The MoFo Top 100 of the 2010s Countdown

→ in

Two great movies but the one that was on my ballot was Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). I had it in my Top Ten at number nine (seventeen of its 207 points). I had Iñárritu's The Revenant at number ten, the first director to be revealed that I have doubled up on (I actually have three more filmmakers with a pair each, and somehow none of them are Wes Anderson or The Coen Brothers). The bravura long takes by master cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki got a lot of the film's attention, and rightly so, but beyond that technical brilliance this meta All About Eve for the 21st Century is wicked and weird and wonderful, anchored by Michael Keaton's incredible vanity-free performance. A dark comic nightmare that I find incredibly absorbing and mesmerizing.

That is a dozen of mine.

4. Incendies (#30)
5. Take Shelter (#67)
6. The Artist (#87)
8. Silence (#43)
9. Birdman (#21)
10. The Revenant (#53)
11. The Favourite (#61)
14. Nightcrawler (#55)
15. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (#72)
19. Silver Linings Playbook (#24)
21. Room (#97)
22. True Grit (#40)

I should still have eight of the remaining twenty coming, including my entire Top Ten.
"Film is a disease. When it infects your bloodstream it takes over as the number one hormone. It bosses the enzymes, directs the pineal gland, plays Iago to your psyche. As with heroin, the antidote to Film is more Film." - Frank Capra

Damn. I really should have just stopped in the checkout line when I scrolled through the hint and posted my guess right then.

Remember on The Lighthouse when I said my #2-6 were kind of a toss up in terms of ordering?
Inside Llewyn Davis was my #2.

In what feels like the Coens most personal film in their filmography (though A Serious Man their most semi-autobiographical), it seems an ode, or maybe a eulogy, to those who were talented, but maybe not quite talented enough and fell slightly on the wrong side of the commerce/art divide of... art and didn't make it. To those who had to give up what they cared about.
I tear up a little whenever I get to the end of this one.

Also, I like cats.

Never saw Birdman. Idk. I saw Amores Perros way back when, and thought it was okay at the time, but for some reason never really paid attention to Inarritu work afterwards. I feel like there was a reason why. I also got the sense that whatever critical response I was reading to his films since then weren't really glowing, so in the whole problem of utilizing one's movie viewing time as effectively as possible, I might have given him the short shrift (or maybe appropriate shrift, if it turns out I am lukewarm on them if I ever see them? Granted, spoiler for when it gets revealed, I've also never seen The Wolf of Wall Street either, though that one did get critical praise. Like Wooley, I'm just very lukewarm on Scorsese's outputs these days).

I shamefully forgot to include Inside Llewyn Davis in my list. It's one of two shocking accidental omissions but thankfully they're not films that needed my help making it high up. It probably would have been around 10th place I would guess without checking my list.

Thanks @SpelingError for quoting my review. I normally cringe reading back what I've written years ago but I quite enjoyed reading this.

I watched it again last year, prompted by my brother watching it for the first time - he loved it too.

Inside Llewyn Davis (Ethan Coen & Joel Coen, 2013)

Over twenty years ago the Coen Brothers’ created Barton Fink, a film in which its titular character is at times his own worse enemy, unable to see that it is himself that prohibits him from success, unwilling to compromise and accept help from those around him.

Here, Oscar Isaac’s lead character shares a lot in common with John Turturro’s as he attempts to become a folk singing success in 1961 New York. Llewyn Davis (I delightful Welsh name, I must add) is not a particularly likeable or sympathetic character, he is uncaring of those around him and does not see the pain and suffering he causes for others: he impregnates his friend’s partner and without hesitation offers an abortion, he carelessly loses another friends cat, and he rudely insults other artists for a variety of reasons.

Recovering from the death of his former partner, Llewyn Davis stubbornness and refusal to conform to the changing musical landscape around him ultimately holds him back from achieving success. In one of the beginning scenes a man sits beside him in a bar, praising his friends’ performance, Isaac sits there with a look of disgust,to him, this is not good music, and as we soon begin to learn: it is either his way or no way.

