Monday, September 01, 2008

Great Performances: 2000

This spring, I hit upon the idea of spotlighting on this blog some of my favorite performances from the past decade. Soon thereafter I made up a handful of rules- only one performance per film, only one film per actor, ten performances per year, etc.- and set down to work.

However, time constraints have prevented me from penning commentary to go along with the performances, so I've decided to simply post the lists in the hope that you will begin discussion/debate of the inclusions and exclusions. I'll be posting one of these every day until we reach 2007, and encourage each of you to chime in with opinions.

So we begin with 2000:

Gillian Anderson, The House of Mirth

Javier Bardem, Before Night Falls

Björk, Dancer in the Dark

Ellen Burstyn, Requiem for a Dream

Billy Crudup, Jesus' Son

Tom Hanks, Cast Away

Denis Lavant, Beau Travail

Laura Linney, You Can Count on Me

Issey Ogata, Yi Yi

Jeffrey Wright, Shaft


Jason_alley2 said...

I've yet to see "The House Of Mirth", "Beau Travail" and "Yi Yi" (I know, I know), but I certainly have no objection to the others.

My favorite would have to be Ellen Burstyn. "Requiem for a Dream" has become one of my favorite films of all time over the last several years and she's the best thing about it (not to take ANYTHING away from Aronofky, Libatique, or the rest of the cast).

I'm particularly glad to see Crudup getting some love for "Jesus' Son", a film that about six people seem to remember but I love. Ditto Jeffrey Wright for "Shaft" - even back then I knew the interesting relationship between the villains played by Wright and Christian Bale was 10x better than anything going on with the good guys (Samuel L. Jackson was fairly boring as Shaft, I thought).

The one I'm least passionate about would have to be Bardem, but that's probably just because I've only seen that film once a long time ago and though I liked it, it never stuck with me the way Schnabel "Basquiat" did.

Michael said...

Great list, my friend. I'd add (though this an international release) both Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung in "In the Mood for Love," probably the best on-screen couple this decade. I also have a soft spot for Mark Ruffalo's performance in "You Can Count On Me."

- Tosh

Jeff McMahon said...

Thumbs up to Burstyn, Crudup, Hanks, Lavant, and Ruffalo.

Thumbs way down to Bjork, whose performance was like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. I was actively happy and relieved when she met her final fate at the end of that movie.

I'd replace her with - no joke - Julia Roberts in the best performance of her career, Erin Brockovich; or Joan Allen from The Contender, an otherwise mediocre movie.