Outstanding Movies of 2001
by Jill Goodheart
Here is my short list of what I thought were outstanding movies in 2001. There are lots of movies I didn't see that I think probably should be on this list, but alas, many never came out/still haven't come out in Kansas City or they were out for such a limited time that I missed the opportunity to see them.
The Royal Tenenbaums
This film is the best yet from Owen Wilson and Wes Anderson; their gift for comedy remains, but with the addition of sensitivity and poignancy without a bit of schmaltz. The colors are bright but not flashy, the acting by all is superb, and the script is hilarious with a nice amount of sweetness and sadness.
Stunning visuals and an outstanding story make Amelie a joy to watch. I suppose it could be described as a romantic comedy, but it's so much more than that title implies: complicated and simple, humorous and melancholy, sad but hopeful. It leaves you with a smile.
The Gleaners & I
This documentary follows Agnes Varda on her journey in examining gleaning in her native France. She begins filming traditional 'gleaners' gathering leftovers from the harvests, later moves on to 'gleaners' dumpster diving in the city, and eventually recognizes herself as a 'gleaner' of images. This is an interesting and charming film with humor and wisdom.
In The Bedroom
All the acting in In The Bedroom is outstanding. Sure, the story is solid, the pace of the film is perfect, and the look of the film is beautiful, but the performances are what make this movie stellar. The subtly in Tom Wilkinson's face tells more about what his character is feeling than any words possibly could.
Beautiful, beautiful music makes Songcatcher more than simply a love story between an academic and mountain man, though leads Janet McTeer and Aidan Quinn are terrific. McTeer plays a university music professor who has decided to collect the songs of mountain people in the early 20th century, and we the audience are fortunate enough to be able to listen to their stories and songs.