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M. Leary

Top Ten of the Decade

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Well, if I had to choose, I'd get rid of "The Royal Tenenbaums." The rest of the list are all films that I consider B- to A+ (Tenenbaums I would probably say is a C grade film)

Reading through others' lists, I am all too aware that I've not seen many would-be contenders for a top ten of the decade list, so mine will likely be a more popular list (in the "pop" sense, not in the more people will like it sense). But Tenenbaum's a C? Really? Baldwin's narration alone ensures it's a B at worst. I'd say that "Tenebaum's" demonstrates Anderson at his most confident and cohesive, a strong (and often endearing) portrait about a narcissist and a narcisstic generation.

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I'd say that "Tenebaum's" demonstrates Anderson at his most confident and cohesive, a strong (and often endearing) portrait about a narcissist and a narcisstic generation.

Completely agree. It is easily his best film so far for the reasons you state (along with the incredible tapestry effect of soundtrack, set nuance, blocking, and character affectation that make it such a wonderfully seamless film). And it is a defining film of the aughts in the way it demonstrated that new American filmmaking wasn't all about the cool Fincher/Aronofsky/Nolan effects, but also about directors who couldn't help but let Ashby, Bergman, and Wenders leak into their filmmaking. (Which makes me flirt with Me And You And Everyone We Know as a great aughts film). It isn't his first film, but Tenenbaums is early enough in his career that it is every bit as stunning as something like Chung's Munyurangabo.

That said, Life Aquatic is my favorite of his. Whatever that means.

Edited by MLeary

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I'd say that "Tenebaum's" demonstrates Anderson at his most confident and cohesive, a strong (and often endearing) portrait about a narcissist and a narcisstic generation.

Completely agree. It is easily his best film so far for the reasons you state (along with the incredible tapestry effect of soundtrack, set nuance, blocking, and character affectation that make it such a wonderfully seamless film). And it is a defining film of the aughts in the way it demonstrated that new American filmmaking wasn't all about the cool Fincher/Aronofsky/Nolan effects, but also about directors who couldn't help but let Ashby, Bergman, and Wenders leak into their filmmaking. (Which makes me flirt with Me And You And Everyone We Know as a great aughts film). It isn't his first film, but Tenebaums is early enough in his career that it is every bit as stunning as something like Chung's Munyurangabo.

That said, Life Aquatic is my favorite of his. Whatever that means.

That's funny, me too. I love that movie. I see its flaws, but I don't care about them. I probably need to buy it, or put it on my Christmas list.

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Tenenbaums is my favorite. Feels like Anderson doing everything that he does well better than he's ever done it. Life Aquatic is a very close second.

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Has anyone mentioned Russian Ark yet? I know it's a bit heavy for a lot of people, and I certainly struggled with it at some moments, but overall my reaction to it was along the lines of 'what an incredible achievement!'

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Haven't seen much Russian Ark appreciation, though in hindsight the film seems more like an elaborate technical experience than anything. Best gallery walk of the aughts? For sure.

I bet we have to wait for the Senses of Cinema lists to roll around to see much Sokurov, but I am also surprised to have not seen much love for The Sun anywhere. From what I gather, it is just now getting theater releases in the states (four years after its TIFF appearance).

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I'd say that "Tenebaum's" demonstrates Anderson at his most confident and cohesive, a strong (and often endearing) portrait about a narcissist and a narcisstic generation.

Completely agree. It is easily his best film so far for the reasons you state (along with the incredible tapestry effect of soundtrack, set nuance, blocking, and character affectation that make it such a wonderfully seamless film). And it is a defining film of the aughts in the way it demonstrated that new American filmmaking wasn't all about the cool Fincher/Aronofsky/Nolan effects, but also about directors who couldn't help but let Ashby, Bergman, and Wenders leak into their filmmaking. (Which makes me flirt with Me And You And Everyone We Know as a great aughts film). It isn't his first film, but Tenenbaums is early enough in his career that it is every bit as stunning as something like Chung's Munyurangabo.

Gotta disagree with you on this one guys. I realise that the film is taking place in a sort of absurd-literary context, but Anderson has not created characters that I found myself caring about all that much (perhaps due to their narcissism as Buckeye pointed out). (Spoilers ahead) I also was greatly put-off with the way Wes Anderson handled the semi-incest theme in the film, had there been a little more distancing criticism, instead of just narcissistic characters pointing out it's wrongness, I may have accepted the idea. I also was not convinced with the way in which the families problems were (un)resolved. Royal saving Chas' kids was a quick way for the film to mend their relationship. Margot leaves Raleigh (yeah, remember him) out in the dust. And there is no evidence to suggest that Richie and Margot have accepted the fact that they "cannot" be together!

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Tenenbaums is my favorite. Feels like Anderson doing everything that he does well better than he's ever done it. Life Aquatic is a very close second.

Two weeks ago, I would have said the same thing. But I've changed my vote to Fantastic Mr. Fox. For real!

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I've been counting down my own top ten (or so) at my blog over the past month or so. I finished the series tonight, and my full list is:

1. There Will Be Blood

2. Finding Nemo/ The Incredibles/ Ratatouille/ Wall*E (I refuse to believe that this is in any way cheating)

3. The New World

4. Spirited Away

5. No Country for Old Men

6. Punch-drunk Love

7. Lost in Translation

8. Gosford Park

9. Almost Famous

10. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

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Here is the ever shifting list from The Auteurs community. A lot of interesting choices.

Thanks, Mike. A lot of those are on my list as well - my list is longer than 10 and I feel the pain of cutting it down. Why are we so attached to these top 10 choices?

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No.

Then you'd do better not to judge it.

