I’m Baaaaaack….and Here’s My Top 50 of the Decade

Hello all! It’s been nigh on four years since I last dropped some knowledge on you here at Reel News Daily. I went off and got a Master’s degree, new job and all that, but have still been rocking films from all over the world. I’m happy to be back in the fold here at Reel News Daily and look forward to contributing more this year. Don’t you feel lucky?

So, I figured my phoenix rising from the ashes post should be something that might start a little conversation – my Top 50 films of the last decade. There were so many great films to choose from, which made this list very difficult. After two days of whittling it down and moving films around, I feel confident with what I decided on. I’m sure I missed a few of your favorites, but this is my list so you’ll just have to deal with it.

Here we go:

50) Shoplifters (2018) dir. by Hirokazu Koreeda
49) Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) dir. by Bob Perischetti, Peter Ramsey & Rodney Rothman
48) Gone Girl (2014) dir. by David Fincher
47) A Hidden Life (2019) dir. by Terrence Malick
46) Annihilation (2018) dir. by Alex Garland
45) Under the Skin (2013) dir. by Jonathan Glazer
44) Her (2013) dir. by Spike Jonze
43) The Favourite (2018) dir. by Yorgos Lanthimos
42) Take Shelter (2011) dir. by Jeff Nichols
41) Leviathan (2012) dir. by Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Verena Paravel
40) Upstream Color (2013) dir. by Shane Carruth
39) Death of Stalin (2017) dir. by Armando Iannucci
38) Columbus (2017) dir. Kogonada
37) Holy Motors (2012) dir. by Leos Carax
36) Shame (2011) dir. by Steve McQueen
35) Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World (2010) dir. by Edgar Wright
34) Midnight in Paris (2011) dir. by Woody Allen
33) Stories We Tell (2012) dir. by Sarah Polley
32) Cold War (2018) dir. by Pawel Pawlikowski
31) Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) dir. by George Miller
30) Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) dir. by Ethan & Joel Coen
29) The Look of Silence (2015) dir. by Joshua Oppenheimer
28) We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011) dir. by Lynne Ramsay
27) BlacKkKlansman (2018) dir. by Spike Lee
26) First Reformed (2017) dir. by Paul Schrader
25) Carol (2015) dir. by Todd Haynes
24) Winter’s Bone (2010) dir. by Debra Granik
23) Citizenfour (2014) dir. by Laura Poitras
22) Animal Kingdom (2010) dir. by David Michôd
21) A Separation (2011) dir. by Asgar Farhadi
20) Meek’s Cutoff (2010) dir. by Kelly Reichardt
19) La La Land (2016) dir. by Damien Chazelle
18) Phantom Thread (2018) dir. by Paul Thomas Anderson
17) The Lobster (2015) dir. by Yorgos Lanthimos
16) Calvary (2014) dir. by John Michael McDonagh
15) Best of Enemies: Buckley Vs. Vidal (2015) dir. by Robert Morgan & Morgan Neville
14) Looper (2012) dir. by Rian Johnson
13) Frances Ha (2013) dir. by Noah Baumbach
12) Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012) dir. by Benh Zeitlin
11) Lady Bird (2018) dir. by Greta Gerwig
10) A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014) dir. by Ana Lily Amirpour
9) Moonlight (2016) dir. by Barry Jenkins
8) Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) dir. by Jim Jarmusch
7) Zero Dark Thirty (2012) dir. by Kathryn Bigelow
6) The Tree of Life (2014) dir. by Terrence Malick
5) You Were Never Really Here (2017) dir. by Lynne Ramsay
4) Ex Machina (2014) dir. by Alex Garland
3) Melancholia (2011) dir. by Lars Von Trier
2) The Act of Killing (2012) dir. by Joshua Oppenheimer

1) The Master (2012) dir. by Paul Thomas Anderson

So there you have it. It was a tough job, but I was happy to do it. Here are a few that nearly made the list: Everybody Wants Some!! (underrated Richard Linklater that more people should watch), Tomas Alfredson’s slow burn spy thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Paul Thomas Anderson’s hippie noir adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice. Admittedly, it was hard to weave many of the films from 2019 into the list as they’ll need to sit me a longer. I will say that Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite and Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story nearly edged their way on.

Here’s to hoping that the next ten years brings as many great films as the last ten have.

‘CAROL’ comes to life on the silver screen today. Here are a few reasons why we think it shouldn’t be missed.

Carol poster

As one of the most anticipated films of this year’s New York Film Festival, CAROL most certainly blew everyone’s expectations out of the water. Here are just a few reasons why we adore this elegant film…Carol still Cate and RooneyThe Plot:

 In an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s seminal novel The Price of Salt, CAROL follows two women from very different backgrounds who find themselves in an unexpected love affair in 1950s New York. As conventional norms of the time challenge their undeniable attraction, an honest story emerges to reveal the resilience of the heart in the face of change. A young woman in her 20s, Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara), is a clerk working in a Manhattan department store and dreaming of a more fulfilling life when she meets Carol (Cate Blanchett), an alluring woman trapped in a loveless, convenient marriage. As an immediate connection sparks between them, the innocence of their first encounter dims and their connection deepens. While Carol breaks free from the confines of marriage, her husband (Kyle Chandler) begins to question her competence as a mother as her involvement with Therese and close relationship with her best friend Abby (Sarah Paulson) come to light.

