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A Decade’s Cynicism Reflected in Cinema

The 2000 decade started with Y2K hysteria and ended with an alarming amount of distrust held against our elected officials. Global warming scares and near economic collapse were more than footnotes, and the blemishes during Hurricane Katrina will continue to haunt us. The generation’s music and culture also seemed hollow and undefinitive, while movies generally followed suit by reverting back to the safer Hollywood formulas. Even so, many of the serious films mirrored our undeniable cynicism.

The Departed

The Departed

The Departed (2006) is Martin Scorsese’s return to the grittier fare that originally endeared him to his fans worldwide. Shamefully it was, not until The Departed that he finally won the Oscar for Best Director. Streetwise gangsters and a compromised South Boston Police Department make for a riveting plot. Loyalty, trust and deception are all put to the test. The film also reaffirms the acting skills of Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon.

No Country for Old Men

No Country for Old Men

No Country For Old Men (2007) is probably the finest, yet bleakest Coen Brothers film to date. Beginning with a Texas border drug deal gone terribly wrong, it evolves into a brutal manhunt. A contemplative sheriff earnestly wants to put an end to the senseless violence. The existential film was rightfully and miraculously decorated at the Oscars with Best Picture and Best Director. The brilliant work of Javier Bardem was also recognized with Best Supporting Actor.

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007) is directed by the legendary Sidney Lumet. The film stars Philip Seymore Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Albert Finney and Marisa Tomei. What could be more cynical than a crime against one’s own family? The film is highly underrated, as you will surely agree.

Antichrist

Antichrist

Antichrist (2009) is directed by Lars Von Trier after a long bout of self-admitted depression. Known for his genre skewing, he envisioned his mark on a horror film. Antichrist stars Charlotte Gainsbourg and Willem Dafoe, and begins with the psychological devastation over the loss of their child. At a much needed retreat, far more is revealed. The film truly pushes the NC-17 boundaries. Although not yet on DVD, Antichrist is appropriately added here.

Until next time, I hope you have a great viewing experience. Comments are welcomed at cinespire@gmail.com.

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About the Author

Norbert made Murfreesboro, Tenn., his home in 1997. He conceived the Living Room Cinema column in 2006, and submits them regularly to the Murfreesboro Pulse. Aside from his love of films, Norbert is also an avid photographer. He is the very proud father of two, he beats on an old guitar, and plays a dicey game of Chess at best. Like Living Room Cinema at facebook.com/livingroomcinema.

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