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…)

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…)

" 'My God,' the Colonel suddenly yelled, 'the bridge has been mined, Colonel Saito. Those damn things I saw against the piles were explosives! And this wire . . .' " (p 174)

” ‘My God,’ the Colonel suddenly yelled, ‘the bridge has been mined, Colonel Saito. Those damn things I saw against the piles were explosives! And this wire . . .’ ” (p 174)

My Top 10:

  1. The Bridge on the River Kwai
  2. Paths of Glory
  3. Sweet Smell of Success
  4. 12 Angry Men
  5. Witness for the Prosecution
  6. Rififi
  7. The Good Soldier Schweik
  8. A Face in the Crowd
  9. A Hatful of Rain
  10. Heaven Knows Mr Allison

Note:  There are 12 films on my list.  The last two are listed down at the bottom. (more…)

cbm50bfweaqz48gIntroduction

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…)

If you don't like the 14 noms for La La Land, well suck it. It deserved them all.

If you don’t like the 14 noms for La La Land, well suck it. It deserved them all.

Well, the record has been tied.  And I couldn’t be happier.  It’s a much different year for me, as I have only seen two of the nine Best Picture nominees, but I’m okay with that.  Four more of them come out on DVD in February, so I’ll be mostly caught up by the time of the actual ceremony.

As for the record tying 14 nominations from La La Land?  Well, I’ve been asked already what I think of the film and I’ve been a bit coy, waiting for today, hoping it would tie the record. All About Eve is a great film but got 14 with some Tech nominations that I thought were pretty weak and I am not a fan of Titanic.  What do I think of La La Land?  I think that it’s the second best film of the last decade, behind only Lincoln.  I think, that if you count The Wizard of Oz as a Kids film (which I do), it ranks as the #3 Musical of all-time behind only West Side Story and Singin in the Rain.  That’s how much I love it and I’m about to go see it for a third time.

Now, on to the trivia: (more…)

Not exactly a "meet cute". More of a "meet dirty, smelly and cramped".

Not exactly a “meet cute”. More of a “meet dirty, smelly and cramped”.

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. Out of Sight  *
  2. Shakespeare in Love  *
  3. Saving Private Ryan  **
  4. The Big Lebowski
  5. Gods and Monsters  *
  6. The Truman Show
  7. Ringu
  8. Pleasantville
  9. Insomnia
  10. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Analysis:  Only the top 9 are ****.  As is discussed down below, this is not a strong year for great films but it is a very strong year for very good films.
With Out of Sight (NSFC, BSFC wins, BFCA nom) and Gods and Monsters (NBR win, Globe, PGA, BFCA noms) in instead of The Thin Red Line and Life is Beautiful, the Consensus nominees are a lot better than the Oscar nominees.
Out of Sight is a great film, but let’s be fair.  It would have finished 6th in 1996 and fifth in 1997.  The most recent year where it even would have finished second is 1988.  In spite of that, this Top 5 is one point better than 1995. (more…)