“Of course no list can fully summarize an entire decade of art, but as the decade winds down, it’s worth looking back at some of the titles that stuck with us before we launch ourselves into a new decade with hopefully plenty more titles worth discussing. For me, Minding the Gap, The One I Love and Arrival are such films.”
Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine American culture – what’s new and old in entertainment.
As the decade draws to a close, many lists ranking the best films of the decade have popped up and many of those lists have a good amount of overlap. For example, David Fincher’s 2010 film, The Social Network, documenting the invention of Facebook, has been widely considered one of the best films of the decade, and I definitely agree with that sentiment. But instead of making another decade best-of list, I wanted to instead highlight some movies from the decade that are great and haven’t been getting much decade-end attention.
The 2018 documentary, Minding the Gap, was one of my favorite films of the decade. It follows three young men in Rockford, Illinois, and, while the film begins as a skateboarding documentary, it becomes a captivating portrait of young men who grew up in broken homes attempting, and sometimes failing, to avoid perpetuating the violence they all witnessed in their own upbringings as they mature into adulthood. Minding the Gap is streaming on Hulu.
2014 saw many of my favorite films of the decade released, including Interstellar, Whiplash and Boyhood, but it also saw the release of a lesser-seen indie film called The One I Love. From director Charlie McDowell, the film tells the story of a struggling couple that is recommended a weekend getaway by their therapist. What seems like a straightforward premise diverges into a surrealist, sometimes spooky, exploration. It’s a tough movie to talk about without delving into spoilers, but it’s worth checking out. The One I Love is streaming on Netflix.
Finally, Denis Villeneuve’s 2016 movie Arrival was critically acclaimed upon its release but seems to have receded from people’s memories. Based on a short story by Ted Chiang and starring Amy Adams giving possibly her best-ever performance, Arrival tells the story of extraterrestrial life making contact with Earth, and it tells that story through a philosophical lens, examining the role of unity and communication in the face of a crisis. Arrival is available to rent on demand.
Of course no list can fully summarize an entire decade of art, but as the decade winds down, it’s worth looking back at some of the titles that stuck with us before we launch ourselves into a new decade with hopefully plenty more titles worth discussing. For me, Minding the Gap, The One I Love and Arrival are such films.
I’m Evan Rook.