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


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…)

I guarantee this scene in not in any of the Harry Potter films.

I guarantee this scene is not in any of the Harry Potter films.

Ah, the Harry Potter films.  The most successful film franchise in history, grossing in excess of $2 billion domestically and over $7.7 billion worldwide.  But there have been a lot of successful film franchises.  This isn’t just about how the films were successful – I’m not gonna write a post about the Twilight or Transformers films.  And it’s not just because I love the books – I love the Narnia books and I’m not gonna write a post about those films.  This is about a film series that I loved from the first and loved to the end and will always love.  It’s about a film franchise that, like Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings, took books that are very dear to my heart and brought them to the screen with absolute magnificence.

This post isn’t about the books.  I already wrote that post in my For Love of Books series and you can read it here.  This is about the films.  Because I love film and I love what they did with this series.  So, here is my third installment in my For Love of Film Series (following Hammer Horror and The Ealing Comedies). (more…)

If you're an 11 year old boy, this is the girl you want to meet - Chloe Grace Moretz in Hugo.

If you’re an 11 year old boy, this is the girl you want to meet – Chloe Grace Moretz in Hugo.

My Top 20:

  1. Hugo
  2. The Descendants
  3. The Artist
  4. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
  5. Midnight in Paris
  6. A Separation
  7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
  8. The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
  9. The Tree of Life
  10. The Ides of March
  11. Incendies
  12. Jane Eyre
  13. Beginners
  14. Contagion
  15. My Week With Marilyn
  16. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  17. Rango
  18. Moneyball
  19. Margin Call
  20. Take Shelter


A couple of star performances in the best film of the year.

A couple of star-making performances in the best film of the year.

My Top 20:

  1. The Social Network
  2. The King’s Speech
  3. Inception
  4. True Grit
  5. The Ghost Writer
  6. Winter’s Bone
  7. Black Swan
  8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I
  9. Another Year
  10. Toy Story 3
  11. The Town
  12. Biutiful
  13. The Kids are All Right
  14. Tangled
  15. Shutter Island
  16. Never Let Me Go
  17. Rabbit Hole
  18. The Fighter
  19. Green Zone
  20. Blue Valentine


I’m a Lord of the Rings fanatic with a thing for Cate Blanchett. What were you expecting to see here?

My Top 20:

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


The British Deluxe (first 5), the U.S. Hardcover (all 7), the Time Magazine that announced the craze in September of 1999 and my favorite cover – the British adult Deathly Hallows

“You should read these,” the good looking manager at work said.  I had just started working at Barnes and Noble – my first bookstore job – and it was the third week of September in 1999.  She was pointing at the three Harry Potter books, which were the top sellers in the store.  The title character was about to make the cover of Time Magazine as the sales of the third book were sparking a craze.

Since I could check out hardcovers for free, I took the first one home.  The next day, having read the whole thing, I brought it back.  When she asked about it, my initial reaction was that they weren’t as good as the Narnia books.  For all the fun ways it which it combined a boarding school novel with classic fantasy, I felt the book lacked depth in its characters – they were all too clearly black or white, with the only possible exception being Professor Snape, but he was so demonized by the main characters that it was hard to tell how much gray he had.  So when she asked, I said “There’s no character in the book as good as Edmund in the Narnia books.”

She encouraged me to keep reading them.  That was easy enough and the first one was enjoyable enough, so that night I brought home the second book.  The next day, that came back and I brought home the third one.  The second one had been about equal to the first, but the third one was a big step up.  The characters had definitely begun to develop various shades of gray and the back story of the characters was beginning to fill in.  So, there I was, now anxiously awaiting the fourth one, right at the head of the wave that was beginning to build.

Oh, and the good looking manager who insisted that I read them, told me how wonderful they were and defended their quality against the Narnia books?  We got married in between books four and five and had Thomas before book six.