In another scene he agrees to take part in a musical piece with two other men, he initially mocks the writing of the song before he realises that it his is co-singer and friend who is the writer. He then decides to take an up front payment in order to fund the abortion of this same man’s wife’s unborn child, as opposed to receiving any future royalties. His past dismissal for the concerns of others once again proves to be a hindrance to his career.

Llewyn Davis’ disdain for others is summed up in a scene with his sister when he describes other people simply as those who ‘exist’. The other characters in this movie are shown in such a way in that we see them through Llewyn Davis’ eyes; he is a selfish man, unable to see the good in those around him. Justin Timberlake’s character is a more successful musician whose music whilst not folk music like Llewyn’s, is certainly more successful and profitable, he also has a wife and home unlike Llewyn. Then we have the characters portrayed by John Goodman and Garrett Hedlund, two talented musicians who are rather unpleasant and insulting towards Llewyn (at least Goodman’s character), themselves in a way representing wasted talents, unlikely to make it because of different problems, although Llewyn fails to recognise what they are trying to tell him, reacting angrily to their criticism of folk music.

The film is bleak and depressing at times, it’s a very moody film which will put off some viewers. But most of the Coen Brothers’ films are similar in the way they deal with the little man, the underdog, and at times with pessimistic fates. In No Country for Old Men we have a character that although faced with a number of forces against him, is ultimately responsible for his own downfall through his stubbornness and insistence that he will win by going his own way. The cinematography is superb in capturing the feel of Llewyn’s daunting journey throughout the film; it has a wonderful blue, frosty feel to it. The film probably has the best soundtrack of the year too, with all the music – bar the final song from a voice you might just recognise – recorded live by the actors themselves. Then there is the usual Coen Brothers’ dark humour, although at times nasty, you can not help but laugh at the human side of frustration that shows in both Llewyn Davis’ actions and dialogue.

The last scene in particular is a brilliant piece of writing, it replicates what we are shown at the start, but this time we get added context and have a full understanding of Llewyn Davis’ character, we know what exactly is happening and can easily accept why.

The Coen Brothers have made many great films, and this is right up there at the very top, it might just be their greatest and most honest human study, it’s a film that manages to be both beautiful and tragic, and you can not help but really feel the journey that Llewyn Davis’ goes on. My favourite film of 2013 so far.

Rating -
I really liked Birdman when I first saw it. Can't remember if I've seen it since. From what I recall, the one-shot filming and the sound actually really added to the experience.

A very good duo. 67/80 seen.

Birdman (#21) is the sixth of the decade's ten Best Picture Academy Award winners to be revealed thus far, joining The Artist (#87), The King's Speech (#78), Spotlight (#63), Moonlight (#62), and The Shape of Water (#52). The remaining titles are Argo, 12 Years a Slave, Green Book, and Parasite. Many of us suspected neither Argo nor Green Book would make the cut and I think everybody understands Parasite is in the collective Top Twenty. I would have thought 12 Years a Slave would have shown by now if it were coming, but we will know soon enough.

Actor stats

Scarlett Johansson
Chris Evans
Leonardo DiCaprio
Jessica Chastain
Mark Ruffalo
Domhnall Gleeson
Robert De Niro
Bradley Cooper

Brie Larson
Samuel L. Jackson
Michael Shannon
Matt Damon
Robert Downey Jr.
Chris Hemsworth
Chris Pratt
Jeremy Renner
Sticking with those with three appearances or more, here are a couple more...

Sebastian Stan - Black Swan, The Martian, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Endgame

Michael Keaton - Birdman, Toy Story 3, Spotlight
Emma Stone - Birdman, Easy A, The Favourite
Oscar Isaac - Inside Llewyn Davis, Ex Machina, Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse
Richard Jenkins - The Shape of Water, Spotlight, The Cabin in the Woods
Taika Waititi - What We Do in the Shadows, Jojo Rabbit, Avengers: Endgame
Tom Hiddleston - Midnight in Paris, The Avengers, Avengers: Endgame
Josh Brolin - Sicario, True Grit, Avengers: Endgame
Brie Larson - Room, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Avengers: Endgame
Maximiliano Hernandez - Sicario, The Avengers, Avengers: Endgame
Lucas Hedges - Moonrise Kingdom, Three Billboards, Manchester by the Sea
Shea Whigham - Silver Linings Playbook, Joker, Take Shelter *(one of my favorite character actors)*
Check out my podcast: The Movie Loot!

