Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Aughts...A film Retrospective: 2000

Since it is all the rage, I've decided to do a retrospective of my favorite films from each year in the aughts, both at the time and how they rate now. This is all leading up to my list of my favorite films from the decade, as well as my favorite of this past year (I still have four big titles I need to see before I can evaluate 2009 in cinema). We'll start off with 2000, obviously.

At the time, my top ten list looked something like this. I'd like to qualify that I was all of 14 years old in 2000. Anyhoo...

1. Requiem for a Dream (Darren Aronofsky)
2. American Psycho (Mary Harron)
3. Ginger Snaps (John Fawcett)
4. Almost Famous (Cameron Crowe)
5. Dancer in the Dark (Lars Von Trier)
6. The Gift (Sam Raimi)
7. Before Night Falls (Julian Schnabel)
8. Amores Perros (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu)
9. Erin Brockovich
(Steven Soderbergh)
10. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee)

Wow...I know. It's mostly respectable, I suppose. Ranking American Psycho as my #2 seems very generous, if not completely ridiculous in retrospect. Christian Bale's phenomenal lead performance still burns bright, but the rest of the film...not so much. Requiem for a Dream is a film that (believe it or not) I've revisited several times. It still remains the most indelible movie-watching experience of 2000, but the best? Debatable. The Gift seems like the one I should be making the most apologies for (give or take Ginger Snaps) but both remain watchable, enjoyable fare for me. I'm not sure how they would rank if I were to watch some of the films I've omitted, and retoggle things. Erin Brockovich is one of my favorite movies of all time and I am not apologizing for it (nor am I sure that I should). At the risk of being reductive in my language, it is such a GOOD film. It would definitely rate higher than it did here. I have little or no desire to revisit Dancer in the Dark, Almost Famous or Amores Perros. Should I? With Amores Perros, I definitely hadn't grown tired of Inarritu's overly-maudlin, timeline-in-a-blender style of filmmaking. I find 21 Grams to be so relentlessly and unnecessarily wrenching that it may have made me overly harsh of Babel (but we can discuss that when I get to 2003 and 2006 respectively). I have recently revisited Before Night Falls. While it lacks the emotional punch it had at the time, I still found it compelling.

Still haven't seen: Pollock, You Can Count on Me, Chocolat, High Fidelity, Traffic (I know), Nurse Betty, Wonder Boys, Cast Away, Shadow of the Vampire...among others. I'm sure a lot of these omissions seem glaring and unforgivable, but August of 2000, I turned FOURTEEN YEARS OLD.

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