best film: Punch-Drunk Love from Paul Thomas Anderson
- PT’s stated goal was to “make an art house Adam Sandler movie” and it was purposefully anti-ensemble multi-character epic in size Boogie Nights and Magnolia.
- Jon Brion’s brilliant and experimental score (this is the pre-Jonny Greenwood PTA which would lead one to assume that PTA knows what he is doing when it comes to music (not to say Greenwood and Brion are not both brilliant and possible geniuses as well) but there are such commonalities here with how segments of this sound (especially in scenes where PTA is ratchetting it up -think forklift accident here, oil rig explosion in There Will Be Blood) match shots from TWBB.
- The “He Needs Me” song is from Altman’s movie Popeye and sung by Shelley Duvall—not as many Altman connections here as his previous work but this is a big one clearly
- PT is such a formal/visual freak/master- how many grocery stores have color coded aisles?
- The opening is perfection—we have a blue suit, blue lines on the wall and he shoots at an angle to make Barry, at the desk, look very isloated
- The shot of Barry/Sandler running away from the brothers from Utah mirrors the shot of Phoenix running from the farmers in The Master
- I had to read it in a review to notice it but there is a red figure in the background the first time Barry/Sandler goes to the grocery store and sure enough—it’s Watson (who is always wearing red or pink)
- The Windex on Barry’s table in his sad apartment is blue
- The claustrophobic scene mentioned above with the escalating score (phone ringing, loud sister, forklift) is magnificent
- Watson has a storied history of playing the odd duck looking for love which is a little out of the norm (Breaking the Waves)
- The entire film is a dichotomy—formal point/count—we have the rage (car crash, breaking sliding glass door, beating up bathroom) and the adoration (Watson, harmonium, Chaplin dance)
- Blue atlas van lines truck- no mistake- blue lights when driving from the street, blue phone both
- Pink sky to open at dawn— blue/pink sky to close in Hawaii
- Pink pant pajamas for Watson
most underrated: The underrated category in 2002 has a few options. I remember seeing a few mentions for Spike Lee’s 25th Hour on the critics lists when Metacritic compiled the decade end list for best films of the decade (00-09). So I was surprised to see that it still canot find its way onto TSPDT’s top 1000 consensus. It should not only be on the top 1000 but it should be in the top 500. The performances from Edward Norton, Barry Pepper, Rosario Dawson, Brian Cox and Philip Seymour Hoffman are spot on but it is Spike who impresses most here and gives us his best work of the 21st century to date and best film since 1992’s Malcolm X. If one film had to be picked as the most underrated though for 2002, it would be Sam Mendes’ The Road to Perdition. Forget getting a spot on the TSPDT top 1000— this film cannot find a spot on the TSPDT 21stst century top 1000! Outrageous!
most overrated: The most overrated film of 2002 is Abbas Kiarostami’s Ten. It certainty is an important social and political film- it just does not warrant being in the top 1000 of all time (or terribly close). There are more than twenty films from 2002 alone that attempt and accomplish more artistically.
gems I want to spotlight I am going to shine a light on three films. Igby Goes Down starring Kieran Culkin is a film I find myself going back to often (I have seen it at least a half dozen times already). Narc is a gritty, copy drama that will reward those that make time for it. And, Cronenberg’s Spider is a slow-burn arthouse puzzler that has big bold set piece that always makes me think of Ozu’s A Hen in the Wind (1948) and Antonioni’s L’Eclisse (1962).
- Narc is a cop drama that looks like every cliché on paper—done with ingenuity and nearly flawless execution- a great film
- Starts with bang– hand-held chase- a wild flashback in washed out color
- Then at the inquest we have a tracking shot behind the head of Jason Patric – another really well-done sequence
- Shallow focus flashback of the driving incident in the narrative—there are shadows under the bridge
- Carnahan’s stories are masculine—The Grey—violent, raw
- Ray Liotta is a wrecking ball—well-dressed, big and bloated, a bruiser—complex- a little like Russell Crowe’s Bud White in LA Confidential—great shot of him between the bars at a dinner—one of Liotta’s best performances
- A bad split screen interviewing people in Detroit montage
- Location in Detroit is a character- dilapidated and abandoned– it is cold and gray out– never any sun—like NYC in the old Lumet and crime films in the 1970s—a character
- Raw, lots of energy
- The John Ortiz scene, pant-less, amazing- what a great five minute performance
- Highlight of the film is a shot through the car window with reflections on both cops, trees and branches, it’s stunning. They are talking about their wives and it goes into a monologue from Liotta—great acting and direction
- Loud, chaotic, harsh lighting (purposeful), cold, shouting, goatees, blood
- Wife who complains, dirty cop—lots of clichés but Carnahan and Liotta make the film rise above
- Busta Rhymes is good here
- The decrepit building final set piece is striking
- Narrative issues—recording confessions? Character motivations for major plot points at the end make it tough
trends and notables:
- World cinema continues to be in a great place in 2002. Eight countries (by director’s birth) are represented in the top 10 of the year.
