lists


I, Claudius

  • Roman depravity, decay and decadence in all its literary glory.

    Roman depravity, decay and decadence in all its literary glory.

    Author:  Robert Graves

  • Published:  1934
  • Publisher:  Arthur Barker
  • Pages:  432
  • First Line:  “I, Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus This-that-and-the-other (for I shall not trouble you yet with all my titles) who was once, and not so long ago either, known to my friends and relatives and associates as ‘Claudius the Idiot,’ or ‘That Claudius’, or ‘Claudius the Stammerer’, or ‘Clau-Clau-Claudius’ or at best as ‘Poor Uncle Claudius’, am now about to write this strange history of my life; starting from my earliest childhood and continuing year by year until I reach that fateful point of change where, some eight years ago, at the age of fifty-one, I suddenly found myself caught in what I may call the ‘golden predicament’ from which I have never since become disentangled.”
  • Last Lines:  “What a miraculous fate for a historian!  And as you will have seen, I took full advantage of my opportunities.  Even the mature historian’s privilege of setting forth conversations of which he knows only the gist is one that I have availed myself of hardly at all.”
  • ML Edition:  #20; tan cover
  • Acclaim:  ML Top 100 English Language Novels of the 20th Century #14; TIME 100 Best Novels Since 1923 List; James Tait Black Memorial Prize
  • Film Version:  1937 (aborted); 1976  (TV – ****)
  • First Read:  Late 1998

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Bring on the cave troll.

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 20 in the categories (because that’s how many **** films there are) but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring  *
  2. The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain
  3. Moulin Rouge  *
  4. Mulholland Drive  **
  5. Memento
  6. Gosford Park
  7. In the Bedroom  *
  8. The Royal Tenenbaums
  9. Vanilla Sky
  10. Amores Perros
  11. The Man Who Wasn’t There
  12. The Others
  13. Ghost World
  14. Monster’s Ball
  15. A.I. Artificial Intelligence
  16. The Princess and the Warrior
  17. Black Hawk Down
  18. The Devil’s Backbone
  19. Monsters Inc.
  20. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

(more…)

And in the morning, I'm making waffles!

And in the morning, I’m making waffles!

The 74th annual Academy Awards for the film year 2001.  The nominations were announced on February 12, 2002 and the awards were held on March 24, 2002.

Best Animated Film:  Shrek

  • Monsters Inc.
  • Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius

Most Surprising Omission: Waking Life

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  n/a

Rank (out of 15) Among Best Best Animated Film Years:  #11

Oscar Score:  100

Alternate Oscar Score:  100

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Back in 2009, I wrote a series of posts about each of the categories that have awards at the Oscars.  I organized it by category because almost all things written about the Oscars group them by years and never discussed the categories as a whole.  In 2010, I went back to that series and added the 2009 nominees to the original posts (you can find that original post here, but this post supersedes everything in it).  Once I concluded that series (it ran every day from the day of the nominations to the day of the Oscars) I would go on to write a series about all the films ever nominated for Best Picture, writing a review of every nominee because it didn’t seem like anyone had ever done that.  When that ended (in early 2013), I went on to other things, including beginning my Nighthawk Awards, my list of my own personal awards from each year.  I have been doing that series for four years now and am rapidly approaching the end (if I did as many years in 2017 as I did in 2016, I would finish it this year).  So, partially in an effort to put off the end of that series, I am starting this series.  This is essentially the same as the Best Picture series, except with the category of Best Animated Film.  So now, just before I post each Nighthawk Awards, starting with 2001, I will do a separate piece on the nominees for Best Animated Film.  This post is going up after the 2000 post because that was when the Academy finally decided to create this category, probably inspired, in part by the run of great animated films from previous years like Toy Story 2, Princess Mononoke, South Park, The Iron Giant and Chicken Run.  Also, with the rise of Pixar, the greater American visibility of Ghibli and new films from Aardman and DreamWorks, there were a lot more animated films out there and they wouldn’t just be giving the award to Disney every year (well, they would be mostly giving the award to Pixar, who was first distributed, then later, owned by Disney, so they actually were pretty much giving it to Disney almost every year), so it was time for the award. (more…)

swI have always been a proponent of the idea that I can separate what I think is brilliant from what I personally enjoy.  Let’s just look at 2015.  I think that Carol and The Revenant were the two best films of the year.  But if I’m going to sit and watch a movie from 2015, odds are it will be The Force Awakens (this is borne out by the fact that I’ve seen Carol twice, The Revenant all the way through once and The Force Awakens, at a modest count, 21 times complete plus the final 20 minutes about 15 more).

