Home > Film > Films of the Decade: 15-11

Films of the Decade: 15-11

15. A Knight’s Tale (2001): A Knight’s Tale is one of a kind. It’s a highly romanticized medieval (fairy) tale that is charming, comical, and just plain silly. It never takes itself too seriously (coughsoundtrackcoughcough) and it certainly never pretends to be historically plausible. And yet it still manages to create a world that is, visually speaking, quite believable (although a medieval scholar would probably tell me otherwise). The film also introduced me to two of my current favorite actors—Paul Bettany and Heath Ledger—who are predictably excellent as Geoffrey Chaucer and a young peasant striving to change his stars.

14. The Hangover (2009): What a great idea for a film. Take a group of guys to Vegas, get them extremely drunk, but only film the aftereffects. This leaves the audience as unaware of what transpired during the wild and wacky night as the characters themselves. Then reveal, piece by hilarious piece, what happened via the visible consequences of those actions. Great premise, great delivery. This film made by stomach hurt. One of the best laugh-out-loud comedies of the decade.

13. Blood Diamond (2006): Blood Diamond does two things well: it entertains and it informs. Hopefully this film will at least make individuals who are planning on purchasing diamonds a little more self-aware of their financial transactions. Personally, I would hope it does more. I hope it makes people cynical of the entire Western glamour façade. Not likely. With that aside, this film qua film is great. Its pacing is excellent, its actions scenes are thrilling, and its characters are passionate. Some may be put-off by Leonardo DiCaprio’s African accent, but I would suggest that that’s only because they aren’t use to that sort of sound coming from his mouth. And Djimon Hounsou’s performance is so powerful and intense that you quite literally believe that the veins on his head are going to burst.

12. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004): Charlie Kaufman, the writer and auteur of Eternal Sunshine, is a mastermind who doesn’t shy away from using the impossible in order to explore—in completely novel ways—some of the most important, complex, and thought provoking questions that humans have thought to ask. Is it better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all? That is the central question of Eternal Sunshine. More broadly, however, it raises questions about the good life and what constitutes it. Is a life in which we have no heartaches a desirable one? Is the erasing of one’s particular memories ever the best possible route one can take? The arguments pull both ways. Furthermore, does the act of erasing our particular memories ever completely erase the overall affect that such experiences had on us? Or will such experiences shine eternally on us, forever shaping who we are, no matter how much we strive to forget, no matter how great our desire is to be someone else? And did I mention that the cinematography and acting is top notch? Well, it is.

11. Little Miss Sunshine (2006): I think the above picture explains the essence of this film more than words can. Little Miss Sunshine is funny, dark, cute, intelligent, cynical, sweet, absurd, and wholly original all at the same time. And when a film embodies so many diverse and seemingly contradictory adjectives, language and description come to an end…

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  1. 02/04/2010 at 4:15 pm

    -sniff-

  2. 02/04/2010 at 5:21 pm

    Care expanding on that?

  3. 02/04/2010 at 7:12 pm

    Heath. Need I say more?

  4. 02/04/2010 at 9:18 pm

    I figured that was it. But there were five movies listed and I couldn't be sure which one you were referring to. In honor of Heath, compare the photo above to the one listed as #7 in the next list. That's the same person. Crazy. He was a true artist.

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