List Madness!

February 2, 2009

Over at the LA Times, Scott Feinberg has a list of the 25 best movies of the last ten years not to get love from the Academy. These are movies that went completely unnominated, so they may be a bit low on your Netflix queue. Here’s his top 10:

  1. “Dogville” (2003, d. Lars von Trier)
  2. “Synecdoche, New York” (2008, d. Charlie Kaufman)
  3. “Thank You for Smoking” (2006, d. Jason Reitman)
  4. “The Virgin Suicides” (1999, d. Sofia Coppola)
  5. “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” (2007, d. Sidney Lumet)
  6. “The Company” (2003, d. Robert Altman)
  7. “The Upside of Anger” (2005, d. Mike Binder)
  8. “Three Kings” (1999, d. David O. Russell)
  9. “Gran Torino” (2008, d. Clint Eastwood)
  10. “The Station Agent” (2003, d. Tom McCarthy)

Use the link above to see the rest of the list.

I think The Station Agent and Three Kings are the strongest of his top 10. #14, Shattered Glass, and #21, Legally Blonde. are the other two films I’ll steal for my list. Three Kings is really an excellent movie, whose director is one of the most talented directors not working today (our thoughts on his breakout, “Spanking the Monkey”); I Heart Huckabees could probably be on this list too.

Feinberg states his omissions straight away:

Something tells me we’ll see lots of cult-faves like “4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days,” “Inside Man,” “Zodiac,”

Yep. All three are excellent films, especially 4 Months which is one of the most devastating movies I’ve ever seen. I’m tempted to say that it shouldn’t count since it’s a foreign movie and it’s so much harder for foreign movies to be nominated, but it was truly one of the best movies of the last decade, and as the Palm D’Or winner, was significantly high-profile. Similarly, Michael Haneke’s The Piano Teacher belongs as the winner of the Grand Prix du Festival and a BAFTA best film not in English nominee. Besides, it’s terrific.

Other movies I’d add: Ghost Dog: The way of the Samurai and The Limey.

So, the Yesterday’s Salad list of the Ten Best Movies of the Last 10 Years not nominated for anything:
1. 4 Months, 3 weeks, 2 Days

2. The Piano Teacher

3. Three Kings

4. Zodiac

5. The Station Agent

6. Ghost Dog

7. The Limey

8. Shattered Glass

9. Legally Blonde

10. Inside Man

“Dancer in the Dark” really needs to be on this list. It was nominated for “best song” but that should hardly count since it reinforces the fact that it wasn’t nominated for anything else. If we decide to count it, Dancer slides in at  number 8 and everything else slides down one.

I should say, once you exclude (most) foreign movies from consideration, it’s actually hard to come up with a long list of excellent movies that fail to be nominated. Most of the films on the list are terribly flawed. But for all the Academy’s stupidity, they do manage to find a way to nominate most above average to excellent films.