Archive | January, 2010

My Top Ten Films of the Noughties

5 Jan

For most of us students, it was the decade when we first moved away from the creature comforts of the family home, the decade in which we first got so drunk we couldn’t remember what happened the next day. For the rest of the world it was an eventful decade too, bringing us the first black President of America, the biggest flu pandemic since the 1960s, the death of the legendary King of Pop and a number of sordid celebrity sex tapes. But as we recover from the celebrations of new years eve, I wanted to look back at what the film industry offered us in the noughties. Going away from the environmental theme and getting into the new year spirit, here is my selection of some of the best movies released in the last decade (apologies in advance to any LOTR fans – it didn’t make my list).

10. Big Fish. (2003, Director Tim Burton) A timeless family classic in which anything really is possible, this film is a personal favourite of mine which reduces me to tears without fail time and time again. A heart warming tale of family relationships and tall tales; Big Fish is a fantasy in which giants, witches, siamese twins and bank robbers all play a part, creating a captivating tale which you’ll never get bored of.

9. Moulin Rouge! (2001, Director Baz Luhrmann) Spectacular, Spectacular!This movie is a must for all musical lovers. With this film, Baz Luhrmann boldly challenged typical Hollywood traits, releasing something completely different that people tend to either love or hate. Dropping all pretences of realism that are so often present in films, this production is an indulgent feast for the eyes and ears as the actors belt their hearts out to catchy, infectious songs against the backdrop of the stunningly glamorous Moulin Rouge night club. Top this off with an amazing love story and you have a must see film of the noughties!

8. Let the Right One In. (2009, Director Tomas Alfredson)  It’s the noughties, and vampires had to feature somewhere. The first foreign language film to feature in my top ten, this Swedish import offers so much more than your average vampire flick. Let the Right One In interweaves horror, drama and romance all set upon a backdrop of snowy Stockholm in the early eighties. With scenes of romance constantly juxtaposed with images of brutal, bloody violence, this film probably isn’t for the faint-hearted. But combining horror, coming-of-age drama, romance and realism, it is a dark yet uplifting film, which can offer something to everyone.

7. The Motorcycles Diaries (2004, Director Walter Salles) Another foreign language film, this time from sunny Spain, this biopic follows the journey of Ernesto Guevara and Alberto Granado on a road trip across South America in the 1950s. The Motorcycle Diaries documents with humour and compassion how the world changed Ernesto and lead him to change the world when he later became the infamous Che Guevara, and is certainly worth a watch if you don’t mind the subtitles.

6. Brokeback Mountain (2006, Director Ang Lee) A landmark in cinematic history, this is arguably one of the greatest romances of all time. Heath Ledger and Jake Gylenhall pull off the most powerful performances of their careers as two cow boys who fall in love in the outback of Texas in the 1960s, a time when homosexuality was still very much shunned. We follow the two and their forbidden love throughout their lives in a tender, bittersweet story which is an instant classic.

5. Memento (2000, Director Christopher Nolan) One of my favourite thrillers of all time, this fast-paced, addictive, confusing conundrum will keep you asking questions long after the movie is finished. Starting with a brutal murder and then working backwards revealing to the viewer the motives behind the murder in reverse order, the less said about this little film noir gem, the better.

4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004, Director Michel Gondry) So much more than a rom com, this little gem takes a firm place in my top five films of all time. If you can get past the confusing structure of the film, you will appreciate it’s beauty as it examines the importance of memories and love, in a quirky and refreshing way. Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet act brilliantly against their stereotype roles and prove that opposites really do attract, in a bizarre but remarkable movie.

3. Kill Bill Volume 1 and 2 (2003 and 2004, Director Quentin Taratino) Okay, so I may have cheated a bit but these two films fit together wonderfully as one big Tarantino extravaganza. With this picture, Tarantino is back on the amazing form we first saw with 1994’s classic Pulp Fiction. Genres a blended to create an artistic and extreme revenge flick, starring Uma Thurman as The Bride, a very angry ex-assassin, bent on killing her former hit squad the Viper Squad. It may not be to all tastes, but for those who enjoyed Pulp Fiction this is a must.

2. Atonement (2007, Director Joe Wright) The first time I watched this film it completely blew me away. Shattering my expectations, British film Atonement is so much more than just a romance; this film depicts how small mistakes can alter people’s lives forever. As we follow how the three main characters’ lives are altered by one child’s mistake, you’ll find yourself laughing, crying and questioning your own values. Stunning scenery, a top class script and storyline and amazing performances come together to make a movie that is, for me, as close to perfect as a film can get.

1. Slumdog Millionaire (2008, Director Danny Boyle) No film list would be complete without this surprise critically acclaimed blockbuster from Britain’s own Film Four. The ultimate rags to riches romance, Slumdog Millionaire is a moving, uplifting depicting one boy’s journey from the Slums of India to achieving his dream on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. With a brilliant soundtrack and great acting from previously unknown actors, this film deserved all the hype it got and more.