Sunday, December 20, 2009

Top Films of the 2000s--40 to 31

40. Swimming Pool (2003)

Francois Ozon's brilliant sexy mystery film. Charlotte Rampling is awesome as always. Ludivine Sagnier is incredibly hot. Almost a perfect film.

39. Sweet Sixteen (2002)

Arguably Ken Loach's masterpiece. Generally, Loach is better when focusing on the struggles of the working-class and avoiding the more directly political films. This story of a young man from a terrible family trying and failing to get his life together before he gets in real trouble in heartbreaking.

38. Silent Light (2007)

Carlos Reygadas' film about a Mennonite community in northern Mexico where a patriarch is cheating on his wife. Beautifully shot and the characters are respectfully portrayed despite their marginal religion. The opening sequence of the sun rising might be the best opening scene of any film during the decade.

37. Under the Sand (2000)

Another excellent Francois Ozon film, starring Charlotte Rampling as a woman whose husband walks into the sea and dies. Her inability to deal with the loss is one of the most powerful performances of the decade.

36. Persepolis (2007)

A good decade for animation, particularly from Pixar, but Persepolis is the best animated film from the 2000s. I think Pixar is fully capable of a truly great film, but I also don't think they have achieved that quite yet. Perhaps they are dealing with harder material because it is fantasy. But Persepolis' powerful portrayal of a girl escaping repression in Iran and her longing for home when in Europe created one of the best films from the decade's best year of film.

35. Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)

Clint Eastwood is a vastly overrated director, but he sometimes creates good films and this is his best of the 2000s. Far superior than its companion piece, Flags of Our Fathers, this is a fantastic character study of loyalty and a really sympathetic look at the men who killed so many Americans of Eastwood's generation.

34. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)

Arguably the best film ever made on a disability, Julian Schnabel's movie, based on a true story, about a man who suffered a crippling physical disability that kept his mind 100% intact but allowed him to only move one eye is both a powerful story on the best of people and an incredibly sad tale of a unfair break.

33. George Washington (2000)

David Gordon Green's first film. Although Green has declined in recent years, his early films are fantastic. This superb character study of people in a North Carolina town was a great debut promising great potential. Some criticized this film for not talking about race enough, but this was completely unfair. Not every movie about the South has to address race directly, even if blacks and whites are hanging out all the time together.

32. Exiled (2006)

Possibly the decade's best gangster film, by the underrated Johnnie To, Exiled is about a gang and two sets of hitmen who are supposed to eliminate them. This film highlights the best of Hong Kong cinema--choreographed violence combined with a great story.

31. The Savages (2007)

Dealing with a dying parent is always difficult, particularly when you aren't close to that parent and the children are not so stable themselves. Tamara Jenkins tells this really depressing story with incredible humor, helped out tremendously by the great acting of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney, with Philip Bosco as the father. First rate film in every aspect.