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My Top 10 Favorite Movies of 2003

20 Dec

Would it be unfair of me to say that 2003 sucked movie-wise? Yes, of course it would. Not even going into how I’ve only seen a small percentage of all films released all over the world during the year, just looking at what I have seen tells me that there were plenty of good movies out there and no disproportionately large number of stinkers. I’m sure the average 2003 movie I’ve seen isn’t much worse than the average of most other years.

But this list is still… weak? No, not weak. These are all very good films. That might be the problem, though. Most of these are indeed very good. It’s just that there are few truly great ones on here. Movies I love. Compared to most other years from the decade, 2003 was a bit lacking at the upper section. Some of these films would have a hard time finding spots on previous top 10 lists I’ve made.

It’s all good, though. I’ll gladly take more years like 2003 as long as I get one film as good as what’s at #1 here.

As usual, to avoid international confusion, I go by years listed on IMDB to determine what is and isn’t “a 2003 movie”.

10 – AMERICAN SPLENDOR (Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini)

“Why does everything in my life have to be such a complicated disaster?”

Two things are key if you want to make a good biopic. 1: Find an interesting character to make a film about. 2: Find the right actor for said character. American Splendor accomplishes these two steps with gusto. Paul Giamatti plays Harvey Pekar, notorious underground comic book writer. A complicated character with plenty of odd quirks and a vitriolic personality, Giamatti nevertheless finds the human being within and offers a nuanced and believable performance. A lot of the film’s success is due to the actor. Without him, the movie might have been just as interesting, but probably not as good.

9 – MATCHSTICK MEN (Ridley Scott)

“She said you were a bad guy. You don’t seem like a bad guy.”

Of course Roy (Nicolas Cage) doesn’t seem like a bad guy. He’s a conman. It’s his job to appear trustworthy. And he’s doing good for himself, despite having to combat his OCD and other mental hang-ups. But then his daughter (Alison Lohman) whom he has never met before enters his life, and things get complicated. Matchstick Men tells an entertaining story with twists and turns a-plenty and features one of Cage’s better performances of the decade. Also: Pygmies!

8 – KILL BILL: VOL. 1 (Quentin Tarantino)

“It’s mercy, compassion, and forgiveness I lack. Not rationality.”

Volume 2 made my 2004 list, and while I do prefer that one, the first half of the story is certainly nothing to sneeze at. It’s easy to say that this one has less plot and dialogue, but that might be somewhat misleading. There’s still plenty of that in here. It is Quentin Tarantino, after all. He loves his dialogue. It’s just that the action scenes in this film are so memorable that everything else sort of fades out of focus. There is a whole bunch of neat referencing, as usual for Tarantino, and inspired stylistic choices made and it all comes together in the chapter-closing mayheam that is the Crazy 88 fight. An exercise in style, flare and blood.

7 – CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS (Andrew Jarecki)

“It’s like when your parents take pictures of you. Do you remember being there, or do you remember just the photograph hanging on the wall?”

A very interesting documentary for many reasons. In the 1980s, Arnold Friedman and his son Jesse were charged with sexual abuse of minors. This film, made up of interviews and home video footage, shows how the allegations and the whole trial process tear the family apart. But did they actually commit the crimes? Doubt is found in the witch hunt-like investigation at the time, and even when confessions are made, we can’t be sure whether they are truthful or merely pragmatic. The movie itself doesn’t take a stand either way, leaving it up to the viewer to form his or her own opinion. One thing’s for sure: I won’t forget the Friedmans anytime soon.

6 – LOVE ACTUALLY (Richard Curtis)

“Let’s go get the shit kicked out of us by love.”

Richard Curtis is certainly no stranger to the romcom genre, having already written and/or produced films like Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill and Bridget Jones’s Diary. So what do you do when it feels like all the typical plots for romcoms have been done to death? Do all of them in the same film and focus on only the good bits! By splitting up the narratives between a big group of characters, there’s enough energy created by hopping back and forth between plot threads that things never get dull. Having one of the most star-studded casts in recent memory doesn’t hurt either, featuring among others Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Jude Law, Alan Rickman, Billy Bob Thornton, Keira Knightley, Laura Linney, Rowan Atkinson, Liam Neeson, Hugh Grant, and a totally show-stealing Bill Nighy as a foul-mouthed aging rock star.

