The Best Films of the Decade: The 1940s

1.      Citizen Kane- Welles 2.      Bicycle Thieves- De Sica 3.      The Magnificent Ambersons- Welles 4.      The Third Man- Reed 5.      Casablanca- Curtiz 6.      It's a Wonderful Life- Capra 7.      The Big Sleep- Hawks 8.      Notorious- Hitchcock 9.      Rome, Open City- Rossellini 10.  Late Spring- Ozu 11.  White Heat- Walsh 12.  The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp- Powell & Pressburger 13.  Black Narcissus- Powell & Pressburger 14.  Double Indemnity- Wilder 15.  Red River- Hawks 16.  The Treasure of the Sierra Madre- Huston 17.  My Darling Clementine- Ford  18.  Out of the Past- Tourneur 19.  Germany Year Zero- Rossellini 20. 

The Best Films of the Decade: The 1940s2021-06-19T12:01:58+00:00

The Best Films of the Decade: The 1930s

1.       The Rules of the Game- Renoir 2.       City Lights- Chaplin 3.       M- Lang 4.       Gone With the Wind- Fleming 5.       Stagecoach- Ford 6.       The Blue Angel- von Sternberg 7.       The Wizard of Oz- Fleming 8.       The Grand Illusion- Renoir 9.       Bringing Up Baby- Hawks 10.   Modern Times- Chaplin 11.   The Scarlett Express- von Sternberg 12.   It Happened One Night- Capra 13.   Love Me Tonight- Mamoulian 14.   Morocco- von Sternberg 15.   The Bride of Frankenstein- Whale 16.   The Crime of Monsieur Lange- Renoir 17.   La Bête Humaine- Renoir 18.   La Chienne- Renoir 19.   Le Million- Clair 20.   L'Atalante -

The Best Films of the Decade: The 1930s2021-06-19T12:01:51+00:00

Spotlight – 2015 McCarthy

An engaging and detailed docudrama proceduralHoward Shore does great work here with his subtle scoreAcademy Award winner for best picture and screenplay and that—and the acting- are the strengths of the film—I’m not dying to see what McCarthy does nextIt does actually break away from McCarthy’s tendencies in terms of themes as auteur from The Station Agent, to The Visitor to Win/Win these are largely fish out of water stories- I guess you could argue that Liev Schrieber as the Jewish lead editor from Miami and Stanley Tucci as the quirky Armenian lawyer are the heroes in Boston—a foreign

Spotlight – 2015 McCarthy2020-07-03T10:29:44+00:00

Libel – 1959 Asquith

Dirk Bogarde is fantastic-  not only a dual role (they didn’t really have these in 1959 like we see with Dead Ringers, Adaptation and so many others more contemporary cinema – I guess Alec Guinness was doing a bit of this work but still- it shows not only range for Bogarde but tremendous complexity and inner angst even within one of his roles here)- he’s amazing- and a revelation in 1959 and the beginning of an impressive decade to 15 years for him Olivia de Havilland- 20 years after Gone with the Wind is great here- She’s a great

Libel – 1959 Asquith2020-07-03T10:29:44+00:00

A Star is Born – 2018 Bradley Cooper

1.0- October 2018 electricity on the stage thanks to Aronofsky's DP Matthew Libatique and raw intimacy in the dramatic off-stage scenes thanks to two (or three if you count sam elliott) powerhouse performances (tremendous moment here) you can definitely see the beautiful stage lighting work and comparisons with like Black Swan Cooper’s performance is very good- but certainly very borrowed from Sam Elliott’s voice (a point acknowledged, in a way that’s very well done in the film), part Kris Kristofferson—part Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart for sure Lots of closeups as a camera choice—typical of an actor turned director-

A Star is Born – 2018 Bradley Cooper2021-06-05T11:41:56+00:00

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy – 2004 McKay

I think only now with the hindsight of McKay’s established style in The Big Short and Vice is Anchorman archiveableLike the rest of his work this has a ridiculous quote in the prologueWe have cameos and deep casting (from little known at the time Seth Rogan and Kathryn Hahn) to Tim Robbins, Jack Black and Ben Stiller—cameos, inventive cutting and deep casting are there in McKay’s 2010’s workSplit-screen editing-- inventive montagesIt’s hilarious—absolutely—but we have the influence of Apatow’s abundance of improve both good and bad (Will Ferrell uses “mountain” twice as a punch-line in 5 minutes which is just

