12 October 2009

Skandies: Best Films of the Decade, #10



No Country for Old Men (2007, Joel Coen & Ethan Coen)
originally placed: #2, 2007.

27 comments:

Josh said...

Maybe the poll was conducted too early? This film, yet not A Serious Man, which many are finding superior.

Ryan said...

Really surprised by this one, as I didn't think anybody really loved it. Guess this means There Will Be Blood will finish in the top 5. Also throws cold water on the idea that movies with surging reps from earlier in the decade, like Punchdrunk Love or Royal Tenenbaums, would sneak in.

md'a said...

People will have an opportunity to revise their ballots at year's end. But it doesn't look to me like Serious Man is getting a lot of best-of-decade traction from this particular group. So far the only voters I'm aware are crazy about it are yourself and Dave Cowen.

md'a said...

That was for Josh, obviously. Ryan: One voter considers it the single best film of the last ten years. Another had it second. That's all it takes, almost.

Victor said...

Thanks to whoever made up for my shucking NO COUNTRY from my short list near the end -- I had it #1 for its year, I haven't revised down my opinion of it, it faced no serious competition from any of the auteur's other films. And I still dropped it.

Anonymous said...

#20-10: Not a single Asian film.
Do Skandie voters even watch them asian films?

Ryan said...

What, Kill Bill doesn't count as an Asian film?

Andrew Dignan said...

Anonymous:

In the Mood for Love, Yi Yi and Crouching Tiger all could be in the offering based on their high finishes in their respective years. Just sayin...

md'a said...

Your timing is suspiciously impeccable, Anonymous.

As for those non-Asians Joel and Ethan, they've now placed (at least) two films in both of the Skandies decade polls: Barton Fink and Miller's Crossing ten years ago, No Country for Old Men and The Man Who Wasn't There this time. 4 out of 40, 10%. Pretty remarkable. No other filmmaker even comes close; only a tiny handful (so far just Tarantino, but more to come) even managed two.

Arkaan said...

mda: No other filmmaker even comes close; only a tiny handful (so far just Tarantino, but more to come) even managed two.

Let the wild speculation begin!

I'd be genuinely surprised if IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE didn't make it (of course, I've been genuinely surprised several times this poll) so Kar-Wai will likely become another of the multi-feted filmmakers. Edward Yang, Lars von Trier, Martin Scorsese and Wes Anderson also seem like possibilities.

Ang Lee, Clint Eastwood, Robert Altman and Peter Jackson seem like longshots at best. And poor Atom. Two films last decade, nada for this one (presumption).

Mike Lee said...

We're now far enough in that, at least with regards to Best Picture, we can say with a not-unreasonable degree of confidence what's left.

* 25th Hour: No. 1 Skandie film from the early decade; more loved among this crowd than anywhere else, which may give it psychological boost in voting.
* Dogville: No. 1 in its year and high passiondex.
* Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Relatively strong passiondex; no. 2 in a year where no. 1 and 3 are in.
* In the Mood for Love: No. 1 film from strongest year of the decade.
* Memento: Gemko's points + a couple fives or tens would get it in the top 20 by their lonesome.
* Mulholland Dr.: No. 2 film from the strongest year of the decade; every other top-five film from the year will make the top 20.
* There Will Be Blood: Six original voters 20+.
* Tropical Malady: Thinking through it voter-by-voter, has to have enough points from enough members to make the top 20.
* Yi Yi: Much beloved; should have support long and deep; early decade no. 1.

Biggest omissions: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (no. 2 in weaker year); Y tu mamá también (see previous); The New World (see previous, but don't discount Malick love); Grizzly Man (no. 1 in its year, but wide, not deep); The Departed (see previous); 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (see previous); Caché (the most likely Haneke, but no); and The Prestige (my last film removed from the original list, I'm surprised it hasn't made it so far, but not surprised enough to add it above).

And then watch something super passiondexy like Synecdoche, New York come in at no. 9.

Mike Lee said...

And if you want the lowdown on everything Skandies, you know where to go.

Anonymous said...

I guess we all know Heath Ledger and In the Mood for Love will be #1.

Mike Lee said...

Yes on ItMfL, but I think Naomi.

msic said...

Re: 25th Hour. I've been meaning to address this for a while. YOU ARE ALL MOTHERFUCKING CRAZY. This film is pretty good but come the fuck on. In fact, Spike Lee made three much better films this decade. (Although I will gladly admit I am in the minority in championing Bamboozled.)

I don't really want to bag on 25th Hour. It is okay. But it is hardly best-of-decade (or best-of-year) material. Luckily, in the larger world, Spike's OOs will be defined by When the Levees Broke.

md'a said...

No point in getting into matters of taste—if 25th Hour doesn't leave you a pulverized wreck, there's precious little I can do about it—but you can't deny that that film swings for the fences in a way that Inside Man, entertaining though it is, just doesn't even attempt. In fact imo there's more passion and bleak grandeur in 25th Hour than in all four hours of Levees—most likely because, for all Spike's genuine outrage about New Orleans, 9/11 hit him much harder. It's truly one of the great auteurist works of our time. Hope it makes the cut...

Victor said...

Spike's awesome BAMBOOZLED raised my consciousness and persuaded me to oppose over-the-top ethnic clown acting. Therefore 25th HOUR's Slavic minstrel show (led by Italian, of all things) makes it a bad movie.

Michael said...

...but you can't deny that that film swings for the fences in a way that Inside Man, entertaining though it is, just doesn't even attempt.

This is a good point, and unlike you, I do consider ambitious vision a fundamental virtue. (Not that sheer entertainment need justify itself; it's just that it is unfair to compare Inside Man with 25th Hour, which really is an achievement of another magnitude.)

Ryan said...

Mike, I think The New World is a lock. That leaves Eternal Sunshine, Tropical Malady, The Prestige, and others duking it out for one spot.

Kza said...

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say YI YI doesn't make the cut. The bloom's off.

Mike Lee said...

Yi Yi worries me, early-decade love and all. If I'm wrong about only one film, 50% chance it's the Yang. (30% Joe, 20% run of field.)

Ryan said...

Well, you know, if Yi Yi doesn't make it, it will still turn up in the top 5 of most other reputable decade polls, I'm sure. Besides myself, I don't know another voter who is sure to have voted for Eternal Sunshine. That one's a little more shaky to me.

misc said...

Lest we forget....13 voters (including Our Fearless Leader) awarded all-caps-pros during regular voting to Songs From the Second Floor. Could be a sleeper.

Nictate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nictate said...

This:

"4 out of 40, 10%. Pretty remarkable. No other filmmaker even comes close;"

Leads me to retweet myself outside of the Twittersphere:

"It's a little stunning to absorb the breadth of the Coens' oeuvre. Feels like they could be most important filmmakers of my lifetime."

As much as I admire A SERIOUS MAN, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN pretty much shoots an air-compressed bolt through the head of the latter.

A big reason NCFOM resonated so much with me (outside of its brilliant filmmaking and performances) is because of its searing truths that, as the Coens always manage to do, hit at exactly the right time in our history to feel eerily prescient and wise.

Private Joker said...

Waz -- I do love me some BAMBOOZLED (in my top 5 Spike films) and Levees has several brilliant scenes, but I'm with the majority on 25th HOUR. It's a real masterpiece, holds up great, and has a raw visceral energy that Lee hadn't displayed since DTRT.

Also, I guess this means THE WAY OF THE GUN isn't going to squeak into the top 10? Goddammit. Man, talk about being a lone champion... (At least now we have Tobias's NCC to start some kind of discussion on it).

Jeff said...

I gave WAY OF THE GUN points, bud. Still, no chance.