He rules.

He rules.

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 16 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.  I’m going with the Top 16 because that’s how many **** films there are.  It’s not because Cate Blanchett comes in 16th in Supporting Actress.  That’s only a coincidence.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. American Beauty  **
  2. Magnolia
  3. The End of the Affair
  4. All About My Mother
  5. Eyes Wide Shut
  6. Three Kings
  7. Topsy-Turvy  *
  8. Princess Mononoke
  9. Being John Malkovich  *
  10. The Sixth Sense  *
  11. Toy Story 2
  12. The Talented Mr. Ripley
  13. The Insider  *
  14. Sweet and Lowdown
  15. Run Lola Run
  16. Following

Analysis:  This year sets a new high mark.  The Sixth Sense earns a 92 from me, which makes it the best #10 to-date, the first film to earn a higher mark in the #10 spot than Foolish Wives, the #10 film in the very first Nighthawk Awards.  The Top 20 (the remaining four films are Fight Club, Limbo, Abre Los Ojos and Man on the Moon) beats out 1994 for the best to-date.  As mentioned above, all 16 of these films are ****.
Three Kings had been in my Top 5 from the day I saw it in the theater all the way until I did these awards, when it was finally pushed out because I bumped up All About My Mother.
American Beauty becomes the first film to sweep the five awards groups (Oscar, BAFTA, PGA, Globe, BFCA).  It’s also the first to win the Oscar and the Consensus since Schindler’s List (which pre-dated the BFCA by one year). (more…)

It could have been just a gimmick, but then it turned it to be completely brilliant.

It could have been just a gimmick, but then it turned it to be completely brilliant.

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. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
  2. Dangerous Liaisons
  3. A Fish Called Wanda
  4. Running on Empty
  5. The Unbearable Lightness of Being  *
  6. Mississippi Burning  *
  7. Bull Durham
  8. Wings of Desire
  9. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
  10. Rain Man  *

Analysis:  All 10 of these films are **** as well as The Accidental Tourist, Beetlejuice and Die Hard.  But this is one of those years where the strength down the list skews the list a little because the Top 5 is actually the weakest in six years.  The Top 10, though, while weaker than the year before, is stronger than 1981-1986 and the Top 20, while weaker than the year before, is stronger than any other year going back to 1962.  The 6 through 10 films are the best since 1980 and tied for the second best since 1960.  The 11 through 20 films are the second best since 1960.  Wings and Women are the best #8 and 9 films since 1980.
The Consensus Winner is actually The Accidental Tourist.  It wins with just 1 win (lowest since 1971, only post-1978 film to win with less than three).  It also wins with just three nominations (only post-1985 film to win with less than five).  The Accidental Tourist and Mississippi Burning are the only films with more than two noms and Rain Man is the only film with more than one win, but loses by 10 points to Tourist.  This is the last year where no film wins more than one Best Picture critics award. (more…)

Robert Altman on the set of Prairie Home Companion with his "standby director", Paul Thomas Anderson, who agreed to that role for insurance reasons.  In between is some actress.

Robert Altman (#33) on the set of Prairie Home Companion with his “standby director”, Paul Thomas Anderson (#28), who agreed to that role for insurance reasons. In between is some actress.

This is the penultimate ranked list of those directors who have been nominated for Best Director by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.  This is part 8 of the series, with one part still left to go.  As always, you can find the previous seven posts in this series by going here.  There is also an introduction here, which explains the scope of the project as well as my scoring system.  I have been focusing on finishing this series this year, both so that I go do the bi-annual update of the Top 100 Directors of All-Time and because I want to do it before another Oscar season and some more directors potentially end up needing to be ranked.