- Punch-Drunk Love and Hero at the top secure 2002 as a exceptional year. For a long time (prior to elevating these two films to their rightful positions) I viewed 2002 as a year with incredible depth (films like Russian Ark, The Man Without a Past, Spider, Minority Report are spilling out of that top 10) but lacking a big masterpiece. I was wrong. Punch-Drunk Love is that big masterpiece. And, Hero is a respectable #2 for any year.
- If PTA is the new Kubrick (both in terms of quality of his films and the longer gaps between- though he has picked up the pace a little) it is also worth nothing that 2002 is just one of the two years for the decade (2007 with There Will Be Blood) where he released a film. Knowing what we know now with these two films (five years apart) and The Master in 2012 (also five years apart) – how could anyone complain?
- Sam Raimi’s Spider Man starring Tobey Maguire is a juggernaut and the biggest domestic box office film of 2002
- Another major development in 2002 is the first pairing of Scorsese and DiCaprio. This would go on to be such a fruitful artistic partnership for both sides
- 2002 marks major Mount Rushmore films for the Dardenne brothers and Almodovar with The Son and Talk to Her respectively. Though, like Kaurismäki above, these auteurs are really about their total body of work rather than their single greatest film (like say Carol Reed or Ridley Scott).
- 2002 marks the first archiveable film for Paul Greengrass with Bloody Sunday. Weerasethakul and Noe are mentioned above already
- As far as firsts for actors are concerned, Amy Adams makes quite an impression in Spielberg’s Catch Me If you Can. This is her first archiveable film performance. A young Kristen Stewart is in Panic Room. Jesse Eisenberg gets his archiveable start in Roger Dodger as well.
best performance male: There are five standouts in 2002 for this category but three that could vie for the top slot. The top three are Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York, Ed Norton in 25th Hour and Adam Sandler in Punch-Drunk Love. For Day-Lewis, Gangs and There Will Be Blood are his version of Brando’s Streetcar and On the Waterfront one-two punch. Sandler is in the better film. It is, strangely, still an Adam Sandler movie and accomplishes what PTA set out to do. He is not trying to change Cruise (Magnolia) and Sandler- these are talented actors and megastars. He is tapping into their talents for something different (and better). Barry has all the sweetness and rage here he displays at different times in say Waterboy or Happy Gilmore– clearly he can both beat up a bathroom and have tender love for Watson, the excitement in the Chaplinesque dance in the grocery store and have that softer side on display with the harmonium. Close behind the lead three are Olivier Gourmet in The Son and Steve Coogan in 24 Hour Party People. Coogan is a talent and I try to seek out everything he is in– but it seems unlikely he will ever have a better film/performance/vehicle than he did in 2002.
best performance female: Julianne Moore and Emily Watson sit atop the best female performance category in 2002 for Far From Heaven and Punch-Drunk Love. You do have to give the edge to Moore but they were both just here leading this category in 1996 (Watson in Breaking the Waves) and 1997 (Moore in Boogie Nights) so they are just adding to their resume. This marks the third mention for Moore going back to Safe in 1995- a great period of work for her.
