You have five more months to think about it, but ESPN’s Bill Simmons has already crowned the Movie of the Decade. In a recent podcast with the sports network’s Chris Connelly (scroll to 43:42 of the 7/15 episode), the two pop-culture vultures debated the “defining Great movie of the decade,” based on Simmons’ criteria: (1) Excellence when it came out; (2) Rewatchability; (3) Originality. Connelly proposed the corollary that the “defining” film must be loved, not simply admired. (Goodfellas and The Shawshank Redemption were deemed two exemplary examples from the 1990s).
Connelly chose the Coen’s O Brother, Where Art Thou, and Simmons nominated Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous before settling on The Dark Knight. All solid choices. In fact, I have to agree with Simmons about Christopher Nolan’s Gotham masterpiece. But I can’t stop at just one. Here are my fab-five from the “aughts” that entranced me in the theater, with the classic scene that continues to thrill, tickle or tear me up every time it appears on television.
5. The 40 Year-Old Virgin – Steve Carell’s field-trip to Planned Parenthood.
4. Almost Famous – Any scene with Philip Seymour Hoffman’s so-not-cool-he’s-cool Lester Bangs
3. Cast Away – Tom Hanks’ painful reunion with Helen Hunt.
2. Michael Clayton – The moment you learn why the GPS in George Clooney’s car isn’t working.
1. The Dark Knight – Heath Ledger’s police station interrogation with Gary Oldman and Christian Bale.
Your turn, PopWatchers: What’s your film of the decade and what favorite scene will interrupt whatever you’re doing and suck you in for the rest of the movie?