Friday, December 23, 2011


It's that time of year.  My friend Jesse Walker is making a list of the top ten films...of every year that ends with a 1, except 2011, since it's too early.

His first entry is 2001.

1. Mulholland Drive
2. Spirited Away
3. Y Tu Mamá También
4. Sex and Lucia
5. The Man Who Wasn't There
6. Donnie Darko
7. The Office
8. Waking Life
9. Lantana
10. The Pledge

Mulholland Drive may be the best film of the decade, so it deserves the top spot.  Spirited Away is as good as anything Miyazaki has done, so in most years it would deserve to be #1.

I like Y Tu Mama Tambien a lot as well.  Didn't get around to seeing Sex And Lucia.

I've talked with Jesse about The Man Who Wasn't There, which has some great stuff--everything with Tony Shalhoub--but is otherwise a weak effort by the Coens.  And I'm not in the Donnie Darko camp, either.

It's odd (as Jesse notes) to put a TV series on a movie list, even if it's a great miniseries with an arc, so I'm not sure what The Office is doing here.

Waking Life I find a bit too precious.  Might work better as something much shorter.  Lantana I liked.  The Pledge I've never seen all the way through.

Here are Jesse's honorable mentions:

11. Storytelling
12. Claire
13. Amélie
14. Gosford Park
15. The Others
16. Time Out
17. Ghost World
18. What Time Is It There?
19. Ocean's Eleven
20. Hyakugojyuuichu!!

Storytelling isn't as good as Welcome To The Dollhouse or Happiness, but it's still got some power.  Didn't see Claire Amelie was fun (so much fun, in fact, there was a backlash).  The Others was a pretty good horror film.  Robert Altman doing Masterpiece Theatre wasn't my cup of tea.  Time Out was pretty good, too.  Ghost World easily deserves to be in the top ten.  Haven't seen #18 or #20.  Ocean's Eleven was almost too slick for its own good, but is still one of Hollywood's more entertaining caper films (unlike its sequels, or, for that matter, the original).

Ocean's Eleven turns out to be the only top ten hit on the list.  Jesse apparently doesn't much go for the first Harry Potter film, or the second Lord Of The Rings.  We also don't see Monsters, Inc. or Shrek, both of which are entertaining.

The big award-winning film that year was A Beautiful Mind.  I agree it's not top twenty material.  Nor are other highly regarded films, such as Monster's Ball, The Royal Tenenbaums or In The Bedroom.

But what films should maybe have made the list?

How about....

Hedwig And The Angry Inch

Lovely And Amazing

Monsoon Wedding

Winged Migration

Other films of interest (if not necessarily good): 

The Anniversary Party



Freddy Got Fingered

Haiku Tunnel

Human Nature

In Praise Of Love


Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back

Joe Somebody


Legally Blonde

The Mexican

One Night At McCool's

Pootie Tang

Rat Race

Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure

Shallow Hal

The Shipping News

Spy Kids

Va Savoir

Wet Hot American Summer



Blogger Jesse said...

I've avoided the Harry Potter movies, on the theory that I ought to read the books first, which in turn I've been delaying til one of my daughters is old enough to read them & interested in doing so.

I think the Lord of the Rings movies are very overrated. Monsters Inc. is good Pixar but not great Pixar; Shrek is fun but nothing special; and I've seen animal documentaries far better than Winged Migration. I like Monsoon Wedding but felt it had one too many subplots in the mix. I haven't seen Hedwig or Lovely and Amazing.

6:45 AM, December 23, 2011  
Blogger Clark said...

I like Ghost World so that I'm turning into Seymour--perhaps not a healthy development.
A good rule-of-thumb on the Harry Potter movies is that the odd numbers are better than the even.

9:46 AM, December 23, 2011  
Blogger LAGuy said...

Winged Migration is pretty special. I don't recall any other documentary where the camera was able to fly right up next to the birds.

10:16 AM, December 23, 2011  
Blogger LAGuy said...

By the way, part-time commenter and keeper of his own film blogs, Matthew Coniam, once noted on Pajama Guy that Ghost World was his favorite film of the past 35 years. I believe Jesse once said he liked the comic book better, but Coniam wrote that its main problem is it's missing Seymour.

10:20 AM, December 23, 2011  
Blogger Jesse said...

You remember correctly: I think the Ghost World comic is better than the Ghost World movie. As far as Winged Migration goes, I hold all those animal documentaries to the standard set by Microcosmos, which is pretty amazing.

11:11 AM, December 23, 2011  
Blogger Clark said...

"but Coniam wrote that its main problem is it's missing Seymour"
And no Seymour means no Lionel Belasco references and no Blueshammer, etc.

12:52 PM, December 23, 2011  
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