“She stood again in front of Lecter’s cell and saw the rare spectacle of the doctor agitated.  She knew that he could smell it on her.  He could smell everything.”  (p 25)

My Top 10

  1. The Silence of the Lambs
  2. JFK
  3. The Commitments
  4. Beauty and the Beast
  5. Europa Europa
  6. The Indian Runner
  7. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
  8. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
  9. My Own Private Idaho
  10. Fried Green Tomatoes

note:  Down at the bottom are the other films in my list which don’t make the Top 10 but the list is much shorter than the year before (even accounting for the fact that one of them, The Prince of Tides, is reviewed because of award nominations).  This is one of those years where the Original screenplays are fantastic and Adapted aren’t nearly as strong (certainly after the Top 5).



This is a companion piece to three different series.  The first is The History of the Academy Awards, in which I covered each category in individual posts.  This was originally done in 2009 and additions were included in 2010.  You can find links to all of these pieces in each individual category.  I have grouped all of the categories together for the same reason that I did so originally – because most pieces on the Oscars don’t approach the awards through the categories, but through the years.  This specific piece is designed to take a closer look at the decade and how I think the Academy did in those years.

The second series is my Year in Film series.  That is mentioned here because in those pieces I included paragraphs about the Oscars as a whole for each year and included a considerable amount of trivia.  Since I had based my Year in Film series and eligibility as such on the Academy calendar, it all seemed very relevant.  Also, I include various prizes (Worst Oscar, Worst Nomination, Worst Omission, etc) and I didn’t want to repeat myself, so following the links will bring you there.  Those links are at the end of this piece, where I do a brief summation of each year and how the Academy did.  One note on the Year in Film posts – I did those before Oscars.org started putting up official information about release dates.  Several films have been moved from the years where they appeared in those posts – see the Nighthawk Awards posts for more accurate placement – I have included links in the years.

The third series is my History of the Academy Awards: Best Picture series, where I reviewed every film ever nominated for Best Picture (except The Patriot, which is lost).  Those links are also down below, grouped by year. (more…)

Astute readers will realize I have used this picture before. Being astute, they will also realize it's the perfect image to encompass the only film to sweep the big 5 at the Oscars that deserved all five.

Astute readers will realize I have used this picture before. Being astute, they will also realize it’s the perfect image to encompass the only film to sweep the big 5 at the Oscars and the Nighthawks.

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 12 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.  I’m going with 12 because most categories have at least that many, if not more on my list and they stay strong 12 deep.  In future years, it will probably even expand beyond 12.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. The Silence of the Lambs  **
  2. JFK  *
  3. Beauty and the Beast
  4. The Fisher King
  5. Boyz N the Hood
  6. Europa Europa
  7. The Commitments  *
  8. Grand Canyon
  9. Thelma & Louise
  10. Dead Again
  11. Homicide
  12. Barton Fink

Analysis:  All 12 of these films are **** as well as three others: The Killer, Truly Madly Deeply and City of Hope.  The Top 10 for this year are the third best to-date and the Top 20 are the best to-date (the rest of the Top 20 are Life is Sweet, Ju Dou, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Bugsy and La Femme Nikita).  The #6-10 films are the third best to-date and the #11-20 are the best in a single year so far (beaten out by the combined year of 1912-26).  Dead Again is the best #10 film since the combined year of 1912-26.
The Silence of the Lambs is the first Oscar winner I agree with since 1984.  It is also the first film to win four critics awards and go on to win the Oscar.  Even today, it is one of only four films to do that (Schindler’s List, No Country for Old Men, The Hurt Locker).  It is still in the Top 10 today of all critics winners with 1187 points and is one of only four films in history to earn at least 250 points from four different critics groups (GoodFellas, LA Confidential, The Social Network).
Since 2011, when I wrote my most recent review of JFK, I have had my view on what happened on November 22, 1963 changed considerably by reading all 1600+ pages of Vincent Bugliosi’s masterful Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, including going through a lot of the footnotes on the accompanying CD-ROM.  That Bugliosi’s book changed my mind about what happened on that day has not changed my mind about Stone’s film.  I think now what I thought then: “Stone isn’t really showing us an analysis of anything, no matter how many research notes he gives us.  He is using one particular case to explore history.”
This category earned a 71.8 Oscar Score, the highest in nine years. (more…)

Beauty and the Beast during their best song in the film ("Something There"). The best Animated Film of the 90's.

1990  –  1999

Total Films I’ve Seen:  1217

Films That Make the Top 5 in Any Category:  53

Best Film Not to Make the Top 5 in Any Category:  The Shawshank Redemption

Film of the Decade:  GoodFellas

Worst Film of the Decade:  Showgirls

Worst Best Picture Nominee of the Decade:  Braveheart

Worst Film of the Decade Made by a Top 100 Director:  North


Two performances for the ages: Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster in Silence of the Lambs (1991)

My Top 20:

  1. Silence of the Lambs
  2. JFK
  3. Beauty and the Beast
  4. The Fisher King
  5. Europa Europa
  6. Boyz N the Hood
  7. The Commitments
  8. Grand Canyon
  9. Dead Again
  10. Thelma and Louise
  11. Homicide
  12. Truly, Madly, Deeply
  13. City of Hope
  14. Life is Sweet
  15. Barton Fink
  16. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
  17. Ju Dou
  18. Bugsy
  19. La Femme Nikita
  20. The Double Life of Veronique