Best Films of the 2000s: No 4.

No. 4

Cast Away

I can hear Ben screaming already. Too bad, buddy. I love Cast Away in so many ways.

Cast Away is a story of survival, both physical and mental. It's the story of a busy man who must adapt to being stranded on an island, then re-adapt to society once he escapes.

I was annoyed the first time I saw Cast Away, annoyed that the trailers revealed that Tom Hanks gets off the island, annoyed that not enough time was spent on how he re-adjusted, and annoyed at the nebulous ending. But that was a case of not getting what I wanted from the movie rather than understanding and relishing what the film provided.

Upon a second viewing, I fell in love. I fell in love with the beautiful yet terrifying tropical island, with the roller coaster of emotion that Hanks rode, with his undulating determination. No other actor could have or would have attempted what Hanks did (though Will Smith did an admirable imitation in I Am Legend). Not only did Hanks lose 50 pounds for the role, he spent the entire middle half of the film as the only human on screen, co-starring with rocks, trees, and a volleyball. His was one of the best performances I have ever seen. The only reason Russell Crowe won the Oscar was the Academy's ridiculous unwillingness to give Hanks a third statuette.

The filmmakers ultimately made the right decisions in the final act, allowing Hanks to react with appropriate bewilderment at life's simplicities as he re-enters society. Yes, more such scenes would have worked, but I admit they weren't entirely necessary. Their absence allows for one of the most heart-rending scenes of the decade, as Hanks and his former fiancee Helen Hunt figure out what should happen next. The closing scene is a perfect denouement, an ideal reflection of Hanks' mental state.

Cast Away is filled with nearly as much physical and emotional beauty as anything in the 2000s. The film was riveting, impossible to take your eyes off, lest you miss a priceless moment, of which there are plenty. Perhaps the 2000s had a few other films that were better made (The Dark Knight), but I loved Cast Away more.

Best Films of the 2000s
10. Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
9. Memento (2000)
8. Traffic (2000)
7. The Incredibles (2004)
6. Ocean's Eleven (2001)
5. The Dark knight (2001)
4. Cast Away
3. Coming soon...

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