Whether it is vibrant color, startling cinematography, visual whimsy, or breathtaking landscape, each of these films of the past decade combines an optical feast with an engaging narrative.
1. Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003). The film is like one of Vermeer’s own paintings. See especially the marvelous banquet scene.
2. Big Fish (2003). A dying father crafts the telling of his life-story into a whimsical yarn spun with the flax of fairy tales.
3. Spirited Away (2001). A Hayao Miyazaki masterpiece. A moving and magical coming-of-age tale as only Miyazaki can tell it.
4. Hero (2002). A true feast of color and adventure, with magnificent music and gorgeous motion.
5. King Kong (2005). The scenes between Kong and Naomi Watts’s Ann Darrow are what makes the film truly worthwhile.
6. The New World (2005). A simply beautiful film by Terrence Malick – a gust of fresh air.
7. Chicago (2002). A sizzling adaptation of the Broadway musical.
8. Amélie (2001). Bursting with color and spirit, this tale of a golden-hearted French waitress has the power to infuse magic into the mundane.
9. Moulin Rouge! (2001). A dizzying display of dye and dance, with an eclectic soundtrack that borrows from Rodgers and Hammerstein and the Beatles and U2.
10.The Fall (2006). An injured movie stuntman enthralls a young girl with a grand tale of adventure, and then the line separating story from reality becomes increasingly blurred.