My Top 10

  1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  2. Mystic River
  3. City of God
  4. American Splendor
  5. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
  6. Nowhere in Africa
  7. Whale Rider
  8. Big Fish
  9. Bubba Ho-Tep
  10. Matchstick Men

note:  A strong Top 5 but the second 5 is fairly weak.  But it does still have several (weaker) films on my complete list down at the bottom, minus the #13 (Cold Mountain) and #16 (The Secret Lives of Dentists) which are reviewed because of awards. (more…)

“As Laura sets the plates and forks on the table – as they ring softly on the starched white cloth – it seems she has succeeded suddenly, at the last minute, the way a painter might brush a final line of color onto a painting and save it from incoherence; the way a writer might set down the line that brings to light the submerged patterns and symmetry in the drama. It has to do, somehow, with setting plates and forks on a white cloth. It is as unmistakable as it is unexpected.” (p 207)

My Top 10

  1. The Hours
  2. Adaptation
  3. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  4. Minority Report
  5. The Pianist
  6. The Quiet American
  7. About a Boy
  8. Road to Perdition
  9. Solaris
  10. About Schmidt

note:  A fantastic Top 5 and Top 10 as should be expected from one of the best years in film history.  There is also a very long list after that.  My #11 (Catch Me if You Can), #12 (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind) and #15 (Chicago) are reviewed because of award considerations.  But my full list was 30 films long and the other 17 are listed down at the bottom.
note:  Until libraries fully reopen in San Diego, this is the list Adapted Screenplay post I can do.

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“There was a hush, and all turned their eyes on Frodo. He was shaken by a sudden shame and fear; and he felt a great reluctance to reveal the Ring, and a loathing of its touch. He wished he was far away. The Ring gleamed and flickered as he held it up before them in his trembling hand.” (p 240-241)

My Top 10

  1. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  2. In the Bedroom
  3. Ghost World
  4. Vanilla Sky
  5. Last Orders
  6. Shrek
  7. Ocean’s Eleven
  8. A.I.
  9. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  10. The Pledge

note:  Not a great Top 5 or Top 10.  It’s another of those years which is balanced by a fantastic group of original scripts (Amelie, Memento, Gosford Park, Monster’s Ball, Amores Perros, Royal Tenenbaums, Others, Man Who Wasn’t There).  My #11 (Black Hawk Down), 13 (Iris) and 14 (Bridget Jones) are reviewed down below because of nominations while the rest of my list (which reached 19) is down at the bottom. (more…)


A Century of Film


Visual Effects

Visual Effects might seem like a new thing, stemming first from 2001 and then from Star Wars with increasingly developed technology leading to amazing new things on-screen.  But they have actually been there from the start.  A Trip to the Moon, the first great film ever made, back in 1902, used brilliant Visual Effects to show its incredible trip. (more…)

So, this is a very different list than the one that will be appearing in the next post as you will already know from the Actress list.  In fact, rather than repeat the entire introduction from that post, I will just say that you should click on that link and read that intro first.  But the key to this list is that this is the favorites list, not the best, so remember that for all the bits about the actor. (more…)

A Century of Film
Original Score

It’s tricky to even call this category Original Score since the only group that actually holds true to that is the Oscars and even they have had a lot of different categories over the years.  Nonetheless, I have tried to hold true to that, even though at times I disagree with the Academy’s distinction of how much pre-existing music can dilute that score. (more…)

A Century of Film
Sound

Sound in film debuted in 1927.  It managed to come into being at the same time that the Oscars did, which helps bring a demarcation point between early film (The Silent Era) and the rest of film history.  Sound would become an important feature to films because it added a whole new dimension of the kind of story you could tell, not just with the dialogue, but with sound effects as well.  Especially with Musicals, sound would really change how a story could be told. (more…)

A Century of Film

Sound Editing

It’s hard to know precisely what to think of Sound Editing, partially because of its strange awards history.  The Academy has a long history of awarding Best Sound (which will be the next category, up before too long) but made no distinction other than “Best Sound”.  In 1963, they branched out a bit and added a second award for Best Sound Effects, an award that is generally considered to be the same as today’s Sound Editing award.

Yet, the Academy was slow on the ball there.  The Motion Picture Sound Editors began their own award way, way back in 1953, at a point where the only existing guild awards were those for the two major guilds that had been such a part of union battles for so long and had formed their own awards, in part, to lash out at the academy (the directors and screenwriters).  This is the only guild award that actually pre-dates an equivalent award at the Academy and did so by a decade. (more…)


A Century of Film

Supporting Actress

Film has always relied on supporting performances but awards groups haven’t always recognized them right away.  It wasn’t until the 9th Academy Awards that the first supporting awards were given out.  Likewise, the BAFTAs would go through their first 20 awards without the category and no critics group would give such an award until 1957.  But eventually, of course, all the awards groups followed through and today it’s one way of celebrating great character actors although it has also been a chance for big stars to win their Oscar at last.  Supporting performances can be a role that runs through the whole film (like the way the Academy awarded Catherine Zeta-Jones for Chicago in a role that earned her a Globe nomination as a lead) or for a performance that dominates the film in spite of only being in a few scenes (like Judi Dench in Shakespeare in Love). (more…)

A Century of Film

Supporting Actor

Film has always relied on supporting performances but awards groups haven’t always recognized them right away.  It wasn’t until the 9th Academy Awards that the first supporting awards were given out.  Likewise, the BAFTAs would go through their first 20 awards without the category and no critics group would give such an award until 1957.  But eventually, of course, all the awards groups followed through and today it’s one way of celebrating great character actors although it has also been a chance for big stars to win their Oscar at last.  Supporting performances can be a role that runs through the whole film (like the way the Academy nominated Gene Hackman for I Never Sang for My Father or Al Pacino for The Godfather) or for a performance that dominates the film in spite of only being in a few scenes (like Orson Welles in The Third Man). (more…)