Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Playing with a Full Decade: FAVORITE FILMS OF THE 2010s

First, the prerequisite hand-wringing about list-making. Of course it's hard to wrestle down a decade into a list of ten movies. Ten years is too vast a span of time, with a variety of trends and ideas, fads and fashions, economic fluctuations and political conditions. What follows is my attempt to demonstrate movies I've found myself thinking of again and again, the cinematic experiences that seem to crystallize something essential about what it felt like to be alive as a cinephile like me in this time and place.

More practically speaking, I limited myself to one movie per filmmaker. That made it a tough call when picking a representative Spielberg or Coen brothers film, and an impossible one for other masters on productive runs this decade, hence no Soderbergh or Scorsese.

 Without further ado, here's a top ten, in alphabetical order. 

Bridge of Spies
First Reformed
Inside Llewyn Davis
Lemonade
Margaret
The Social Network
The Tree of Life
Twin Peaks: The Return
Two Days, One Night
Us

Not content to limit myself, I expanded my list to 100. To make it manageable I did impose some artificial requirements. Firstly, I picked exactly 10 movies per year. Secondly, I chose no more than one movie per filmmaker across the whole list. (Sorry, The Wolf of Wall Street and Lincoln and Personal Shopper and To the Wonder and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs and...) I think of this as a snapshot of my taste as of right now looking back on the past decade. Comparing each year's list to my original top tens, I found hindsight, the passage of time, and my arbitrary rules resulted in fresh looks at what's lasted in my affection. Not comprehensive, exactly, I'm mostly posting this for my own time-capsule benefit, but you're more than welcome to poke around for recommendations.

2010:
Another Year
Black Swan
Never Let Me Go
Poetry
A Prophet
Shutter Island
The Social Network
Somewhere
Step Up 3D
Tron Legacy

2011:
Certified Copy
Contagion
Hanna
The Interrupters
Margaret
Melancholia
The Skin I Live In
The Tree of Life
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
The Trip

2012:
Amour
Cloud Atlas
Five Broken Cameras
Goodbye First Love
The Grey
Holy Motors
John Carter
Not Fade Away
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
ParaNorman

2013:
At Berkeley
Captain Phillips
The Counselor
Gravity
Inside Llewyn Davis
The Lone Ranger
Spring Breakers
12 Years a Slave
The Wind Rises
The World's End

2014:
Boyhood
Beyond the Lights
The Congress
Goodbye to Language
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Manakamana
Only Lovers Left Alive
The Roosevelts: An Intimate History
Two Days, One Night
Under the Skin

2015:
Blackhat
Bridge of Spies
Clouds of Sils Maria
Joy
The Look of Silence
Mad Max: Fury Road
Magic Mike XXL
Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
Mistress America
Tangerine

2016:
Cameraperson
Certain Women
Lemonade
Moana
The Nice Guys
OJ: Made in America
Other People
Sully
Toni Erdmann
The Witch

2017:
Coco
Downsizing
Dunkirk
Faces Places
Logan
Nocturama
Princess Cyd
Phantom Thread
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Twin Peaks: The Return

2018:
BlacKkKlansman
The Favourite
First Reformed
Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc
Leave No Trace
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Never Look Away
Private Life
Support the Girls

2019:
Dark Waters
The Farewell
High Life
Hustlers
Little Women
Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood
Parasite
Transit
Us
Wild Rose

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