For those of you arriving late, here's how it went down—again, with an asterisk to the effect that the results won't be final until February, after voters see this year's remaining films and have a chance to revise their ballots. (At this writing it appears that only Inglourious Basterds and Christoph Waltz have any real shot at placing, but you never know.)
Best Films of the Decade
01. Dogville (2003, Lars von Trier)
02. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004, Michel Gondry)
03. In the Mood for Love (2000, Wong Kar-wai)
04. Mulholland Dr. (2001, David Lynch)
05. There Will Be Blood (2007, Paul Thomas Anderson)
06. The New World (2005, Terrence Malick)
07. Memento (2000, Christopher Nolan)
08. 25th Hour (2002, Spike Lee)
09. Yi Yi (A One and a Two…) (2000, Edward Yang)
10. No Country for Old Men (2007, Joel Coen & Ethan Coen)
11. Before Sunset (2004, Richard Linklater)
12. Silent Light (2007, Carlos Reygadas)
13. Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003, Quentin Tarantino)
14. Werckmeister Harmonies (2000, Béla Tarr)
15. Irreversible (2002, Gaspar Noé)
16. Zodiac (2007, David Fincher)
17. Ghost World (2001, Terry Zwigoff)
18. The Man Who Wasn't There (2001, Joel Coen)
19. Trouble Every Day (2001, Claire Denis)
20. Gerry (2003, Gus Van Sant)
Best Performances of the Decade
01. Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood (2007)
02. Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain (2005)
03. Naomi Watts, Mulholland Dr. (2001)
04. Imelda Staunton, Vera Drake (2004)
05. Isabelle Huppert, The Piano Teacher (2001)
06. Summer Phoenix, Esther Kahn (2000)
07. Björk, Dancer in the Dark (2000)
08. Laura Dern, Inland Empire (2006)
09. Mathieu Amalric, Kings & Queen (2004)
10. Daniel Day-Lewis, Gangs of New York (2002)
11. Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight (2008)
12. Christian Bale, American Psycho (2000)
13. Billy Bob Thornton, The Man Who Wasn't There (2001)
14. Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
15. Laura Linney, You Can Count on Me (2000)
16. Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone (2007)
17. Q'orianka Kilcher, The New World (2005)
18. Julianne Moore, Far From Heaven (2002)
19. Peter Sarsgaard, Shattered Glass (2003)
20. Aurélien Recoing, Time Out (2001)
As ever, the Skandies do reflect to some degree my own taste in movies, if only because I've made an effort to collect at least somewhat like-minded cinephiles. And I must admit that I'm enormously pleased with our choice for the decade's best film, even if it isn't my own personal favorite. (That would be #7.) As it happens, 2000 was the first year in which I started traveling to major film festivals; between Sundance, Cannes and Toronto (plus occasional jaunts to Berlin, Rotterdam and Thessaloniki, and of course NYFF), I saw a goodly percentage of the decade's most significant films at or at least adjacent to their world premiere. And of all those many films, Dogville was the only one that provoked the sort of frenzied, thunderous reaction from the audience that made it seem like an instant classic—the only time I felt like I was experiencing what it must have been like to see the first-ever screening of, say, Apocalypse Now or Last Year at Marienbad. I choose Marienbad—a movie I don't especially like, though I've only seen it once so far—because what I'm talking about transcends personal taste. It's more about knowing you've seen something truly visionary, unprecedented, sui generis. Even Ryan Wu, the most vocal Von Trier skeptic among the August Voting Body (hereafter AVB), had to admit that there was something extraordinary at work, despite his usual reservations. And having also directed what the Skandies deemed the best performance of the '90s ten years ago (Emily Watson, Breaking the Waves, Lars can clearly boast of being the world's greatest film director in these parts without fear of significant contradiction.
Likewise, while I didn't vote for Daniel Day-Lewis myself, I can't complain about his victory—especially since first place in that category was essentially a three-way tie that included Heath Ledger and Naomi Watts. (As noted in the comments, more than 100 points separated Watts from 4th-place finisher Imelda Staunton; precious few points separated 1st from 2nd from 3rd.) They're all indelible performances, and I expect to see all three fare roughly as well in the various other decade surveys that'll surface over the next few months. The rest of the acting results were markedly more idiosyncratic, and not in a D'Angelo Effect kind of way, either—I still think of Summer Phoenix's allegedly deliberately unpolished work as The Esther Con. But none of these 20 turns is what you'd call forgettable, certainly.
Other quick notes and observations:
• Some years are better than others, clearly. Breakdown for the films (by premiere) goes like this:
It's probably just too soon for folks to start thinking of films from the past two years as perennials, but the downturn in 2005 and 2006 was for real. I count only five films from those two years that I consider truly great, and they're decidedly not part of any known consensus: Dave Chappelle's Block Party, Who's Camus Anyway?, The Wayward Cloud, The Prestige, and Time. Others would name different titles, but that's the point: No acknowledged masterworks. Nice save, 2007.
• I'm always concerned—and by "always" I guess I mean "twice so far"—that not dividing the performances by gender will result in a landslide of dudes, simply because male actors still tend to get the bulk of the really juicy roles. But not only did the top 20 split neatly in half in that respect, with ten men and ten women, but the latter made up the bulk of the upper half, even if testosterone ultimately won out this time. (Again, the '90s winner was Emily Watson.) And we—meaning the heavily youngish-male AVB—actually managed to keep our collective libido in check, ignoring smokin' hot previous Skandie Actress winners like Sibel Kekilli and Carice van Houten in favor of the matronly Imelda Staunton and the aging (but, okay, still smokin' hot) Isabelle Huppert, plus Laura Dern and her smeary Laura Dern face (thanks Josh).
• Most surprising result imo: Scorsese, who directed our vote for the best film of the '90s (GoodFellas), gets almost zero support in the aughts, despite having won not only his long-awaited Oscar but also that year's Best Picture Skandie. Just goes to show how pathetic '06 was, I guess.
• Most screwed actor: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who just missed the top 20 due to having votes evenly split between partisans for his work in Mysterious Skin and Brick.
• Of the 45 Skandie "nominees" over 2000–2008 (obviously we don't yet know the five for this year), only three received not a single decade vote: Traffic (remember when people loved that one? no?), Old Joy, and (surprisingly) Syndromes and a Century. (I'm counting Matthew Butcher's nod for Death Proof toward Grindhouse.)
That's about it, I guess. Hope the daily clips were fun—I'll leave 'em up until somebody insists they come down. My thanks to everyone who participated; see you all again very soon for the '09 balloting.