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy – 2004 McKay2020-07-03T10:29:44+00:00

Happy as Lazzaro – 2018 Rohrwacher

A Biblical parable—a film of two halves that reminded me of the work of Ermanno Olmi, Bertolucci, Walt Disney, Bresson, Being There and Apichatpong WeerasethakulShot on 16mmRural first half—grounded in neo-realism with hardships, unprofessional extras and real babies crying. This could be the Olmi film—there’s the peasants vs the patrons which could be Bertolucci’s 1900Lazzaro (not an accidental name with the surprise death and resurrection) is a simpleton, a saint, he has a uniform, he’s genuine—reminded me of Bresson’s Donkey in Au Hasard Balthazar or Bess in Breaking the Waves in waysThe Marquis as pure evil drops this into

Happy as Lazzaro – 2018 Rohrwacher2020-07-03T10:29:44+00:00

The Best Films of the Decade: 1910s and 1920s

1.       The Passion of Joan of Arc- Dreyer 2.       Sunrise- Murnau 3.        Intolerance- Griffith 4.       Battleship Potemkin- Eisenstein 5.       Metropolis- Lang 6.       Nosferatu- Murnau 7.       The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari- Wiene 8.       The Birth of a Nation- Griffith 9.       The General- Keaton 10.   The Gold Rush- Chaplin 11.   Sherlock Jr. Keaton 12.   Greed- von Stroheim 13.   Strike- Eisenstein 14.   The Last Laugh- Murnau 15.   Foolish Wives- von Stroheim 16.   Mabuse: The Gambler- Lang 17.   October- Eisenstein 18.   The Crowd- Vidor 19.   The Big Parade- Vidor 20.   The Wind- Sjöström 21.   The Circus- Chaplin 22.   Destiny- Lang 23.   Pandora's Box-

The Best Films of the Decade: 1910s and 1920s2021-06-19T12:01:41+00:00

Tom Jones – 1963 Richardson

It’s British New Wave (clearly Richardson from Look Back in Anger, Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner) taking on some of the style of the French New Wave- mainly TruffautOne of the best edited films of the 1960’s- the editing is a characterAcademy Award wins for picture, writer, director and scoreFirst of 5 noms for FinneyFinney was one of the go-to first faces on the acting side of the British New Wave- Saturday Night and Sunday Morning- 1960—he’s also a small role in Richardson’s The Entertainer It updates Henry Fielding’s for the modern generation—not quite like Sofia Coppola did

Tom Jones – 1963 Richardson2020-07-03T10:29:45+00:00

Somewhere – 2010 Sofia Coppola

A meditation on isolation and celebrity that has to be seen in the context of Sofia’s brilliant oeuvre. These are hermetically-sealed worlds- Virgin Suicides, The Beguiled-- privilege- Bling Ring, Marie Antoinette Opens with a metaphor that annoyed some but I loved it- Stephen Dorff is literally driving his Ferrari in circles on a road to nowhere then spends the bulk of the film in his Hotel California hell—Bonfire of the Vanities Golden Lion in Venice winnerA tone poem—I wish the visuals were a little stronger (we’d have a sure must-see top 5 of the year film) but still- more

Somewhere – 2010 Sofia Coppola2020-07-03T10:29:45+00:00

Best Actresses in the World- 2019

Emma Stone (1)- Stone would be number one on this list if we combined both male and female and it feels like it’s been a long time since you could say that. In the past five years she’s been dazzling in three masterpieces (Birdman, La La Land, and now The Favourite). That’s two more than any other actress during that stretch. I love Amy Adams and the others on this list but Stone is far and away the best actress in the world right now. Amy Adams (2)- Adams was great in Vice and that’s an archiveable film so 2018

Best Actresses in the World- 20192021-09-26T13:35:35+00:00

Best Actors in the World- 2019

Ryan Gosling (1)- Gosling’s addition of First Man is enough to keep him here. It’s not one of the best performances of the year—but it’s solid, and the other heavy-hitters, DiCaprio, DDL can’t overtake him as they didn’t work. Even Bale’s achievement in Vice, though it’s superior to Goslings, isn’t in a great film either. Daniel Day-Lews (3)- DDL did nothing to surpass Dicaprio in 2018 (they both took another year off) but Phantom Thread is two years more recent than The Revenant. Leonardo Dicaprio (2)- I want to move other actors past him but it was such a weak year

Best Actors in the World- 20192020-07-03T10:29:46+00:00
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