THE TOP TEN FILMS OF 2003

01. DOGVILLE (Lars von Trier)
It never lets you forget that what you’re watching is staged, yet it hits you harder than the most naturalistic films.

02. THE RETURN OF THE KING (Peter Jackson)
The defining cinematic adventure of our time, this is an epic where grandiose battles are matched by overwhelming emotions.

03. ALL THE REAL GIRLS (David Gordon Green)
The truest, most affecting film about young love since “Say Anything”, it’s a film both natural and lyrical.

04. KILL BILL (Quentin Tarantino)
Foot-to-ass action, iconic visuals and a wildly cool soundtrack, just toppings for a riveting revenge story centered on a powerful yet heartbreaking Uma Thurman.

05. IN AMERICA (Jim Sheridan)
Endless warmth and humanity fill this very personal tale of magical realism, childlike hope and family.

06. HERO (Zhang Yimou)
“In the Mood for Love” by the way of “Rashomon”, this gorgeously shot and scored martial arts epic is more about physical poetry and romantic tragedy than chopsocky.

07. CIDADE DE DEUS (Fernando Meirelles)
Sort of a Blaxploitation epic, but built around complex characters with an incredible attention to detail and based-on-real-events poignancy.

08. RAISING VICTOR VARGAS (Peter Sollett)
Unforced storytelling, natural performances, palpable heat and sweat, it’s like we’re in that New York summer with these Dominican teens full of heart and soul.

09. RISE OF THE MACHINES (Jonathan Mostow) / X-MEN UNITED (Bryan Singer)
The most fun and action-packed summer flicks in years.

10. COLD MOUNTAIN (Anthony Minghella)
A wonderfully old-fashioned epic romantic drama, like “Gone With the Wind” by the way of the Odyssey.

***

BEST DIRECTOR – Takashi Miike for Ichi the Killer
and all the other insane flicks of his that I caught up to through the year

BEST ACTOR – Bruce Campbell in Bubba Ho-Tep

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – Eugene Levy in A Mighty Wind

BEST ACTRESS – Angela Bettis in “May”,
the most overlooked creepy/sad little masterpiece of the year

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Ludivine Sagnier in Swimming Pool

BEST SCREENPLAY – Les Invasions Barbares

BEST MUSIC – The School of Rock

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN – Down With Love

BEST DOCUMENTARY – À hauteur d’homme

BEST ANIMATED FILM – Finding Nemo

BEST DVD – Tenacious D: The Complete Master Works

GUILTY PLEASURES
From Justin to Kelly
Bad Boys II
The Lizzie McGuire Movie

THE WORST FILM OF 2003 – ”Bringing Down the House”
[ Uninspired writing, hack direction, elevator music score, unconvincing actors with zero chemistry, eye-rollingly unfunny humor with absolutely no sense of timing… It’s like the crappy ‘80s comedies that play on local TV at 2 in the morning, but what’s worse is how damn offensive it is. This is what the Boondocks refer to as an embarrassment to the race; they should revoke Queen Latifah’s African-American status. Note to the once brilliant Steve Martin: DUDE, do you need the money this bad? ]

BEST ALBUMS
1. The Dears’ “No Cities Left”
2. Rufus Wainwright’s “Want One”
3. Lhasa’s “The Living Road”
4. Calla’s “Televise”
5. Les Cowboys Fringants’s “Attache ta tuque!”