November 2011

After sitting through Braveheart a second time, I would gladly inflict this punishment on Mel Gibson.

The 68th annual Academy Awards, for the film year 1995.  The nominations were announced on February 13, 1996 and the awards were held on March 25, 1996.

Best Picture:  Braveheart

  • Sense and Sensibility
  • Il Postino
  • Apollo 13
  • Babe

Most Surprising Omission:  Leaving Las Vegas

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  The Usual Suspects

Rank (out of 83) Among Best Picture Years:  #58


Well, the good news is that we’re finally done dealing with our noisy neighbors and sharing a parking lot with a high school.  But that means we’re moving and it’s caused a drastic slowdown in my posts as I pack up all our stuff and fret about getting moved.  So, I’ll post as much as I can but we’ve got to get packed so we can move the weekend of Dec 9-11 and I still work six days a week.  But, we’ll be closer to Alewife and we’ll be on the first floor of a two family, so we’re looking forward to it.

Emma Thompson is so talented she could take a book I find unreadable and write a script I would call the best of the year.

My Top 20:

  1. Sense and Sensibility
  2. The Usual Suspects
  3. Richard III
  4. 12 Monkeys
  5. To Die For
  6. Les Miserables
  7. Toy Story
  8. Leaving Las Vegas
  9. Clockers
  10. Mina Tannenbaum
  11. Shanghai Triad
  12. Il Postino
  13. Heat
  14. Smoke
  15. Hyenas
  16. Kids
  17. An Awfully Big Adventure
  18. Jeffrey
  19. Burnt by the Sun
  20. Apollo 13


the great Signet cover of The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye

  • Author:  J. D. Salinger  (1919  –  2010)
  • Rank:  #28
  • Published:  1951
  • Publisher:  Little, Brown and Company
  • Pages:  214
  • First Line:  “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.”
  • Last Lines:  “Don’t ever tell anybody anything.  If you do, you start missing everybody.”
  • Acclaim:  Modern Library Top 100 English Language Novels of the 20th Century #64; All-TIME List; Le Monde’s Books of the Century #88
  • ML Edition:  #90  (1958)
  • Film:  none
  • First Read:  August, 1991


Just because the Academy gave him an Oscar doesn't mean he will do well on these lists.

So what is this?  This is the start of the in-depth look at every director who has ever been nominated by the Academy Awards for Best Director, ranked.  I already gave the bare bones version of the final list, though, as with all my lists, as I see more movies, they can fluctuate.  Here I will explain how all my points systems are derived (which I already did once here, for My Top 100 2.0 Intro, but I am doing again because there are lists here specific to these directors) and I will give various lists of the best and worst directors in the various categories.

Soon, this will be followed by various in-depth looks at each director, probably in groups of 25 or so, which will be interspersed between all my other posts, because they take a while to do.  So, here we go.

Here is how my points system is derived:

There are 10 categories.  There are a maximum of 100 points in any one category.  In some categories, it is not possible to earn all 100 points.  In others, you can earn much more, but I cut you off at 100.  Below, I list all 10 categories, with a brief description of how I derive the points and the Top and Bottom 10 for each category for the Academy Award nominated directors.  A brief note: I have mathematical value I apply to all films, and to the quality of various aspects of the film (direction being one).  Without it, there is no good way to do this list, other than the last category.  So, if you don’t like that, abandon all hope ye who enter here. (more…)

The Modern Library dust jacket for Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse

To the Lighthouse

  • Author:  Virginia Woolf  (1882  –  1941)
  • Rank:  #29
  • Published:  1927
  • Publisher:  Hogarth Press
  • Pages:  209
  • First Line:  ” ‘Yes, of course, if it’s fine tomorrow,’ said Mrs. Ramsay.”
  • Last Line:  “Yes, she thought, laying down her brush in extreme fatigue, I have had my vision.”
  • Acclaim:  Modern Library Top 100 English Language Novels of the 20th Century #15; All-TIME List
  • ML Edition:  1937  (#217)
  • Film:  1983 (tv film)
  • First Read:  Spring 1995 (more…)

Run Forrest, before the Academy realizes your film didn't deserve those Oscars.

The 67th annual Academy Awards, for the film year 1994.  The nominations were announced on February 14, 1995 and the awards were held on March 27, 1995.

Best Picture:  Forrest Gump

  • Pulp Fiction
  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • Four Weddings and a Funeral
  • Quiz Show

Most Surprising Omission:  Bullets over Broadway

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  Ed Wood

Rank (out of 83) Among Best Picture Years:  #3 (more…)

Charlie Brown and the NBA Lockout

Charlie Brown and the NBA Lockout

With the rough time Thomas has been having lately, it went right down to the last minute for us to make a decision whether or not we were going to go trick-or-treating. Thomas’ costume ended up being pretty lowkey – a Charlie Brown ghost with too many holes – and Erik decided to go as the NBA lockout. We went to Brookline and hit up Beale street (to give you a sense of how popular this street is we got there about 6:45 and one house was putting up a sign that said “Ran out of candy, 700 served” and I don’t think they were exaggerating.) Reaction to Thomas’ costume was mixed – the people who got it really loved it (one woman stopped her vehicle and had her kids get out to take a picture of him), but a lot of people didn’t get it which makes me sad that “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” just isn’t as prevalent a touchstone as it used to be.