5 – OLDBOY (OLDEUBOI, Chan-wook Park)

“You can’t find the right answer if you ask the wrong questions.”

The second film in Chan-wook Park‘s thematical trilogy on vengeance (preceded by Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and followed by Sympathy for Lady Vengeance) is also the best one. A thriller that isn’t afraid to enter dark and violent territories as one man (Choi Min-sik) tries to find out who has held him prisoner for 15 years and why. More than just a mystery to unravel, the film focuses just as much on the mechanics of revenge, the kind of people it springs from and the ways it affects them. Oldboy is not always easy to watch, but very much worth it.

4 – HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG (Vadim Perelman)

“I want them out of my house. They’re already more at home there than I ever was.”

House of Sand and Fog features, as many films do, a conflict. In this one it’s over a house, which two parties (Jennifer Connelly and Ben Kingsley) feel they have the the rightful claim to. The impressive thing here is how effortlessly the struggle evolves through the course of the movie. Neither side of the conflict are bad people; they would like to do good, but pride, stubborness and surrounding circumstances put pressure on them. It feels genuine and natural, organically developing rather than as though designed by a screenwriter. Perhaps it goes a little overboard towards the end, but then things often spiral out of control when emotions run amok. We can only hope cooler heads prevail before it’s too late.

3 – THIRTEEN (Catherine Hardwicke)

“I can’t feel anything, this is so awesome!”

Before achieveing big box office success with Twilight, Catherine Hardwicke made this powerful drama in which 13 year-old good girl Tracy (Evan Rachel Wood) gets lured into the wrong crowd by the school’s Miss Popular Evie (Nikki Reed, who co-wrote the script based on her own real-life experiences). Even if I haven’t experienced anything nearly as drastic as what transpires here, the feelings are familiar: 13 is that awkward age where childhood ends and you’re confused and trying to fit in and don’t know what to do. The glue that holds the film together is Holly Hunter in the role of Tracy’s mom, desperately wanting to help her daughter but helpless to figure out how. What the movie might lack in production value, it makes up for in emotional impact.

2 – EVIL (ONDSKAN, Mikael Håfström)

“Evil in its purest form. There’s no other explanation.”

Speaking of teens, emotional impact and based on a true story, here’s a Swedish example for you. Set in the 1950s, Evil focuses on the rebellious Erik Ponti (Andreas Wilson in a great performance) as he’s sent off to a private boarding school as a last-ditch effort to get him on the right track. Once at the school he encounters systematic bullying and punishments that he cannot abide by. Neither can we, as we see just how unfair and malicious the institution has become. The movie turns into one young man’s battle against oppressive forces, where brief moments of triumph are countered by ever harsher methods of discipline. It’s a classic type of story, but when it’s told so effectively, it takes on a new life of its own.

1 – LOST IN TRANSLATION (Sofia Coppola)

“The more you know who you are and what you want, the less you let things upset you.”

A comedy of cultures clashing, a meditation on mid-life and quarter-life crises, and a look at what it’s like to feel lost in a foreign location. Lost in Translation is all these things and more, but I find myself at a loss for what to write here as I know my words can’t do the film justice. It’s brilliant. So is Bill Murray, with co-star Scarlett Johansson not far behind. I’d call it a modern masterpiece, had I felt qualified to make such statements. Though things like this should never be set in stone, if you ask me today what my favorite film of all time is, Lost in Translation would be my reply. There you have it.

What are you favorite films of 2003? What do you think of the movies on this list?

