Best foreign film
“Amélie” (2001) and “Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006) — Tie
It’s a great, big beautiful world out there, and either one of these movies could top any best-of-the-decade list. “Amélie” is a romantic, life-affirming French film that feels timeless. Audrey Tautou stars as the most adorable heroine you’ve ever seen.
“Pan’s Labyrinth” is a fairy tale for adults. Both frightening and magical (and often both at the same time), Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy is unforgettable.
“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (2004)
“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” is a film of the highest order. It’s bolstered by Charlie Kaufman’s best screenplay — a winding, trippy dance that never steps wrong. Michel Gondry’s direction, especially when dealing with the special effects, is spot-on. Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey both turn in great performances.
But the film’s grandest accomplishment is its ability to tackle a broad topic — memories — in a way that feels personal to every audience member. Carrey’s Joel Barish decides to erase the memories of Clementine (Winslet) from his life, before realizing he’s made a mistake.
While watching Joel hunt through the recesses of his past for Clementine, the audience starts asking similar questions. Are some things so painful that you’d rather have them wiped from your memory? Those decisions that you didn’t make — are those decisions that you would have ever made, if given another chance?
We are who we are, and this movie is the same: Bittersweet, personal, heartfelt and unique.