- Punch-Drunk Love
- The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
- 25th Hour
- Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance
- Talk To Her
- The Son
- Road to Perdition
- Far From Heaven
- City of God
Archives, Directors, and Grades
|24 Hour Party People– Winterbottom||HR/MS|
|25th Hour- S. Lee||MS/MP|
|28 Days Later- Boyle||R|
|8 Mile – Hanson||R|
|8 Women – Ozon||R|
|About Schmidt- Payne||R/HR|
|All or Nothing – Leigh||R|
|Auto Focus- Schrader||R|
|Blissfully Yours – Weerasethakul||HR|
|Bloody Sunday – Greengrass||R|
|Catch Me If You Can- Spielberg||R|
|Changing Lanes- Michell||R|
|Chicago – R. Marshall||R|
|City of God- Meirelles||MS|
|Dirty Pretty Things – Frears||R|
|Distant – Ceylan||R|
|Far From Heaven– Haynes||MS|
|Femme Fatale- De Palma||R|
|Gangs of New York – Scorsese||HR|
|Hero – Yimou Zhang||MP|
|Igby Goes Down- Steers||R|
|In America – Sheridan||R|
|Infernal Affairs- Lau, Mak||R|
|Insomnia – Nolan||R|
|Lilya 4-Ever- Moodysson||R|
|Man on the Train- Leconte||R|
|Minority Report- Spielberg||HR|
|Moonlight Mile- Silberling||R|
|Morvern Callar– Ramsay||HR|
|Narc – Carnahan||R/HR|
|Nicholas Nickleby- McGrath||R|
|Oasis – Chang-dong Lee||R|
|Open Hearts- Bier||R|
|Panic Room – Fincher||HR|
|Punch-Drunk Love – P.T. Anderson||MP|
|Rabbit-Proof Fence- Noyce||R|
|Ripley’s Game – Cavani||R|
|Road To Perdition- Mendes||MS|
|Roger Dodger- Kidd||R|
|Russian Ark – Sokurov||HR|
|Springtime in a Small Town- Zhuangzhuang Tian||R|
|Sunshine State- Sayles||R|
|Sweet Sixteen – Loach||R|
|Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance – Chan-wook Park||MS|
|Talk To Her- Almodovar||MS|
|The Good Girl- Arteta||R|
|The Hours- Daldry, Reilly||HR|
|The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – Jackson||MP|
|The Man Without a Past– Kaursmaki||HR|
|The Pianist – Polanski||R|
|The Quiet American- Noyce||R|
|The Rules of Attraction – Avary||R|
|The Son- Dardenne||MS|
|Twilight Samurai – Yamada|
*MP is Masterpiece- top 1-3 quality of the year film
MS is Must-See- top 5-6 quality of the year film
HR is Highly Recommend- top 10 quality of the year film
R is Recommend- outside the top 10 of the year quality film but still in the archives
I agree with everything else here, but why are The Pianist and Catch Me If You Can both just Recommended? (I respect you’re opinion, I’m just kind of surprised lol, as these are two I both love and would love some insight onto why you aren’t such a big fan :))
Well, I watched The Pianist last night and thought it was pretty good. I’d probably rate it as a HR on your metric (maybe MS on a good ?) – I have it as an 8/10 on IMDB, currently, but I might change it to a 9. I thought it had a lot of merit to it and I highly enjoy Brody’s performance – not convinced on the Oscar win. Thinking about it, I think the biggest flaw it has is the overhype – it has a similar problem to Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind where people I think blow their quality out of proportion (making it seem like they’re massive Masterpieces, when in reality they’re just very good). Catch Me If You Can, on the other hand, is to me a Masterpiece and it probably has my favourite performance of 2002 from Leo in it. It’s probably my #1 for 2002 – Road To Perdition is #2 (Pianist is probs in the Top 10, but I haven’t seen every film and I need to give Punch-Drunk Love a rewatch – I have it as just above the bottom (Hard Eight) on my ranking for PTA’s movies, when most people disagree with that).
It is a good year to be honest.. I’m glad you have Ripley’s Game on there, as I’m fairly sure that it wasn’t even released in cinemas. I really like it – not as good as Talented Mr Ripley, but still really good. I’m also happy that you rate Road To Perdition and 24 Hour Party People so highly – they’re both pretty underrated.
Recently on Lumet’s page I talked about how you might be underrating him. However I recently saw that you actually have Lumet above TSPDT’s ranking which is shocking. I still feel he is underrated but maybe I am wrong. I am willing to admit that.
However, i am absolutely not willing to accept that City of God is only the 8th best film of the year. Upon rewatching it tonight, I’m truly amazed you didn’t like it a lot and have it so low. It’s the best of the year. The editing is brilliant and the complex and narrative and great acting certainly add to the movie. It was a great experience and one of the greatest cinematic works of art of all time. I don’t know how high TSPDT has ranked this masterpiece and frankly it does not matter to me. I haven’t even checked. But, in my opinion it is the best movie of the year and easily one of the greatest movies of all time.
The Bourne Identity (2002) is not archiveable??? I saw it today. It’s a film of extreme intelligence, genre-blending, greatly directed action scenes and brilliant acting by Franka Potente(Run Lola Run she also stars in) and Matt Damon (he is also in saving Private Ryan). It has some solid editing moments (the map sequence in the beginning reminds me of Raiders) and some solid imagery and lighting (the final shootout).
