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4 December 2009

Listless in London

I'm in a list-making frame of mind--or maybe I'm just listless. Either way, it's too early to start compiling my favourite books, movies and songs of the year but it isn't too early to round-up my top 100 films of the decade (at least, Time Out have already done it). I worked this out by taking all of the films I've given 8/10 or higher on IMDb and removing any made before the Noughties. Of these, four were awarded 10/10, 16 got 9/10 and the rest 8/10. This gave me a list of about 120 films so I removed my 20 least favourites.

Some caveats:

  1. Most films get 7 or 8/10 when I first see them. The reasons for this are explained here. I do subsequently update ratings over time and if I end up buying the DVD or downloading an 8/10 film and watching it often enough, it might get promoted to 9/10. Similarly, once my post-cinematic euphoria has worn off, I may decide that the film wasn't worthy of a 7/10 rating and demote it accordingly. However, I don't scour my IMDb ratings page very often and so most films have inaccurate ratings, especially the newest ones (2008 and 2009).
  2. I haven't seen enough films this decade to really have a worthwhile Top 100. I only had to take 20 films off my original list, which didn't require much deliberation or any agonising decisions--a sign of good list-making.
  3. I only got the cinema bug in 2008. Although I went to the cinema quite often as a student (2002-2006),  I didn't see very many films in 2000-2002 and 2006-2008; the former cinematic drought is compensated for to some extent because these films are now quite often on TV or quite cheap to buy on DVD. 
  4. Yes, I am a geek.
10/10  
  • Closer (2004/I)  
  • Mulholland Dr. (2001)  
  • The Dreamers (2003)  
  • The History Boys (2006)
9/10  
  • 21 Grams (2003)  
  • An Education (2009)  
  • Atonement (2007)  
  • Before Sunset (2004)  
  • Gran Torino (2008)  
  • Juno (2007)  
  • L'ennemi public n°1 (2008)  
  • Le scaphandre et le papillon (2007)  
  • Mean Creek (2004)  
  • Ocean's Eleven (2001)  
  • Sin City (2005)  
  • Slumdog Millionaire (2008)  
  • The Dark Knight (2008)  
  • The Departed (2006)  
  • The Pianist (2002)  
  • The Prestige (2006) 
 8/10  
  • 2 Days in Paris (2007)  
  • A Cock and Bull Story (2005)  
  • A Scanner Darkly (2006)  
  • Almost Famous (2000)  
  • American Psycho (2000)  
  • Away We Go (2009)  
  • Babel (2006)  
  • Bandits (2001)  
  • Bright Star (2009) 
  • Brokeback Mountain (2005)  
  • Burn After Reading (2008)  
  • Catch Me If You Can (2002)  
  • Changeling (2008)  
  • Children of Men (2006)  
  • Cidade de Deus (2002)  
  • Crash (2004/I)  
  • Easy Virtue (2008)  
  • El maquinista (2004)  
  • Entre les murs (2008)        
  • Far from Heaven (2002)
  • Final Destination (2000)  
  • Frost/Nixon (2008)  
  • Gangs of New York (2002)  
  • Genova (2008)  
  • Ghost World (2001)  
  • Gladiator (2000)  
  • Glorious 39 (2009)  
  • Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005)  
  • Gosford Park (2001)  
  • Hotel Rwanda (2004)  
  • Igby Goes Down (2002)  
  • In Search of a Midnight Kiss (2007)  
  • Jeux d'enfants (2003)  
  • Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)  
  • L'instinct de mort (2008)  
  • L'ultimo bacio (2001)  
  • Les chansons d'amour (2007)  
  • Little Miss Sunshine (2006)  
  • Lost in Translation (2003) 
  • Mean Girls (2004)  
  • Memento (2000)  
  • Milk (2008/I)  
  • Million Dollar Baby (2004)  
  • Moon (2009)  
  • Mystic River (2003)  
  • Ne le dis à personne (2006)  
  • Paris, je t'aime (2006)  
  • Pour elle (2008)  
  • Public Enemies (2009)  
  • Revolutionary Road (2008)  
  • Saved! (2004)  
  • Scary Movie (2000)  
  • Se, jie (2007)  
  • Shrek (2001)  
  • Sideways (2004)  
  • Sounds Like Teen Spirit (2008)  
  • Spellbound (2002/I)  
  • Star Trek (2009)  
  • State and Main (2000)  
  • State of Play (2009)  
  • Sunshine Cleaning (2008)  
  • Super Size Me (2004)  
  • Swimming Pool (2003)  
  • Team America: World Police (2004)  
  • Thank You for Smoking (2005)  
  • The Beach (2000/I)  
  • The Boys Are Back (2009)  
  • The Hole (2001)  
  • The Hurt Locker (2008)  
  • The Informant! (2009)  
  • The Notebook (2004)  
  • The Reader (2008)  
  • The Rules of Attraction (2002)  
  • The Ten (2007)  
  • The Visitor (2007/I)  
  • There Will Be Blood (2007)  
  • Un secret (2007)  
  • V for Vendetta (2005)  
  • Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)  
  • Watchmen (2009)
As this Top 100 wasn't as satisfying as I'd hoped, I decided to make a Top 10 as well. This wasn't too difficult either because the films had to consist of all of those I rated 10/10 and six of the 9/10 films--otherwise, it would make a mockery of my whole rating system. To avoid such a shocking inconsistency, I only looked at the 10/10 and 9/10 films and the Top 10 is thus:
  1. Mulholland Dr.
  2. Closer
  3. The Dreamers
  4. The History Boys
  5. Before Sunset
  6. Juno
  7. Gran Torino
  8. L'ennemi public n°1
  9. Le scaphandre et le papillon
  10. Ocean's Eleven
With as many as three comedies and two French films (both with Mathieu Amalric; coincidence? Je crois pas) and only one film starring Clive Owen, I don't feel this Top 10 accurately represents my favourite films of the decade. As this still wasn't enough analysis and as I can now include vlookup in my Magicke Excell Skillz, I decided to compare my list with Time Out's Top 101 and:
  • 16 of my choices appear on Time Out's list
  • In addition to this, I've watch 19 other films from the list (37 in total)
  • Of those 37, I hated three (Dancer in the Dark, Amélie, and Punch-Drunk Love),
  • Four would have made my Top 150 (Zodiac, In the Loop, Best in Show, and In Bruges) and
  • I felt two were too repetitive: when you only have 101 films to play with, why not pick just one Haneke film and one instalment of Lord of the Rings (because they'd already signed up Peter Jackson to comment, perhaps?)
Thankfully, perhaps, this is no easy way for me to compile my Top 100 books of the decade...so I shall refrain. 


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