 
27 Comments

Posted by on 20 December, 2011 in Lists, Top 10 of a year

 

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27 responses to “My Top 10 Favorite Movies of 2003

  1. Dave

    20 December, 2011 at 17:57

    I’ve enjoyed all of these films, except for Evil, which I haven’t seen. Strong list, Emil! I really have nothing to say about your choices per se, because I mainly agree with them, but let me suggest (as usual) some great titles you have perhaps missed this year?

    Peter Mullan’s hard-hitting THE MAGDELENE SISTERS; Ang Lee’s hugely underrated HULK; Peter Weir’s masterful MASTER AND COMMANDER; Billy Ray’s emotionally draining SHATTERED GLASS; and these indie gems: RAISING VICTOR VARGAS, SECRET LIVES OF DENTISTS, and THE STATION AGENT. And I may be one of the few who really dug the sweetness of the Farrelly’s STUCK ON YOU.

    I wouldn’t say it’s a “weak” year, but perhaps it’s not among the most memorable ones.

     
    • Emil

      20 December, 2011 at 19:19

      Suggestions are always welcome, especially in a year like this where I’m sure there must be great stuff I’ve missed. The only one I’ve seen of your recommendations is The Station Agent. It’s the type of movie I enjoy, and I certainly liked it, but it never really stood out to me in any major way. Nice performances, though. I know some of the others are on my rental queue already, and I’ll make sure to look up the rest. Thank you for the recommendations, Dave!

       
  2. Movies - Noir

    20 December, 2011 at 20:18

    As always a nice read, Emil. Looking at your list I’ve seen all but “Capturing the Friedmans” (which I’ve only heard positive things about, but I rarely watched documentaries in those days).

    10 – American Splendor – Don’t remember much, but though it was “ok”. Not really my kind of movie I guess.
    9 – Matchstick Men – It was pretty good, especially since I have a friend with tourrettes which I think Cage played well. You’ll never forget “pygmies” after having seen it, haha.
    8 – Kill Bill: vol. 1 – I liked it more than the second part, but would’ve prefered to have them as one movie. Visually stunning end fight (even though it’s taken from “Lady Snowblood”).
    7 – Capturing the Friedman’s – Haven’t seen this one, as noted earlier.
    6 – Love Actually – I actually liked it more than I first thought I would. Nice Christmas movie as well.
    5 – Oldboy – One of the better South Korean movies out there, even though I prefer “Memories of Murder” from the same year.
    4 – House of Sand and Fog – I’m very glad to find it on your list, and this high as well. Great performances and a very good drama.
    3 – Thirteen – A bit of surprise to find it this high. When I saw it I had heared negative things about it. But I rather enjoyed it myself, even though it probably wouldn’t make my list.
    2 – Ondskan – I remember seeing it at the cinema. Hmm, wasn’t too impressed, but not bad.
    1 – Lost in Translation – Of course ! One of my all time favorites and as I said right away – A modern classic. Great choice and after visiting Tokyo and Japan you really feel they’ve captured pretty much everything very well.

    A couple of movies I’d like to recommend from the year not on your list:

    Memories of Murder
    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring
    The Return (I especially think you should like this one)
    Mystic River

     
    • Emil

      20 December, 2011 at 20:52

      Yeah, Tarantino obviously lifts tons of things from other films when he makes his own ones. It’s part of the charm, really.

      Thirteen and House of Sand and Fog getting so high on the list really is due to the slightly weak nature of the year. They’re really good movies, but if we’re talking cold hard review scores, I have them both at 4/5. Strong fours admittedly, but still lacking that extra something that would really make me love them. They might have madeit up to 9 or so on most other yearly lists I’ve made. It might change in the future, though. Thirteen in particular grows a little on me each time I see it.

      Of your suggestions, I’ve only seen Mystic River. I found it quite boring to be honest. Too cold and sterile for my liking. Not the kind of Eastwood I enjoy. The others are already on my rental list, but I’m bumping up The Return to top priority after your recommendation. Should be interesting as I’ve only seen one Russian film before (Night Watch, which I kind of hated, but I know they’re not the same type of film, so whatever).

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, MN. Always appreciated.

