Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Best of a Decade: 2010 to 2019

I figure that if no one else can keep a film's release date straight, I might as well join the party and jumble my years all up. The following is a list of my favorite films so far from 2010 through 2019, listed in alphabetical order. Each one of these films is a five-star film in my book. I've decided to embrace this entire decade and start a list now. We'll see if these films hold up in 8 years. Right now, these are the films from the last two years that I absolutely adore.

Cold Weather

Meek's Cutoff

The Mill and the Cross

Take Shelter

True Grit

Most of those will come as no surprise. I've championed Cold Weather often in the past couple of months. My affection for Meek's Cutoff has been widely known. Mill and the Cross strikes the right non-narrative/narrative balance and is utterly unique. True Grit was raved about by me at the end of last year. Take Shelter might be the biggest surprise. I was initially disappointed, yes, but it has stayed with me in a way that no other film this year has. I think about it often and as I've said before, Chastain helped me reconcile with the ending.

So, those are the films I love. The ones that I cherish. Those happy few films that I could watch over and over again, would recommend heartily to all friends, and that I think will pass the test of time.

If that's not good enough for the lot of you, here is my updated (but still very much incomplete) 2010 list, followed by a preliminary 2011 list.

Top Ten 2010

10) Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
9) Blue Valentine
8) Toy Story 3
7) Black Death
6) The Way Back
5) Small Town Murder Songs
4) Shutter Island
3) Cold Weather
2) Meek's Cutoff
1) True Grit

Top Ten 2011

10) Hugo
9) Another Earth
8) Melancholia
7) Drive
6) Tree of Life
5) Rise of the Planet of the Apes
4) The Guard
3) Le Havre
2) Take Shelter
1) The Mill and the Cross

I'm not really happy with this list. I'm just posting what I've got currently to get it out of the way and stop obsessing about it. I am happy and do feel strongly about my "Best of the Decade" list above. I refer all of you back to that list.

The Top Five of this 2011 list are the ones that I get really excited about. I get seriously enthusiastic. From six down, I find myself having a cold respect instead of a warm regard. I'll focus briefly on those first five...

I've got a Guard post coming soon, in which I celebrate the vulgarity of virtue. Rise of the Planet of the Apes just does everything that its type of movie should do. It does it so right. It does it well and it does it in 90 minutes. There is something so aesthetically CORRECT about an ape leading a cavalry charge on the Golden Gate Bridge. Le Havre was probably my favorite theatre-going experience of the year; the joy overflowed. Take Shelter met with some initial resistance in my callous heart. Maybe I wanted to distance myself from it and not give myself totally over. It won me in the end, which is amazing considering that the end is precisely what I got hung up on. The Mill and the Cross is an immersive experience film. Better than the hours I'd spend staring at paintings at the Met, Majewski successfully brings a painting alive; he walks us through a landscape of images, clarifying and sharing love without ever being didactic. A truly astonishing accomplishment. I stand astonished.

Finally, to make everyone happy. Here's me using the Jason Poole System:

2011, The Wimpy Way

All lists are in alphabetical order, unless otherwise noted.

Note: These are ALL of the 2011 films I've seen this year.

Best of the Best (meaning my favorites, not the objectively technically abstract "best"):
The Guard
Le Havre
The Mill and the Cross
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Take Shelter

Almost Made It (start the angry responses now):
The Tree of Life

On the Fence (all strong presences):
Another Earth
Attack the Block
Winnie the Pooh

One Night Stands (don't expect any lasting relationship, but go ahead and call again):
The Adjustment Bureau
Cars 2
Cowboys and Aliens
Real Steel
Source Code
Super 8

Meh - What's All the Fuss?
(Jason didn't have this category. I felt that there had to be something between "one night stands" and the "toilet." These are films that others liked that I was lukewarm toward.)
Deathly Hallows 2
Jane Eyre
Midnight in Paris
The Muppets

These Belong In the Toilet (There are moments in each, however brief, that show promise; you still gotta flush that shit):
Your Highness

I Should Probably Give Another Chance Eventually Because I Treated It Unfairly

Special Ranked Superhero Movie section (why are we ranking these and not the others; oh, the inconsistencies of the Jason Poole System!):
1. X-Men: First Class
2. Green Lantern
3. Thor

I Really Wanted to See These Films:
J. Edgar
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
A Separation
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Win Win
I'm sure that there are others I'm forgetting.

Stick a fork in me. I'm done.

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