ROONEY MARA and CATE BLANCHETT star in CAROL

ROONEY MARA and CATE BLANCHETT star in CAROL

The Cinematography:

Edward Lachman is a genius behind the camera. Having worked hand in hand with Director Todd Haynes on Far From Heaven in 2002, his visual landscape for Carol is unmatched. Shot in 16mm, perfectly framed, with delicate but specific shots through windows and the focus on the color of crimson and corals, make this a true feast for the eyes.

You can watch Ed discuss his experience in an interview from NYFF53 here.Carol still Kyle Chandler

The Performances:

We’re not shy about our love for Cate Blanchett, nor is The Academy. In truth, there is not a single loose thread in the casting of this film. In the film’s press conference this week, you could see and hear the passion the entire cast held for the project and the respect they had for Phyllis Nagy‘s immaculate adaptation. This is not a story about a lesbian couple, this is a story of two people falling in love. The effortless nature of Blanchett, Mara, Chandler, Paulson, and Lacy as an ensemble evokes the kind of emotion so rarely experienced in the cinema these days. Both Cate and Rooney landed on my Top Female Performances of NYFF53 list. Lacy’s boyish charm and naivete bound off the screen. Chandler’s masculinity and energy are a powerful match for both the period and Blanchett. And as for Sarah Paulson (my favorite player in American Horror Story, every season), well, I wanted to put her in my pocket and place her in every film from here on out. It’s the kind of presence that should not be overlooked, ever. These actors are extraordinarily great at their jobs. There is no doubt about it, CAROL is a timeless film.

(L-R) KYLE CHANDLER and CATE BLANCHETT star in CAROL

(L-R) KYLE CHANDLER and CATE BLANCHETT star in CAROL

For a mere taste of what you’re in for, here is the trailer:

CAROL– Opening In Limited Theaters November 20, 2015

Rated R | Runtime 118 minutes

Carol still Sarah PaulsonCarol still Rooney

Carol still Todd Haynes and Cate Blachett

 

9 movies from the New York Film Festival you can watch this fall

NYFF 53 banner

Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) in TriStar Pictures' THE WALK.

Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) in TriStar Pictures’ THE WALK.

The Walk – In theaters now

Summary:

Truly a Robert Zemeckis film, The Walk is best watched as Liz and I did – IMAX 3D. Even those with only a slight fear of heights will be kept pinned to their seats, gripping the armchair, as we both did. There’s so much to appreciate about people who have dreams.


 

ST. JAMES PLACEBridge of Spies – in theaters now

Summary:

 

EXPERIMENTER-2Experimenter – in theaters & VOD now

Summary:

The story behind the story, Experimenter tells the tale of the man as he begins the most famous of his experiments. With several high-profile cameos, director Michael Almereyda uses several creative ways to punch up ordinary scenes.



 

 

Heart of a DogHeart of a Dog – in theaters October 21st

Summary:

Michael Stuhlbarg, Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs – nationwide October 23rd

Summary:

Liz’s non-iPhone user review here!


 

Brooklyn-2Brooklyn – in theaters November 6th

Summary:

 

MIA MADRE_1304Mia Madre – in theaters November 6th

Summary:

Liz loved it! Find out why in her review!


 

Ingrid Bergman In Her Own Words-1

Ingrid Bergman – In Her Own Words – in theaters November 13th

Summary:

Liz tells you why you’ll love the personal story of the Hollywood starlet in her review!


 

(L-R) KYLE CHANDLER and CATE BLANCHETT star in CAROL

(L-R) KYLE CHANDLER and CATE BLANCHETT star in CAROL

Carol – in theaters December 18th

Summary:

What did I think of it? Find out in my review!

New York Film Festival Review: The gorgeous ‘Carol’ with Cate Blanchett & Rooney Mara

NYFF 53 banner

ROONEY MARA and CATE BLANCHETT star in CAROL

ROONEY MARA and CATE BLANCHETT star in CAROL

Not once salacious, Todd HaynesCarol is a subtle and elegant telling of a romance between two women in the 1950s. Cate Blanchett is the title character and Rooney Mara is the young woman smitten by her. Their affair is brief but not without it’s repercussions.

Todd Haynes knows a little something about 1950s style from Far From Heaven and the mini-series, Mildred Pierce. He captures this era with incredible detail in everything from the costumes to set design to the color coming across on screen. Blanchett’s outfits are absolutely stunning and they convey the level of sophistication of her character.

As for cinematography, all I can say is, WOW. There are so many allusions to hiding and the Liz pointed out the use of windows is especially worth noting. It’s almost as if the film was shot for black and white, but it’s in color. The framing of each scene is focused, yet reveals so much of the story.

Now for the story. While I did appreciate the style, the story was really flat and underwhelming. There’s barely any idea of the affair being forbidden and no one seems to pretend it’s not what it clearly is. Perhaps it’s just hard to think of an affair between two women as an outlandish idea anymore. On one side, I really appreciated this about it, but on another, it really loses something by not illustrating how much of a big deal it was.

Blanchett melts into Carol, but I had a hard time with Rooney as the love interest. That deer-in-headlights look only goes so far. Kyle Chandler was impressive as Carol’s husband evoking a desperation that’s completely transparent.

It may not be the Oscar contender for Best Picture, but certainly could get a nomination for Costume Design. Standby tickets available for tonight’s screening at Lincoln Center.