       
      • Movies - Noir

        20 December, 2011 at 22:01

        True, Tarantino lifts a lot from other movies, but does so with his own touch and that’s why he pulls it off and it works!

        I understand what you mean. I know you give a lot of 5/5 ratings, but for me a 4/5 is a very good movie (but I seldom give 5/5, only around 30-35 of all the movies I’ve seen, haha).

        I knew you had seen MR and didn’t like it. Of course, I like it so I don’t see it as boring. Perhaps time for a revisit ? Cause I know you like Gone Baby Gone and it’s kind of the same.

        Good to hear, I’m looking forward to your review on “The Return” in 2012 then ;)

         
        • Emil

          20 December, 2011 at 23:43

          I don’t give “a lot” of 5/5 ratings! After doing some quick math based on Filmtipset stats, I’ve given 5/5 to about 9% of the films I’ve seen. Considering there are only 5 different scores to give (20% for each), I’m still 11% below the ratio. :P I just don’t think there’s anything special about a 5/5. It’s simply the highest grade. Doesn’t mean it’s perfect.

          I don’t really have any big desire to rewatch MR, to be honest. Probably won’t happen anytime soon, at least. Fair point about the comparison to Gone Baby Gone, though. There certainly are similarities. Hmm.

           
          • Movies - Noir

            21 December, 2011 at 00:20

            Haha, still it’s more than my 1% :D To me a 5/5 is only for the best of the best (or my favorite movies that I can watch over and over again and always love them).

             
  3. Tyler

    20 December, 2011 at 21:52

    Great list! Love all the ones I’ve seen. Two great movies from 2003 I like are Dogville and Elephant. Have you seen them?

     
    • Emil

      20 December, 2011 at 23:47

      Thank you, Tyler! I haven’t seen Dogville, but I certainly intend to. I’ve really enjoyed all the Von Triers I’ve seen so far, so I hope to work my way through his entire filmography eventually.

      Elephant I did see and like, though more in a “Heh, that’s kinda neat and interesting” way than anything else. More like a fascinating experiment than a movie that really moved or gripped me, if that makes sense. It wasn’t ever strongly considered to make this top ten.

       
  4. Travis McClain (@TravisSMcClain)

    21 December, 2011 at 00:33

    Of the ones on your list I’ve seen, I have this to say:

    10. American Splendor – As a longtime comic book reader, I was familiar with Pekar…but shamefully, I’ve still not really read any of his work. Still, I found the film engaging as much as a biography as art. I think of it as a work of meta-fiction. The DVD commentary track with Pekar is terrific.

    9. Matchstick Men – Nicolas Cage was a delight to watch in this. It’s a reminder that movies can be slick and thoughtful without fireballs–something mainstream Hollywood began to overlook around the time this came out.

    8. Kill Bill, Vol. 1. – I’ve never been a big fan of martial arts movies so the derivative nature of this film that cost it some standing with fans who tired of all the shout-outs was entirely lost on me and I was able to just go with it. I prefer Vol. 2 but there’s still a lot of fun to be had here.

    1. Lost in Translation – I first watched this on a lazy, rainy Saturday afternoon. My wife fell asleep and it was just me and the movie. I got lost in it the way Bob and Charlotte got lost in Tokyo together. This movie and I became fast friends.

    My Top 10 of 2003, per Flickchart at this moment:

    1. Lost in Translation – see above

    2. Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt – TV reunion movie based around the 1966-1968 Batman TV series. Probably too high on my list, but I really do dig it.

    3. Daredevil – I really like the director’s cut and I will not apologize for it.

    4. Hollywood Homicide – Takes flak, but I enjoyed watching lighthearted Harrison Ford and I’ve been a fan of Dwight Yoakam’s since his debut with “Honky Tonk Man” in 1986.

    5. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl – Has the franchise become bloated and cast a pall over this? Sure, for most people. But I still remember feeling it was a breath of fresh adventurous air when I saw it in the theater.

