Category Archives: Top List
Well, it’s Valentine’s Day again. Some people love this day. Some people hate this day. Some people have no feelings. I’m not sure how I feel about Valentine’s Day, personally. I will say, I do love romance. In that respect, every day might as well be Valentine’s Day in my world. But I figured since this is the traditional day to celebrate it, I’d do some sort of post. Basically, what I did was take a long hard look at my DVD collection and pick out ten scenes that I find insanely romantic. This is not my “top ten” most romantic scenes or anything. This is in no way a complete and definitive list. It is simply ten scenes from ten films that I own that tug at my heartstrings.
While, for me, 2011 was not as a great a year in cinema as 2009 (many of the films I loved from that year I didn’t get to see until Jan of 2010, but still), I found myself loving more films this year than I did last year. In fact, you may notice that although I claim this is a list of fifteen films, it in fact contains sixteen films. There is one tie and I will explain my choice when I get to it. Last year before the year ended I managed to watch 53 new releases; this year I saw 57 (which is kind of pitifully low when you consider how many new-to-me films I saw this year; but that’s neither here nor there and you have to wait until tomorrow to read about that cinematic odyssey). I want to point out that my top five films have not changed since October, but the ten (eleven) that follow have been shifted and adjusted many, many times since then. Probably when I rewatch those films late on this list might still evolve some. I also want to mention that there were at least two films that I wanted to see before the end of the year that I was not able to see (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn); as always, there is no way to know whether those films would have even made the list had I seen them, but I wanted to point out that I’ve yet to see them so that comments of “where is ***?!” didn’t ensue. Okay, enough chatter, on to the list.
Original credit for the idea goes to Beau Kaelin, who’s directive read:
Rather than posting your 100 favorite films (which has been done and overdone), you simply post your favorite things about movies. I dig the concept, because instead of obsessing over whether the films you put on a list are “objectively good enough” to put on said list, you simply jot down 100 moments/lines/visuals that have made a lasting impression on you or sneak their way into running gags between you and your friends.
At first I thought this would be excruciating to compile. Then I decided that I would just do the first 100 things that came to mind, because really what I love about the movies is everything. So here’s the list.
This was going around all the blogs last week and I resisted doing it, mostly because I found it too difficult to pick just one title for some of the letters (for A alone I had at least ten viable choices!), but I finally got over my own neurosis and forced myself to choose. I think this list is a pretty accurate portrait of my taste in movies. A little bit classic, a little bit modern. A lot of romance, a little sci-fi.
Many of the stars on last year’s list continued to dominate cinema in 2010; and just like last year a few of the stars on this year’s list have been working for quite some time, but in 2010 they’re finally getting their due.
Andrew Garfield made his debut in 2007 in the not-well received Lions For Lambs and the under-seen Boy A. Last year he was fabulous in Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, sadly that too went a little under the radar. This year, however, Garfield had two stand-out performances: as Tommy in the much-debated adaptation of Never Let Me Go and as Eduardo Saverin in David Fincher Best Picture contender The Social Network. Garfield has received multiple nominations for his performance in the latter and is widely considered a front-runner for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination next week. He’s also been named the new Spiderman, which has begun filming already and is due out in theaters in 2012.
I’m sure you’re probably wondering how I managed to watch so many films in one year. To answer that I have to give you a little background information. For about 9 months out of the year I was unemployed and for those other 3 months I was only employed about half-time. That left me with a lot of free time. I figured with so many free hours I ought to spend my time doing something I love and maybe something constructive as well. If you ask me, watching as many films as possible counts as something constructive. My brain hasn’t felt this stimulated in years. A lot of my viewing came courtesy of Netflix, instant Netflix and the best channel on television: Turner Classic Movies. Throughout this epic film-watching year I managed to watch all the remaining Best Picture Winners I hadn’t seen, as well as multiple classic horror films in October and about 38 of the top Film-Noir films (I plan on referring to November from now on as Noirvember). In fact, I watched so many wonderful films in the last year it’s hard for me to imagine there are any films left for me to watch in 2011. That is, until I look at my completely full Netflix queue and all the films TCM has scheduled in January and February that I haven’t seen.
So I recently completed one of my life goals: watching every single film that won the Academy Award for Best Picture. I would say it took me 24 years, because that’s how old I am and the Academy Awards have been my favorite hobby as long as I can remember. However, it was in the last six weeks or so that I’ve been really hitting the list hard because I realized I only had twenty left and that seemed like a very doable task. All but two of these films are available on DVD. Sadly, one of my Top Ten Winners isn’t. You can, however, get it on VHS and find it on YouTube if you’re wily. It’s been a wonderful experience watching all 82 films. Most are really quite wonderful, others are so-so and a handful I thought were downright boring. My next goal is to watch all of the films that were nominated for Best Picture. There are 474 films that have been nominated and I’ve seen 257 of those films already, which only leaves 217. I’m figuring on some of the earlier films to be a little hard to come by and I also plan on taking a few years to try to complete this goal. I’m sure I’ll write something about that when I do finish it! But now on to my favorite and least favorite Best Picture winners.
This list is twenty-one films that were nominated for multiple Oscars, including several that were nominated for Best Director, yet somehow missed out on a Best Picture nomination. I’m starting in 1951 because I went all the way down to 1927 and mostly, until 1951, the best films managed to get nom’d for Best Picture. I think this mostly had to do with all the years wherein ten films were nominated for the top prize. Although, last year when there were ten slots again there were several films I would have nom’d over say, The Blind Side. I’m not going to talk about any of those though, because that would take up almost the whole post. Instead, I have twenty-one films from 1951 to 2008 that I think should have gotten one of the Best Picture slots of their year.
The ASC released the results of an online poll today and the quirky 2001 French film (and one of my Top-Ten Favorite Films of All Time!) topped the list.
A LOT of my favorites, when it comes to cinematography, are on this list. Here’s the Top Ten (with the rest after the cut)
- Amélie: Bruno Delbonnel, ASC, AFC
- Children of Men: Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC, AMC
- Saving Private Ryan: Janusz Kaminski
- There Will Be Blood: Robert Elswit, ASC
- No Country for Old Men: Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC
- Fight Club: Jeff Cronenweth, ASC
- The Dark Knight: Wally Pfister, ASC
- Road to Perdition: Conrad L. Hall, ASC
- Cidade de Deus (City of God): César Charlone, ABC
- American Beauty: Conrad L. Hall, ASC