Whether you go with the 3 hour theatrical release or the 6 hour television version, Fanny and Alexander is the best film of the year.

Whether you go with the 3 hour theatrical release or the 6 hour television version, Fanny and Alexander is the best film of the year.

You can read more about this year in film here.  The Best Picture race is discussed here, with reviews of all the nominees.  First there are the categories, followed by all the films with their nominations, then the Globes, where I split the major awards by Drama and Comedy, followed by a few lists at the very end.  If there’s a film you expected to see and didn’t, check the very bottom – it might be eligible in a different year.  Films in red won the Oscar in that category (or Globe, in the Globes section).  Films in blue were nominated.  Films (or directors) in olive are links to earlier posts that I don’t want to have show up in blue and be mistaken for a nominee.  Films with an asterisk (*) were Consensus nominees (a scale I put together based on the various awards) while those with a double asterisk (**) were the Consensus winners.

I’m listing the top 10 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Fanny & Alexander  *
  2. Terms of Endearment  **
  3. The Big Chill
  4. Zelig
  5. The Right Stuff
  6. Betrayal
  7. Star Wars Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi
  8. Educating Rita  *
  9. Miss Europe
  10. Danton

(more…)

inside-out-14In mid-January, on the day the Oscars were announced, I wrote a piece about the Oscar nominations.  In response to a comment on that piece, I listed Inside Out as my #6 film of the year.  A month and a half later, when I published my Year in Film, it was listed at #3 for the year.  What happened in between?  Well, Starz happened in between, as it started airing Inside Out the weekend of the Oscars.  Since it kept coming on and it’s something we’re definitely okay with Thomas watching, we kept putting it on.  The more I watched it, the more I found myself moved by it.  It wasn’t the moment that everyone talks about either, the moment when Bing-Bong sacrifices himself so that Joy can make it back, so that Riley can be saved.  It’s the end of the film, when the emotions can’t seem to bring Riley back, when she’s losing the capacity to feel anything at all. (more…)

Garcia Marquez isn't the only South American who can write a fantastic magical realism novel.

Garcia Marquez isn’t the only South American who can write a fantastic magical realism novel.

The House of the Spirits (La casa de los espíritus)

  • Author:  Isabel Allende  (b. 1942)
  • Published:  1982  /  1985  (English tran.)
  • Publisher:  Plaza & Janés, S.A.
  • Pages:  433
  • First Line:  “Barrabás came to us by the sea, the child Clara wrote in her delicate calligraphy.”
  • Last Line:  “It begins like this: Barrabás came to us by the sea.”
  • Awards:  Panorama Literario
  • Film:  1994  (**)
  • First Read:  Fall 2000

The Novel:  When I first started at Powells, I was living in Beaverton and commuting into Portland on the Max.  That gave me a lot of time to read, and I was employed by the largest bookstore in the world.  So I made a list.  It was a mixture of a variety of books – some were books I had seen the film of, some were finishing off authors whose other books I had already read and some were award winners I felt the need to read.  I don’t remember all of the books on the list, but some of them come back to me vividly, as I remember reading them while on the Max, or walking through the streets of Northwest to the Max.  This is one of those books. (more…)

The desperation and tragedy of love in Sophie's Choice.

The desperation and tragedy of love in Sophie’s Choice.

You can read more about this year in film here.  The Best Picture race is discussed here, with reviews of all the nominees.  First there are the categories, followed by all the films with their nominations, then the Globes, where I split the major awards by Drama and Comedy, followed by a few lists at the very end.  If there’s a film you expected to see and didn’t, check the very bottom – it might be eligible in a different year.  Films in red won the Oscar in that category (or Globe, in the Globes section).  Films in blue were nominated.  Films (or directors) in olive are links to earlier posts that I don’t want to have show up in blue and be mistaken for a nominee.  Films with an asterisk (*) were Consensus nominees (a scale I put together based on the various awards) while those with a double asterisk (**) were the Consensus winners.

