That's right; I've seen 83 out of 84 films for best picture. This leaves Schindler's List, which ironically I stated that before I even started this project that I don't ever want to see the film because I know how depressing it will be. I will have to see it, but there is still time. I also watched a few other film now putting me only 80 films left at the current moment. It's been getting harder to find movies that I haven't seen, but what do you expect when you've seen over 400 nominated films?
Shakespeare In Love (1998) - A romantic comedy about Shakespeare trying to write Romeo and Juliet. No one knows if it is true or not, doesn't matter. It's the same style as The Girl with the Pearl Earring, taking a historic event and creating a story about it. Well acted and enjoyable a good film to see.
This has now completed 1998 and the best film was Saving Private Ryan. This is one of the finest war movies ever made and clearly was the best quality film. Shakespeare In Love is second, a good film but not as good as Saving Private Ryan. Third would be Elizabeth, another film from the same era as Shakespeare In Love, although a bit dry, falls perfectly in the middle. Fourth is The Thin Red Line, another good war movie, not as good as Saving Private Ryan and too many characters like too many chefs, a little less would have made it stronger. And last is Life Is Beautiful a film that attempts to tell a heartfelt story but comes across creepy.
The Mission (1986) - A drama about Jesuit missionaries in South America in the 18th century. Good acting performances by Robert De Niro and Jermey Irons, great scenery, interesting story. A typical 80's drama, good film but nothing that great or to write home about.
This makes four out of five for the year and so far Platoon is still the best film. It came out at the right time and was slightly better than The Mission.
Test Pilot (1938) - What a film! Clark Gable, Myrna Loy and Spencer Tracey. And if that's not enough add in Lionel Barrymore. It's like ordering fried chicken, bacon and smoked sausage and lets just add a filet minion to that plate. Clark Gable is a ace pilot who flies planes for the military and attempts to set speed records. He had trouble, lands in Kansas, falls in love with Myrna Loy and takes her back to New York City. Spencer Tracey is his co-pilot and tries to keep him sober and from spending money as soon as he gets it. The great Lionel Barrymore is the owner of the company who tests the planes and plays the part as amazing as he always does.
This film is from the great era in Hollywood. This year is only surpassed by 1939. So far every film, nine out of ten for this year, have been incredible. So is this film better than You Can't Take It With You? Some movie algebra will have to be done. First using the Lionel Barrymore formula gets us to a tie since he was in both. The next equation is the director formula. Test Pilot was directed by Victor Flemming, You Can't Take It With You by Frank Capra. Normally using the Capra formula will solve the equation, but not this time since Flemming went on to direct Gone With The Wind the next year. The next formula is best director formula, Flemming won one, Capra won three and one of them was for You Can't Take It With You. Therefore You Can't Take It With You is still the best film of the year, mathematically proven.
Gosford Park (2001) - A Robert Altman film, you can't go wrong with that. A mystery that takes place in the early 1930's on an English estate with a cast of characters spending the weekend hunting. A murder takes place, other skeletons in the closet are revealed amongst multiple storylines. Stylish a very classy film, costumes hit the mark, very good acting, what you would expect from Robert Altman.
This now completes 2001 and the best film is still A Beautiful Mind. A great drama that none of the other films can ever come close to. Second is Lord Of The Rings since it is a great fantasy film with great special effects and really well done. Third is almost a tie between Gosford Park and In The Bedroom, but since Robert Altman directed Gosford Park it goes into third and In The Bedroom fourth. Last and least is Moulin Rouge, glad I will never have to watch that again.
Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close (2011) - Should be titled Extremely Obnoxious and Incredibly Sappy. The film revolves around an obsessive child who a year after losing his father in the World Trade Center on 9/11 tries to find who owns a key he finds in a vase. To be fair there is good acting, Max von Sydow is really good, and the film is well done. You can tell the goal was not to make the best picture, just one good enough to be nominated. And that they succeeded in doing. It generates buzz about the film and insane people like myself will have to see it since it was nominated. It's worth watching, you don't feel cheated or like you want your money back after seeing it, but it's not going to be remembered as one of the best films of the decade.
Was this better than The Artist? What planet are you from? No way.