I’ve been reticent to discuss 1996 because my all-time favorite film came out that year: The English Patient. In fact, it won Best Picture. So in my eyes, Oscar got it very right that year. That being said, there is a film that came out in 1996 and was nominated for Best Picture that I absolutely adore. I saw Jerry Maguire in theaters when I was ten and loved it and as soon as it came out on VHS (remember, this was nearly 15 years ago) I bought it and watched it over and over and over. I have seen this film so many times I have every line of dialogue and every little nuance of every performance memorized. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one: Best Editing, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor Cuba Gooding, Jr. (won), Best Actor Tom Cruise and Best Picture. The other films nominated that year were: Fargo, Secrets and Lies, Shine and winner The English Patient.
Cameron Crowe has directed 6 movies. I love and own on DVD 5 of those movies. His sixth film I really disliked. What I love so much about Cameron Crowe’s films, more than the great stories and characters he creates, is his use of music. There are few directors who infuse music so deeply into the stories they’re telling the way Crowe does. I’m sure this has to do with his background as a writer/editor with Rolling Stone Magazine. I owe a lot of my taste in music to the soundtracks of Crowe’s films. Crowe introduced me to Peter Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Sigur Rós and Spiritualized, just to name a few of the bands that have graced his soundtracks.