The Noughties Films You Might Have Missed - Part #1

Total Film recently ran a rather interesting piece on movies that had managed to pass most people by during the last decade. Intriguing while it was, the piece perhaps fell into the trap of being too obscure for it's own good (Far North, the first film on the list for example, only just squeaks over one thousand IMDb votes, extremely low for a feature film with recognisable stars). To tie in with that piece and Univarn's continuing Great Movies That Nobody Saw series then, here are 'the best 11 films (why eleven... why not?) of the Noughties that I saw, that you might of, that very few other people did but that they might actually of heard of', a phrase which I considered as a title but which somehow didn't seem catchy enough.

11 - The War On Democracy (2007)

A documentary from journalist John Pilger which is notable in its rarity as a Western made film which champions otherwise demonised South American political figures (notably Hugo Chavez) and speaks out about the repression of a continent by its more northerly neighbours. Massively one-side, even biased at times, Pilger's polemic is still a must see, if only as the counter-point to your morning news bulletin.

Film Intel review: 3*

10 - wmd. (2009)

Yes OK this is an extreme oddity (15 votes on IMDb) but by its very nature, compelling underground cinema. Using Blair Witch and Cloverfield style 'found footage' wmd. tries to explain what really happenend to send us into war with Iraq through the ficitional life of an MI6 agent. Some bad acting prevents it from being a 'good' film but a more inventive and relevant use of a relatively new genre you will not see anywhere else.

Film Intel review: 2*

9 - The Station Agent (2003)

Touching and 'real', The Station Agent follows Peter Dinklage's loner as 'friends' Bobby Carnavale and Patricia Clarkson force their way into his life. Heartwarming and life-affirming but not in the cloyingly sentimental box-of-chocolates way, this will come to say a lot about our lifes, loves and relationships to others in the noughties.

Film Intel review: N/A

8 - Les femmes de l'ombre (Female Agents) (2008)

Hampered by the awful translation of the French title, ex-Bond girl Sophie Marceau carried this film about French resistance fighters admirably. There might not be any great Hollywood parts for female leads left but there are definitely some French ones as Marceau's band of largely female criminals and mis-fits fight for the homeland in Nazi occupied Paris. A thriller without the muscle-bound jocks which is touching, occasionaly heartbreaking and never less than interesting.

Film Intel review: 4*

7 - The Visitor (2007)

The second Thomas McCarthy directed film on the list, The Visitor garnered Richard Jenkins an Oscar nomination yet, like The Station Agent before it, remained largely unnoticed. Jenkins performance is fantastic but is brought to life by his awkward interactions with the mother and partner of the illegal immigrant he finds living in his appartment one night. The central romance is handled with a care and attention not found elsewhere and if McCarthy had any sense he would pack in his bit-part acting career and make another stunning film.

Film Intel review: N/A

6 - JCVD (2008)

Seeing John Claude Van Damme play both the fictional, public-eye, version of himself and, for a very brief single scene, his apparently real 'real-life' self, JCVD was nothing if not inventive. Caught up in a Post Office robbery, JCVD fights the robbers and the media's portrayal of him whilst hardly using his fists. Proof that, when he wants to, JCVD's acting talents are as big as his biceps.

Film Intel review: 4*

So what do you think? How many have you seen? Is there a reason why very few people were interested in these films? Part 2 to come later this week.

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