I’ve written a lot about Woody Allen over the last few years and I’m sure I’ll be writing about him for many more years to come. He doesn’t always hit the mark, but when he does, he hits it better than just about anyone. Case in point: 2011’s smash hit Midnight In Paris. It may well be in my top five favorite of Woody Allen’s many films. Part of this has to do with my love of Paris in twenties (and the fact that pretty much everything mentioned in the film was something I studied in college) and partly because of the experience I had when I first saw it. I had just moved back to San Francisco (like, literally THAT DAY) and I went to see it with my roommate and one of my good friends (who was visiting from Florida!) and it had been raining and the showtime we wanted to go to was sold out so we had to wait an hour in the lobby and it was the most perfect experience I could have asked for. There’s a lot of things to write about with this film, but I’ve decided just to focus on a few facets of it that I really love. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards, winning one: Best Art Direction, Best Original Screenplay (won), Best Director and Best Picture. The other films nominated for Best Picture in 2011 were: The Descendants, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Help, Hugo, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, War Horse and winner The Artist.
Malick was one of the most acclaimed directors in the 1970s, with two highly acclaimed dramas – 1973’s Badlands and 1978’s Days of Heaven. He then disappeared for nearly twenty years before production of The Thin Red Line started. The result is an astounding WWII ensemble based on the novel of the same name by James Jones (who’s other book, From Here To Eternity was turned into a film in 1953 and won 8 Oscars). There is a version of The Thin Red Line from 1964 that I’m told is more true to the book; I’ve yet to see it. I also don’t really care if it’s more true to the book because I love what Malick did with this story. This film is one of my Top Ten Films of All Time. It was nominated for 7 Oscars in 1998 although it didn’t win a single award. It was up against Saving Private Ryan, Shakespeare In Love, Elizabeth and Life Is Beautiful.