The brilliant independent film mag Little White Lies alerted their Twitter followers to a poll being run by LOVEFiLM.com, the British equivalent to Netflix. Just with a weird penchant for mixed uppercase and lowercase lettering. Anyways, that poll is looking at which 100 films defined the "noughties", from 2000-2009.
'Moulin Rouge' is currently #1. 'MOULIN ROUGE' IS THE FILM THAT DEFINED THIS DECADE?! Unfortunately, the system that LOVEFiLM, whereby you select as many films as you liked from their preselection probably means that 'Moulin Rouge' will remains as the most selected choice. Of course, my point here is not whether 'Moulin Rouge' is good or bad but that it (as a genre film) hardly captures the essence of a decade.
The question then becomes whether one film or perhaps a handful of films "define a decade"? Well, not really. But I'd be willing to argue the case for comic book films. Comic book adaptations have come to the fore particularly in the latter part of the decade, and indeed there was a recent Newsnight Review which focussed on the notion that what was once cult is now mainstream, featuring comic book writers Mark Millar and Kevin Smith.
Certainly, there's been a proliferation in the number of comic book adaptations since 2000. 'X-Men' (2000), 'Spider-Man' (2002), 'X-Men 2' (2003), 'Spider-Man 2' (2004), 'Sin City' (2005), '300' (2007), 'Iron Man' (2008) and 'The Dark Knight' (2008) were all critically acclaimed and commercially successful. And that's just a small selection from the umpteen films adapted from comic books - just how many people realise that 'Road To Perdition' (2002) was actually based on a graphic novel? And then there's manga and other foreign language graphic novels which I have little to no experience of.
Unfortunately, 2000-2009 has also seen some comic-book-to-film clunkers, most notably with 'Catwoman' (2004) but also 'Daredevil' (2003) and 'The Spirit' (2008). Overwhelmingly however, comic book adaptations have performed successfully at the box office and often, critically too. With 'Kick Ass' and 'Iron Man 2' on the way in 2010, I can see that trend continuing.
Perhaps my rant is somewhat redundant bearing in mind that 'The Dark Knight' is currently the third most selected film in the LOVEFiLM poll. And indeed 'Batman Begins', 'Sin City' and 'Iron Man' are also in the top 25. But after that, the only other comic book adaptation I can see is 'A History Of Violence'. And well I don't think that's good enough.
Choose your films that defined the decade at LOVEFiLM. You know what to do.