29 January 2010
  Best of the decade, part 2

best filmmakers:

5. michael moore (fahrenheit 9/11, sicko, capitalism: a love story). this decade, for the first time in history, people went to the movies. . . to see documentaries.

4. pedro almodovar (talk to her, bad education, volver). for someone who comes out with a new movie practically every other year, you'd expect there to be a bad one in there somewhere, but he hasn't really struck out yet.

3. joel and ethan coen (no country for old men, burn after reading, a serious man). like a lot of great filmmakers, they won their directing oscar for the wrong movie, but this has still been a great decade for them.

2. lars von trier (dancer in the dark, dogville, manderlay, antichrist). i have to admit i didn't quite get his latest offering, but does anyone ever totally GET a lars von trier film?

1. clint eastwood (mystic river, million dollar baby, letters from iwo jima, changeling, gran torino, invictus). i don't think that anyone could ever deny that as far as filmmakers go, this decade has belonged to eastwood. here's hoping he doesn't slow down any time soon.

best actors:

5. nicole kidman (moulin rouge, the others, dogville, cold mountain, margot at the wedding, australia, nine). sure she has had some bad films, but few have had as many good ones, and nobody takes as many chances as kidman.

4. leonardo dicaprio (gangs of new york, catch me if you can, the departed, blood diamond, revolutionary road). his turn in rev road cemented him in my mind as the greatest young actor working in hollywood today.

3. kate winslet (iris, eternal sunshine of the spotless mind, finding neverland, little children, revolutionary road, the reader). won her oscar for the wrong film, but at least she won one.

2. cate blanchett (the shipping news, babel, notes on a scandal, i'm not there, elizabeth: the golden age, the curious case of benjamin button). the last year has seemed pretty much empty without her. she is oscar worthy in every single one of her roles.

1. judi dench (chocolat, iris, the shipping news, mrs. henderson presents, notes on a scandal, nine). this has definitely been a decade nominated by british and australian actresses, the three cited above as well as helen mirren, keira knightly and others. judi dench is the best of the bunch.

best performances:

5. bill murray and scarlett johannson, lost in translation (2003). the most effecting on-screen pairing of the decade.

4. bjork, dancer in the dark (2000). in my opinion, the most egregious academy awards snub in recent memory. bjork literally takes your breath away in this very difficult role.

3. ellen burstyn, requiem for a dream (2000). helms some of the most haunting on screen moments of the decade, walking the streets of new york in "the red dress."

2. marion cotillard, la vie en rose (2007). with the exception of crash's victory over bareback, my favorite oscar win of the decade has to be cotillard's very deserving victory for her turn as edith piaf. it seems that biopics are the thing to do the past few years if you want an oscar, and frankly i hate them. cotillard's turn is a rare exception.

1. daniel day lewis, there will be blood (2007). if he acted in a couple more films, i would have to list him as the best actor of the decade. every one of his three performances over the past ten years has been exceptional. but his turn in this film is one of the great male performances of all time, and one that will definitely be admired for a long time to come.
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