Okay… making a ten best list was fun, especially since I got to technically cram in 25 films.
That was all for one year, 2009, which was a darn fine year of film overall, if not one for the record books. That list, though, was just a warm-up for the big list, in which we break down the 50 best films of the past ten years.
Yes, calendar nerds. I know. In your reality, all decades refer to something starting a year that ends in a 1. But I am not talking about an astronomically-calculated decade. I’m talking about the period of ten years that started on January 1, 2000, and which will end in about eight days. That’s the decade we’re looking at, and that pretty much every sane person on the planet understands as a given in this conversation.
There’s a top ten, and I’m surprised how quickly it shook itself out. I feel pretty strongly about it, too.
The others on the list were grouped and regrouped and regrouped, and finally I feel like the list represents a real x-ray of the decade, and what kept me engaged over the last ten years. Because let’s face it… anyone who really loves movies could look at the last ten years of film on the surface and be stricken with a crippling despair. The studios are, more than ever, churning out garbage that defies description. The trend to remake the remakes of the remakes while also rebooting the sequel to the prequels to the reimagining of the homage is enough to make you wish celluloid had never been invented.
You have to look deeper than that into the last ten years, and you have to consider just how many really remarkable films have come out, and from how many different countries and cultures, and then maybe it’s easier to get your head around just how many good things we’ve been gifted with in the last decade.
For most of that time, I was working and writing at Ain’t It Cool News, and many of my writings about the decade are still archived there under my pen name “Moriarty.”
For the last year, though, I’ve been right here, slowly figuring out what to do with Motion/Captured and how to make it special for you guys.
It feels like writing this list puts a big chapter of my professional life to bed, even as I work to make this next chapter great. I look forward to adding new features like video reviews and audio podcasts to the rotation in 2010, and expanding on the things you guys enjoy already like Film Nerd 2.0.
The one thing I’ll say before we start this list is that if you’re going to get hung up on what’s not on the list, you probably shouldn’t read it. I’ve gotten e-mails and comments about how my 2009 list is wrong because “The Hurt Locker” isn’t on it, and if I dare respond, then suddenly people get extra-touchy. Just because other critics like something or love something or give awards to something… that doesn’t matter to me. Never has. Lists are personal. That’s the point. I’m not about to tell you what the 50 best films of the last decade are in any empirical sense… all I can do is tell you what films resonated the most for me, and which films I’ll personally return to the most. If there are films you feel strongly about, I’d love to hear why they’re important TO YOU… but don’t scream at me because they don’t mean the same thing to me. That’s not a conversation. Lists should only ever be considered a jumping-off point for a larger conversation about where we agree and where we don’t, and if approached correctly, that can be huge fun. Let’s keep that in mind, okay?
And here’s the top ten!
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