3 items from 2014
Best Picture: “12 Years a Slave.” What an incredible lineup! Apart from “American Hustle” (a blatant knockoff of Scorsese’s superior, Oscar-unrewarded “Goodfellas”) and Scorsese’s own equally unwieldy “The Wolf of Wall Street,” I would be happy to see any of these films go home victorious. And yet, “12 Years a Slave” strikes me as an achievement above the rest, inviting people to empathize with a human being caught at the center of a system whose implications and aftermath society still refuses to confront. Considering Hollywood’s belief in the healing power of Holocaust movies, it’s scandalous how long America’s slaveholding legacy had gone unexamined — until now.
Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity.” Though I know some are predicting “Gravity” for the top prize, direction is surely the category where this mind-blowing, mostly virtual achievement most warrants recognition. Cuaron delivers a visceral cinematic experience nonpareil, »
- Variety Staff
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
As if his British films weren’t evidence enough of his talent, Alfred Hitchcock made quite the impression when he came to Hollywood in 1940. His first picture in the states, Rebecca, was nominated for Best Picture at the 1941 Academy Awards. So was his second, Foreign Correspondent, also released in 1940. While Rebecca would ultimately win, many – then and now – consider the achievement as belonging more to producer David O. Selznick than to the director. This is not without some justification. Though Rebecca bears more than a few notably Hitchcockian touches, between the two features, Foreign Correspondent looks and feels more appropriately like Hitchcock’s previous and later works. The Criterion Collection, recently very kind to Hitchcock on Blu-ray, now gives this latter feature a suitably well-rounded treatment, with a documentary on the film’s visual effects, an »
- Jeremy Carr
So, we’ve arrived at the top 20, slowly creeping toward those films that are exactly what a romantic comedy should be. We’ve seen films that fall into the category, but lean more toward other genres. We’ve seen romantic films that are funny enough to be comedies, but don’t entirely represent the spirit of the rom-com, despite being brilliant films. Now, we form a clearer picture of what a romantic comedy is. Not all of the films in this section are necessarily “good,” but they’re all iconic, definitive romantic comedies (hence their inclusion). Memorability does not necessarily come partnered with quality. It means right place, right time.
courtesy of totalfilm.com
20. Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
- Joshua Gaul
3 items from 2014
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