Time Out's 101 Films of the Decade – Part 5, with reactions from Peter Jackson, David Fincher, Guillermo del Toro and more…

0

Comments

Add +

Part 5 reminds us its important to have friends, be they impossibly upbeat Cockernee sparrows like Sally Hawkins, downtrodden Mumbai slum kids like Dev Patel or portly sex-obsessed nerds like Jonah Hill... While both 'Oldboy' and 'Hunger' remind us of the perils of spending too much time alone.

Click here for 50 through to 41...

60. Happy-Go-Lucky (2008, GB)

Directed by Mike Leigh
The word 'chipper' doesn't even begin to cover itMike Leigh surprised many with the lighter tone of this 2008 film, which deservedly won lead actress Sally Hawkins the best actress award at the Berlin Film Festival. It certainly has a more free, less determinist spirit than some of Leigh’s films, but as usual it celebrates life in all its guises, the highs and the lows, the successes and the knockbacks. Like David Thewlis’s Johnny in ‘Naked’, Hawkin’s upbeat, glass-half-full Poppy is in almost every shot and she offers a hilarious foil to Eddie Marsan’s poisonous driving instructor – a man with more hang-ups than the National Gallery. DCRead the Time Out review
Slumdog Millionaire.jpg

59. Slumdog Millionaire (2008, US/GB)

Directed by Danny BoyleFeelgood poverty porn wins Academy hearts, minds and statuettesThis rags-to-riches Dickensian yarn was touted as the ‘feel good’ movie of the year but it’s actually a brutally honest portrait of life in India’s slums. Shot largely on location in Mumbai, it’s the story of Jamal (Brit Dev Patel) who makes it to the final of India’s version of ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ Danny Boyle does what no Bollywood director would dare do: he showcases the utter depravity of life in Asia’s largest slum and turns it into an escapist love story which captures the current hopeful mood of life in India’s ‘maximum city’. Jai Ho! ASRead the Time Out review
Little Miss Sunshine.jpg

58. Little Miss Sunshine (2006, US)

Directed by Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris
Everybody pretend to be normal! The consummate breakout success, ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ may be studio product masquerading as indie individualism, but it’s still an enormously likeable, beautifully constructed and very witty study of family dysfunction. First-timer Michael Arndt’s script is impeccable –a third-act blunder into ‘Weekend at Bernie’s' territory notwithstanding – but what really makes the movie sparkle is that glorious cast: of the three relative newcomers, Abigail Breslin was Oscar nominated, Steve Carell became one of America’s most reliable stars and Paul Dano went on to give arguably the decade’s most unnerving performance, as Eli Sunday in ‘There Will be Blood’. THRead the Time Out review
Superbad.jpg

57. Superbad (2007, US)

Directed by Greg MottolaMouths don't get much pottier than thisAs the first half of the comedy decade belonged to Will Ferrell and Ben Stiller, the second was the property of Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen. This was their best (Apatow produced, Rogen wrote and acted), a touching tale of three geeks coming of age as they head for an end-of-school party armed only with fake ID (in the name of McLovin), a condom and a bottle of spermicidal lube. Scorsese’s ‘After Hours’ meets ‘Dazed And Confused’, creating an adolescent universe that you won’t want to leave. PWRead the Time Out review
Sideways.jpg

56. Sideways (2004, US)

Directed by Alexander PayneOnophilia in action with Giamatti's loveable lumpDrunkenness is a promising topic for cinema; wine, however, is not. So the success of Alexander Payne’s film partly depends on the interplay of the two: after all, most wine lovers, like Miles (Paul Giamatti), may be able to talk winemaking technicalities until dawn, but they still drink too much - especially on an odyssey around California’s vineyards that’s as much a flight from the realities of unsuccessful middle-aged life as a celebration of Miles’s best friend’s impending nuptials. The four leads – Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church as his dim Adonis friend, and Sandra Oh and Virginia Madsen as the women they inevitably meet – are perfectly cast. But it’s Payne’s Oscar-winning script that makes this the cinematic equivalent of Miles’s precious 1961 Cheval Blanc. NCRead the Time Out review
Etre et Avoir.jpg

55. Être et Avoir (2002, Fr)

