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2001 film

Related: 2001 - film

Titles: The Piano Teacher (2001) - The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) - Sex and Lucia (2001) - Y tu Mama Tambien (2001) - Intimacy (2001) - The Pornographer (2001)

More films

  1. Spirited Away (2001) - Hayao Miyazaki [DVD, Amazon US]
    The highest grossing film in Japanese box-office history (more than $234 million), Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away (Sen To Chihiro Kamikakushi) is a dazzling film that reasserts the power of drawn animation to create fantasy worlds. Like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz and Lewis Carroll's Alice, Chihiro (voice by Daveigh Chase--Lilo in Disney's Lilo & Stitch) plunges into an alternate reality. On the way to their new home, the petulant adolescent and her parents find what they think is a deserted amusement park. Her parents stuff themselves until they turn into pigs, and Chihiro discovers they're trapped in a resort for traditional Japanese gods and spirits. An oddly familiar boy named Haku (Jason Marsden) instructs Chihiro to request a job from Yubaba (Suzanne Pleshette), the greedy witch who rules the spa. As she works, Chihiro's untapped qualities keep her from being corrupted by the greed that pervades Yubaba's mini-empire. In a series of fantastic adventures, she purges a river god suffering from human pollution, rescues the mysterious No-Face, and befriends Yubaba's kindly twin, Zeniba (Pleshette again). The resolve, bravery, and love Chihiro discovers within herself enable her to aid Haku and save her parents. The result is a moving and magical journey, told with consummate skill by one of the masters of contemporary animation. --Charles Solomon for amazon.com

  2. Mulholland Drive - David Lynch [1DVD, Amazon US]
    Pandora couldn't resist opening the forbidden box containing all the delusions of mankind, and let's just say David Lynch, in Mulholland Drive, indulges a similar impulse. Employing a familiar film noir atmosphere to unravel, as he coyly puts it, "a love story in the city of dreams," Lynch establishes a foreboding but playful narrative in the film's first half before subsuming all of Los Angeles and its corrupt ambitions into his voyeuristic universe of desire. Identities exchange, amnesia proliferates, and nightmare visions are induced, but not before we've become enthralled by the film's two main characters: the dazed and sullen femme fatale, Rita (Laura Elena Harring), and the pert blonde just-arrived from Ontario (played exquisitely by Naomi Watts) who decides to help Rita regain her memory. Triggered by a rapturous Spanish-language version of Roy Orbison's "Crying," Lynch's best film since Blue Velvet splits glowingly into two equally compelling parts. --Fionn Meade

  3. Gosford Park - Robert Altman(2001) [1 DVD, Amazon US]
    Gosford Park finds director Robert Altman in sumptuously fine form indeed. From the opening shots, as the camera peers through the trees at an opulent English country estate, Altman exploits the 1930s period setting and whodunit formula of the film expertly. Aristocrats gather together for a weekend shooting party with their dutiful servants in tow, and the upstairs/downstairs division of the classes is perfectly tailored to Altman's method (as employed in Nashville and Short Cuts) of overlapping bits of dialogue and numerous subplots in order to betray underlying motives and the sins that propel them. Greed, vengeance, snobbery, and lust stir comic unrest as the near dizzying effect of brisk script turns is allayed by perhaps Altman's strongest ensemble to date. First and foremost, Maggie Smith is marvelous as Constance, a dependent countess with a quip for every occasion; Michael Gambon, as the ill-fated host, Sir William McCordle, is one of the most palpably salacious characters ever on screen; Kristin Scott Thomas is perfectly cold yet sexy as Lady Sylvia, Sir William's wife; and Helen Mirren, Emily Watson, and Clive Owen are equally memorable as key characters from the bustling servants' quarters below. Gosford Park manages to be fabulously entertaining while exposing human shortcomings, compromises, and our endless need for confession. --Fionn Meade [...]

