America's most innovative directors. Hated by many, Mulholland Drive haunts, stimulates and confuses. Lynch's introspective trip through an amnesiac's distorted view of Los Angeles scuttles far past reality and concludes without a conclusion in its sea of vague meanings.