As you read this blog, you’ll probably notice that I love making lists, especially lists about films. In fact, sometimes I get so carried away with them that I enjoy making the lists more than I enjoy watching the actual films! If you have any suggestions for top 5 or top 10 or top 100 or top 1,000,000 lists, feel free to comment and recommend some topics!
A “Blindspot” in the film world is a film that you’re ashamed of never having seen, every film enthusiast has these, no matter how big or small they may be. It’s nearly impossible to see every single well-regarded film from every single director or actor or movement in film or genre. Since I’ve been going through a bit of a 2000’s phase lately, these are my top 10 blindspots of the 2000’s (2000-2009):
Director: Alfonso Cuaron
Starring: Maribel Verdu, Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna
Runtime: 106 minutes
Rating: 91% Fresh
Why is it a blindspot?: This Academy Award nominee for Best Original Screenplay welcomed a new name in director Alfonso Cuaron, who would later go on to direct Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Children of Men, and the upcoming Gravity. It is almost universally beloved, with many people calling it the greatest (and sexiest) road trip film of all-time.
Director: Steve McQueen
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Brian Milligan, Liam McMahon
Runtime: 96 minutes
Rating: 90% Fresh
Why is it a blindspot?: Praised by critics for being its gritty portrayal prison conditions, as well as being one of the most moving and claustrophobic films of that year. Not only did it mark the directorial debut of British director Steve McQueen, but also introduced Michael Fassbender to a wide audience. I think the reason I haven’t yet seen it is because McQueen’s 2011 follow-up Shame was so emotionally draining that I’m afraid of going through that again with this film.
Director: Lars von Trier
Starring: Bjork, Catherine Deneuve, David Morse, Peter Stormare
Runtime: 140 minutes
Rating: 68% Fresh
Why is it a blindspot?: Bjork’s performance in von Trier’s Dancer in the Dark is praised as being one of the greatest performances of the year, winning the Cannes award for Best Actress, and being robbed of any nomination at all by the Academy. von Trier’s film is said to pack a gut-punch even harder than Requiem for a Dream, which like Hunger, is probably one of the main reasons I haven’t braved this film yet. Lars von Trier’s Breaking the Waves was an incredible viewing experience, and I can’t wait to see this and compare the two films.
Director: James McTeigue
Starring: Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea
Runtime: 132 minutes
Rating: 73% Fresh
Why is it a blindspot?: V for Vendetta seems to be a very divisive film among movie-goers, but one thing is for certain here: Those who love it /really/ love it. It’s one of the internets favorite films of the 2000’s, and the reaction you get from telling somebody that you haven’t yet seen it is like telling somebody that you can’t stand looking at kittens. V for Vendetta is definitely more of a hit with audiences than critics, but that certainly isn’t the reason I haven’t seen it yet. I think that at the moment I’m more interested in reading the graphic novel beforehand.
Director: Ang Lee
Starring: Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Ziyi Zhang
Runtime: 120 minutes
Rating: 97% Fresh
Why is it a blindspot?: Ang Lee’s masterfully directed kung-fu epic garnered /ten/ Academy Awards nominations, including ones for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Writing. It won four of those ten awards, and was almost universally acclaimed among audiences and critics, specifically Ang Lee’s direction and the performance of Michelle Yeoh. This is one I’ve been meaning to catch up with for years now.
Director: Rian Johnson
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Nora Zehetner, Lukas Haas, Noah Fleiss
Runtime: 110 minutes
Rating: 80% Fresh
Why is it a blindspot?: Rian Johnson’s feature-length debut was celebrated by critics for being a great send-up of the film noir genre, and a perfectly executed high school film. Johnson would go on to direct The Brothers Bloom, which had its moments, and 2012’s acclaimed sci-fi film Looper.
Director: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano
Runtime: 113 minutes
Rating: 92% Fresh
Why is it a blindspot?: Christopher Nolan’s sophomore effort used incredibly original story-telling and editing methods, again playing with the tropes and themes of a film noir. It was nominated for Best Writing and Best Editing at the Academy Awards, and is beloved by any Nolan fan, often regarded as his best film to date. I think my lukewarm reaction to Nolan’s Inception (despite loving his previous films) kind of turned me off from Memento for a little while.
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Starring: Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz
Runtime: 122 minutes
Rating: 90% Fresh
Why is it a blindspot?: Amelie is perhaps the most well-known film of Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s (Delicatessen, City of Lost Children) career, featuring a celebrated performance by Audrey Tautou, and expert direction by Jeunet. It’s celebrated for being a charming, original, and just generally feel-good film, and was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Writing, Best Foreign Film, and Best Cinematography. I’ve seen part of this, but lost interest mid-way through for reasons that had nothing to do with the actual film.
Director: David Lynch
Starring: Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Ann Miller
Runtime: 147 minutes
Rating: 81% Fresh
Why is it a blindspot?: David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive is perhaps his most loved and most successful film to date, being nominated for Best Director at the Oscars, and winning the same prize at the Cannes film festival. Naomi Watts’ performance is said to be incredible, and the film a very atmospheric and confusing ride. It placed rather high on the recent Sight & Sound list, being one of the only inclusions from the past decade to make the list. That alone makes it a must-see film.
1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Director: Michel Gondry
Starring: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Elijah Wood, Mark Ruffalo, David Cross, Kirsten Dunst
Runtime: 108 minutes
Rating: 93% Fresh
Why is it a blindspot?: Yeah, I really have no excuse for never having seen this film. It’s one that has always eluded me for one reason or another. Eternal Sunshine won Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards for Charlie Kaufman‘s incredible script, and Kate Winslet was nominated for Best Actress for the film! On most lists I’ve seen around the internet, Eternal Sunshine is more often than not the #1 film of the list. Luckily, I recently picked it up on blu-ray and plan on watching it very soon!