    6. Bubba Ho-Tep – The story is likable enough, but to have actually cast Ossie Davis opposite Bruce Campbell? Amazing! There’s a nice little book that includes both the original short story and the movie screenplay. I enjoyed reading both versions.

    7. Finding Nemo – Played out? Definitely; my niece was born the year before, so I’ve watched this ad nauseam. But just when I think I’m so burnt out I can’t stomach to even talk about it anymore, someone mentions Wallaby Way and I smile all over again.

    8. The Cooler – Maria Bello is my favorite actress working today. This is among the many gems in her filmography.

    9. Secondhand Lions – This one gets overlooked, but it’s one of my favorite coming-of-age movies of recent years. Robert Duvall and Michael Caine have great chemistry together, and at times the film feels like a Southern version of The Princess Bride.

    10. Big Fish – It seems no matter which side of the polarizing Tim Burton discussions you follow, this one gets overlooked. Fans seem to forget it, and so do the haters. A shame, because I think it may actually be the finest work in his entire filmography (not, mind you, that it has a chance in hell of besting Batman on my personal Flickchart). Ewan McGregor brings a very accessible youthfulness to his performance, and the production design is amazing. I’ve still not read the source material, but it’s an intriguing story.

     
  5. Emil

    21 December, 2011 at 10:13

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Travis!

    I can easily see a commentary track by Pekar to be spectacular. If I owned American Splentor on DVD, I’d probably go check it out right now.

    I’m no fan of Pirates of the Caribbean. Bloated and hollow and, worst of all, just plain not fun. I very much appreciate Johnny Depp’s performance, though. Characters like Jack Sparrow don’t come along very often, so it’s just a shame that he couldn’t have found a better film for it.

    Finding Nemo was really sweet and featured some great voice work (Ellen DeGeneres and Willem Dafoe in particular), but there was something lacking in it for me to put it on this list. It’s not top-tier Pixar in my book. Just lacks that certain something I can’t put my finger on.

    The Cooler is an under-appreciated little film. Wonderful performances and tons of atmosphere. It was in the running for my #10 spot. I owe it a rewatch at some point.

    Big Fish is another film I liked, primarily for its visual aspects. Once could find plenty of teriffic shots from that movie. The story gets a bit too… what’s the word… sentimental for me, but it has a nice sense of whimsy to it. Good, but not great.

    The rest of your suggestions I haven’t seen, but most of them are on my watch list, I believe. I keep hearing good things about the DC for Daredevil actually so I should probably give it a go at some point. Dwight Yoakam makes me think of Crank, so that’s a plus in Hollywood Homicide’s favor. I’ll make sure to look up the ones I don’t recognize.

     
    • Travis McClain (@TravisSMcClain)

      21 December, 2011 at 17:17

      I never found The Curse of the Black Pearl bloated. Hollow, perhaps, but it’s the kind of movie where it’s okay to be hollow. And frankly, it bugs me how everyone always fixates on Johnny Depp. Yes, he was great fun to watch. For my money, though, the most enjoyable performance is Geoffrey Rush’s as Captain Barbossa.

      Regarding Finding Nemo and Big Fish, I can only say that there comes a point in your life where you stop being so cynical and hard to impress and begin to be affected by such films on a personal level. I’ve been there for years. I can still be objective, mind you, which is why I’m certain that those are among the better “sentimental” movies. What’s so wrong with being sentimental, anyway?

      I still think of Dwight as a singer/songwriter first and foremost. Always have, always will. Maybe I’ll put together a post about my favorite Dwight Yoakam performances and just for the sake of fun, I’ll include music videos.

       
      • Emil

        21 December, 2011 at 22:21

        I honestly don’t recall much of Rush’s performance, but considering it’s Rush, I’m sure it was a great one. Been a while since I saw the film, and it’s not one I have much incentive to revisit.

