And so we come to the end of our Top Twenty Films of the Decade. It’s been an interesting trip down memory lane, for us anyway, hopefully for you too. Of course, a lot of movies come out in ten years. It was tough to whittle down a list to twenty favorites. What about the films that almost made the cut? Films that, for one reason or another, didn’t quite make the top twenty.
Aside from some of the things Adam has already mentioned (specifically High Fidelity and Amelie), I thought long and hard about these films too (hehe, “long and hard”). I thoroughly enjoyed Spielberg’s running man trilogy, A.I., Minority Report, and Catch Me If You Can. There’s something new to discover with each viewing.
Of course, there was every other Pixar film, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Wall-E, Ratatouille, and UP (not Cars). You have a black soul if you don’t enjoy those films. I Love Miyazaki and his Spirited Away was one of his best works. Wes Anderson lost his way for a bit but he still released two classics, The Royal Tenenbaums and Fantastic Mr. Fox. And to wrap up before I list 20 more films, I really loved the heartbreaking Before Sunset, the cold war chiller The Lives of Others, and the Victorian western The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Almost made it based on cinematography alone).
For me, it was often a matter a my loving a film not for the film itself but because of its ties to something else I’m a fan of. Factotum was almost on this list, but my love for that film is rooted more in the fact that I’m a huge fan of Charles Bukowski.
Similarly, Clerks 2 was left off because I’m something of a Kevin Smith fanboy, so I’m already partial to his films anyway. (Still, I do think it’s a great film and it did very nearly make the cut.)
There was a noticeable absence of Pixar films on my list, which I don’t really have an explanation for. I do love every Pixar film I’ve seen. Wall-E and The Incredibles were the front-runners for inclusion on this list. And another animated favorite was Miyazaki’s Spirited Away, which I saw twice in theaters, and also don’t really have a good reason why it didn’t make it.
A few of the Apatow Productions films were in the running. I can wholeheartedly tell you that I was seriously considering Anchorman as my number one film of the decade. As we all know, Ron Burgundy is “kind of a big deal.” Superbad, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and Pineapple Express were also in consideration.
Lost in Translation was a very important film for me. Say what you will about that, but it spoke to me, as did Wendy & Lucy. I feel kinda awful about leaving The Royal Tenenbaums off my list, same with O Brother, Where Art Thou, but sacrifices must be made. Little Children and Pan’s Labyrinth popped up few times for consideration. And if I hadn’t given myself some guidelines to adhere to, Scorsese could have had a three-peat with Gangs of New York and The Aviator joining The Departed on my list. Of course, Kill Bill vol. 1 & 2 would have popped up as well.
Oldboy & The Host were oh-so-close to making the mark. And being the horrorphile I am, I could probably have made a list consisting of nothing but horror films: Let the Right One In, Hard Candy, Martyrs, Inside, Antichrist, The Descent, Dawn of the Dead, Rec, Quarantine, The Hills Have Eyes, The Ring, Trick ‘r Treat, The Devil’s Backbone, American Psycho, and The Machinist… Saw and Cabin Fever would even make it on my list of best horror of the decade, and I hated them when I first saw them.
I guess my point is, that this whole idea of list making is a bit foreign to me. It’s more Bryan’s thing. I find that as I get older my opinions change. Such is life, things change. My taste in film is ever-evolving. So, I think this top twenty list is less a reflection on the films of the past decade and more of a reflection on ourselves in the present. So, to recap:
Adam / Bryan
And next… our number 1’s!
What say you? Any egregious omissions? Any surprise inclusions or exclusions? What are your favorites?