  4. Son's Room (2001) - La Stanza Del Figlio - Nanni Moretti [1 DVD, Amazon US]
    Italian filmmaker Nanni Moretti's signature talent for the overheard, unexpected, and happened-upon detail lends The Son's Room, the story of a grieving middle-class family, the unnerving quality of an unwanted surprise. Giovanni (Moretti) is a successful psychoanalyst whose family life is remarkably placid and enviously intimate: his beautiful wife (Laura Morante) and two intelligent, attractive teenage children are unafraid of their emotions. When his son, Andrea (Giuseppe Sanfelice), drowns in a diving accident, Giovanni is driven to suspend his practice and unintentionally betray his patients as he is haunted by what small choice he might have made in order to avert his son's death. Moretti, more widely known for his comedies, masterfully recreates how seemingly trivial things can take on such importance in the aftermath of tragedy. The intricacies of remembering are traced with such a light touch that the cumulative impact of the film is far greater than its many well-chosen details. Winner of the Palme d'Or (highest honor) at the Cannes International Film Festival, The Son's Room, which refuses melodrama at every step, is a deeply affecting portrait of familial love and the ritual of grieving. --Fionn Meade for amazon.com

  5. The Others (2001) - Alejandro Amenábar [Amazon US]
    A welcome throwback to the spooky traditions of Jack Clayton's The Innocents and Robert Wise's The Haunting, Alejandro Amenábar's The Others favors atmosphere, sound, and suggestion over flashy special effects. Set in 1945 on a fog-enshrouded island off the British coast, the film begins with a scream as Grace (Nicole Kidman) awakens from some unspoken horror, perhaps arising from her religiously overprotective concern for her young children, Anne (Alakina Mann) and Nicholas (James Bentley). The children are hypersensitive to light and have lived in a musty manor with curtains and shutters perpetually drawn. With Grace's husband presumably lost at war, this ominous setting perfectly accommodates a sense of dreaded expectation, escalating when three strangers arrive in response to Grace's yet-unposted request for domestic help. Led by housekeeper Mrs. Mills (Fionnula Flanagan), this mysterious trio is as closely tied to the house's history as Grace's family is--as are the past occupants seen posthumously posed in a long-forgotten photo album.

    With her justly acclaimed performance, Kidman maintains an emotional intensity that fuels the film's supernatural underpinnings. And while Amenábar's pacing is deliberately slow, it befits the tone of penetrating anxiety, leading to a twist that extends the story's reach from beyond the grave. Amenábar unveiled a similarly effective twist in his Spanish thriller Open Your Eyes (remade by Cameron Crowe as Vanilla Sky), but where that film drew debate, The Others is finely crafted to provoke well-earned goose bumps and chills down the spine. --Jeff Shannon for amazon.com

  6. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001) - John Cameron Mitchell [Amazon US]
    Sometimes grace and hope come in surprising packages. The title character of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, a would-be glam-rock star from East Germany, undergoes a botched gender-change operation in order to escape from the Soviet bloc, only to watch the Berlin Wall come down on TV after being abandoned in a trailer park in middle America. Hedwig gets involved with Tommy, an adolescent boy who steals her songs and becomes a stadium-filling musical act. Suffering from a broken heart and a lust for revenge, Hedwig follows Tommy's tour, playing with her band (the Angry Inch) at tacky theme restaurants. Into this simple storyline, writer-director-star John Cameron Mitchell packs an astonishing mix of sadness, yearning, humor, and kick-ass songs with a little Platonic philosophy tucked inside for good measure. A visually dazzling gem of a movie. --Bret Fetzer for Amazon.com

  7. The Pledge - Sean Penn [1 DVD, Amazon US]
    [...] As in Sean Penn's previous work, this is an actors' piece. Nicholson plays Jerry with restlessness under his easy-going, smiling calm; his patient fisherman's heart leaps at every nibble while he casts for a murder suspect. And Del Toro, Helen Mirren, Vanessa Redgrave, and Mickey Rourke make striking impressions in their single-scene appearances. Penn is less concerned with the mystery than the emotional turmoil and Jerry's state of mind, interrupting moments of calm with jagged cuts and discomforting images (including some especially disturbing crime scene photos). Jerry's instincts and methods are sound and his sensitivity is real--he takes in a battered single mom (Robin Wright Penn) and her little girl, and develops a rewarding family life--but his passion for justice turns to unhealthy, destructive obsession. That's ultimately what we're left with at the conclusion of this often off-putting but ultimately fascinating film. The truth will not always set you free. --Sean Axmaker

