Top Tens of the Decade: 2006

2006 was my first year back at college, adjusting to American life again.  I was finally really digging back into movies and attended Sundance for the first time.  I couldn’t stay away from the USSR and spent the summer traveling around Tajikistan and Azerbaijan with a non-profit.  During those long months of 130+ degree temperature, I ended up buying a whole lot of shitty DVDs.  There wasn’t a whole lot of selection in Dushanbe.  I pretty much took what I could get, which explains why I now own Banditas, and Transporter 2.  However, being in Eurasia actually provided the opportunity to see Volver almost a year before I would have in America.  But, the first part of the year and the last part were literally chock full of fantastic films, and narrowing down the ten most memorable was difficult. See the lists for 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005.

– This is the second Spike Lee joint to make these lists.  Not only was this one of the most memorable (I think I ended up seeing it three times in theatres), it was definitely one of the best of the year.  It made me acutely aware of Clive Owen, and the fact that Jodie Foster could act, despite her frequent attempts in crappy movies to convince me she either can’t, or doesn’t care too.

– The charm of a dysfunctional family can be very seductive to me.  So Little Miss Sunshine was right up my alley.  It certainly paid off, with it’s melancholy soundtrack and positive vibes.  Not to mention an awkward little girl does a striptease to Brickhouse at the end.  What’s not to love.

– This is definitely one of the better films that I saw at Sundance in 2006.  Neil Marshall couldn’t have done a better job at directing.  The crawlers are terrifying, but more so, is the claustrophobia in the caves.  I’m NOT looking forward to the sequel that came out earlier this year.  But this will forever remain one of my favorite horror films.

– I think the world was waiting with baited breath for the next Sophia Coppola film, and was expecting a bit much (this same pitfall has unfairly slandered films by Danny Boyle, Quentin Tarantino, and Francis Ford Coppola).  I, for one, that the fusing of a period film, with updated social practices, and a hella awesome soundtrack was pulled off fantastically.  This also was the first film I noticed Rose Byrne in.

– This was my first Pedro Almodovar film, and I’m told it wasn’t a bad place to start.  First recommended to me by a friend in France, I was promised breathtaking cinematography and fantastic storytelling along with it.  Volver delivered on all counts.  Penelope Cruz can act, and she gorgeous.  Almodovar is lucky to have her as his muse.

– While not my first Aronofsky film, I was willing to follow him anywhere he wanted me to go after Requiem for a Dream.  The Fountain is a baffling piece of film, and I’m not sure I really get it.  But visually it’s a remarkable piece that I’ll never forget.  The soundtrack, matched with three fantastic performances by Rachel Weisz, and three more by Hugh Jackman made for an unforgettable, if baffling, cinematic experience.

– Post-apocalyptic films are among my favorites (unless they’re directed by Roland Emmerich). And in 2006, Clive Owen was one of my favorite actors, so this was a no brainer. What I wasn’t expecting was how freaking good this film was, and how it would never leave me. It was wicked powerful. Crazy poignant, and is still, to this day, one of the greatest oversights of the Academy.

– Another complete oversight by the Academy. Five years later, and I still love to pop this in and watch it. Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett as the leads involved in a ambiguously lesbian/minor love affair? Awesome. Blanchett’s descent into madness is one of the best I’ve seen on screen, and it continues to hold that dubious title to this day.

– This is the second Guillermo del Toro film to make these lists (see: 2001: The Devil’s Backbone). And this was even better than the first. Del Toro’s imagination, as witnessed through the imagination of a young girl in post-world war II Spain is tragic, and mysterious, and extremely beautiful. It’s a rough ending, but the images are the some of the most powerful of the decade. And I’m not even into fantasy.

– I’ll be perfectly honest, I didn’t hear about this film until Ryan Gosling was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal as the inner-city elementary school teacher with a serious monkey on his back.  So I tracked it down and was wicked impressed.  Ryan Fleck mostly went to directing TV after this, and it’s a shame.

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5 Responses to “Top Tens of the Decade: 2006”
  1. i don’t think i’ll ever understand your love of marie antoinette. or the fountain. but i do understand your love of little miss sunshine, so thats good. at least we have something to talk about.
    .-= CindyKnowsMovies´s last blog ..Who is Ryan Toby? =-.

  2. Mad Hatter says:

    I’m with Cindy in not being able to echo your ANTOINETTE love, but do very much agree with the rest of your list – including PAN’S, which was of course my number one for that year.

    Thanks for actually mentioning a few I’d forgotten about like THE FOUNTAIN and INSIDE MAN!
    .-= Mad Hatter´s last blog ..Back to Basics – MAGNOLIA =-.

  3. Blake says:

    @ Cindy – We’ll always have Little Miss Sunshine.

    @ Mad Hatter – I’ve accepted I’m alone in my MA love. Glad you feel the same about the rest of the list!

  4. Vanessa says:

    You are completely not alone with your MA love…I love that film too. The first time I saw it I was a bit confused because I thought there would be more of a story but after reading the book the film is based on I really got it and ever since have watched it about 10 times. Its a bit like watching a very long but fantastic music video!
    .-= Vanessa´s last blog ..Nine =-.

  5. Blake says:

    @ Vanessa – That’s a great way to describe it. It really was like a music video. Glad to hear someone else likes it.

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