The Best Film of the Decade: The Result
Finally we are here, The Best Film of the Decade has been decided upon by you, the reader. I can fairly say I have not voted once in this entire feature run.
Since before Xmas I've been putting features on-line listing what I considered to be the Best Films of each year and then allowing you to vote on your favourites. Of course if your favourite wasn't there you were allowed to add it in and vote for it, and all votes were counted.
The top two, or more if there were ties, from each year were taken together for the final vote, and now that has happened we're faced with the results of The Best Film of the Decade, and I am surprised.
As a reminder, here are the individual voting years, and a summary of each year's results for the decade's voting:
Before I run down the top ten, let me list the ones that didn't make it that far, but were deemed good enough by you to be included in the final vote for Best of the Decade:
Gangs of New York
Pan's Labyrinth (El laberinto del fauno)
Requiem for a Dream
The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
The Dark Knight
Let The Right One In
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
The White Ribbon
I am surprised that Gangs of New York, Requiem for a Dream and The Dark Knight (Filmstalker review) didn't make it higher up that list. I'm also surprised that Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Filmstalker review) and Bubba Ho-Tep (Filmstalker review) made it that far, but happily surprised, it shows that the readership of Filmstalker is an intelligent bunch.
Surprisingly though, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers got no votes at all, whereas the two other films in the series shared a high voting record between them.
Let's look at that Top Ten in reverse order:
Tenth: Votes: 4%
28 Days Later...
Now that surprised me, in the top ten of the decade? Compared to some of those titles above that didn't make it all the way here? I think it's rather crazy. It's a good film, but one of the top ten of the decade? Absolutely no way.
Ninth: IMDB #59: Votes: 4%
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
This is a superb film, a wonderful story and Jim Carrey's performance is perhaps the best of his career. Absorbing and emotional, it's hard not to love this film, the characters and their journey. A great choice and well deserving of being on the top ten.
Eighth: Votes: 6%
Another well deserving film, and actually I might as well say that from now on for the rest of this list, they are all deserving of being here and they really do stand out as not being Hollywood, something that reflects the quality of audience of Filmstalker. Here's an unlikely film for the top ten, Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain takes two great performances from Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, roles and a story that would seem to be far from Hollywood material, or even a mainstream audience winner. Yet the film does just that, breaking over prejudices and expectations and delivering something special.
Seventh: IMDB #16: Votes: 8%
Cidade de Deus (City of God)
This remains one of Fernando Meirelles's best films, despite The Constant Gardener (Filmstalker review) and Blindness, a film that spawned a television series and a sequel in it's home country. It exposes the harsh realities of living in Rio and the choices available for kids, as well as the violence and the gangs in the city. An exceptional film that is number sixteen on the top two hundred and fifty on IMDB.
Sixth: IMDB #40 (and rising): Votes: 8%
Avatar (Filmstalker review)
Considering the company around it and the backlash that the film has been receiving on-line, I'm a little surprised that it's managed to get so high up the list. However at the same time I'm not surprised, and it should be here if not higher. Sure, one aspect of the film isolated from the rest and dissected and analysed may be similar to other stories, but do the same to ninety percent of Hollywood films and you'll see the same thing. Back to Avatar though, it's ground breaking, of that there's no doubt. It's a spectacular film that looks set to break more yet records and pick up more awards.
Fifth: IMDB #231: Votes: 8%
Shaun of the Dead
I have to admit that on repeat viewings I don't think the film has held up as well as when I first watched it. That said, I'm sure that this film is going to be looked back on in years and years to come as a classic of British comedy and indeed a redefining moment in the zombie genre, don't you think?
Fourth: IMDB #112: Votes: 9%
No Country for Old Men (Filmstalker review)
This one's hard for me, I know that a lot of people love the film and think it's highly deserving of being right up here, and yet I struggle with the film because it builds to a moment where the two main characters are set to meet and it doesn't show it, skipping onto the aftermath which we don't even get to see either. In any other film people would be up in arms, but here it's deemed as some arty message. For me, it's robbing the audience of a great scene that is needed to round off the characters. After this moment it all goes a little strange for me. Still, for the rest of the film I can see why this would be in the top ten.
Third: Votes: IMDB #11: 9%
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Second: Votes: IMDB #19: 11%
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Now there's been some discussion about how the Lord of the Rings films shouldn't have been voted on separately, but there were two things to consider, they were separate films, and they were released on separate years. Regardless of that, Two Towers gained no votes, and miraculously if you add together the votes of Return of the King and Fellowship of the Ring together and you get exactly the number of votes for first place, really, I'm not kidding. I am quite surprised that Return of the King received less votes than Fellowship of the Ring, but then I guess Fellowship is where the whole thing began and blew people away.
There Will Be Blood
The winner of The Best Film of the Decade is Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood starring Daniel Day-Lewis. That seems to go against what the IMDB Top 250 would say since the film is down in one hundred and twenty-ninth place. However you voted this film the clear winner of 2007 and then it beat the rest of the competition to become the Best Film of the Decade.
Is that the film you expected to make it to the top spot? Are there any in that list that shouldn't be there or ones that you voted for and are upset didn't make it? For those of you who voted for There Will Be Blood, tell us why you voted for it and why it deserves to be the Film of the Decade.