Top Tens of the Decade: 2000
My favorite blog posts are usually lists. Not those that I write (I really don’t compile lists), but the lists that you all make. And I do like the idea of reviewing the past decade and making a top ten of each year. So I’ve decided to do it.
I will have to do it according to unorthodox parameters for lots of reasons. The first being that I was 15-year-old sophomore for most of the year 2000. Not only that, but I was living in an isolated, rural town in Idaho, which didn’t really allow me to opportunity of really taking advantage of everything the cinema had to offer then. So the following ten films, released in 2000, are films that were released that year (Oscar eligible) that stick out as the most memorable. I’m not saying they’re the best films of that year, and I most likely didn’t see them that year either. The following is in no particular order.
– Yeah, this movie wasn’t great. Not at all. But of all the imagery provided by the year 2000 (besides Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon which has no competition), American Psycho provides some of the most memorable of the year. Reel Whore even used a shot from the film as his blog header for a while! I mean, Christian Bale running after a naked chick wearing nothing but tennis shoes while carrying a chainsaw? Yes, please. Plus, despite the shallowness of the satire, I think Mary Harron actually managed to match the vapidity of the book quite nicely.
– It may be safe to say that this film influenced me more than any other film of 2000. It inspired my three-year love affair with Bjork, my obsession with Catherine Deneuve, and, without even being aware of it, sparking my life-long allegiance to Lars von Trier (this was the first of his films I had seen). The ending to Dancer in the Dark is one of the most starkly shocking I’ve ever witnessed. This was a fantastic film. I still feel so. It helped that Thom Yorke and Bjork sing a duet on the soundtrack. If ever there was meeting of geniuses…
- My first Christopher Nolan film! Anyone who’s seen Memento knows why it’s on this list. It’s vastly original, stunningly interesting, and, well, just plain bitchin’. Not to mention it’s Mr. Nolan’s precursor to all the bigger things he went on to (his Batman installments don’t compare to this film, in my opinion). Memento won a special place in my heart for Guy Pierce. And for Polaroid film. This was also one of the first films that really got me interested in Sundance, when I realized I could have seen this months before it hit theatres.
– Like with Dancer in the Dark, and Memento, this is the first film I saw by a fantastic director that continues to fascinate me even to this day. Aronofsky is a visionary and the proof is more evident in Requiem for a Dream than in any of his other films. It’s brutal, beautiful, and unforgettable. And a film I ended up seeing at least ten times. Who would have thought that Jennifer Connelly would just keep getting hotter and hotter for the ten years after the film’s release? She gets hotter, Jared Leto starts a bad band, and Marlon Wayans played a white chick. Crazy.
– Another director first. Brad Pitt as an incomprehensible gypsy? Awesome. I’d later find out that Snatch pales in comparison to Lock, Stock, but for the time, Snatch was one of the best con movies I’d ever seen. Not to mention, as a 15-year-old, that sort of on-screen violence was the shit. My mom would have been so mad if she knew I was watching this back then (I wasn’t allowed to watch movies rated ‘R’). Mr. Ritchie made me jealous he married Madonna, and gave me a healthy appreciation for films that put style before substance. This isn’t a slight to Snatch, more of a compliment.
– Sadly enough, this was the first Danny Boyle film I saw. But, even to this day, I don’t believe it’s as bad a movie as everyone touted it to be. It’s not Trainspotting, but it’s kind of good! That opening scene when Leo DiCarpio drinks snake blood? That was awesome. I think this is the first film I saw, and was creeped out by, Tilda Swinton (that creepiness never went away). This also introduced my young mind to the relationship between film and books. I couldn’t wait to read the source material for such a weird movie.
– Okay, so Tarsem only has directed two films, but this was the first of his I’d seen. Even as young as I was, I clearly recognized that Jenny from the Block was a joke, and this wasn’t a film to be taken seriously. But the world of Tarsem exhibited in the serial killer’s brain was remarkable and left me wanting more. A hunger that would be unfulfilled for 6 years until The Fall came along. And Vincent D’Onofrio’s performance rivals any other serial killer character in film. He scared the shit out of me.
– I’ve always held a special place in my heart for Neil LaBute (we share the same alma mater). Up until Nurse Betty, I’d only seen his pessimistic views on how horrible people are/can be to each other (In the Company of Men, anyone?). A refreshingly brutal comedy confirmed that he wasn’t a one note performer. Nurse Betty is hilarious and totally memorable. It’s one of the few movies where I can stand Renee Zellweger, and probably the only film I will watch that stars Chris Rock. God, he’s awful.
– Little needs to be said about Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. It’s one of the most visual spectacular movies I’ve ever seen. It totally blew me away, and was my first Ang Lee film (he hasn’t disappointed me yet, although I haven’t seen Woodstock…). Two thumbs way up.