As a loose spinoff to the movies suddenly no one likes thread, I’m wondering about recent movies that we think are likely to last. Not necessarily the best movies, or your favorite ones, but ones that you suspect will still be discussed in 20 years. Discussed by the general public, by serious film buffs, or by academics. Preferably discussed in a positive way, not as an example of the terrible films of the 2000s
I’m going to say 2000-2009, because anything 2010 or later is likely too new for us to have a real perspective on. That said, the criteria aren’t hard and fast, so if you have a great contender from 1998 or 2011, throw it in.
Lord of the Rings - Yes. The books have withstood the test of time and the movie trilogy is solid enough to do the same. In fifty years, the special effects will look cheesy but the central story will endure.
Spirited Away - Yes. Another timeless story.
Momento - Yes. Will age like a fine Hitchcock.
United 93 - No. A well-made film but too much of its time. It will eventually no longer resonate with an audience when 9/11 is seen as just another historical event.
Brokeback Mountain - No. Another movie of our era. Social attitudes will move on and this will some day seem as dated as Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner? or Gentleman’s Agreement. Future audiences will not be able to understand what the problem was.
Some other movies I think will be remembered in fifty years:
The Fabulous Destiny of Amelie Poulain - Solid character driven movie
Sexy Beast - Also a solid character driven movie. Which shows two very different movies can have the same strengths. And while some things may change, human character is timeless. So these movies will still be relevant in fifty years.
Pirates of the Caribbean - A good adventure film. Will be remembered the way movies like The Adventures of Robin Hood or Raiders of the Lost Ark are.
Movies that were innovative in their narrative approach will be remembered, or at least acknowledged by future film scholars. In this group I would include Blair Witch Project (1999) and *Irreversible *(2002). As the average budget for a feature film continues to increase - to $100 or $150 million or whatever it might be - Blair Witch will also be remembered as a rare counterexample - a low budget movie ($60,000) that was able to break the system and make millions.
Also, don’t laugh, but I think certain Will Ferrell comedies like Talledega Nights, Casa de mi padre, and The Campaign will be remembered for their cogent sociological commentary.