Probably my mother's favorite movie, at least in part because Chris Cooper actually plays the hero.

Probably my mother’s favorite movie, at least in part because Chris Cooper actually plays the hero.

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.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Lone Star
  2. Trainspotting
  3. The English Patient
  4. Fargo
  5. Hamlet
  6. Secrets & Lies
  7. Jerry Maguire
  8. In the Bleak Midwinter
  9. Cold Comfort Farm
  10. The Crucible
  11. Romeo + Juliet
  12. Emma

Analysis:  There are a lot of years that have a better #1 film than Lone Star.  But not many have a better #2 than Trainspotting.  Even fewer have a better #3 than The English Patient.  The Top three films are tied with several others years for third best to-date (behind 1946 and 1950).  But Fargo is the best #4 film to-date (actually, it’s almost certainly the best #4 film ever).  And only a handful of years have a #5 film as good as Hamlet.  As a result, this year is tied with 1946 for the best Top 4 to-date and Top 5 to-date (and, probably, all-time).  There is a three point drop after that, so it’s only the second best Top 6, then another two point drop.  But, because all 10 films are ****, it is in the 6th best Top 10 to-date, behind only 1989, 1960, 1994, 1962 and 1991.
One thing I must make mention of here.  I don’t count documentaries, as I have mentioned in the past.  That is particularly relevant in this year, a year in which I actually went to see two documentaries in the theater (The Celluloid Closet, Looking for Richard) and there are a couple of others which are phenomenal (When We Were Kings, Paradise Lost).  I went with 12 films because this is my whole list of **** films.
Two of these films rank among the films I have watched the most over the last 20 years (Trainspotting, In the Bleak Midwinter). (more…)

We all got it comin, kid.

We all got it comin, kid.

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. Unforgiven  **
  2. The Crying Game  *
  3. The Player  *
  4. The Last of the Mohicans
  5. Howards End  *
  6. Reservoir Dogs
  7. Raise the Red Lantern
  8. Aladdin
  9. Flirting
  10. Singles

Analysis:  These are the only **** films.  There’s a four point drop from the #10 to the #11 film.  The #11 film is also an Oscar and Consensus nominee: A Few Good Men. (more…)

"My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius." Easily the best scene in Gladiator.

The 73rd annual Academy Awards, for the film year 2000.  The nominations were announced on February 13, 2001 and the awards were held on March 25, 2001.

Best Picture:  Gladiator

  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  • Traffic
  • Chocolat
  • Erin Brockovich

Most Surprising Omission:  Almost Famous

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  Almost Famous

Rank (out of 84) Among Best Picture Years:  #47

(more…)

If you think Crouching Tiger is not the best film of 2000, she will kick your ass. And she might even if you agree. And she'll be sexy doing it.

My Top 20:

  1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  2. Almost Famous
  3. Traffic
  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
  11. Chicken Run
  12. State and Main
  13. Unbreakable
  14. The Claim
  15. X-Men
  16. You Can Count on Me
  17. Nurse Betty
  18. Aimee and Jaguar
  19. Winter Sleepers
  20. The Widow of St. Pierre

(more…)

A touching moment in the desert: "Am I K in your book?"

The 69th annual Academy Awards, for the film year 1996.  The nominations were announced on February 11, 1997 and the awards were held on March 24, 1997.

Best Picture:  The English Patient

  • Fargo
  • Secrets and Lies
  • Jerry Maguire
  • Shine

Most Surprising Omission:  The People vs. Larry Flynt

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  Lone Star

Rank (out of 82) Among Best Picture Years:  #14 (more…)

The bas-relief on Boston Common that lead to the film Glory

My Top 20:

  1. Glory
  2. Field of Dreams
  3. Henry V
  4. Born on the Fourth of July
  5. Crimes and Misdemeanors
  6. Say Anything
  7. When Harry Met Sally
  8. The Little Mermaid
  9. My Neighbor Totoro
  10. Do the Right Thing
  11. My Left Foot
  12. Dead Poets Society
  13. Heathers
  14. sex, lies and videotape
  15. Batman
  16. Black Rain  (Imamura)
  17. Drugstore Cowboy
  18. Hanussen
  19. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  20. The Mighty Quinn

(more…)

That Oscar Cameron Crowe is holding? It wasn't for Best Director.

I have put off what was supposed to be an annual update of the Top 100 Directors of All-Time because I got sidetracked working on a ranking of all 210 directors who have been nominated for an Oscar over the years.  I had hoped to add Christopher Nolan to that list.  After all, on my initial list he was the highest ranked director without an Oscar nomination and Inception was easily going to be a Best Picture nominee.  Except, somehow, the Academy left him off their nomination list – the third time he has earned a DGA nomination but not an Oscar nomination, tying Rob Reiner for first place on that dubious distinction list.

So, since I’m a long way from finishing my ranking of the Oscar nominated directors, I thought I would throw up two lists.  The next one will be the best English language directors who have never been nominated for an Oscar or had one of their films nominated for Best Picture.  But this one is the Top 10 Directors of All-Time Who Have Never Been Nominated for An Oscar Even Though Their Film Was.

Because I am only including directors who have never been nominated, some of the more egregious director omissions in Academy history aren’t part of this list (like say Steven Spielberg for Jaws or John Huston for The Maltese Falcon or Ang Lee for Sense and Sensibility).  Those directors have all been nominated for Best Director by the Academy at some point and are among the 210 who will be ranked later.

There are 72 directors on this list – many of them from the early years when there were far more films nominated than directors (today the films outnumber the directors 10 to 5 but there were years where they outnumbered them 12 to 3).  In the last two years as many directors have been added to this list (8) as had been added from 1994 to 2008.

By the way, the antithesis to this list is Fellini.  He is the only person in Academy history to be nominated for Best Director more than once while never having a film nominated for Best Picture.  He is tied with Woody Allen for most Director nominations without Picture noms (4), ahead of Billy Wilder and Alfred Hitchcock (3 each).  Oddly enough, Otto Preminger was nominated twice when his film wasn’t and the only film he ever directed that was nominated didn’t earn him a nomination.

I have cut people off for the same reason that I have done on my all-time list – if they have directed fewer than 4 films, so no Joe Wright or Neill Blomkamp.  But here is my Top 10: (more…)