Coming up after Christmas I’m going to write an article about the twenty best films of the decade according to the highest authority I have been able to consult: me. Today, though, I wrote two lists for Associated Content — one featuring the ten best drama films of the 2000s, the other the ten best comedy films. Since the upcoming big list will be somewhat different (a lot of the films on either of today’s lists won’t be on it for various reasons), and somewhat similar (a lot of them will), I figured instead of reposting both of the ten-best lists here, I’d link to them at Associated Content and just post excerpts.
And you know what? I figured right.
The Ten Best Movies of the 2000s: Drama
Requiem for a Dream (U.S. release: October 6, 2000) — This adaptation of Hubert Selby’s novel is so confident and surefooted that it’s a little startling to look back and realize it was only Darren Aronofsky’s second feature as a director. Featuring great performances from both the expected (Ellen Burstyn, Jennifer Connelly) and the surprising (Marlon Wayans), Requiem is the best “drug movie” ever made because it is so much more than just a drug movie — it is a movie about addiction itself, and the destructive power of dreaming unattainable dreams. It was one of the first great films of the decade, and ten years later it’s still devastating and unforgettable.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (U.S. release: December 22, 2000) — A decade of imitators and wannabes has done nothing to diminish the accomplishment of Ang Lee’s mainstream breakthrough. Though he helmed a handful of excellent films prior to Crouching Tiger (among them The Wedding Banquet, Eat Drink Man Woman, and The Ice Storm), it was here that Lee proved himself not only as a nimble and creative director of action sequences, but also as one of the great humanists of today’s cinema. Part martial arts epic, part fairy tale, part love story, Crouching Tiger elicits thrills, tears, and wonder without ever seeming to try. It’s that rarest of birds, especially nowadays: a genuinely beautiful film.
Read the rest of “The Ten Best Movies of the 2000s: Drama” at Associated Content
The Ten Best Movies of the 2000s: Comedy
High Fidelity (U.S. release: March 31, 2000) — Many things make this adaptation of Nick Hornby’s novel a great comedy. It’s hilarious, it has great performances by John Cusack (who also co-wrote the screenplay), Jack Black, and Tim Robbins, but here’s the most important factor: it’s just so damn likable. Even when he admits to cheating on his girlfriend just prior to her having an abortion, even when we watch him consider cheating on the same girl again shortly after a reconciliation, it’s impossible to hate Cusack, who stars as Chicago record store owner Rob Gordon, who deals with his latest break-up by revisiting girlfriends of the past, breaking the fourth wall to narrate all the way. It’s among the best comedies of the decade, and one of the best on this list, because it is funny, but not just funny.
American Psycho (U.S. release: April 14, 2000) — Think this one’s on the wrong list? You’re probably not alone. Even nine years later, a lot of people misunderstand Mary Harron’s gleefully bloody adaptation of the novel by Bret Easton Ellis. Upon its release it was controversial, mostly among prudes and people who mistakenly took it to be in earnest. But this one is comedy through and through, from the absurdly serious business card swap, to Patrick Bateman’s deep appreciation of the music of Huey Lewis and Phil Collins, to the running gag of no one being able to remember Bateman’s name even when he’s confessing to a string of brutal murders. It’s a vicious satire, mocking a group of people — ‘80s yuppies — who still have it coming in spades. If you’re not laughing at Christian Bale’s star-making performance as Bateman, you’re missing the point.
Read the rest of “The Ten Best Movies of the 2000s: Comedy” at Associated Content