The ‘Best Pictures’ of the Noughties

With 2010’s Oscar nominees due to be announced tomorrow sometime (I believe it’s “OMG why so early?!” if you’re in the States and “during the day” in Blighty’s time zone, but that’s all I know), I thought I’d have a look back at how I’ve done seeing the Best Picture nominees from the noughties. Feel free to play along. (Not that I’m actually going to list them.)

Such a task therefore includes 2000’s nominations… all of which are, of course, technically from the last decade… but tish, that’s enough of technicalities! This is end-of-the-decade-lists year, goddamit, and I will have my Oscar Best Pictures List! So ner.

Things don’t get off to an auspicious start unfortunately: despite having a whole 10 years to catch them, I’ve still only seen three of 2000’s nominations — and one of those was only a bit over a year ago. Maybe I will start counting from 2001’s lot after all…

Except that, whatever tomorrow’s nods bring, I’m not likely to have seen many of them, even with that potentially awkward increase to 10 nominees (10×5 is such a neater equation than 9×5+1×10, somehow. Anyway…) Taking RopeofSilicon’s prediction list as an indicator because, well, it’s the only one I’ve stumbled across, I’ve seen a measly two of the top ten… and it only goes up to three if you broaden it to his top 21. Whatever comes about tomorrow, I won’t’ve seen many. I need to get to the cinema more.

So back to the ‘real’ noughties, then. (Still with me? Oh, someone is! I’ll try to speed this up anyway…)

I’ve seen all the films from the 2001, 2006 and 2007 awards. I even saw four of 2006’s in the cinema (gasp!) When I finally get round to watching my DVD of Juno, 2008 will join that list (if anyone happens to be wondering why reviews of There Will Be Blood and No Country For Old Men are now over a year late… well, that’s why).

There are, in total, 14 nominees I’ve not seen — including two winners. Neither A Beautiful Mind nor Million Dollar Baby have inspired me enough to go out of my way to see them, particularly as the former especially seems to get lumped in with the likes of Shakespeare in Love in the annals of less-than-deserving winners. Hey, Eastwood’s effort is on TV this week — twice on the same night, even — so maybe I’ll finally sit down with it.

The full 14 I’ve not seen are:

2000: The Cider House Rules, The Insider. 2002: A Beautiful Mind, In the Bedroom. 2003: The Hours, The Pianist. 2004: Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Seabiscuit. 2005: Million Dollar Baby. 2008: Juno. 2009: Frost/Nixon, Milk, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Reader.

And I have three of them on DVD too…

There we have it, anyway. As a ‘Film Fan’ it feels somehow wrong not to have seen all of the films considered to be The Very Best Of That Year at the highest-profile, most-prestigious (theoretically) film awards do. But — as that “(theoretically)” shows and as we all really know — the Oscars are far from the be-all-and-end-all of what are genuinely the best films of any given year (though I’m sure there must be some where they actually got it right). Besides, it’s all a matter of opinion anyway, making any such list wholly arbitrary.

Still, I do like a good list, and this one has 14 more things to tick off it. Maybe I’ll have got there by 2020…


2015 update:

Halfway to 2020, and how have I got on? Well, I’ve since seen five of the 14. That’s not that good, is it? Anyway, here are my reviews of those five:

  • A Beautiful Mind
  • Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
  • Million Dollar Baby
  • Juno
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
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