Bests of the Decade - Films


Because we reckon you’ll not have had enough of voting for things yet, every day between now and Christmas Eve we’re giving you the chance to vote for The DreamCage Bests of the Decade. Today’s category is Films...

It’s nearly the end of 2019 and that means it’s also the end of the decade [according to some – Ed] so we asked our stalwart team of writers to give us some suggestions of what they considered to be the “Best of the Decade” in NINE different categories – English Language Film, Foreign Language Film, Documentary (Film or TV), TV Series, TV Mini-Series, Fiction Book, Non Fiction Book, Comic/Graphic Novel and Gaming.

Their nominations were collated, hard sums were done [there was even a spreadsheet! – Ed] and the list has been narrowed down. Now we want you, our readers, to decide which of the final four nominations will become The DreamCage Best of the Decade winners!


The 2010s will be remembered for several major shake-ups in film; the growth of streaming and the virtual (sic) death of DVD rental; franchises, sequels, remakes and reboots dominating screen time so much more than original ideas; the resurgence of Disney and the increasingly perfected use of motion capture and de-ageing technology while CGI got markedly more noticeable for being iffy. However the mainstream Hollywood industry itself suffered a lot of setbacks and scandals with the #MeToo movement, accusations of whitewashing and cultural appropriation in casting and the calling out of a lack of diversity and inclusivity both in front of and behind the camera. Now, at the end of the decade, these issues are only just starting to be addressed so we can maybe look forward to a film future being about the films themselves.

Talking of which, genre-wise horror films took a huge step forward in mainstream cinema, as did science fiction and fantasy, especially the superhero franchises of Marvel and DC, as people looked for escapism rather than an echo of gritty reality in their cinema viewing and Netflix is almost singularly responsible for the revival of the rom-com as a category. Netflix and Amazon also came into their own as film financiers and original content producers, taking on the Hollywood studios at their own game and giving platforms to smaller productions and indie film studios, like the upcoming A24, opening up their films to a wider audience. There are still rules in place that, in order to be eligible for an Oscar, a film has to have a cinema/theater release but it won't be long before that is shelved as the quality of online original content surpasses that of Hollywood.

It was so difficult to choose from the film suggestions that came in from the writing team! Our main nominations are below but a few of our other recommendations include... not Moon. Sorry to Steve and to Duncan Jones, that was 2009 so it's just outside the date range we were looking for but point noted and, if you haven't watched the film yet, you really should. There were many more space related films in our list, not least with Interstellar and Gravity and a more Dystopian view of the future was put forward with Zero Theorem and Mad Max: Fury Road. Back down to earth and human centred stories abounded with La La Land, Fences and Three Billboards Outside Ebbings Missouri. Reality also bit with Joker and Birdman but was well balanced by the superb flights of fancy in Story of Pi and The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Here are our four nominations, in no particular order. Bear in mind that we couldn’t watch/read/play everything that came out in the last ten years, so your own personal favourites may not be here, but these are some of ours…

Inception

"Blockbuster sci-fi thriller written and directed by Christopher Nolan. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a professional thief with a difference: the spoils he goes after are not material objects but the thoughts, dreams and secrets buried in the minds of other people. This rare talent has cost him dear, rendering him a solitary fugitive stripped of everything he ever really cared about. When he is offered a chance for redemption by reversing the process and planting an idea rather than stealing it, he and his team of specialists find themselves pitted against a dangerous enemy that appears to pre-empt their every move."




First Man


"Oscar®-winning director Damien Chazelle and star Ryan Gosling reteam for the riveting story behind the first manned mission to the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong and the decade leading to the historic Apollo 11 flight. A visceral, intimate account told from Armstrong’s perspective and based on the book by James R. Hansen, the film explores the triumphs and the cost on Armstrong, his family, his colleagues, and the nation itself for one of the most dangerous missions in history."




A Ghost Story

"With A Ghost Story, acclaimed director David Lowery returns with a singular exploration of legacy, loss, and the essential human longing for meaning and connection. Recently deceased, a white-sheeted ghost (Academy Award-winner Casey Affleck) returns to his suburban home to console his bereft wife (Academy Award-nominee Rooney Mara), only to find that in his spectral state he has become unstuck in time, forced to watch passively as the life he knew and the woman he loves slowly slip away. Increasingly unmoored, the ghost embarks on a cosmic journey through memory and history, confronting life's ineffable questions and the enormity of existence. An unforgettable meditation on love and grief, A Ghost Story emerges ecstatic and surreal - a wholly unique experience that lingers long after the credits roll."




Whiplash


"Andrew is an ambitious young jazz drummer, single-minded in his pursuit to rise to the top of his elite east coast music conservatory. Plagued by the failed writing career of his father, Andrew hungers day and night to become one of the greats. Terence Fletcher, an instructor equally known for his teaching talents as for his terrifying methods, leads the top jazz ensemble in the school. Fletcher discovers Andrew and transfers the aspiring drummer into his band, forever changing the young man’s life. Andrew’s passion to achieve perfection quickly spirals into obsession, as his ruthless teacher continues to push him to the brink of both his ability—and his sanity."





So, which will it be? There are polls running today and tomorrow on our Twitter page for you to vote for your favourite from the final four listed above (no prizes, it’s just for fun). The winners, as decided by you, of all nine categories will be listed on The DreamCage website in a special article on Christmas Eve when we announce The DreamCage Bests of the Decade!