Directed by Nicolas PhilibertLess 'Blackboard Jungle', more 'Blackboard Farming Community'...It would not be at all surprising if there had been a sudden rise in parents naming their newborns ‘JoJo’ in the months and years following the release of Nicolas Philibert’s inspiring and sweetly funny document of the workings of a tiny village school in Saint-Étienne-sur-Usson in southern, rural France. Though the undoubted ‘star’ of the film is the preternaturally collected and philosophical professeur, Georges Lopez, it’s the actions of inquisitive, comically disruptive tot JoJo who helped bring the film a decent measure of mainstream international success (Philibert’s first since starting out as a filmmaker in the late ’70s). Yet, beyond its memorable participants, the film offers an exhaustive depiction of the process of how information is passed between the generations, whether that’s in the classroom, around the kitchen table with the family trying to solve maths problems, or out in the fields tending to the family plot. DJRead the Time Out review
Hunger.jpg

54. Hunger (2008, GB)

Directed by Steve McQueen
Best piss-sweeping scene everBritish artist Steve McQueen forged a very particular filmmaking style, mixing cold realism with more poetic elements, for this harsh portrait of Northern Ireland’s Maze prison in the early 1980s – a portrait which constricts gradually to become a study of the imprisonment and death of IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands. One of McQueen’s more daring moves was to contain most of the film’s political debates within one explicit, talky scene between Michael Fassbender’s Sands and a visiting priest played by Liam Cunningham, so allowing McQueen to express himself almost free of dialogue elsewhere. This flight from the constraints of text also allows McQueen to explore the more physical elements of Sands’s story, such as the bodily realities of a ‘dirty’ protest and a hunger strike. All eyes will be on what McQueen does next. DCRead the Time Out review
Dancer Upstairs.jpg

53. The Dancer Upstairs (2002, Sp/US)

Directed by John MalkovichSee the world through John Malkovich's eyes... againThe only reason this film didn’t make it into the upper reaches of Time Out’s recent ‘50 Greatest Directorial Debuts’ list is simply because we forgot about it. Quite how we managed to do so is thoroughly baffling, because Malkovich’s masterly adaptation of Nicholas Shakespeare’s probing novel about terrorism, corruption and ballet set in an unnamed Latin American country (Peru) is a haunting, unsettling film that lives long in the memory. Javier Bardem’s riveting performance as a conflicted police detective on the trail of some bomb-crazy guerrillas holds everything together while The Malk’s subtle, intelligent deployment of photography, score and editing to further the story is totally captivating. ALDRead the Time Out review

Memento.jpg

52. Memento (2000, US)

Directed by Christopher NolanThat film... you know, with the guy... wait, what was I saying?Obfuscation has long been the name of Christopher Nolan’s game: be it Bruce Wayne’s mask, the smoke and mirrors of underappreciated conjuring caper ‘The Prestige’ (2006) or the self-deluding synaptic two-step promised by next year’s ‘Inception’, Nolan rarely lets both the audience and his characters in on the same trick at the same time. ‘Memento’ is a prime example, spinning Guy Pearce’s short-term memory loss into a tight little revenge yarn that works equally well as a thorny metaphysical puzzler or a vicious, grubby neo-noir. Parceling out only enough plot to propel the film from scene to scene, Nolan keeps us - and Pearce – guessing right up until a final kick in the narrative guts sends everybody reeling. Guy, of course, will have forgotten all about it 15 minutes later. You won’t. ALD
Read the Time Out review
oldboy.jpg

51. OldBoy (2003, S. Kor)

Directed by Park Chan-WookHere's that sick squid I owe you...He chows down on live squid, dangles snivelling minions off of tall buildings and proves to be quite tasty with a tack hammer when it comes to taking on a private army of hired goons, but it’s all in the name of that modern cinematic mainstay: revenge. One minute, Choi Min-sik’s hapless salaryman, Oh Dae-su, is out on his Friday night drink-up, next thing he knows he’s been incarcerated in prison cell decked out in mock-’70s funky wallpaper and left to stew for fifteen long years with no idea of what his crime is. Once released, he’s given five days to work out the reason for his imprisonment, which, it transpires, is all down to a clean-cut Machiavellian bastard in a tailored suit. Having already paraded his tough guy credentials with his previous film, ‘Sympathy for Mr Vengeance’, South Korea’s Park Chan-wook knocked it out of the flamboyant retribution caper park with this operatic distillation of Kafka, grungy genre pyrotechnics, hardcore violence and, of course, a wicked sense of humour. DJRead the Time Out review

Click here for 50 through to 41...

