10 films that turn 10 this year
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Every year, two films battle it out for critical supremacy, and 2007 saw Atonement battle No Country for Old Men for a series of awards. So, in true critic’s style, I gave only one a place here and - for me - it has to be Atonement. Starring James McAvoy and Keira Knightley, the film employs a clever concept as it documents the repercussions of a crime over six-decades allowing for a whole range of responses and interesting plot developments over the two-hours. The script-writing is what made this film such a success, though the acting performances are very impressive. Let alone the film of 2007, many had this on their top list for the film of the decade come 2010.
2) Elizabeth: The Golden Age
As historical movies go, this is by far one of the best. Cate Blanchett's enigmatic portrayal of Elizabeth I is rousing and passionate, and works perfectly against Geoffrey Rush as spy-master Francis Walsingham. As well as presenting a period of history with great vigour (and without the ridiculous creative license often taken), Elizabeth: The Golden Age manages to evoke a sense of English pride as it depicts the defeating of the Spanish Armada. It may have been near-500 years ago, but we love to be proud of our country. Somehow I can't see a successful film version of Theresa May in another 500 years time...
3) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Controversial, but I thought this was the best film of the whole franchise. Dolores Umbridge, played by Imelda Staunton, made the film for me ("I'm sorry/ I must not tell lies"). I loved the fighting scenes at the end, I cried at Sirius' death, and I laughed at the comical moments cleverly inserted in to the film. The whole thing is such a rollercoaster.
4) Hot Fuzz
The name is Skinner. Simon Skinner. And there is a loose swan. Oh yes, it’s Hot Fuzz. Arriving at the top English village of the year, DI Nicholas Angel is set for a quiet life. But quickly things escalate, and three murders and several disappearances later, it turns out that the village is dark. The whole film is wacky, unbelievable, funny, cleverly written, well-acted and the kind of thing that you re-watch every year. It’s made its name as one of the films that encapsulates our generation as children. (P.S. It's also on Netflix, if you fancy a nostalgia trip!)
5) Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End
So - for me - this was THE film of 2017, and perhaps perfectly timed to be reminisced with Salazar's Revenge having just been released. The showdown between Jack Sparrow and Davy Jones is the stuff cinematic dreams are made of, and Johnny Depp's portrayal as the quirky Sparrow captured the hearts of millions of fans. And there is a cute monkey. I mean, what more could you want?
6) Shrek the Third
Who doesn't love Shrek? To be fair, my favourite was always Donkey but there is no need to split hairs! For me, the third film was the best in the franchise. Attempting to find an heir to the kingdom of Far, Far Away, the troops must hunt for Arthur while avoiding the evil Prince Charming who aims to steal the throne. What makes this film is its ingenious sense of fun and its multi-talented vocal cast including Eddie Murphy, Julie Andrews, Mike Myers and Justin Timberlake. The only shame was that Jennifer Saunders left after the second film!
7) St Trinian's
People might challenge this one, but the legacy it has made for itself means it deserves its place on this list. Apart from the infamously bad Girls Aloud song that we can forget about, the film encapsulates the fun of high school and although it can become cheesy at points, it encapsulates the films of my childhood. This film is basically 11-year old me to a tee.
8) Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
I didn't watch this when I was 11, but it now deserves its place on this list. Though opening to mixed reactions, Johnny Depp's portrayal of the demon barber was full of tension and a quirky villainous side. Depp and Helena Bonham Carter's relationship here is perfect and they fully deserved the Golden Globe Award that they picked up for their performance on this film. It also has a strong musical score, with cleverly comprised lyrics and a very skilled team of costume and set designers to give the film the perfect eerie-Victorian feel.
9) The Simpsons Movie
Do I need to say any more? This was everyone's favourite film. The Simpsons trapped under a dome fighting for their lives. It was everything we all had ever dreamed off. Now I wonder where the idea for America's 'The Dome' came from...
10) There Will Be Blood
Daniel Day Lewis' critically acclaimed performance as Daniel Plainview feels too young to be turning 10 but, alas, it is. Based on Southern California's Oil Boom in the 1890s, the film poignantly explores the limitations and attractions of wealth, and its potentially poisonous and dark nature. It does a fantastic job of presenting the history behind the curtain and, although it enlists a fair deal of creative license, it remains believable and representative throughout. Its Guild Award was much deserved!