        I don’t think I’m cynical when it comes to film. In other aspects of life, certainly, but I’m fairly easy-going and positive when it comes to movies, I think (no way would Love Actually be on the list if I swayed far into cynicism). I like my happy endings and all. And “sentimental” was probably the wrong choice of word. Let’s see… Big Fish just had one of those endings that were clearly meant to hit me right in the heart and stir something up, and yet I recall being kind of indifferent towards it. Again, been a long time since I saw it so details are fuzzy. As I said, I did like the film. And there is nothing inherently wrong with being sentimental. I didn’t mean to imply that.

        But you definitely have a point. Taste always evolves with one’s age, maturity and life experiences, sometimes in unexpected ways. It has nothing to do with having seen more movies and knowing more about the art form, but more to do with how we become more affected by different kinds of qualities.

        Dwight Yoakam is not a big name here in Sweden, I can say that much. Hence why I only know him from films (Crank primarily, but also Sling Blade). I’d definitely check out a blog post on him. Your blog has already lead me to discover that there’s more to MC Hammer than just U Can’t Touch This, which I was very much unaware of before that. Both Feel My Power and This is the Way We Roll get regular play by me nowadays. I’m always interested in exploring artists and genres I’m unfamiliar with when it comes to music.

         
  6. Pete

    21 December, 2011 at 15:18

    Great list! Monster blew me away and left me sobbing like a small child. So did Return of the King actually. Loved Kill Bill Vol 1 and Matrix Reloaded but both were for me spoilt by the follow-ups. Good call on Capturing the Friedmans… that’s an excellent doc! Istill need to see Thirteen and Evil!

     
    • Emil

      21 December, 2011 at 15:43

      Thanks! Monster is one I haven’t seen yet, though I should. I know there’s lots of love for Theron’s performance in that one. I also have yet to get around to the Matrix sequels, and I’m not really in any great hurry to do so. I mean, yeah, the first one was pretty cool, but I haven’t heard much good about the other ones. Return of the King was one of those films that fought over the #10 spot. I just deicded I liked American Splendor better, but RotK is certainly a great cinematic achievement in many regards.

      I hope you get around to seeing Evil at some point. It deserves a bigger audience.

       
  7. Hannah Megill

    21 December, 2011 at 20:57

    Love that Love Actually’s in your list. Heh. It’s one of the few romantic comedies that actually makes me pretty mushy. Can’t necessarily say why or how it works on me, but it just *does*.

    Also, Evil, of course, great movie.

     
    • Emil

      21 December, 2011 at 22:23

      I was actually surprised when I realized that Love Actually was going to make this list, let alone as high as #6. But hey, why not? It’s sweet, it’s funny, it has a great cast… What’s not to like?

       
  8. Sam Fragoso

    22 December, 2011 at 09:59

    I love that you keep doing these lists.

    Interesting as always … keep up the good work.

     
    • Emil

      22 December, 2011 at 14:08

      Thank you, Sam. I might slow down the tempo on them a bit in the future as I think it would be nice to get some more other posts in inbetween them, but I probably won’t stop doing them until I get to years where I can’t compile meaningful top 10s (as in ten films I really like).

       
  9. Robb Jayne

    23 December, 2011 at 22:57

    Fantastic list, I’ll need to hunt down ‘Evil’. 2003 was one of the greatest cinematic experiences of my life – Kill Bill vol.1, it was the first Tarantino that I could legally go see on the big screen & I remember just gripping my seat, getting white knuckles & just saying “this is fucking awesome!” over and over again. It’s the closest I’ve ever been to a roller-coaster (since my unfortunate shitting myself on a childrens rollercoaster aged 5 incident) & as far as level of constant visual gratification, the swirling colours & pounding music *sigh* nothing has come close to bettering it, for me. Apart from that time I mixed Jack Daniels with multi-coloured alcopop drinks and vomited rainbows.

     
    • Travis McClain (@TravisSMcClain)

      23 December, 2011 at 23:11

      “…nothing has come close to bettering it, for me. Apart from that time I mixed Jack Daniels with multi-coloured alcopop drinks and vomited rainbows.”

      I nominate Robb for Best Blog Commenter of 2011. He’s getting in right here at the end, but seriously, this is gold.

