Still one of the best openings ever.  Oh, and still the best film ever made and by default, the #1 film on the Best Picture list.

Still one of the best openings ever. Oh, and still the best film ever made and by default, the #1 film on the Best Picture list.

Back in 2009, I did a long series of histories of all the Academy Awards categories (you can find a full list here).  The final thing I did was a ranked list of all 468 Best Picture nominees.  When I revised all those posts in 2010 I only added in the 2009 Best Picture nominees to the ranked list rather than redo the list.  There was a reason for that – for a long time, that one post was by far the most popular thing I had ever put up.  There were stretches where it accounted for almost 20% of the hits on the entire site.  But that changed drastically with Google’s changing of how images come up.  But still I didn’t revise it, because by then, I was in the middle of a project that began on 9 March 2010 and only finished on 6 March 2013 – a year by year look at Best Picture in every year.  So I wanted to wait until the project was done. (more…)

Michael-Corleone

Michael in both the darkness and the light in The Godfather (1972) – still the best film to ever win Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

Here we have 85 years of Oscar winners.  Though, because of the two winners in 1928 there are actually 86 winners that are ranked.

This list covers a complete ranking of all 86 of those films, from the very worst to the very best.  This will be followed by two more lists: a complete ranking of all the Best Picture years and a complete ranking of all 503 films that have earned Best Picture nominations (not including the 3 that can’t readily be seen). (more…)

Faulkner is the king of the list.  Does that really surprise you?

Faulkner is the king of the list. Does that really surprise you?

Before I put up the full Top 100 list (and do the post for #1), I am tossing up this bit of various trivia and statistics about the novels on my Top 100 list and on the 101-200 list.

Please note that none of the lists involving 101-200 have numbers attached because I didn’t rank them.

  • Longest Top 100 Novel:  In Search of Lost Time  (4651 pages)
  • Shortest Top 100 Novel:  Heart of Darkness  (96 pages)
  • Earliest Top 100 Novel:  Gulliver’s Travels  (1726)
  • Latest Top 100 Novel:  Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrel  (2004)
  • Latest Top 200 Novel:  The Night Circus / The Tiger’s Wife  (2011) (more…)
Still the best animated film of this or any other decade.

Still the best animated film of this or any other decade.

2000  –  2009

Total Films I’ve Seen:  1296

Films That Make the Top 5 in Any Category:  48

Best Film Not to Make the Top 5 in Any Category:  No Country for Old Men

Film of the Decade:  The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Worst Film of the Decade:  Captivity

Worst Best Picture Nominee of the Decade:  The Blind Side

Worst Film of the Decade Made by a Top 100 Director:  What Planet Are You From (more…)

IMG_1483“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”

Reading J.R.R. Tolkien didn’t teach me a love of reading.  Even at the age of 5, I already had that.  But, in the summer of 1980, after I had made it through the Chronicles of Narnia, my brothers decided to hand me The Hobbit and then The Lord of the Rings and see what would happen.  What happened, of course, is 33 consecutive years of reading both (sometimes more than once a year).

For a long time, this was a love that I had, but it wasn’t necessarily an overwhelming passion.  I had The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion and a few reference books (The Complete Guide to Middle-earth and The Atlas of Middle-earth).  And I knew a lot about Middle-earth.  But it could all easily fit in a shelf.  Now it can’t even fit in a single bookcase.

“This tale grew in the telling . . .”

What happened?  Well, a passion for collecting that began to focus happened.  And the films happened, at a time when I was working at the world’s largest bookstore.  There was suddenly a lot of Tolkien books (and Tolkien related books) around and suddenly I had more money than I had before for this kind of collecting.  So, this took off, slower than Faulkner, but at a good pace.

And what has happened in the years since I left Powell’s?  It has only continued to grow.  In fact, I now own more copies of Lord of the Rings than I own of The Sound and the Fury.  And it continues to grow because they continue to release new editions of the books and I just can’t resist. (more…)

The versions I first read, growing up - the first authorized U.S. paperback Ballatine edition.

The versions I first read, growing up – the first authorized U.S. paperback Ballatine edition.

The Lord of the Rings

  • Rank:  #5
  • Author:  J.R.R. Tolkien  (1892  –  1973)
  • Published:  1955  (U.K.),  1956  (U.S.)
  • Publisher:  George Allen & Unwin  (U.K.), Houghton Mifflin  (U.S.)
  • Pages:  1137
  • First Line:  “When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton.”
  • Last Line:  ” ‘Well, I’m back,’ he said.”
  • Acclaim:  3rd Best-Selling Novel of All-Time; Le Monde’s 100 Books of the Century
  • ML Version:  None
  • Film:  1978  (*);  1980  (TV – **.5);  2001, 2002, 2003  (****)
  • First Read:  Summer, 1980

(more…)

You shall not pass! Unless you give me 11 Oscars.

The 73rd annual Academy Awards, for the film year 2003.  The nominations were announced on 27 January 2004 and the awards were held on February 29, 2004.

Best Picture:  The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

  • Mystic River
  • Lost in Translation
  • Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
  • Seabiscuit

Most Surprising Omission:  Cold Mountain

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  City of God

Best Eligible English-Language Film Not Nominated:  In America

Rank (out of 84) Among Best Picture Years:  #4

(more…)