I think on the 2007 page, you had briefly mentioned that The first three bourne films are archiveable. Is this true? I only see one in the archives (2007).
Ok. So I won’t bother watching the final 2. They have bad reviews on tomatoes too.
Just curious. What rank would you give the first 2?
Justice for Bourne Supremacy fellas. Ultimatum is an ever so slight improvement on all of the brilliant visceral filmmaking that Supremacy brought to the table, but the gulf is minuscule.
@matt harris. I shall not comment on Supremacy and Ultimatum as I have not seen it (most likely I’ll finish the trilogy by the end of this week). I’ll probably make a comment on this site after watching the movies.
People rate ultimatum very highly. The fact that you think supremacy is basically just as good makes me very excited to see the film!
What did you think of the final 2 films (legacy and Bourne 2016)? Worth watching or should I just skip them? The reviews are quite bad for those 2.
What ranks (MS, R MP etc) would you give for the Bourne movies?
I actually really really liked the first Bourne movie. Greatly written (with good characters) and very very intelligent. Great shaky cam movements and great set pieces too.
What did you think of The Bourne Identity (2002)?
Caught a recent viewing of Nolan’s Insomnia (2002), which is a remake of Erik Skjoldbjærg 1997 Norwegian film, and was really impressed by a number of things
– first and foremost the electrifying performances of Pacino and Robin Williams, particularly the first scene where they
speak on the ferry:
– Pacino’s portrayal of a combination of exhaustion and guilt is phenomenal and while he has a few
great Pacino style outbursts he does the majority of his acting through internalizing and facial expressions
– great cat and mouse chase between Pacino and Williams
– the Alaska setting really works in throwing the viewer off, the non-stop sun, fish out of water atmosphere
– I think it’s Nolan’s 2nd major film after Memento and while it may not have be in the same league as his masterpieces
I found it a fascinating film none the less
What happens when 24 Hour Party People reach The 25th Hour???
One of the people eventually 24 hour people goes to jail for drug trafficking.
Sorry, that was incoherent. I meant “One of the 24 hour people eventually goes to jail for drug dealing.”
I know I’ve suggested this before, but I really hope you are able to see Hero again before the 2002 update is released. It is easily one of the most beautiful films of all time and one of the best works of color design in cinema. To call a movie that includes the shots below an R or HR seems blasphemous:
It’s not only jaw-dropping pictorial beauty that gives Hero the right to a high masterpiece status. Zhang also pulls out every camera and editing trick in the book to craft the film. He tracks the camera around, tilts it side to side, brings it close to the subjects for tight close-ups, holds it far away for masterful long shots, and racks the focus. He uses slow motion, dazzling special effects, epic scope, and beautiful locations. He gives us a complex narrative of tragedy and victory, betrayal and mistrust, life and death, and power and weakness. The elusive characters are masterfully portrayed by talented actors. The film feels as tightly crafted as Rashomon (one of the main narrative inspirations) and as epic as Ran (one of the visual inspirations, perhaps most apparent in this shot: https://www.ghostlittle.com/hubfs/hero-old-man-calligraphy.png#keepProtocol ).
If I had to select one minor issue with Hero, it would be that the movie spends quite a high percentage of the runtime on the seemingly superhuman fight scenes. However, the combat is so artfully created and cinematically rich (certainly this is one of the all-time great action films) that I can’t really complain.
Please watch Hero again.
Well I’m not about to be upstaged like this… here’s Ashes of Time:
Dammit Graham took the words right out of my mouth. Well said; it’s surely one of my favorite films of the 21st century.
Hey @Drake I have a pretty twisted question. So I was convinced that Maggie Cheung has a modern style of acting & won’t fare well in traditional Chinese women roles. But hero completely broke my myth & now I’m convinced that she could do pretty excellent in any of Zhang Yimou films. So first things first, Gong Li in Red Lantern is my top 50 greatest performances of all time & I don’t wanna replace her but do you think that Cheung could be a pretty excellent Songlian herself (atleast judging from her performance in hero).
I’m saying it again that this question is all about Cheung’s versatility.
Damn, dropping the Talk to Her reveal on us early like that… I thought here was some hope Sympathy might have gone up to the MP level (I think it’s really close) but no.