I’m listing the top 10 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Sophie’s Choice
  2. The Verdict  *
  3. Das Boot
  4. Tootsie  *
  5. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  6. Missing  *
  7. E.T.  *
  8. The Long Good Friday
  9. Diner
  10. Fitzcarraldo

Analysis:  There are nine **** films and then a three point drop to a high-level ***.5, followed by another couple of high-level ***.5 films, My Favorite Year and Blade Runner.  Yes, that means I have Blade Runner as the third-ranked Sci-Fi film of the year, which for many will be blasphemy. (more…)

"I have known her six years and seen her twice in a decent dress. Once was at a funeral of a big producer for whom she had no respect and once when she had to receive a Critics award she didn't want." (The Wisdom of Eve)

“I have known her six years and seen her twice in a decent dress. Once was at a funeral of a big producer for whom she had no respect and once when she had to receive a Critics award she didn’t want.” (“The Wisdom of Eve”)

My Top 8:

  1. All About Eve
  2. Night and the City
  3. Kind Hearts and Coronets
  4. The Asphalt Jungle
  5. Harvey
  6. In a Lonely Place
  7. Cinderella
  8. Broken Arrow

Note:  Yes, only a Top 8.  There are 20 films in this year that I rate ***.5 or better and only seven of them are adapted (Broken Arrow is a high ***).  The Third Man is often thought of as adapted, but the script was actually written first. (more…)

Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?

Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?

You can read more about this year in film here.  The Best Picture race is discussed here, with reviews of all the nominees.  First there are the categories, followed by all the films with their nominations, then the Globes, where I split the major awards by Drama and Comedy, followed by a few lists at the very end.  If there’s a film you expected to see and didn’t, check the very bottom – it might be eligible in a different year.  Films in red won the Oscar in that category (or Globe, in the Globes section).  Films in blue were nominated.  Films with an asterisk (*) were Consensus nominees (a scale I put together based on the various awards) while those with a double asterisk (**) were the Consensus winners.  Anything in olive is a link to another post that I didn’t want to show up accidentally in blue and make it appear like it’s a nominee.

I’m listing the top 8 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.  The reason I have dropped it to 8 is because there is often a big drop between #8 and #9 and a lot of categories don’t even go past 8.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  2. Gallipoli
  3. Reds
  4. Atlantic City
  5. Excalibur
  6. Ragtime
  7. The French Lieutenant’s Woman
  8. Body Heat

Analysis:  My Top 5 are easy, as there are only five **** films for the first time since 1972 and the last time to-date.  The drop between #5 and #6 (four points) is the largest since 1972 and the second largest since 1957. (more…)

Revisiting Childhood Movies Part XVI:

Superman II

  • superman_ii_ver5Director:  Richard Lester  /  Richard Donner
  • Writer:  Mario Puzo  /  David Newman  /  Leslie Newman  /  Tom Mankiewicz
  • Producer:  Ilya Salkind
  • Stars:  Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman, Margot Kidder, Terence Stamp
  • Studio:  Warner Bros
  • Award Nominations:  none from groups I track
  • Length:  127 min (original)  /  116 min (Donner cut)
  • Genre:  Sci-Fi (Comic Book)
  • MPAA Rating:  PG
  • Release Date:  19 June 1981
  • Box Office Gross:  $108.18 mil  (#3 – 1981)
  • Ebert Rating:  ****
  • My Rating:  ***.5
  • My Rank:  #9 (year)
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  Original Score, Sound, Visual Effects, Sound Editing
  • Nighthawk Notables:  Best Opening Credits
  • First Watched:  in the theater on my 8th birthday
  • Number of Times Watched as a Kid:  15-20

As a Kid:  My mother took my older brother, my sister and I to the movies for my 8th birthday.  It was a double feature of Star Trek II and Superman II (well over a year after it was first released).  The former film scarred my mother for life but both films were a godsend to me.  I loved them both then and I love them both now.  Indeed, when I was a kid, the only films I loved more than Superman II were Star Wars and Watership Down (I was not a normal child).  So why is it that I loved the second film so much? (more…)

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