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)