What do you think is the best Sandler performance? I would give a slight edge to Uncut Gems over Punch Drunk Love, but is extremely close. I just think making Howard sympathetic is much harder than making Barry sympathetic, Uncut Gems is just taller task.
@RujK- I’d lean to PDL- but I do think they are on the same level
Given your high ranking of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, have you had a chance to rewatch Old Boy (2003)?
@James Trapp- I have not had a chance to rewatch Old Boy yet. I do plan on getting to it again soon- just won’t quite make it in time for the 2003 page.
@Drake – If you have Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance as a MS it seems likely that you will be impressed by Old Boy. I have it at my # 4 film of the 2000s which may seem insanely high to some but I am willing to defend this opinion.
I feel like punch drunk love might be visually influenced by godards a woman is a woman from 1961
@Big chungus- That’s an interesting idea
The blue suits, and the red clothing for the women, as well as the use of white interiors.
If i remember correctly godard used quite a few colored lense flairs as well
@Big chungus- I like it- great work here
Great points about PTA tapping into Adam Sandler’s potential. It’s funny because Sandler was my favorite actor when I was like 10-13 years old (middle school years for me). I loved him as a kid but did not necessarily view him as a great actor and I completely overlooked Punch Drunk Love so coming back to it a few years ago I was blown away by it, both the film and Sandler’s performance and it’s great that PTA is able to get this level performance from him. I mean seeing his name along with Day Lewis and Norton for best male performance is kind of mind blowing but I agree that it is absolutely deserved.
I love this quote from Ebert.
“Sandler, liberated from the constraints of formula, reveals unexpected depths as an actor. Watching this film, you can imagine him in Dennis Hopper roles. He has darkness, obsession and power. He can’t go on making those moronic comedies forever, can he?”
Makes me excited to check out Uncut Gems (2019)
@James Trapp- yep- you’ll be impressed with him in Uncut Gems as well. When this project was announce back in 2001 or 2002 with Sandler we were all baffled.
@Drake – Sandler’s performance here might be even better than Punch Drunk Love although it’s close, will need another viewing to pick which one is more impressive.
I’m sad that Dennis Quaid didn’t make it for Far From Heaven.
The 25th Hour really impressed me, caught my 1st viewing of it in years. I forgot how superb the film was from a visual standpoint particularly the camera movement, you have Spike Lee using his signature double dolly of course but the visual metaphors are impressive for example Hoffman and Barry Peppers characters talking about Monty’s fate (Norton) while the camera pans to the twin tower excavation site.
The film is such a rich character study with an amazing performance from Ed Norton, I did find the friendship of Norton’s character with Jacob (Hoffman) and Frank (Barry Pepper) to be a little strange, they are kind of an odd group with such different personalities but then again maybe this isn’t so strange (not a criticism btw just a thought)
Isiah Whitlock Jr. who plays the DEA agent who arrests Monty (plays Clay Davis in the TV show The Wire) should be in every movie! always hilarious
I declared Blackkklansman to be Lee’s 2nd best film (still need to see Malcom X) but seeing this again gives me pause
would probably go MS but another viewing could change that
It is no Silence of the Lambs but what do you think of Red Dragon? Brett Ratner is no great auteur but the cast is just so great; Ed Norton and Anthony Hopkins are great together and then you have PSH, Ralph Fiennes playing the villain, along with the great Emily Watson, plus Harvey Keitel. This was one of several great performances from Ed Norton in the late 90s/early 2000s that made me think he was one his way to a top 15 actor of all time.
Interesting comparing this with Manhunter (1986) as Michael Mann is obviously several levels beyond Ratner although the acting talent in Red Dragon is far superior.
@James Trapp- It is solid. I remember being so pumped for it in theater in 2002– and it disappointed– still sort of figuring out how important the director was at that point in my journey. I’ve watched it a few times since in the last 20 years. It is solid and if it existed in worth where there was no Manhunter- I may put it in the archives. But fortunately we have Mann’s vastly superior film.
@Drake – if you had your pick who would you have liked to direct it? Assume Michael Mann was not an option.
I think my # 1 pick would be David Fincher followed by Steven Soderbergh
@James Trapp – I like the Fincher choice. I just would want someone to make it their own. Like look at Silence of the Lambs with Demme’s trademark closeups.