Inside Llewyn Davis was a recent watch. Like most Coen, I enjoyed it, ended up very satisfied with it... and then the film just kept creeping in my brain over and over that I had to dedicate a good chunk of an episode of my podcast to it (*shameless self-promotion* you can listen to it here */shameless self-promotion*) It was one of those that I stuck with till the very end, but ended up cutting. But anyway, here is also my review here at MoFo.

Birdman, I remember enjoying it quite a bit, but I haven't seen it since. Here is a bit of what I wrote back in 2015:

the "seamless" approach brings a certain non-stop intensity to the film that makes it feel shorter than it is. That is rounded by some great acting from everyone. Both Keaton and Norton are in top-form, and so is everyone else.
I gave it 4 stars, but again, haven't felt the urge to revisit it. Not much to say beyond that.

Here's where I'm at, including the chances for the rest of my list...

Seen: 61/80

My ballot:  

Despite being a big fan of the Coens I haven’t seen Inside Llewyn Davis.

Loved Birdman though. Michael Keaton’s charisma is underrated as hell and there’s no better example of this than Birdman.

Changed my percentages, I have two guarantees left. The rest, highly doubt.

My ballot:  

Never heard of : 26 / 80
Seen: 33 / 80
1 ptrs: 4

Glad to see it this high.
Boy, how many times have I said that while watching a movie!

Scored me a twofer.

3. The Act of Killing (2012)
4. Holy Motors (2012)
8. Under the Skin (2014)
9. Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
12. Joker (2019)
14. The Turin Horse (2011)
17. Birdman (2014)
18. What We Do in the Shadows (2014)
22. Moonlight (2016)

Inside Llewyn Davis is easily the Coens' best of the decade and I think I would place it in their top 5. Great performances, darker Coen fare but I dig that mood sometimes. Could go for a rewatch actually. Birdman was excellent and it was my #1 film that year so I was happy it won Best Picture...not that I care about that stuff or anything! Great to see Michael Keaton in a bit of a comeback there giving an amazing performance. Who else but Batman could be Birdman.
"Don't be so gloomy. After all it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."

Birdman is all show and no go, or well… at least mostly a lot of show.

It’s visually fun and entertaining enough, but it’s also very fragile because of its overly ambitious and pretty pretentious angle. I normal hate the latter word, but with Iñárritu it seems to make sense - especially of what I hear from his newest effort.

But still, it’s a movie I really like. It leans into its craziness and amped up attitude, so on its own terms it works really well. I’m not exactly surprised to see it high up, but it’s too high still I would say.

Inside Llewyn Davis on the other hand, was on my list. And very high too. At #2. I love the Coens (obviously) and this is one of my favorites by them. Rather simple in a way, but the look and feel and sound of it is so amazing. Love it.

Professional horse shoe straightener
I enjoyed both Birdman and Llewyn alot (especially as Llewyn Davis is a Welsh inspired name!!!) but neither were on my ballot.

Welcome to the human race...
One vote.

Inside Llewyn Davis was my #19. I didn't do a lot of rewatches in order to help me settle on what to include but I felt this one, which I hadn't seen since theatres, warranted that level of consideration. Easily the Coens' best from this particular decade, one may be able to see which aspects manifested in earlier films (Llewyn is very much of a piece with Barton Fink and the musically-driven road movie narrative calls to mind O Brother, Where Art Thou?) but the brothers are able to remix it into something that is at once appreciably daffy and melancholy. It's not quite up there with their S-tier work, but it's not far off either.

I've seen Birdman twice and liked it well enough at the time but I feel no inclination to revisit it whatsoever.
I really just want you all angry and confused the whole time.
Iro's Top 100 Movies v3.0

From the last 6 reveals, I've seen 4.

I haven't seen Silver Lining Playbook or Inside Llewyn Davis, and don't particularly have any interest in changing that.

Both Birdman and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse fell victim to the same problem: I didn't see them right away, and had heard too much hype by the time I finally sat down to watch them. I spent most of Birdman looking for cuts, and while Spider-Verse was beautifully animated, I wasn't impressed with the film overall.

