Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Top Ten's: A 5-Year Retrospective

It was 2001 when my interest in movies officially evolved from a mere obsession to a bona-fide passion, thanks to two films that were released that year. I was away at college when I first saw bits and pieces of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. While the only connection I had to the series was reading The Hobbit in grade school, one viewing assured me that this was something really special, something that would forever change the way I and the rest of the world look at movies. My encounter with Mulholland Drive was one of chance - I rented it with leftover cash one night having been attracted to the cover design. Had I known it was going to limit the night's sleep to less than one hour, I might have left it on the shelf.

So began my nose-dive into a more mature and refined pool of cinematic tastes, with the deep end looking far more attractive than the shallow. For me, LOTR exemplified the wonderment of impeccable craft - displaying eye-popping spectacle without losing substance, and Mulholland introduced film's ability to haunt and enthrall through mystery and beauty. The two landmarks of my viewing history ripped the art form wide open, and I've never looked back. They remain two of my top favorites to this day. From that point on, movies went from favorite hobby to primary interest, and I began listening carefully and watching as much as possbile. In 2002, the lists and reviews started.

I've come to find that with each passing year, the films that appeal to me most become more and more regognizable, and as I grow my opinions and tastes become more and more my own. To pave the way for my forthcoming Top Ten List of 2007, here are my top picks of the last 5 years - the time between 2001 and now, the time in which my filmic palate was considerably sharpened.

10. Children of Men
09. The Devil Wears Prada
08. Babel
07. The Queen
06. Notes on a Scandal
05. Volver
04. Little Children
03. United 93
02. Shortbus
01. The Departed

10. Nine Lives
09. Sin City
08. The Constant Gardener
07. Munich
06. Walk the Line
05. Good Night, and Good Luck.
04. King Kong
03. Syriana
02. Crash
01. Brokeback Mountain

10. Fahrenheit 9/11
09. Ray
08. Dawn of the Dead
07. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
06. Million Dollar Baby
05. Bad Education
04. Closer
03. Kill Bill Vol. 2
02. Sideways
01. The Aviator

10. City of God
09. Kill Bill Vol. 1
08. Finding Nemo
07. Mystic River
06. Lost in Translation
05. Monster
04. The Barbarian Invasions
03. 21 Grams
02. Angels in America
01. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

10. Panic Room
09. Far From Heaven
08. The Ring
07. Spider-Man
06. Chicago
05. Igby Goes Down
04. Adaptation
03. Talk to Her
02. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
01. The Hours

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