It's finally come to the end of the first decade of the 21st century and every film writer out there has been putting together their "best of" lists to celebrate/commemorate the last 10 years. So I thought I'd jump in with my own list, one which I've tried to make with equal weight given to both the technical best films and my personal favourites.
We're finally down to the last five of my list, counting down to my number one film. So without further ado, here's the fifth and final part of my list of the top 25 movies of the decade, 2000-2009. Any feedback and opinions are very much welcome. Enjoy.
5. Donnie Darko
Probably THE cult film of the 2000s, Richard Kelly's bewildering and brilliant Donnie Darko is strange and other-worldly, but almost always accessible to a more mainstream audience (hence its popularity beyond most cult films), something which is belied by just how downright confusing it is (I've seen it countless times and I still haven't fully got a grasp of it). The latter is because of the emotional hook it has, which is also the reason why Kelly's follow-up film, Southland Tales, and even his most accessible film to date, The Box, beyond that haven't connected with audiences in the same way.
It's a film that perhaps a younger audience (under 30) will connect with simply because of the issues it deals with, from teenage angst and loneliness, to the meaning of life from the perspective of someone younger, all dealt with while utilizing visual trickery (the gel-like tubes that come out of the characters' chests, for instance) and communicated with smart and witty dialogue that rings true.
It's perhaps a fluke on the part of Kelly that he was able to bring so many different things together in such a weird and wonderful package as this. But that doesn't really matter when you're looking at the film in its own context and not comparing it to the director's subsequent work. It's a film I personally connected to on quite a deep level at a fairly young age and so for that I will always hold a special place for it in my cinematic tastes. But objectively I still think it borders on a genius piece of work for the 21st century because of the kinds of ideas is brings up and precisely how it deals with them within the framework of a single narrative.