       
      • Robb J (@BisonDollah)

        24 December, 2011 at 19:33

        Haha, well just wait until I get drunk and start abusing everybody before you go dishing out any awards. :P “See you? SEE YOU, ah hate ye! I’m going to shit in your hat!”. That’s how Scorcese got on the bad side of the Academy. ;)

         
    • Emil

      24 December, 2011 at 00:40

      Hahaha! If you keep up this kind of writing, you’ll have a must-read blog in no time. It’s rare that I get comments that make me laugh out loud. :)

      Kill Bill is such a blast to watch. For my money, it’s the best thing Tarantino has put out to this day.

      I hope you’ll enjoy Evil if you get around to seeing it at some point. I’m not tuned into your taste in movies enough yet to say whether I think it’s your kind of movie or not, but it’s certainly one of my very favorite films from my home-country.

      Thank you for the comment, Robb. Hope you stick around. :)

       
      • Robb J (@BisonDollah)

        24 December, 2011 at 20:10

        I didn’t really rate 1408 or The Rite from the same director, they were pretty run of the mill although it is obious there’s some real talent there visually – so reading that this is a true story told effectively really helps it leap close to the top of my watchlist. Also if I see this does that mean you can forgive me for waiting on Fincher’s version of the Millenium series & avoiding the originals altogether? I feel guilty about that!

         
        • Emil

          24 December, 2011 at 23:47

          I haven’t seen The Rite, but I have seen 1408. I quite enjoyed it myself, but I can assure you it’s very different from Evil. 1408 is, for all intents and purposes, a Hollywood movie. It’s a familiar style. Evil is decidedly more Swedish in many ways. And yeah, based on a true story, so it packs some weight.

          You should feel guilty about ignoring the Swedish Millenium films! It’s rare that we make movies that can appeal to foreign viewers, so when some come along, it’s a shame to see them ignored. That said, while they’re all good, I don’t have nearly as much love for them as I do for Evil. Ignoring that one would be worse, so it’s an acceptable trade-off, I suppose. I won’t be putting a bounty on your head just yet…

          Also, I just noticed on your Flickchart that you’ve seen more Bergman films than I have, so you might have the moral high-ground. Hmpf.

           
  10. Jessica

    28 December, 2011 at 11:44

    High five, Emil! Lost in Translation is currently my number one of all movies as well.
    http://thevelvetcafe.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/talking-a-bit-about-my-favourite-movie/

    On your list I miss Finding Nemo and Return of the King. You’re not a fan of the LOTR franchise?

    I haven’t seen Elephant or Dogville, if I’d make my own list I’d check them out because I think I might like them considering my interest for the directors.

    Oh and one movie from 2003 that I really can recommend is the russian The Return. It would probably be on my top 10.

    Big Fish – maybe.

    I need to get around to do this kind of lists myself at some point. It’s a nice read!

     
    • Emil

      28 December, 2011 at 14:02

      High five indeed! I remember seeing that post of yours some time ago. Lovely little piece, that one.

      I definitely am a fan of the LOTR franchise, though perhaps not to the same massive extent as many others are. The trilogy as a whole is an impressive cinematic achievement that does an admirable job of bringing the books to life. That said, just like books, the films get a bit long in the tooth at times. This is particularly true of the last one. It could have used some trimming here and there. That said, it’s still a really good film, and it was close to making this list.

      Finding Nemo I like as well, though it’s not among my favorite Pixars. It is quite charming though. I’m particularly fond of Dory.

      You’re the second person here to recommend The Return to me. I will definitely be checking it out, hopefully sooner rather than later.

      Big Fish is another good movie, but not good enough to get within arms reach of this list. It gets a bit lost in its own atmosphere.

      Glad you’re enjoying the lists. I think they can be a helpful tool to give people a quick idea of what kind of movies you enjoy. Plus, I find them fun to read. I’d be interested in seeing what you end up picking for different years if you decide to do some yourself.

       

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