I have a couple of things planned for the near future (including an legitimately epic giveaway that was supposed to happen 8 months ago *laughing crying face*), but for my immediate return, I thought I'd make a list. I LOVE LISTS.
I'm not quite prepared to deliver my fifteen faves of 2015 list yet, 'cause there are just a couple of titles I still need to see before I finalize. However, instead, I am going to talk about my fifteen faves of the first fifteen years of the 21st century. (I almost just wrote 22nd century, because I legit don't ever know what year it is. True story: on NYE, I turned to a friend and said, "How can it be 2006?!" I was 100% sober.)
I know. I know. It's getting a little modern around here.
But, what can I say. We're fifteen years into 2000. In five years, things from 2000 can be officially classified as vintage. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN. I started the year 2000 as a bright, happy, unusually smart five-year-old. I start 2016 as a broke[en], persevering, only slightly above average in a couple areas (but hopelessly average in most/completely useless in some areas) twenty-one-year-old. Man.
Anyway. On that cheery note, HAPPY NEW YEAR!
For this list, I will be detailing my favorite film of every year (+ runner-up if applicable). Do note that this is not a greatest list, except perhaps by the criteria Roger Ebert used where great = unable to bear the thought of never seeing again.
Ready? Steady? Goooooooo!
2000: In The Mood For Love dir. Wong Kar-wai
Breathlessly lovely. The noodle-buying song [as I manglishly refer to it] is utterly thrilling, and I listen to it often.
EDIT FROM THE FUTURE AFTER I HAVE FINISHED WRITING THIS POST: Remember that I chose a Wong Kar-wai first, cause it's about to get pretty critically dire for like ten years. Okay, bye! ENJOY THE PRESENT! THE FUTURE IS A NIGHTMARE.
Runner-up: The Emperor's New Groove dir. Mark Dindal
HE'S HUMMING HIS OWN THEME SONG!
2001: The Princess Diaries dir. Garry Marshall
I was seven, guys. It was also the first film I saw in theatres. ALSO, THIS MOVIE IS THE GREATEST. CAN WE TALK ABOUT THAT FOR A LITTLE BIT. Because it's a cross between a waltz and a tango. It's a wango. Also, hair. Voltaire. I would like to talk about the French revolution.
Runner-up: Moulin Rouge! dir. Baz Luhrmann
I don't know. Ewan McGregor started wailing/cry-singing COME WHAT MAAAAY and I didn't stop to think about it.
P.S. Just so you can fully hate all of my opinions, I want you to know that my second runner-up is Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Objectively a bad movie, yes.
2002: Ice Age dir. Chris Wedge and Carlos Saldanha
One of the greatest animated films ever made. This thing gets me. I'm also partial, because I recently won a game of Heads-Up by quoting "The lassssssst melon" to successfully get someone to guess dodo bird. Great times.
Runner-up: Main in Manhattan dir. Wayne Wang
I should be embarrassed, but I'm not, because I love Ralph Fiennes and this is just past peak Fiennes and if loving Ralph Fiennes is wrong THEN I DON'T WANT TO LIVE ANYMORE.
Also, completely random aside. I just noticed that Tuck Everlasting was released this year, which is insane. I remember watching almost all of it at my neighbor's house when it first came out on DVD, but I had to go home before it was finished and I never saw the end, but it deeply unsettled me and I still have distinct memories of distinct images. But, I've never, ever watched it again or seen the ending.
2003: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl dir. Gore Verbinski
I will defend this movie to anyone. Although it may have birthed an unholy monster (the fourth film is not as bad as the two first sequels), this first film is an utter delight. I didn't see this in theaters, but I did get to see it on my tenth birthday (2004). I remember the entire thing vividly because my best friend came over for a sleepover, but the the power went out. We ate spaghetti by candlelight and then my dad hooked up the generator so that I could watch this movie. Aside from personal memories, this movie is just gosh darned delightful.
Runner-up: X-Men 2 dir. Bryan Singer
As a rule, I'm not a big fan of superhero films--but I put mutants as an exception to that rule. This isn't my absolute favorite X-Men film (that would be 2014's Days of Future Past), but it is brilliant. Alan Cumming should just be in every movie ever. He is inwincible!
2nd Runner-up: Shattered Glass dir. Billy Ray
This movie is just awesome. I love the cast. I love the shifting protagonist POV. I love everything.
Important side-note: another Lara Croft movie was released this year and it is almost as excellent as the first. Its only downfall is costarring Gerard Butler instead of Daniel Craig. That's it.
2004: National Treasure dir. Jon Turteltaub
When I thought of the idea to make this list, I was thinking that I was gonna have some great, unusual choices on here. Nope. It's all little Millie loving life. I can't lie to myself. I WAS TEN.
Runner-up: Ella Enchanted dir. Tommy O'Haver
Still hilarious. Also, my first DVD ever (well, technically, I got it for Christmas the same day that I also received a Bob Hope/Bing Crosby "Road to" collection). Also, I was a Hugh Dancy fan a million years before it was cool.
2005: Batman Begins dir. Christopher Nolan
Okay. I also make a superhero exception for this movie. I've loved this movie since it first came out, but I've never gotten around to watching/really cared to watch the rest of the trilogy. I'm the worst. Also, this movie has Liam Neeson AND Ken Watanabe.
Runner-up: The Constant Gardener dir. Fernando Meirelles
ARGGHHH. My feelings about this film are quite complicated. As a movie, I love it. Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz are both stunningly perfect in it. However, this film is also horrifically guilty of using Africa and African people as simply a backdrop for its white, Western protagonists. I love this movie and hate it at the same time.
