Retrospective — 2002

1- SIGNS 94
It doesn’t get more riveting and emotionally affecting than this superbly crafted thriller.

2- THE TWO TOWERS 94
If there’s ever been a more action-packed and exhilarating epic that still managed to stay close to its characters, I’ve yet to see it.

3- PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE 94
Bursting with light, sound and color, utterly unpredictable, heartfelt and beautiful.

4- Oui, mais… 93
Émilie Dequenne is absolutely wonderful as a young woman coming into her own in this consistently witty and insightful comedy.

5- Minority Report 93
and
6- Catch Me If You Can 91
Between the brilliant sci-fi and relentless invention of “Minority Report” and the irresistible wit and charisma of Leonardo Dicaprio in “Catch Me If You Can”, Steven Spielberg movies haven’t been this fun since the early ‘80s.

7- Y Tu Mama Tambien 91
The joy of life, friendship and sex, all in a movie both irreverent and inspiring.

8- Moonlight Mile 90
Characters we care about, a difficult but truthful message and assured direction. Not a false note.

9- Standing in the Shadows of Motown 90
A wildly fun, surprisingly affecting documentary about the biggest hit-making band in pop music history.

10- Irréversible 90
Nearly unwatchable at first, it eventually reveals light and beauty beyond hell.

Unofficial 11th pick (added 01/14/03): The Hours 92
This is what happens when studios release movies at the furthest of the year-end’s rear end. Stephen Daldry’s devastatingly moving film would have placed above if I’d been able to actually see it in 2002. In any case, it’s a great picture not to be missed.

Would have made the Top 5 had I seen it during the calendar year (added 04/07/03): Roger Dodger 93

And Then…

The final shot of Heaven, the nail-biting third act of The Sum of all Fears, the poetic beauty of Le Peuple Migrateur, how Antwone Fisher made me cry almost for an hour straight, Ludivine Sagnier’s song-and-dance number in 8 Femmes, Peter Parker getting used to his powers as Spider-Man, the chemistry between Nicolas Cage and Nicolas Cage in Adaptation, Eminem’s final rap-off in 8 Mile, the delightfully old fashioned art direction and score of Far From Heaven, the exotic giddiness of Monsoon Wedding, Robin Williams’ chilling work in One Hour Photo and Insomnia, Michael Moore’s culture-of-fear exposé in Bowling for Columbine, Steve and Dean shotgunning beers in FUBAR, the use of animated sequences in The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, and Mike Myers making us forget he’s playing half the characters in Austin Powers in Goldmember.

The rest of my life
I changed jobs (twice), saw Tori in concert (again) and I went to New York to see Baz Luhrmann’s “La Bohème” with the Cinemarati Roundtable bunch.

( previously: 1998 / 1999 / 2000 / 2001)