I was/am readying my list of my top 50 albums of the 00's (Aughts, if you are trying to be clever). Originally, I was just going to give my top ten films of the 00's and be done with it at the end of December. I could have, but then I figured, why not be a little more comprehensive (read: anal) and countdown by year and give my favorite movies of each year, and end with 2009, obviously. It's that time of year (of the decade, really) What a way to kick off December!
(These are gonna be in alphabetical order):
1) Almost Famous
This is the first of two music-centered(?)/related movies that are going to be on this list for this year. Some might think it is too earnest by half-which I could sort of see. Personally I think it strikes the right balance, the last time to date Cameron Crowe could handle that (see "Elizabethtown") It hits not only where music lovers/aficionados live, but also, even though the story is out of the ordinary it captures, as Lester Bangs might say that idea of being a teenager, and trying to navigate the waters of the cool people when you clearly are on the outside.
2) American Psycho
One of those rare times when the movie is so much better than the book. With not even a fifth of the gore that is featured in the book is present in the movie Mary Harron (the writer and the director) boiled down the book to its basic core and with Christian Bale in the lead works out exquisitely.
Christopher Nolan's first triumph. This could have been overwhelmed just by the style it was told in.(Spoiler: it is told backwards) But not only is that a tremendous service to the story, the story in and of itself which is not only a mystery but a treatise on loneliness and memory. Its an amazing achievement, I think. I mean, Nolan gets a suspenseful scene out of the search for a pen. Amazing.
4) High Fidelity
And here's the other valentine to music nerds and (ahem) list-making obsessives, as well as romantics-its because John Cusack makes movies like this every ten years or so we keep forgiving him for "2012" and "Must Love Dogs". The next one is right around the corner. Maybe.
5) O Brother, Where Art Thou?
I'm not sure if I would say this is the Coens "at the top of their game", but it is right up there. I guess it depends on whether you care about them going more or less broad in their comedy. But this is a pretty amazing absurdist fable with a really great soundtrack.
6) Requiem For A Dream
Absolutely harrowing look into the lives of three Brooklyn addicts (and one addict-to-be). This is one of those movies that shook me to the core-but is so hard to take that I am not sure I can ever watch it again fully. Maybe a few years from now.
This quite a change from the previous entry. Some might say this is way too flashy-and they might be right. But I am a sucker for a good heist story, a good macguffin, underground boxing matches, and loads of fun characters. Sure it might be a retread somewhat of "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels" but it works for me.
8) The Tao of Steve
This one seems like it should have been more popular in general than it turned out being. Its a romantic comedy where a man has to grow up and change so he can get the lady. A tale told a thousand times before. But Donal Logue does such a good job with a story that might not be as clever as it thinks it is-one of those things that hits me in the sweet spot, what can I say?
9) Wonder Boys
My favorite movie of the year. There's a lot to like here from the performances on down to the story, to the generally real depiction of college life. I like good movies about authors and/or aspiring authors, about smart, funny people, some in dire need of changing or needing a boost in life. A movie I could watch at any time. One of Michael Douglas' great performances.
10) You Can Count On Me
One the best and most real depictions of brother-sister relationships I have ever seen in a movie. Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo are absolutely stunning in the lead roles.