  8. Donnie Darko - Richard Kelly[1 DVD, Amazon US]
    This unclassifiable but stunningly original film obliterates the walls between teen comedy, science fiction, family drama, horror, and cultural satire--and remains wildly entertaining throughout. Jake Gyllenhaal (October Sky) stars as Donnie, a borderline-schizophrenic adolescent for whom there is no difference between the signs and wonders of reality (a plane crash that decimates his house) and hallucination (a man-sized, reptilian rabbit who talks to him). Obsessed with the science of time travel and acutely aware of the world around him, Donnie is isolated by his powers of analysis and the apocalyptic visions that no one else seems to share. The debut feature of writer-director Richard Kelly, Donnie Darko is a shattering, hypnotic work that sets its own terms and gambles--rightfully so, as it turns out--that a viewer will stay aboard for the full ride. --Tom Keogh [saw it on video tonight, recommended, best of 2001, with Mulholland Drive, The Others and Y Tu Mama Tambien]

  9. The Center of the World (2001) Wayne Wang[1 DVD, Amazon US]
    The titular center of the world is a matter of perspective in Wayne Wang's (The Joy Luck Club, Smoke) notorious, explicit drama of emotional isolation and sexual commerce in the modern world. According to rich, apathetic cyber-geek Peter Sarsgaard (Boys Don't Cry), it's his home computer. Amateur rock & roll drummer and part-time stripper Molly Parker (Wonderland) deems it an erotic part of the female anatomy. Their "date" is merely a sexual contract that takes them to Las Vegas, a place as phony and impersonal as their so-called romance. "You know it's just an act, right?" she reminds him between her slinky bump-and-grind striptease shows and their sweaty sexual gymnastics. The Internet makes a great metaphor for modern social alienation, with its impersonal communication and virtual sex, but there's not much else new in this familiar story other than the erotic content. Shot on dimly lit, high-definition video, the gray, washed palette sucks the glamour and titillation right out of the spectacle, turning it into an empty, soulless exercise in physical sensation and self delusion--appropriate to this story of lonely souls unable to break through their own isolation. --Sean Axmaker [...]

  10. The Piano Teacher (Unrated Edition) (2001) - Michael Haneke [Amazon US]
    Director Michael Haneke's adaptation of the novel by Elfriede Jelinek follows the disturbing descent into madness of a middle-aged, sexually repressed piano instructor (Isabelle Huppert), as her experiments with voyeurism and self-mutilation lead to an eventual affair with an attractive young student who mistakes her insanity for affection.

  11. Ichi the Killer (Unrated Edition) (2001) - Takashi Miike [Amazon US]
    Welcome to a world where violence is a virtue and depravity is a way of life. This is the underside of Shinjuku, and the home of Kakihara, a sadistic yakuza killer. He relentlessly tears apart the underworld searching for the man who killed his boss. The mastermind behind the plot is Jijii, an ex-cop bent on turning the gangsters of Japan against one another. His trump card is a physically powerful lunatic who is constantly on the verge of snapping. This madman is Ichi the Killer, and between him and Kakihara, the streets will run red with blood. --From the Back Cover

  12. What Time Is It There? (2001) - Ming-liang Tsai [Amazon US]
    Between Taipei and Paris time is the connecting force between two young Taiwanese. Virtually strangers, a woman persuades to buy a watch that a street vendor is wearing before her departure for Paris. This particular watch has two dials enabling her to keep track of time in both Paris and Taipei. After this transaction is completed the camera follows both of these individuals in their own paths of existence. In the Director's Notes the following adjectives are used to explain WHAT TIME IS IT THERE: mundane, repetitive, and occasionally out of the ordinary activities. I can't create a better sense of this film myself. Unfortunately this film didn't work for me. The only redeeming quality it that it presents an interesting glimpse into Buddhist mourning rituals that were performed by the mother. Otherwise this film fails to deliver its intended message. There are multiple long sequences devoid of action and dialogue that are just plain boring. I couldn't help fast forwarding in dull boredom. Many scenes were left unexplained of their significance that quite frankly bothered me. For example, there were many scenes of the son urinating in a bottle and bag in his bedroom. Why?? I am at a total lost --rhymeswithorange via amazon.com

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