Meh. I discern, not judge. And I discern both not to see it and laugh when it ends up in someone's Top 20 list.

Top 20 OF THE DECADE. James Bond. The two don't mix. Maybe Top 20 of the summer it came out.

You don't need to see a James Bond film to know what is in it. I've probably seen 83% of them. Enough is enough already.

For the record, "meh" is my favorite word of the aughts.

And Enough is Enough sounds like a Bond title.

For the record, I quite liked Casino Royale, even if the ending (epilogue) was WAY overcooked.

Edited by DanBuck

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Here is the ever shifting list from The Auteurs community. A lot of interesting choices.

Critics are still giving love to The Departed? I always chalked that one up to, "Scorcese is due," not to the film itself.

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Here is the ever shifting list from The Auteurs community. A lot of interesting choices.

Critics are still giving love to The Departed? I always chalked that one up to, "Scorcese is due," not to the film itself.

The Auteurs isn't necessarily a community of critics. It's anybody who belongs to the Auteurs. Now, of course, that means they tend to have an appreciation for "high cinema," but it's still just a group vote.

But yeah, THE DEPARTED doesn't belong. Second-rate Scorcese for sure. Perhaps worth a watch, but not any revisitation.

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Here's my first draft of my longlist. In reading through this thread, I'm reminded of how many films I've missed this decade.

Hurt Locker

Amelie

Up

No Country for Old Men

Once

Slumdog Millionaire

Children of Men

Lord of the Rings Trilogy

25th Hour

The Pianist

Up in the Air

Young@Heart

Kill Bill

In Bruges

High Fidelity

Lost in Translation

The Wrestler

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I will be going back and adding Being John Malkovich and Adaptation to the list of nominees, not that I think they'll end up making the Top 10, but that they deserve to be in the company of the films on that Fine, Ever-Changing List.

Others that I've added since I originally made it on Oct. 8:

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu) [This should replace something in the Top 9, or be #10]

La Moustache (Emmanuel Carrère)

The Maid (Sebastián Silva)

The Return (Andrei Zvyagintsev)

The Son (Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne) [This will undoubtedly replace something in my Top 10.]

Vinyan (Fabrice Du Welz)

Whale Rider (Niki Caro)

I suppose more of the Dardennes will end up in the list of nominees too. I wonder why they seem to be not only some of the filmmakers we love most around here, but also the brothers we tend to forget?

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Persona wrote:

: I will be going back and adding Being John Malkovich and Adaptation to the list of nominees . . .

BJM came out in 1999, so it would be ineligible, right?

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Yep. You're right.

The films can almost be lumped together though. Adaptation isn't a sequel of BJM, but it is surely an extension of it.

So I guess I didn't even consider the year for BJM. It just felt like it was a part of Adaptation, which I watched last night.

Young@Heart

Very cool to see this on your list, LD. I still have yet to see it. I know Thom is a pretty big fan.

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Time to get this monkey off my back and update/finalize the list below.

Top 10 of the Decade

I�m going to take a crack at this, off the top of my head.

1. Finding Nemo

2. Zodiac

3. Wall-E

4. Distant

5. Killer of Sheep

6. A History of Violence

7. Babel

8. Silent Light

9. Borat

10. Revolutionary Road

This is preliminary, with several titles pulled from Wells� list. I need to go back and review my Top 10s from earlier years, although I�m not sure I missed any titles I feel strongly enough about to make replacements.

Here's my final list. I'm not going to rank the titles. I'm including 12 titles because two of these films came out in earlier decades but arguably didn't get an official, or adequate, release until the aughts. Debates over the actual release dates for those two films were hashed out during the respective years of their recent releases, so I won't reargue the reasons here.

Au Hasard Balthazar

A History of Violence

Distant

Finding Nemo

Killer of Sheep

Pan’s Labyrinth

Sideways

Silent Light

Summer Hours

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

Wall-E

Zodiac

Edited by Christian

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Roger Ebert offers his top 10 of the decade with commentary. If you just want to know which films he ranked, here they are:

1. SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK

2. THE HURT LOCKER

3. MONSTER

4. JUNO

5. ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW

6. CHOP SHOP

7. THE SON

8. THE 25TH HOUR

9. ALMOST FAMOUS

10. MY WINNIPEG

I've always greatly respected Ebert, but I find some of his choices for this list more than a little baffling. But heck, it's no more baffling to me than his proclamation that DARK CITY is one of the great modern cinematic ventures.

Edited by Ryan H.

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I did like Young @ Heart but it isn't making my top ten list. Well, at least no this version.

Here is my tentative list.

Tape (2001)

The Maid

Irreversible

Dogville

The Celebration

Donnie Darko

Hell House

The Return

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Sunshine

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Brand Upon the Brain

More Shoes

Lars and the Real Girl

Brother Born Again

The Gleaner’s and I

Hawaii, Oslo

The Son

Italian for beginners

Me and You and Everyone We Know

Cars (last minute entry which probably won't make it)

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I love Hell House on yourt list, Thom. It didn't make it on my rough draft, but it did get a mention in my Top 10 Docs of the Aughts.

And a film titled Brother Born Again... Gonna have to look that one up based on the title alone... :)

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I love Hell House on yourt list, Thom. It didn't make it on my rough draft, but it did get a mention in my Top 10 Docs of the Aughts.

And a film titled Brother Born Again... Gonna have to look that one up based on the title alone... :)

I am still not certain I find a need to separate documentaries from the larger fiction-film world. I think about this often. If a movie makes an impact then it makes an impact regardless or where one finds it on the realism-to-formalism spectrum. Many people make the argument that ALL film is documentary and, to some degree, documentary is fiction.

See Brother Born Again.

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