To that extent, I have finally culled together a list of my 100 Favorite Films, the ones I am most likely to sit still and watch, or at least not change the station if I come across them.  They’re not heavy Drama.  In fact, when I went through the genres, only one film on the entire list is one that I classify primarily as Drama (Casablanca).

It’s really hard to do this kind of list when you’ve seen as many films as I have (14,000+).  I put it together by going through year by year and adding films, and once I hit 100, knocking off the films at the bottom.  When I first read Veronica a list of 50 films, I then pointed out that those were the 50 I was about to delete because they didn’t make the list and she was stunned.  “But you love those films!” she pointed out.  “But I love the Top 100 even more,” I replied.  It was very, very tough.  Though they are easily two of the greatest directors of all-time if not the two greatest directors of all-time, not a single Kurosawa or Kubrick film ended up on the list.  There is no Bergman.  There is no David Lean.  The Ealing Comedies and the Hammer Horror, both of which I love so much I wrote about them only have one film each.  I did For Love of Film posts for James Bond (1 film) and Star Trek (2 films).  It’s really, really hard to narrow it all down. (more…)

One of cinema's great love stories. Along with a whole lot of other things. One of cinema's great films.

One of cinema’s great love stories. Along with a whole lot of other things. One of cinema’s great films.

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. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon  *
  2. Traffic  *
  3. Almost Famous  *
  4. O Brother Where Art Thou
  5. Wonder Boys
  6. Thirteen Days
  7. High Fidelity
  8. The Virgin Suicides
  9. Billy Elliot
  10. Best in Show

Analysis:  Gladiator wins the Consensus easily in spite of not winning any critics awards.  It became just the fifth film to win the Oscar, Globe and BAFTA without having won any critics awards (one of which was Lawrence of Arabia, which was released in a year where there was no NYFC awards due to a strike).  But, with addition of the PGA in 1989 and the BFCA in 1995, Gladiator becomes the first film to win all five awards groups without having won a single critics group, something that has only happened once since (Argo).  It’s my #65 film of the year.  Almost Famous comes in second at the Consensus without an Oscar nom which is a rarity, but nothing compared to what will happen the next year.  Erin Brockovich, my #50, is the fifth Consensus nominee.  It’s also the first film to ever go 0 for 5 with the Best Picture awards (nominations from all five awards groups and losing all five), something which 14 films have done since and which has become quite common since the Best Picture lineup at the Oscars was expanded.
There are only 11 **** films on the year (the other is Chicken Run), making this a much weaker year than many recent years.  The Top 20 is the lowest in five years and there won’t be a lower one again until 2008.  Nonetheless, this year has some of my absolute favorite films of all-time, including Crouching Tiger, Almost Famous, O Brother, Wonder Boys and High Fidelity.
The Oscar Score is 43.6, the lowest since 1968, which is a little deceptive.  It’s because films below ***.5 don’t earn any points, so to have three *** nominees, even if they are mid ***, really hurts with the Oscar Score. (more…)

highfidelityHigh Fidelity

  • Author:  Nick Hornby
  • Published:  1995
  • Publisher:  Victor Gollancz LTD
  • Pages:  323
  • First Line:  “My desert-island, all-time, top five most memorable split-ups, in chronological order.”
  • Last Lines:  “When Laura hears the opening bars she spins round and grins and makes several thumbs-up signs, and I start to compile in my head a compilation tape for her, something that’s full of stuff she’s heard of, and full of stuff she’d play.  Tonight, for the first time ever, I can sort of see how it’s done.”
  • Film:  2000 (****)
  • First Read:  Spring 2000

The Novel:  In the book, Barry is the one who is first obsessed with lists, who introduces them to the other two in the store.  But it’s Rob who’s narrating, Rob who can’t stop making lists, who, in fact, begins the novel with a list.  I read this book because the trailer was out and it looked great and Veronica and I were going to go see it (she owned the book).  And suddenly, for the first time since Catcher in the Rye, I felt like I was reading about myself. (more…)

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