In a reversal of the last group, these are the more experienced directors.  With the exception of four Studio Era workhorses, the 25 directors in the last post had only averaged 7.76 films.  This time, we have seven directors (Lucas, Olivier, Coppola, Fosse, Malick, Mendes, Anderson) who have only directed a combined 39 films – an average of 5.57 (I’ve seen all but two of those – the two now out or about to be in theaters).  The other 18 directors have averaged 19.83 films – or if you cut out Lynch, Branagh and Leigh, you have 15 directors who have made 325 films (21.67 each), of which I have seen 308.  I have also seen 95.2% of these films – only missing more than one film by Renoir (4) and Capra (9).  And the only film I’m missing from both Truffaut and Malle are on TCM in the next month.  And this just about caps it for the less experienced directors.  The only director in the last post with fewer than 10 films to his credit is Tarantino.

The other demarcation point between this group and the final group is the number of great (****) films they have directed.  Of the final 25, only one has directed fewer than 5 great films – Francis Ford Coppola, at #25, and he’s got four.  Only four others have directed just five – Charlie Chaplin, Orson Welles (both of whom have smaller amounts of total films), Clint Eastwood and Elia Kazan.  But how many directors have directed more than five great films and aren’t in the top 25?  Just five – all of whom are here: Stephen Frears (which is how he ranks this high), Steven Soderbergh, Pedro Almodóvar, Frank Capra and Francois Truffaut.  They all have six great films.  All sixteen directors who directed more than six great films are in the final group. (more…)

George Lucas and Steven Spielberg present a special Oscar to their hero: Akira Kurosawa

So, does this supersede my original list?  Well, lists are always organic – they grow and evolve over time.  I’ve fiddled with some of the categories and new films have come out and I’ve seen more films from some directors.  So, my original list was what it was in October of 2009.  This is where I am now, two years later, and one year overdue.  The list will continue to evolve over time.  The list never quite stops.  But here’s where I put it up.

I will remind people again that if you don’t see a director and you’re wondering why, please check the Introduction first.  It became clear on the original list that people didn’t read that instruction.  Please don’t repeat that.  And don’t ask about Godard.  See the Intro.

Also, we’ll again find out who reads this part, the film in parenthesis is not necessarily their best film (hell, with Mankiewicz, it’s his worst).  But it is the film I chose to write about, for whatever reason. (more…)

Max Von Sydow and Bibi Andersson in Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal (1957).

Max Von Sydow and Bibi Andersson in Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal (1957).

In 1957, Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster introduced the Best Actor nominees with a song called “It’s Great Not to Be Nominated.” And if you look at this list, you might agree, because this is a great list of films and none of them received even a single Academy Award nomination. They all were completely shut out.

To show how much the Academy got it wrong I list each film, complete with the year it was eligible, and then list all the awards I would have nominated them for (I put the category in bold if I would have given them the Oscar). I played fair to the Academy and only list categories that existed in the respective year to each film. I also only include films that I have been able to verify were eligible (either through official lists, or counting on the research of Inside Oscar). And I give them the nominations I thought they deserved that year – which is why some films lower on the list I nominate for Best Picture, and others that are higher are not — some years are tougher than others.

2010 Update:  (1 Feb)  I am going to type everything I update in green, which for this is not much, but will be hopefully quite a bit with all the History of the Academy Awards series starting tomorrow.  For most of the last year, I have tried to see more of the Oscar nominees that I haven’t seen, so there aren’t very many truly great films I’ve seen that I hadn’t seen before and weren’t nominated for any Oscars, but there are three that I want to mention.  I’m not revising the list, just adding these three as an addendum.  This is also a dry run to see how well it works to re-post things at the top.  So, click on through.

(more…)

Ingmar Bergman directing Fanny and Alexander, one of his 16 films on the list.

Ingmar Bergman directing Fanny and Alexander, one of his 16 films on the list.

One more genre after this and that’s Drama.  This list is outside the scope of AFI’s lists, of course, because these are Foreign Language Films.  This is the list in fact I said I would do months and months ago.

Since it takes forever to do the links (that’s why the last few lists have taken so long), I’ve just linked the directors, and only on their highest-ranking film.  I’ll eventually do the 100 Best Directors list, but it won’t be until after the Academy Awards because from the nominations to the awards I’ll be doing a daily post on each Oscar category. (more…)