Tuesday, January 02, 2007

TTT: Three Amigos

Tuesday Top Ten! ~a new weekly feature. For the listmaker in me and the list lover in you. Today's top ten should in no way be confused with the year in review: top ten of 2006 which is coming in the next couple of days (or something -shut up)

Top Ten Films by the 'Three Amigos', Mexico's trio of celebrated filmmakers: Alfonso Cuarón, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and Guillermo Del Toro who, awards watchers take not, all seem to be vying for this year's "lone director" spot on the Oscar shortlist.

It seems obvious that Scorsese (The Departed), Eastwood (Letters From Iwo Jima), Condon (Dreamgirls), and Frears (The Queen) will place in the directors nominations. But the fifth slot is, as ever, up for grabs. It's between any of these three Mexican auteurs, Pedro Almodovar (Volver), Paul Greengrass (United 93) or *sigh* a double dip for Eastwood (Flags of...). Who do you think will nab the coveted spot? Or do you think two of them will, leaving Condon without a song for Dreamgirls?

Anyway... the list:
  1. Y Tu Mama Tambien (2001, Cuarón)
  2. Children of Men (2006, Cuarón)
  3. Pan's Labyrinth (2006, Del Toro)
  4. Powder Keg (2001 *short The Hire, Iñárritu)
  5. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004, Cuarón)
  6. Amores Perros (2001, Iñárritu)
  7. Cronos (1993, Del Toro)
  8. Babel (2006, Iñárritu)
  9. Mimic (1997, Del Toro)
  10. Hellboy (2004, Del Toro)
I have not seen The Little Princess but given my affection for Cuarón, easily my favorite of the three, it would knock some of these down a peg. You'll notice that Iñárritu's highest rank comes from a short film. I still don't think his miserabilism works particularly well in the two hour format. It's too aggressive and forcefed. But in short form: wowie. I'm not a fan of Del Toro's The Devil's Backbone. Now, consensus opinion tells me I should rethink that but consensus also says that Pan's Labyrinth is a masterpiece (ignoring the movies considerable difficulty in fusing its two halves and its able but unrevelatory central performance) so: consensus be damned. Pan's sure is a beaut' to look at, though.

p.s. Speaking of beauty...here's hoping that the talented Fernando Eimbcke can raise his profile soon and become a fourth amigos --at least in regards to international media attention.


Prill said...

I'm saying no Condon, therefore leaving us with Greengrass and perhaps Cuaron??? Probably Inaritu, but I'd prefer Cuaron in the top five.

Anonymous said...

The only thing worth nominating about Children of Men is its cinematography. It was a curiously uneven, vacuum of a film, especially seeing as its trailer promised so much.

I can't believe Almodóvar is not a shoo-in. He has my Best Director prize waiting for him this year.

Yaseen Ali said...

Nice. Prisoner of Azkaban and The Devil's Backbone would probably top my list.

Anonymous said...

No 21 Grams?

Anyway, my prediction for Director is:
~ Martin Scorsese - The Departed.
~ Clint Eastwood - Letters from Iwo Jima.
~ Stephen Frears - The Queen.
~ Bill Condon - Dreamgirls.
~ Alejandro González Iñárritu - Babel.

Anonymous said...

I too think Condon will be missing. My guess is with Greengrass and Almodovar taking the 4th and 5th spots, with United 93 also taking a Best Picture spot.

Fascinating list, by the way. Amores Perros is #1 for me by a mile, but I'm intrigued by your order.


Anonymous said...

Pan's Labyrinth left me cold. I blame the poor direction of actors. The girl Ofelia was annoying and the villain was way over the top. Sergi Lopez was so much better in Dirty Pretty Things.

I liked Babel, esp the Japanese storyline. Hoping to see Children of Men this week. Cuaron is probably my favorite of the three, but Almodovar beats them all.

adam k. said...

Condon will miss. His film is not very good, and the critical mainstream gets that, I think. It seems like something the directors would pass on. Honestly, I'm a bit flabbergasted that it's even considered a best picture frontrunner at all... I was really disappointed in it.

Greengrass will probably get that spot. His film is too acclaimed to miss now, it seems (at least in director). The 5th, I think, will go to Inarritu. I don't see Arriaga being nominated without him. Cuaron can be nominated in adapted screenplay, so I think that's where he'll get the love, if anywhere. And Pan's Labyrinth will probably win foreign film.

Tough to say what will actually get the last best pic spot. Babel, Little Miss Sunshine, and United 93 all have disadvantages. Maybe it'll be something else entirely?

Anonymous said...

You've never seen A LITTLE PRINCESS??? Oh, it's stunning! The cinematography and score are top notch. It was my second favorite film of 1995 (#1 being "Leaving Las Vegas")Really Nat, for the cinematography alone, i'd give it a rent.

Gilidor said...

Yeah, A LITTLE PRINCESS is great, it made me cry like a little girl. As a fan of HEAVENLY CREATURES, you should love it!

daveylow said...

The Little Princess belongs in your top ten. I liked 21 Grams better than Mimic.

Carlos Reyes said...

I've seen all their films except for Cuaron's "Great Expectations"... and there is already a 4th AMIGO!!! his name is Carlos Reygadas and is a lot more talented then Del Toro... you should check out his films "Japon" & "Battle in Heaven" Alfonso Cuaron is by far the best Mexican directors in decades...

1. Children of Men (Cuaron)
2. Y Tu Mama Tambien (Cuaron)
3. Amores Perros (Inarritu)
4. Pan's Labyrinth (Del Toro)
5. Babel (Inarritu)
6. A Little Princess (Cuaron)
7. Solo Con Tu Pareja (Cuaron)
8. The Devil's Backbone (Del Toro)
9. Cronos (Del Toro)
10.21 Grams (Inarritu)

Middento said...

As a resident Latin American film scholar, I am pleased and intrigued by your list. I haven't seen the new ones (Labyrinth, Children) and, while I migh put Cronos and Amores perros higher, I like your list.

Truly though, you really should see A Little Princess, which is spectacular, as well as Solo con tu pareja. The latter, also known as Love in the Time of Hysteria, just got a Criterion release late last year. I will be seeing it shortly myself, heh heh.

Anonymous said...

MIMIC over 21 GRAMS???... Nat u are such a bitch :)


i am a known hater of 21 Grams yes.

the only ones I hadn't seen from the communal lists were blade 2 (del toro) and three from cuaron (love in the time of hysteria, great expectations --i had an aversion to the clips I saw-- and little princess, which I really want to see)

Glenn Dunks said...

Hmm... Inarritu has made three films that I am very "mixed" about. THey've all got strong points, but they all big giant flashing flaws.

Cuaron is definitely my favourite - especially Children of men and Harry Potter (the only one that I would say is "really great")

Del Toro? I've only seen Mimic, lol.

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Anonymous said...

htough i liked 'hellboy' .i thought pan's labrynth' was a complete and utter mess!!

Anonymous said...

I loved A Little Princess, too.
I liked the list that SOAP chose for the directors: Cuaron, Del Toro, Greengrass, Frears, Scorsese. That's a strong and interesting list. I'd still include Clint Eastwood for Letters, but I don't know who I'd bump from that excellent line-up.

Anonymous said...

My Nominees for the Best Foreign Language Film of 2006:

CANDY – Australia
VOLVER - Spain

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