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AP critic names 'Top 10' films for 2000

2000-12-24 13:44

New York - AP Entertainment writer Christy Lemire lists her her top ten movies for 2000:

  • 1. "Requiem for a Dream" - Darren Aronofsky's stylish tale of four Coney Island drug addicts is not for the faint of heart, but it's easily the most compelling and visually stunning film of the year. The final minutes are a devastating, seamless montage of sight and sound. Ellen Burstyn gives the best performance of her career, and Jared Leto and Jennifer Connelly are heartbreaking as desperate junkies in love.

  • 2. "Shadow of the Vampire" - If you love movies and the art of moviemaking, you will love this fictionalised depiction of what happened behind the scenes of the 1922 German horror classic "Nosferatu." Director E. Elias Merhige creates a textured sense of place, punctuated by bravura turns from John Malkovich and William Dafoe. The script is intelligent and funny, scary and dramatic.

  • 3. "The Virgin Suicides" - In her directorial debut, Sofia Coppola shows a keen sense of detail and mood in this wistful 1970s story of a family that slowly deteriorates after the youngest of five daughters commits suicide. Kirsten Dunst stands outs smartly, as always, and Kathleen Turner and James Woods strike the right melancholy tone. The screenplay, adapted closely from Jeffrey Eugenides' novel, accurately conveys the sadness of teen-age girls.

  • 4. "The Girl on the Bridge" - Gorgeously shot in black and white, this surreal French film about a despondent waif and a knife thrower mesmerises. Vanessa Paradis and Daniel Auteuil smolder and sizzle as a couple with a psychic connection. Patrice Leconte borrows heavily from legendary Italian director Federico Fellini, but it works.

  • 5. "Croupier" - Slick and sharp, this retro noir film follows a writer who takes a job at a casino and falls into a dangerous scheme. Clive Owen is so suave, so sexy, he could be a seedy version of James Bond. The film is full of intrigue, suspense and surprises, worth seeking out. Unfortunately, it's ineligible for Oscar consideration because it was broadcast twice in international TV markets.

  • 6. "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" - A chick flick that kicks butt, Ang Lee's combination of a love story and a traditional Hong Kong martial arts film is consistently inventive. The fight scenes, choreographed by Yuen Wo-Ping ("The Matrix"), are more like an exquisite ballet. The visual imagery is lush and romantic. But the film belongs to the women - Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi.

  • 7. "Chicken Run" - Smart and fun from start to finish, the film has been described as "The Great Escape" with feathers; it's so much more. Peter Lord and Nick Park, creators of the British "Wallace & Gromit" shorts, make the intricate, highly detailed clay animation look easy. Voice-overs from Mel Gibson and Julia Sawalha are energetic and inspired. Everyone can enjoy this film, no matter how old they are.

  • 8. "Almost Famous" - Beautifully developed characters, thoughtful dialogue and a great '70s soundtrack highlight Cameron Crowe's semi-autobiographical tale of a teen-age Rolling Stone rock critic. Kate Hudson, Billy Crudup and Patrick Fugit give star-making performances. Everything about this film is deliciously alive and believable.

  • 9. "Tigerland" - It's hard to believe Joel Schumacher, a bastion of 1980s Big Hollywood, directed this understated, realistic film about the Vietnam War. With its handheld camerawork, natural lighting and lack of sound effects, it's more like a gritty documentary. Colin Farrell, a magnetic Irish stage actor, gives a breakout performance as a rebellious Army private.

  • 10. "Wonder Boys" - Michael Douglas shines in the unlikely role of an English professor and novelist who's stuck, personally and professionally. The acting is categorically strong from a talented ensemble cast, especially Robert Downey Jr. The dialogue is insightful, the characters feel achingly real, and although the story takes place over a wild weekend, the situations never seem forced. - Sapa-AP