11 February 2010
TOP FIFTY MOVIES OF THE '00s: # 20-11
20. 49 UP
This seventh installment of Michael Apted's monumental series (which profiles the same dozen people once every seven years) may be the first to explore in depth the long-term effects of having one's entire life on display.
19. SPIRITED AWAY
Hayao Miyazaki's masterpiece, a fable about a girl stuck in a surreal, Oz-type fantasy world, brims with wit, grace, and a delightful, all-ages appeal that never condescends to its audience.
18. GOSFORD PARK
Morris Weissman: "How do you manage to put up with these people?"
Ivor Novello: "Well, you forget, I make my living impersonating them."
17. LOST IN TRANSLATION
Bill Murray at his rumpled, melancholic best, Scarlet Johannson when she seemed like the slyest actress of her generation (before she settled for less), and Sofia Coppola suggesting how much richer a life could become just for having known someone, if only fleetingly.
16. WAKING LIFE
Boat Car Guy: "The idea is to remain in a state of constant departure while always arriving."
15. FAR FROM HEAVEN
Raymond: "Here is to being the only one."
14. STILL WALKING
Instead of shocking revelations or artificial resolutions, this fully-realized family portrait only finds beauty in its simplicity, and it's enough.
13. BEFORE SUNSET
Celine: "I was having this awful nightmare that I was 32. And then I woke up and I was 23. So relieved. And then I woke up for real, and I was 32."
12. THE RETURN
A slowly waking dream where the intense emotional journey's cumulative pull far outweighs any literal outcome.
Michael Haneke's look (in every sense of the word) at a bourgeois couple being watched by an unknown assailant eventually reveals itself as an allegory about social responsibility and guilt--and perhaps this decade's finest, most original thriller.