Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Decade's Best: #21-#30, and One Switcheroo

Even though these movies inspire me profoundly, I admit I'd been running low on inspiration for these posts. It's been so tempting just to toss the whole rest of the list onto the site ever since the first day, since I had it all written and formatted. Maybe I'm just worried that we're getting closer and closer to the point where the choices will be more predictable, if you've been following along with my yearly Best lists. I hate to bore you!

But, due credit to the value of waiting: I just caught The Hurt Locker again in its small theatrical re-release, and damn if the movie isn't even better than I thought it was. So, at the possible risk of heedlessness, I've had to promote it from its former position at #42. You'll see it again this time around, and oddly, it has the effect of bumping down to #31 the movie that otherwise would have been my #1 film for 2009. A real race to the finish line between those two. I've heard from a few of you who already fear that Hurt Locker is overrated, and I understand the inelegance both of changing the list after it's already started unfurling and of trying to form a coherent assessment of a virtually brand-new film, side by side with movies I've adored for almost a full decade. But there we have it. I really think Bigelow's film has durability and depth, and I'd feel even more wrong about keeping it lower than my gut feels is right. Chime in as you will!

Otherwise, I've been especially gratified by the folks who have reported that you're queuing and renting titles you'd never heard of, based on these posts. (I'm doing the same thing, based on other lists I'm reading elsewhere.) Though I know a lot of people who are even more documentary-obsessed than I am, it sounds like the nonfiction titles on my roster have been the freshest discoveries for a lot of you. So, happy to serve! There are two more doozies here in the high 20s.



Blogger Sam Brooks said...

I'm so glad to see In The Mood For Love on this list, but I disagree about the finale. I love it, whenever I see it, those sweeping shots of Angkor Wat are just the exhale I need. It's slightly arcane and out of left field, especially for this nigh-claustrophobic film, but it pushes me over the edge of 'love' into 'really love' every time.

12:10 AM, December 29, 2009  
Blogger Glenn said...

I don't know about anyone else, but I've been using the frames version and like trying to see if I can figure out what each of the movies are before I click.

And, yet again, in relation to Synecdoche I can never tell which is Samantha Morton and which is Emily Watson. What is wrong with me?

I dunno bout anyone else but #24 and #25 don't work for me. I get an error message, which is a shame since I'd love to read what you wrote about The Company, my favourite Altman film of the decade for sure. I don't know what #26 is though so I can't comment at all.

12:54 AM, December 29, 2009  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

Sorry, Glenn. Should be fixed now. So glad you're enjoying the frames layout!

@Brook: I can see that, and rhythmically I feel okay about the finale for those same reasons. But one of the things I treasure about the movie is how circumstantial and finally pretty fleeing the romance is between those two characters, and the Angkor Wat footage just seems to monumentalize their (quasi?)affair into something bigger than I think it is, or than I want it to be.

1:17 AM, December 29, 2009  
Blogger Glenn Dunks said...

Thanks, although now that I've actually seen what #26 is I think I preferred it when it wasn't working ;)

5:12 AM, December 29, 2009  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

Is it #26 or #25 that bugs you? I am pretty sure you're a 4 Months fan...

10:12 AM, December 29, 2009  
Blogger NATHANIEL R said...

i can't deal with the frames so i'm clicking on the non frames list and the whole thing is there. it's a beauty.

with this hurt locker switcheroo though you've just handily illustrated how strange and ephemeral list-making always is whether you've just created one or your *revising*

11:00 AM, December 29, 2009  
Blogger Robert Hamer said...

So glad to have a fan of The Hurt Locker making this list. It's been depressing seeing the fanboys bash it relentlessly on In Contention while foaming at the mouth for Emperor Cameron's new wardrobe.

11:32 AM, December 29, 2009  
Blogger Tim said...

Man, you, uh, really liked Once, didn't you? I somehow didn't realise that.

I absolutely love that connection you've made between Moulin Rouge! and Synecdoche. Something I would never have thought of myself, and now I'm going to have to steal it, even though I much, much prefer Luhrmann's film.

Tonight I shall re-watch The Hurt Locker, hoping against hope that I can see what everybody seems to love about it so much.

3:10 PM, December 29, 2009  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

@Nathaniel: I know, we have such a patently perverse compulsion. Yet we still never stop.

@Robert: Thanks! I'm glad people see whatever it is they see in Avatar, but I still happily expect to applaud Bigelow behind that podium next March.

@Tim: I wouldn't have thought of it, either, if Derek hadn't just watched Synecdoche with me a couple weeks ago, leading to over an hour where I had to make my case to a strong detractor. So, really, thank him. I hope Hurt Locker does more for you the second time, but agreeing to disagree is fun, too.

11:57 PM, December 29, 2009  
Blogger Glenn said...

It was most definitely #25, sorry, that I am not a fan of. I am a big fan of 4 Weeks, true.

1:01 AM, December 30, 2009  

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