City of God (Cidade de Deus) (2002)
Co-Director: Kátia Lund
Writer: Bráulio Mantovani
Actors: Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino da Hora, Jonathan Haagensen, Douglas Silva, Alice Braga, Seu Jorge
It’s appropriate, somehow, that God gets His place in title of the best movie of the decade. (And yes, I’m not only saying it’s my favorite, I’m saying it’s THE BEST.)
At this level of the game, it’s not enough to simply be very creative or very good or even very lucky. You’ve got to have it all. Fernando Meirelles is lucky enough to have it all. The movie-making here is very sophisticated and completely visionary. Meirelles gives the film over completely to the story and the characters, bending his technique to the world inside the film and the way this story must be told. You can’t watch this movie without noticing that he does some crazy stuff with the camera. He paints beautiful and menacing pictures of what child-hood gone wrong can be.
Dynamics is the key to Cidade de Deus. It’s a very funny movie, and action packed most of the time, and it’s a crime drama, and it’s a buddy movie, and it’s hip without trying to be, and the music is stirring and soulful, and it digs joy out of the darkest corners of existence, but at it’s heart it’s very serious business and very sad.