One Hour Photo (2002)
I decided to watch this again after a discussion on the 1991 page regarding Robin Williams
It works as a character study and a psychological thriller
The film stars Robin Williams as Sy Parrish, a lonely man who works at a photo processing center (this is back in 2002 when these businesses were still common) and has no family, no friends, or even any interests or hobbies outside of work, it is just a bland dead-end existence
7:40 some strong dissolve edits
There are some strong shots featuring frames in frames, seems fitting given the film’s subject matter
The film uses colors effectively, Sy’s extremely bland look, the beige clothing, bleached hair, etc. compared to the Yorkin’s family which looks straight out of a sears catalogue
The director Mark Romanek mainly is known for music videos and commercials more than anything else
19:27 haunting imagery that is shown a couple times throughout the film and serves both a purpose in theme at plot near the end
The overall cast does solid work, but this is Robin Williams’s show start to finish
The film uses a fair number of zoom in and zoom outs
The hotel scene near the end that is essentially the film’s climax is utterly chilling
The reveal of how Sy became this way was a little too on the nose, some more subtle hints would have been preferrable but at the same time Robin Williams is so incredible with this performance that I can overlook for the most part
Just noticed this on Criterion’s list of upcoming releases
I had heard of this film as it was apparently the inspiration for Martin Scorsese making The Departed
But I was not aware that it was a Trilogy. Has anyone seen these?
What’s your review of Jude Law’s performance in Road to Predation?
I thought his was the best performance in the movie.
@M*A*S*H- Jude Law is very strong here in limited screen time. I also think Paul Newman excels in his supporting work here, too.
Yeah it’s Law and Newman here.
I don’t think Hanks was very good. Do you think that another actor would have been better? What about Ralph Fiennes?
@M*A*S*H- Well Tom Hanks just brings a different spin on it and yeah I’d like to see a version with Ralph Fiennes- good choice. In 2002 you almost have to bring up Sean Penn, Russell Crowe and Daniel Day Lewis. But how about Viggo though as my choice? And again I don’t think this is a disaster performance or casting (more often than not this is the issue with any bad performance) for Hanks like maybe his Elvis turn is.
I know everyone is entitled to their own opinion but I didn’t think Tom Hanks’ performance in Elvis is bad or a disaster. Jeffrey.M Anderson of Combustible Celluloid definitely agrees with me here. I thought it was very different from what Hanks has previously done.
@Malith- Certainly looks like “divisive” is the nicest word I could use to define the performance https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/movies/story/2022-06-27/tom-hanks-elvis-worst-performance and https://www.vulture.com/2022/09/tom-hanks-in-elvis-shows-how-not-to-make-a-villain.html
@Drake-I don’t know. I feel like people have a problem with the character he created rather than the performance itself.
The Infernal Affairs Trilogy was released last week on Criterion, I just watched all 3 in a row, a little under 6 hours. I don’t watch a ton of TV shows but I definitely understand the appeal of Netflix series and mini-series. Watching this series all at once is not quite the same as there are significant differences between the 3 films which were released in 2 years as the original was released in 2002 and the 2nd and 3rd both in 2003. These films are not nearly as comedic as Jackie Chan’s Police Story Franchise (which I also love) or as much pure action as the John Woo films of the late 80s to early 90s but they find a good mix. I hope Criterion does restorations for some more Hong Kong films of the 80s and 90s.
@James Trapp – Good work here and on the Hawks study so far!
@Drake – thanks, I do have to admit grading comedic work is challenging for me. On the one hand, a film’s genre should not really change the how a film is graded but I also know that some critics (including yourself) have said they consider what a film sets out to accomplish and whether or not they succeed. Hawks does not have breathtaking visuals like some of the other directors I have studied such as Malick, Welles, WKW, and others but Hawks is such a masterful story teller. Tarantino is one of his biggest fans as he has called Hawks Cinema’s greatest storyteller.
@James Trapp- For sure- and I wouldn’t want to do without the works of Hawks and Wilder and some others- but they pretty clearly don’t belong the the company of the absolutely elite auteurs either (both have been sinking on my list for years)- and nothing wrong with that. We can all appreciate them for what they and their films are.
What’s your review of Anna Paquin’s performance in 25th hour? I think it’s a criminally underrated top notch performance. Even though it’s a supporting one.
@M*A*S*H- Really? Hmm- I think highly of it but perhaps not as highly as you do here. I’ll make sure I pay closer attention to the next viewing. So you have it as the second best performance in the film?
No I have it as third best performance in the movie after Norton and PSH. I was just showing my love for her performance. Paquin is underrated. I think it’s her individual 3rd best performance after The Piano and Margaret.
@M*A*S*H – what do you think of her in Squid and Whale? Its a similar role