Best of the Decade Derby: Can I Count on You Can Count on Me and other English language films from 2000?

I plan my next few screenings for the Best of the Decade Derby to revolve around releases from the year 2000. Looking at the films I’m most eager to revisit, there’s a heavy representation from Asia: In the Mood for Love, Platform, A Virgin Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors – and I’ve already revisited Yi Yi.  In stark contrast, there are virtually no English-language films that I have an interest in watching. I’m wondering if I’m being biased and need to check myself, or if there really are no English language films that are truly worthy of considering for the decade’s top ten films.

Take, for instance, the five top ranked English language films of the decade, according to They Shoot Pictures Don’t They? They are: Memento (#18), You Can Count on Me (#27), Dancer in the Dark (#39), Almost Famous (#62) and The House of Mirth (#65).  Nine years later, none of these films shouts at me for attention. Well, maybe Memento, if only because it inspired a very entertaining Bollywood musical remake that I saw recently. But at the time I found it gimmicky and ultimately slight. But I am open to be persuaded to re-watch it by anyone who wants to make a case for it (but only if you would personally put it on your own top ten of the decade).

But the film that kind of puzzles me is You Can Count on Me, which, to my surprise, I ranked at #7 on my 2000 list of films seen. What’s more, this quiet little character study has a startlingly high ranking on the TSPDT best of the decade list. I do remember finding it a remarkably precise portrait of self-destructive, self-abusive behaviors within a wounded brother-sister dynamic. Maybe it didn’t advance the cinematic artform in a significant way, but it was a powerfully acted and directed drama, and I’d probably put it on a list of the best films to come out of Sundance in this decade. But is it worth serious consideration for this project?  Again, anyone who would put it on their own list is welcome to step forward.
Any other 2000 releases are also welcome to be nominated. Speak now, otherwise it’s looking like I’m stuck with Asia (with a side trip to France, to finally check out a 345-minute pseudo-documentary I’ve heard very good things about)

Author: alsolikelife

This is my pet project

  • chad

    You Can Count on Me is worth the placement. Also, give George Washington another look.

  • Keith Uhlich

    I must INSIST on “The House of Mirth.” It's magnificent. And I'd be happy to provide the DVD and the venue.

  • Marcy Dermansky

    I find I have to insist on Almost Famous, which gets better and better with repeated viewings.

  • Michael Kerpan

    I'm afraid I'm not much help on English language films of 2000.

    Some other noteworthy 2000 films — Shinji Aoyama's Eureka, and Makoto Shinozaki's Not Forgotten (never available in English) I would note that there are two possibly excellent 2000 films from Japan that I still have not managed to see — Kawase's Firefly and Jun Ichikawa's Zawa-zawa Shimokita-sawa.

    As to Korea, don't forget Bong's Barking Dogs.

    I have a great fondness for To's (and Wai's) Needing you — but it probably isn't the sort of thing that figures on most people's greatest lists.

    Have you seen Ruiz's Comedy of Innocence — probably my favorite French language film of 2000 — though Guylaine Dionne's Quebecois film — The Three Madeleines — might edge it out. Alas, Dionne's film is impossible to see. When it was shown several years ago at Harvard, Dionne had to find a print and take it to Cambridge herself.

  • Matt Parker

    I love “You Can Count on Me.” And no didn't bring anything new to the medium. It's an expansion of a one-act play. But neither did half of Bergman's films, many of which are recognized cinematic masterpieces. Sometimes films are great because they add something to the cinematic language. And sometimes they're great simply because they do the best with what's already there.

  • Christianne

    Most of my own favorite movies of 2000 don't show on the TSPDT list. The only one there is High Fidelity, which I love to death for reasons that have nothing to do with its actual qualities as cinema. After that, I'm partial to Quills, Ginger Snaps, Live Nude Girls Unite, and The Filth and the Fury. I remember liking You Can Count on Me, but I'll be damned if I can remember a single thing about it.

  • jesse

    “Before Sunset” better be an exception to your “virtually no English language films” comment! I personally love “House of Mirth,” but I don't see you being particularly taken by it.


  • alsolikelife

    actually Jesse I was just referring to the year 2000. When I get around to revisiting 2004 you better believe Before Sunset will be in the queue.

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