31 December 2009

The Best of the Ones

"With the close of 2009 being also the close of the first decade of the 21st century (i. e., the ones, as I like to call it - bollocks to that "aughts" nonsense and doubly such to the people who don't know the difference of that word from its near homophone "oughts"), many of the blogs that deal in spells of film - or, at least, those "many" that I've read - have been posting their lists of the 'Bests' of these past ten years in this flexible audio-visual medium in what I suspect are summative attempts at decadal closure. Though, as this blog hasn't yet existed for a full decade - not that many of those other "many" have either - I have kept my own toes from dipping into this pool of slurry "Bests;" I think now, in the final hour, I'll fold for New Year's and New Decade's Cheer and attempt my own lists in similar orders. So, here - for your very enjoyment - are my takes on the best of the best of these past ten years in film (with bold text denoting the primary of more than one significant instance of excellence created by the corresponding artist/technician):


10 Best Live-Action Films (Feature-Length)
  • Brokeback Mountain (2005)
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
  • Gosford Park (2001)
  • Låt den Rätte Komma In (Let the Right One In, 2008)
  • Little Children (2006)
  • The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003)
  • Lost in Translation (2003)
  • 花樣年華 (In the Mood for Love, 2000)
  • Moulin Rouge! (2001)
  • 歩いても 歩いても (Still Walking, 2009)
10 Best Directors
  • Pedro Almodóvar, Hable con Ella (Talk to Her; 2002)
  • Robert Altman, Gosford Park (2001)
  • Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation (2003)
  • Joel & Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men (2007)
  • Peter Jackson, The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003)
  • Wong Kar Wai, 花樣年華 (In the Mood for Love, 2000)
  • Ang Lee; 臥虎藏龍 (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; 2000) & Brokeback Mountain (2005)
  • Baz Luhrman, Moulin Rouge! (2001)
  • Julian Schnabel, Le Scaphandre et le Papillon (2007)
  • Martin Scorcese, The Aviator (2004)
10 Best Actors
  • Javier Bardem, Before Night Falls (2000)
  • Nicolas Cage, Adaptation (2002)
  • George Clooney, Up in the Air (2009)
  • Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, The Aviator (2004)
  • Colin Farrell, In Bruges (2008)
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote (2005)
  • Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain (2005)
  • Bill Murray, Lost in Translation (2003)
  • Peter O'Toole, Venus (2006)
10 Best Actresses
  • Ellen Burstyn, Requiem for a Dream (2000)
  • Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose (2007)
  • Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married (2008)
  • Salma Hayek, Frida (2002)
  • Diane Keaton, Something's Gotta Give (2003)
  • Nicole Kidman, Moulin Rouge! (2001) & The Hours (2002)
  • Helen Mirren, The Queen (2006)
  • Julianne Moore, Far from Heaven (2002)
  • Meryl Streep, The Devil Wears Prada (2006) & Doubt (2008)
  • Kate Winslet; Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) & Little Children (2006)
More upon expansion:

