Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Best Movie of the Aughts.

Bill Simmons recently did a gigantic piece on the year in sports, mostly having to do with a defense of Almost Famous as the decade's defining movie. While some people apparently freaked out over the selection, I couldn't really find anything wrong with it. His three criteria were quality, originality, and re-watchability, and Almost Famous has all three in spades. It's one of the few movies from this decade that you can point to and say that.

I decided to dig through the vault and try to find the 10 most likely candidates for "Movie Of The Aughts," a title we won't really be able to figure out until 10 years down the line. Keep in mind, often the decade's defining movies don't come out until the end of the decade, so there's still hope for 2009 that something like The Hangover, (500) Days Of Summer, or The Hurt Locker might grab the title.

10. Donnie Darko (2001) - Sort of an underground choice, but people still endlessly debate this movie and what, exactly, it's about. There's about to be a sequel that doesn't involve any of the major characters or the writer-director, just because the original keeps sticking with people. That's impressive.
9. Juno (2007) - It's really too soon to know, but this seems most likely to be the indie movie that forever could.
8. Milk (2008) - In 10 years, people will completely incorrectly give this movie credit for changing American opinion on gay marriage. Working in it's favor will be the fact that it will still be a really good movie.
7. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004) - Because - ironically - it sticks in your mind, and ultimately we'll consider it Kate Winslet's greatest movie.
6. Memento (2001) - The Aughts will be remembered for this sort of movie, and this and Sunshine are the two best examples of them. I'm betting on one of them sticking around in the national consciousness.
5. High Fidelity (2000) - Really more of a 90's movie than an 00's movie, it's still one of the strongest romantic comedies of all time.
4. Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy (2004) - Every generation has a turning-point comedy, and this was ours.
3. Dark Knight (2008) - The best superhero movie of all time, of the biggest grossing movies of all time, and the special effects are so solid it should age extremely well.
2. Lord Of The Rings (2001-2003) - Decades are remembered for their franchises more than anything.
1. Almost Famous (2000) - Hey, I didn't say I disagreed with him. I just wanted to open up the discussion.

What did I miss? Should movies like Little Miss Sunshine or Brokeback Mountain have made the list? Or has their time already come and gone?

Also, now that enough time has passed, I have to ask: what is the quintessential 90's movie? I vote for either Saving Private Ryan or American Beauty.

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At July 28, 2009 6:12 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

10. Never saw it, even though it looks like my type of movie and is On Demand all the time. That's a strike against it, if even I don't watch it late at night, when I often end up watching TMNT the cartoon.
9. Definitely great, even better than Elizabethtown, so I think this will make it.
8. Milk glosses over some of the complexities of the character (from what I understand), but that often plays to a film's advantage longevity-wise. Then again, there's Madonna as Eva Peron....
7. Probably too dark to make it, but will be believed to be "transformative" by film students in 20 years.
6. See #10
5. I'll watch this one and see.
4. Yes. I still think Old School is our generation's Animal House, but Anchorman is amazing for humor, quotability, and outrageousness. I still think the dinner table scene in Talladega Nights is the best Will Ferrell scene ever, but that's for another day.
3. I am not 100% sure here. I need to re-watch the film a couple of times, but I still love Batman Begins more (at least for now). Clearly the American public disagrees with me.
2. It is our Star Wars (4-6, not 1-3 obviously). And a tribute to the power of miniatures and camera work over green screen.
1. OK, I'll watch this one too. Geez.

I loved Little Miss Sunshine, but it doesn't have the staying power, unfortunately. Even on my 3rd time through, the humor seemed less powerful. Whereas Anchorman and Old School get better each time.

In fact, I'm pulling out Old School and watching it tonight!

At July 28, 2009 8:04 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

Saving Private Ryan, maybe. American Beauty does highlight the shallowness of much of 90's consumerism. But it just thinks it's above all that. Though I might be biased by how much of a dick Kevin Spacey is in real life.

What about Independence Day? That's the 90s Top Gun. Or Men in Black.

Sixth Sense, Dumb and Dumber, Shawshank Redemption, Pretty Woman, Titanic, Forrest Gump. Anywho, this one needs a new post, not just a throwaway line.

At July 28, 2009 8:16 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

Heidi votes for Sleepless in Seattle for the 90s movie.

At July 29, 2009 8:20 AM, Blogger Erin said...

I've seen all but Milk, High Fidelity, & Almost Famous and would vouch for those 7 movies as being some of my favorites

At July 29, 2009 9:51 PM, Blogger Assistant Village Idiot said...

Dude, "Ducktails The Movie." Iconic

And my word verification is "requac." Told ya.

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