When Inception first came out, I had no interest in watching it. My friends who did go see it all had wildly different opinions about it, but from what I heard, I got the general impression that it wasn't going to be something I enjoyed. Years later I finally decided to give it a shot, but I was still disappointed despite incredibly low expectations. Every now and then I wonder if I should give it another chance, but if I'm going to rewatch a Nolan film, I'd rather go with Tenet since I actually kind of loved that one.

I remember Portrait of a Lady on Fire being fine, but it isn't something I recall very vividly, or would want to revisit. So no votes from me.

Seen: 56/80

My List: 11  

Looking at the list, this has to be the worse decade for film.
I haven't seen enough to agree but, with the exception of the 50's (and maybe 60's, though that might be being too harsh), it does feel that way.

I have seen Inception three times now and enjoy it immensely each watch. I have very few movies that I let the discourse get into my head but I think this is one of them. Once I am removed from a watch for a bit, I start thinking this movie is all exposition. When I watch that all goes away. I enjoy the inventiveness. I think the characters are pretty good. I think it looks cool. Especially enjoy the snow dream level. Good stuff, and one that will stay in rotation.
Really? I remember very little about Inception, but I do remember finding that the most boring part. Now, whether that was beause it was the most boring part or whether I'd just reached my liimit by then and disengaged, I don't know. My enjoyment of Inception waxed and waned. When I enjoyed it, I liked it, when I didn't, I was bored. No, I didn't see it on the big screen and, while I agree that it would've looked a lot more impressive, I don't enjoy the spectacle enough to make it a lot better had I seen it that way.

I've not seen and have little interest in SLP.

Since I saw the last two revealed I've been wondering and, after much thought, I can safely say I couldn't care less about either of them and haven't the least interest in seeing them.
5-time MoFo Award winner.

Didn't see Inside Llewyn Davis. I saw Birdman, liked it well enough, but it didn't make the list.

Now we're down to 20, it's time to update those percentages:

1. Boyhood
2. The Artist
3. Ida
4. World of Tomorrow
5. 0 percent
6. Less than 1 percent
7. 0 percent
8. 0 percent
9. My Life as a Zucchini (#449)
10. 0 percent
11. Spotlight
12. 0 percent
13. 0 percent
14. 0 percent
15. 65 percent
16. 0 percent
17. Scott Pilgrim vs the World
18. 0 percent
19. 0 percent
20. 0 percent
21. 35 percent
22. Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse
23. A Separation
24. 0 percent
25. The Retrieval (1 Pointer)

Midnight in Paris
0 percent
0 percent
0 percent
0 percent
0 percent

Stats: Pit Stop #8

Decade Breakdown
  • 2010 = 11
  • 2011 = 8
  • 2012 = 10
  • 2013 = 6
  • 2014 = 11
  • 2015 = 11
  • 2016 = 7
  • 2017 = 3
  • 2018 = 4
  • 2019 = 9

A very even spread, with three years with 11 entries, and one with 10. Nice!

Repeating Directors
  • Martin Scorsese = 3
  • Denis Villeneuve = 3
  • Gareth Evans = 2
  • Anthony and Joe Russo = 2
  • Taika Waititi = 2
  • Richard Linklater = 2
  • Alejandro González Iñarritu = 2
  • Joel and Ethan Coen = 2
  • Christopher Nolan = 2
  • Robert Eggers = 2

A bunch of additional entries in this last batch: Eggers, Nolan, González Iñarritu, and the Coen brothers. I'm pretty sure we're gonna see some of these again in the Top 20.

Genre Breakdown
  • Action = 13
  • Romantic comedy = 3
  • Romantic drama = 2
  • Thriller = 12
  • Crime = 4
  • Comedy mystery = 1
  • Science fiction = 8
  • Comedy drama = 11
  • Horror comedy = 2
  • Drama = 13
  • Horror = 3
  • Western = 3
  • Fantasy = 3
  • Documentary = 1

Action has caught up with drama, on the strength of a couple of superhero films. Thrillers remain at second place.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire becomes the thirteenth "foreign" film to join the group, while Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse becomes the fifth animated film to make it.