10 Best Supporting Actors
  • Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
  • Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men (2007)
  • Thomas Haden Church, Sideways (2004)
  • Jake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain (2005)
  • Jackie Earle Haley, Little Children (2006)
  • Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight (2008)
  • Ian McKellen, The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003)
  • Mark Wahlberg, The Departed (2006)
  • Christopher Walken, Catch Me if You Can (2002)
  • Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds (2009)
10 Best Supporting Actresses
  • Amy Adams, Junebug (2005) & Doubt and Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008)
  • Cate Blanchett; The Aviator (2004), Notes on a Scandal (2006), & I'm Not There (2008)
  • Patricia Clarkson, Pieces of April (2003)
  • Viola Davis, Doubt (2008)
  • Marcia Gay Harden, Pollock (2000) & Mystic River (2003)
  • Julianne Moore, The Hours (2002) & A Single Man (2009)
  • Natalie Portman, Closer (2004)
  • Maggie Smith, Gosford Park (2001)
  • Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton (2007)
  • Michelle Williams, Brokeback Mountain (2005)
10 Best Art Directions
  • William Chang Suk-ping & Mam Lim-chung, 花樣年華 (In the Mood for Love, 2000) & 2046 (2004)
  • Stuart Craig & Stephanie McMillan; Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), & Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
  • Felipe Fernández del Paso & Hania Robledo, Frida (2002)
  • Dante Ferretti & Francesca Lo Schiavo; Gangs of New York (2002), The Aviator (2004), & Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
  • Mark Friedberg & Adam Stockhausen; The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), The Darjeeling Limited (2007), & Synecdoche, New York (2008)
  • Grant Major, Dan Hennah, & Alan Lee; The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003)
  • Catherine Martin & Brigitte Broch, Moulin Rouge! (2001)
  • John Myhre & Gretchen Rau, Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)
  • Ben van Os & Cecile Heiderman, Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)
  • Tim Yip; 臥虎藏龍 (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; 2000)
10 Best Cinematographies
  • Roger Deakins, The Man Who Wasn't There (2001); Jarhead (2005); The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, No Country for Old Men, and In the Valley of Elah (2007); and Doubt (2008)
  • Christopher Doyle with Mark Lee Ping-bin & Rain Li; 花樣年華 (In the Mood for Love, 2000), 2046 (2004), & Paranoid Park (2007)
  • Robert Elswit; Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005) & There Will Be Blood (2008)
  • Slawomir Idziak, Black Hawk Down (2001) & Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2008)
  • Janusz Kaminski, Le Scaphandre et le Papillon (2008)
  • Peter Pau; 臥虎藏龍 (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; 2000)
  • Robert Richardson, The Aviator (2004)
  • Eduardo Serra, Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)
  • Hoyte van Hoytema, Låt den Rätte Komma In (2008)
  • Robert D. Yeoman; The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) & The Darjeeling Limited and Hotel Chevalier (2007)
10 Best Costumings
  • Marit Allen, La Vie en Rose (2007)
  • Colleen Atwood; Chicago (2002), Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004), Memoirs of a Geisha (2005), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), & Nine (2009)
  • William Chang Suk-ping, 花樣年華 (In the Mood for Love, 2000)
  • Milena Canonero, The Affair of the Necklace (2001), Marie Antoinette (2006), & The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
  • Ngila Dickson & Richard Taylor, The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003)
  • Jacqueline Durran, Atonement (2007)
  • Danny Glicker, Milk (2008)
  • Catherine Martin & Angus Strathie, Moulin Rouge! (2001)
  • Sandy Powell; Gangs of New York (2002), The Aviator (2004), & The Young Victoria (2009)
  • Julie Weiss, Frida (2002)
10 Best Make-Ups
  • Rick Baker & Gail Ryan, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
  • John Caglione, Jr., & Conor O'Sullivan; The Dark Knight (2008)
  • Greg Cannom, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
  • John Jackson & Beatrice de Alba, Frida (2002)
  • Didier Lavergne & Jan Archibald, La Vie en Rose (2007)
  • David Martí & Montse Ribé, El Laberinto del Fauno (Pan's Labyrinth; 2006)
  • Ve Neill & Martin Samuel, Pirates of the Caribbean (2003, 2006, & 2007)
  • Valli O'Reilly & Bill Corso, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)
  • Maurizio Silvi & Aldo Signoretti, Moulin Rouge! (2001)
  • Richard Taylor & Peter Owen and Peter King, The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003)
10 Best Visual Effects
  • Avatar (2009)
  • Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton, & Craig Barron; The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
  • Nick Davis, Chris Corbould, Tim Webber, & Paul Franklin; The Dark Knight (2008)
  • District 9 (2009)
  • John Dykstra, Scott Stokdyk, Anthony LaMolinara, & John Frazier; Spider-Man (2002) & Spider-man 2 (2004)
  • Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Russell Earl, & John Frazier; Transformers (2007)
  • Roger Guyett, Tim Burke, John Richardson, & Bill George; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
  • John Knoll, Hal Hickel, & Charles Gibson with Terry Frazee; Pirates of the Caribbean (2003, 2006, & 2007)
  • Joe Letteri, Brian Van't Hul, Christian Rivers, & Richard Taylor; King Kong (2005)
  • Jim Rygiel and Randall William Cook & Richard Taylor, Mark Stetson, Joe Letteri, and Alex Funke; The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003)
  • Speed Racer (2008)
10 Best Original Scores
  • Elmer Bernstein, Far from Heaven (2002)
  • Jon Brion, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
  • Alexandre Desplat; The Queen (2006), Lust, Caution (2007), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), & Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
  • Philip Glass, The Hours (2002) & Notes on a Scandal (2006)
  • Eliot Goldenthal, Frida (2002)
  • Abel Korzeniowski, A Single Man (2009)