Users say

0 comments


Top Stories

Meet the dream team: a preview of ‘Les Misérables’

Meet the dream team: a preview of ‘Les Misérables’

Director Tom Hooper and his cast tell us how they turned the super-musical into movie blockbuster.

Oscar predictions

Oscar predictions

The Time Out film team weighs in on the nominees for the 2013 Academy Awards

January film highlights 2013

January film highlights 2013

Get ready for the big guns… Spielberg, Tarantino and Bigelow

October film highlights

October film highlights

Daniel Craig’s 007 comeback, a genius indie romcom and all the mysteries behind ‘The Shining’ unravelled.

The Time Out film debate 2012 highlights

The Time Out film debate 2012 highlights

The results of our study on the state of films and filmgoing in 2012.

Read 'Time Out film debate 2012 highlights'

Martin Freeman interview

Martin Freeman interview

'The Hobbit' actor tells us why he wouldn't have a pint with Bilbo Baggins.

Sam Mendes interview

Sam Mendes interview

Dave Calhoun speaks to the director of 'Skyfall' about the latest film in the Bond franchise.

Ang Lee interview

Ang Lee interview

The genre-hopping director tells us how he invented a new genre with 'Life of Pi'

Michael Haneke interview

Michael Haneke interview

The twice Palme d'Or-winning director discusses 'Amour'.

Read our interview with Michael Haneke

Thomas Vinterberg interview

Thomas Vinterberg interview

The Danish director talks about his powerful new drama 'The Hunt'.

Read our interview with Thomas Vinterberg'

Ten things the 'Twilight' movies did for us

Ten things the 'Twilight' movies did for us

Time Out looks back at the impact of the 'Twilight' saga.

Discover what 'Twilight' has done for us

On the set of 'Sightseers'

On the set of 'Sightseers'

Time Out heads to the Lake District to visit director Ben Wheatley on set.

Read about our visit to the 'Sightseers' set

Tim Burton interview

Tim Burton interview

The director talks about 'Frankenweenie', which he describes as 'the ultimate memory piece'.

Read our interview with Tim burton

The top ten Christmas films of 2012

The top ten Christmas films of 2012

Our pick of the best films showing over the festive period.

Read 'The top ten Christmas films of 2012'

What's your film guilty pleasure?

What's your film guilty pleasure?

Mean Girls? Dirty Dancing? Tell us your favourite film guilty pleasure.

Read 'Film guilty pleasures'

When teen stars turn serious

When teen stars turn serious

Ten young actors come of age on the silver screen.

Read 'When teen stars turn serious'

50 years of James Bond

50 years of James Bond

From Connery to Craig, we revisit all 22 Bond films.

Read '50 years of James Bond'

Paul Thomas Anderson interview

Paul Thomas Anderson interview

The director talks Scientology and working with Joaquin Phoenix.

Read the interview

Hilarious horror films

Hilarious horror films


Ten funny horror movies which went spectacularly off the rails.

Read 'Hilarious horror films'

Martin McDonagh interview

Martin McDonagh interview

The director talks psychopaths and theatre – 'my least favourite artform'.

Read the interview

Autumn horror films

Autumn horror films

We round-up the five best horror movies of Autumn 2012.

Read about this Autumn's best horror movies

On the set of Skyfall

On the set of Skyfall

Time Out visits Istanbul to see the latest Bond movie being made.

Read 'On the set of Skyfall'

Bond: then and now

Bond: then and now

Does Skyfall refresh or rehash the James Bond franchise?

Sally Potter interview

Sally Potter interview

The British director explains why 'Ginger and Rosa' is her most mainstream film yet.

Daniel Craig interview

Daniel Craig interview

'I’m almost as in demand as Brad Pitt’