(In no particular order and totally non-definitive.)
Pan’s Labyrinth – Guillermo Del Toro understands that the purpose of fantasy has always been an escape mechanism. Set in Franco’s post-civil war Spain, Pan’s Labyrinth follows a young girl, Ofelia, as she shifts between a mystifying dream world and an oppressively cruel real life living under her despotic and cruel army officer step dad. Pan’s Labyrinth is a thoughtful examination into the duality between our fantasies and the harsher realities of life and how the two can intermingle and bleed into one another. Pan’s Labyrinth is sublime, beautiful, and easily the best fantasy film of the decade.
Categories: Lists 21 Grams, 28 Days Later, Adam Sandler, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Andrew Dominick, Angelina Jolie, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, Bill Murray, Borat, Broken Flowers, Changeling, Christopher Nolan, City Of God, Clerks II, Clint Eastwood, Comics, Danny Boyle, Darren Aranofsky, David Fincher, Fernando Mereille, Grindhouse, Grizzly Man, Guillermo Del Toro, Jim Jarmusch, Katia Lund, Kevin Smith, M. Night Schyamalan, No Country For Old Men, Pan's Labyrinth, Patrick Creadon, Paul Thomas Anderson, Punch Drunk Love, Sacha Baron Cohen, Sidney Lumet, The Assasination of Jesse James, The Dark Knight, The Departed, The Wrestler, Timothy Treadwell, Unbreakable, Werner Herzog, Wordplay, Zodiac
There Will Be Blood
Coming into There Will Be Blood, Paul Thomas Anderson had already directed three terrific films in Boogie Nights, the great Magnolia and the underrated Punch-Drunk Love. However there was nothing in his work that could have hinted where he would go next, an epic period drama about the greed and cruelty possessed by the human race. Think of it as Citizen Kane in hell. Daniel Day-Lewis plays Daniel Plainview in the best performance of the decade. The best way to describe his character would be to quote Mike Tyson’s description of Don King in the 2009 documentary Tyson: he’s a ‘wretched, slimy, reptilian motherfucker.’ Plainview is hateful towards all. He puts on an act of a sincere family man when he needs to, using his son, H.W., as a prop to get to the oil he desires. Once his son loses his hearing in an accident, Plainview no longer has any use for him and sends him off to a boarding school. When H.W. comes back to him later in the film to reveal that he will be drilling his own oil, a competitor, Daniel chases him out of the house berating him as a “bastard from a basket” and telling him he is not his son. There is no sadness or veiled-attachment to be found in this vintage Day-Lewis explosion, just pure hatred. Was Daniel Plainview evil from the start, or is he driven to this point by a combination of greed, power and alcoholism? Read more…
Categories: Lists 24 Hour Party People, Audrey Tautou, Bad Lieutenant, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, Best of, Best of the Decade, Daniel Day-Lewis, David Lynch, Elephant, Gus Van Sant, Inglorious Basterds, Marissa Tomei, Mulholand Dr., Nicholas Cage, Pan's Labyrinth, Sydney Lumet, Tarantino, There Will Be Blood, Werner Herzog