  • Thomas Newman; Finding Nemo (2003), Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004), Little Children (2006), & Revolutionary Road and Wall•E (2008)
  • Gustavo Santaolalla, Brokeback Mountain (2005)
  • Shigeru Umebayashi with Michael Galasso; 花樣年華 (In the Mood for Love, 2000), 2046 (2004), & A Single Man (2009)
  • John Williams; Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001), Catch Me if You Can (2002), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), & Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)
10 Best Original Songs
  • "Little Person" by Jon Brion; Synecdoche, New York (2008)
  • "Al Otro Lado del Rio" by Jorge Drexler, The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)
  • "Things Have Changed" by Bob Dylan, Wonder Boys (2000)
  • "Lose Yourself" by Eminem, Jeff Bass, & Luis Resto; 8 Mile (2002)
  • "Falling Slowly" by Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova, Once (2007)
  • "Travelin' Thru" by Dolly Parton, Transamerica (2005)
  • "Jai Ho" by AR Rahman, Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
  • "You've Got Me Wrapped around Your Little Finger" by Beth Rowley & Ben Castle, An Education (2009)
  • "Rise" by Eddie Vedder, Into the Wild (2007)
  • "Into the West" by Fran Walsh, Howard Shore, & Annie Lennox; The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
10 Best Sound Editings
  • Christopher Boyes, Addiston Teague, & Gwendolyn Yates Whittle; Avatar (2009)
  • Ben Burtt & Matthew Wood, Wall•E (2008)
  • Mike Hopkins & Ethan Van der Ryn; The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003), King Kong (2005), & Transformers (2007)
  • Richard King, War of the Worlds (2005) & The Dark Knight (2008)
  • Karen Baker Landers & Per Hallberg, The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
  • Skip Lievsay, No Country for Old Men (2007)
  • Paul N. J. Ottoson, Spider-Man 2 (2004) & The Hurt Locker (2009)
  • Michael Silvers & Gary Rydstrom and Randy Thom; Finding Nemo (2003), The Incredibles (2004), Ratatouille (2007), & Up (2009)
  • Wylie Statemen; Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003), Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004), Memoirs of a Geisha (2005), & Wanted (2008)
  • George Watters II & Christopher Boyes, Pearl Harbor (2001) & Pirates of the Caribbean (2003, 2006, & 2007)
10 Best Sound Mixings
  • Christopher Boyes, Michael Semanick, & Hammond Peek with Gethin Creagh & Michael Hedges; The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003) & King Kong (2005)
  • Marc Doisne, La Vie en Rose (2007)
  • Tom Fleischman & Petur Hliddal, The Aviator (2004)
  • Lora Hirschberg, Gary Rizzo, & Ed Novick; The Dark Knight (2008)
  • Doc Kane & Randy Thom with Gary A. Rizzo & Michael Semanick; The Incredibles (2004) & Ratatouille (2007)
  • Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff, & Peter Kurland; No Country for Old Men (2007)
  • Scott Millan, David Parker, and Kirk Francis; The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
  • Michael Minkler with David Lee, Dominick Tavella, Chris Munro, Myron Nettinga, Bob Beemer, & Willie D. Burton; Black Hawk Down (2001), Chicago (2002), Dreamgirls (2006), & Into the Wild (2007)
  • Tom Myers, Michael Semanick, & Ben Burtt; Wall•E (2008)
  • Andy Nelson & Anna Behlmer with Roger Savage, Guntis Sics, Jeff Wexler, & Ronald Judkins; Moulin Rouge! (2001), The Last Samurai (2003), & War of the Worlds(2005)
10 Best Editings
  • William Chang, 花樣年華 (In the Mood for Love, 2000)
  • Dana E. Glauberman, Juno (2007) & Up in the Air (2009)
  • Roderick Janes (i. e., Joel & Ethan Coen), No Country for Old Men (2007)
  • Valdís Óskarsdóttir, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
  • Christopher Rouse, United 93 (2006) & The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
  • Thelma Schoonmaker; Gangs of New York (2002), The Aviator (2004), & The Departed (2006)
  • Jamie Selkirk, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
  • Tim Squyres; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), Gosford Park (2001), & Rachel Getting Married (2008)
  • Juliette Welfling, Le Scaphandre et le Papillon (2007)
  • Hughes Winborne, Crash (2005)
10 Best Screenplays (Original)
  • Pedro Almodóvar, Hable con Ella (2002)
  • Wes Anderson & Owen Wilson, The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
  • Noah Baumbach, The Squid and the Whale (2005)
  • Diablo Cody, Juno (2007)
  • Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation (2003)
  • Alfonso & Carlos Cuarón, Y Tu Mamá También (2002)
  • Julian Fellowes, Gosford Park (2001)
  • Lee Hall, Billy Elliot (2000)
  • Courtney Hunt, Frozen River (2008)
  • Charlie Kaufman, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
10 Best Screenplays (Adapted)
  • Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
  • Todd Field & Tom Perrotta, Little Children (2006)
  • David Hare, The Hours (2002)
  • Ronald Harwood, Le Scaphandre et le Papillon (2007)
  • Charlie (& Donald) Kaufman, Adaptation. (2002)
  • Steve Kloves, Wonder Boys (2000)
  • John Ajvide Lindqvist, Låt den Rätte Komma In (2008)
  • Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana, Brokeback Mountain (2005)
  • Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner, Up in the Air (2009)
  • Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, & Peter Jackson; The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003)
10 Best Animated Films (Feature-Length or Short)
  • For the Birds (2001)
  • Destino (2003)
  • Everything Will Be OK (2007)
  • Finding Nemo (2003)
  • Howl's Moving Castle (2005)
  • John & Karen (2008)
  • Les Triplettes de Bellevilles (The Triplets of Belleville; 2003)
  • Peter & the Wolf (2007)
  • Spirited Away (2002)
  • Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
10 Best Foreign-Language Films (Feature-Length or Short, Live-Action or Animated)
  • Amélie (2001)
  • 臥虎藏龍 (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; 2000)
  • Hable con Ella (2002)
  • L'Heure d'Été (Summer Hours; 2009)
  • Låt den Rätte Komma In (2008)
  • Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others; 2006)
  • 花樣年華 (In the Mood for Love, 2000)
  • Le Scaphandre et le Papillon (2007)
  • 歩いても 歩いても (Still Walking, 2009)
  • Yi Yi (2000)

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