2006: Casino Royale dir. Martin Cambell
My favorite Bond film of all time. It's a nearly perfect film (in Millie-terms). It was strong on its own, but somehow becomes even stronger when viewed with the next three films in mind. VESPER LYND.
Runner-up: Penelope dir. Mark Palansky
Imaginative and whimsical with offbeat humor and a dark streak running through it. Plus, an insanely talented cast.
2nd Runner-up: The Fall dir. Tarsem
This is film.
2007: Enchanted dir. Kevin Lima
Alright. This list is actually out of control, but Amy Adams is the queen of everything, and I don't care.
Runner-up: Eagle vs. Shark dir. Taika Waititi
I love these crazy New Zealanders. Waititi, in particular, is a formidable talent.
2008: Wall-E dir. Andrew Stanton
WALL-E IS THE FIRST MOVIE I SAW MORE THAN ONCE IN THEATERS. It is devastating and hopeful. That poster tag-line already makes me want to cry. The best onscreen robot since since Hewey, Dewey, and Louie!
Runner-up: Taken dir. Pierre Morel
Ridiculous, yes. Espousing a system of justice that relies on vigilante justice, yes. Reactionary views, yes. Liam Neeson killing everyone, YES.
2nd Runner-up: In Bruges dir. Martin McDonagh
Horrifying and so very funny. Ralph Fiennes is simply delightful.
2009: Moon dir. Duncan Jones
Utterly glorious. This movie is small, yet ambitious. Sam Rockwell is freakishly extraordinary as he carries basically the entire film (with an assist from a Kevin Spacey voiced computer).
Runner-up: Fantastic Mr. Fox dir. Wes Anderson
My absolute favorite Anderson film. I laugh every time. Of course, stop-motion animation was the perfect medium for Anderson's obsessive art detail.
2nd Runner-up: The Young Victoria dir. Jean-Marc Vallée
At one point, this was my ultimate comfort film. I would fall asleep to it every night. I still adore it. A stacked cast with particularly lovely performances from Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend.
2010: Beginners dir. Mike Mills
Can I cry about the loveliness?! *sigh* The most perfect cast in the whole world. Ewan + Melanie is perfection. Cosmo the dog kills. AND CHRISTOPHER STINKIN' PLUMMER EARNED THAT OSCAR.
Runner-up: The Trip dir. Michael Winterbottom
Hilarious, and oddly poignant. Also, nothing beats dueling Michael Caine impressions.
2011: The Artist dir Michel Hazanavicius
This movie was not too popular with the classic film community, but I adored it. Perhaps it did not fully mimic the style of the true silents, but it certainly captured the feelings that emanated from a classic Hollywood film; especially that glorious ending. Also, Jean DuJardin is simply the most classic Hollywood type star that exists today.
Runner-up: Hugo dir. Martin Scorsese
I got my license just days before seeing this, and I remember thinking a lot about "growing up" and such. And, then, this film perfectly captured the joy of film that perhaps is best captured by a child. LITTLE HUGO IS THE CUTEST KID EVER AND I STILL CAN'T HANDLE IT.
A million runner-ups: This was a great year for Millie movies. So many. A couple recs: The Adventures of Tintin, Haywire, and X-Men: First Class.
2012: Beasts of the Southern Wild dir. Benh Zeitlin
You might have noticed that I love low-budget, low-effects, but high-concept slightly sci-fiish films. Blame Rod Serling having too much influence on baby Millie. This one is a delight. Quvenzhane Wallis is an extraordinary talent.
Runner-up: Man on a Ledge dir. Asger Leth
The movie responsible for making me into that impossible paradox: A Sam Worthington fan. *shakes fist*
2nd Runner-up: Barbara dir. Christian Petzold
Nina Hoss for everything.
3rd Runner-up: The Sapphires dir. Wayne Blair
THIS IS THE ENTERTAINING EMOTIONAL MANIPULATION WITH SONGS AND AUSTRALIAN ACCENTS THAT I REQUIRE.
2013: Only Lovers Left Alive dir. Jim Jarmusch
It's pure languid style.
Runner-up: The Wolverine dir. James Mangold
Essentially low-key (aside from the unfortunate climax). A character study of one poor, broken mutant. Also, a Bechdel-test-passing comic book movie!
2nd Runner-up: Pacific Rim dir. Guillermo del Toro
IDRIS ELBA CANCELS THE APOCALYPSE.
2014: Vi är bäst! (We are the Best!) dir. Lukas Moodyson
One of the most perfect/accurate portrayals of female teenagerdom. Also, I need to join a Swedish punk band in the 1980s now.
Runner-up: Selma dir. Ava DeVernay
THIS is how you make a biopic. It neither stale, nor on the outside looking in on an untouchable historical figure. Instead, it's living and breathing and dynamic and worthwhile. David Oyelowo's performance is nothing less than brilliant. He manages to play both the captivating public figure and the human private figure of MLK in a fluid, natural, whole fashion.
Runners-up: 12 to be exact. I have them listed on my Facebook. I think I set out to post it here too, but got tired halfway through the list or something. (I am literally the worst blogger.)
2015: I'm actually gonna wait to post this year! Don't want to ruin the EXCITING surprises. (*tries not to laugh cry*) I'll link back here when I'm done though. (In approx. 3 years).
I'M ALIVE. I MADE IT. It was touch and go for a while. And. I've def been slowly working on this for three days, but here I am on the other side. Although, I still need to go back and add photos for ALL THE PICS. WHY DID I DO THIS.
P.S. I legitimately have an exciting giveaway that I will post about post-haste!