Groundhog Day – 1993 Ramis

Groundhog Day is narrative bliss - one of the truly superior screenplays of the entire 1990s. Harold Ramis is no visual master behind the camera but his and Danny Rubin’s screenplay combined with Bill Murray’s work makes for transcendent cinematic art. It is rewatchable for the famous repetition (from Sunny and Cher on) and variation- the formal skeleton narrative splintering. I am not the first person to mention this but it’s part of the cultural language now- Groundhog Day translates to déjà vu. Ambivalent about the big broad “Weather Man” song opening performed by Delbert McClinton. The entire original

Groundhog Day – 1993 Ramis2023-01-25T20:30:30+00:00

The 81st Best Actress of All-Time: Ruth Gordon

  best film:  Rosemary’s Baby is superior to Harold and Maude, but they are both masterpieces. Roman Polanski’s momentous 1968 horror film will forever sit at, or near the top, when discussing the best films in the genre’s history. Harold and Maude has always been considered a cult classic and sort of anthem for the counterculture – and it is a comedy - but the filmmaking from Hal Ashby is Wes Anderson-level. Obviously this is decades before Wes – so one should probably say that Wes Anderson is Hal Ashby-like in his ambitious filmmaking in the comedy genre.  

The 81st Best Actress of All-Time: Ruth Gordon2023-02-01T13:42:18+00:00

The 80th Best Actress of All-Time: Shelley Winters

  best film:   Shelley Winters is in Howard Hawks’ Red River for just a few seconds as an extra that has to be thrown out as far as consideration for this category goes.  The same goes for her few seconds in Roman Polanski's The Tenant - otherwise that may be the correct answer here. She is important (though not in the same stratosphere as Robert Mitchum) to The Night of the Hunter and that may be the superior work anyhow – so the 1955 Charles Laughton film is the answer to the question of Shelley Winters best film. The Night

The 80th Best Actress of All-Time: Shelley Winters2023-01-30T13:43:10+00:00

The 79th Best Actress of All-Time: Penelope Cruz

  best film:   When an actor has worked with the great Pedro Almodovar as much as Penelope Cruz has, this category is going to be pretty solid. Among their collaborations, All About My Mother (1999), Broken Embraces (2009), and Pain and Glory (2019) stand out as the finest (curious that they come out ten years apart exactly – excited to see what 2029 has to offer from the director and actor pairing). All About My Mother borrows large chunks of the narrative (and the title of course) from 1950’s All About Eve. Broken Embraces is definitely Almodóvar’s most underrated

The 79th Best Actress of All-Time: Penelope Cruz2023-01-28T13:42:41+00:00

The 78th Best Actress of All-Time: Zhang Ziyi

  best film:   Undoubtedly, 2046 and Hero are two of the very best films of the 2000s decade and Chinese actor Zhang Ziyi is in both. Hero is a towering artistic achievement. Zhang Yimou’s film is simultaneously one of the great Wuxia films (martial arts films set in ancient China) and one of the most significant visual achievements in 21st century cinema. Four years after In the Mood for Love, WKW’s follow-up, 2046,  is the third and (so far) final film in the unofficial Love Trilogy (Days of Being Wild from 1990 being the first). 2046 falls into the category of a masterpiece

The 78th Best Actress of All-Time: Zhang Ziyi2023-01-26T12:25:46+00:00

The 77th Best Actress of All-Time: Isabelle Adjani

  best film:   Isabelle Adjani stands out as the bespectacled Stella in Roman Polanski’s The Tenant. This, the middle film in Polanski’s apartment trilogy, is a proud film for any actor to have as their singular best even if Adjani's role is rather small. Possession from Andrzej Żuławski might be as good as The Tenant and Adjani does much more of the heavy lifting in the 1981 breakup horror masterpiece. Żuławski’s film is a stylistic tour-de-force with unrelenting camera movement and masterful color design. Admirers of The Shining – should seek out, appreciate, and study Possession.     best

The 77th Best Actress of All-Time: Isabelle Adjani2023-01-24T12:28:37+00:00

The 76th Best Actress of All-Time: Glenn Close

  best film:  Dangerous Liaisons. Stephen Frears’ 1988 films is rock solid – but a film that barely squeaks into the top ten of its given year (currently #10 of 1988) should not be any great actor’s best film – so this category is a major problem for Glenn Close.  This lack of a best film sort of ends Close’s bid to be in the top fifty (50) of all time on this list. If one were to go looking for the other films close Dangerous Liaisons to compete for the top slot in this category… well… there simply

The 76th Best Actress of All-Time: Glenn Close2023-01-22T13:34:33+00:00

The 75th Best Actress of All-Time: Vanessa Redgrave

  best film:  This category is almost impossible to answer for Vanessa Redgrave.  The correct answer could be three films. The first that comes to mind is Michelangelo Antonioni’s genius 1966 film Blow-Up. Ken Russell’s controversial (but equally brilliant) film The Devils from 1971 is yet another fine choice. The third and final film may sneak up on some, but it is Joe Wright’s 2007 film Atonement. Vanessa Redgrave is only in a few minutes of the first (Blow-Up) and last (Atonement - playing the older Briony character in the epilogue) films mentioned but she plays a pivotal part of

The 75th Best Actress of All-Time: Vanessa Redgrave2023-01-20T12:43:22+00:00

The 74th Best Actress of All-Time: Joan Crawford

  best film:  Johnny Guitar – and it is not terribly close. Johnny Guitar is Nicholas Ray’s masterpiece and a film that lands inside the top 200 of all-time. So, for Joan Crawford this category is neither a great strength nor a great weakness. Certainly, there is no shame in being the acting centerpiece of Ray’s best film – by definition beating out impressive titles that include Rebel Without a Cause, They Live by Night and In a Lonely Place. The next tier of quality films down for Crawford includes Grand Hotel and Mildred Pierce. These are two fine

The 74th Best Actress of All-Time: Joan Crawford2023-01-18T17:58:12+00:00

The 73rd Best Actress of All-Time: Laura Dern

  best film:  Blue Velvet. For cinephiles, Laura Dern will always be connected to the work of David Lynch. Certainly, many movie fans will always think of her as Dr. Ellie Sattler in Jurassic Park (a fine film to be remembered for).  Dern has also been nominated three films in non-Lynch and non-Jurassic films/roles (Rambling Rose, Wild, Marriage Story).  Blue Velvet is currently listed as the 48th best film of all-time so that wins out here. Other films that warrant serious consideration in this category are Wild at Heart (again with Lynch), Little Women, Marriage Story, and, of course,

The 73rd Best Actress of All-Time: Laura Dern2023-01-16T14:32:16+00:00

The 72nd Best Actress of All-Time: Grace Kelly

  best film:  Rear Window is Grace Kelly’s finest film. She is very strong in a top 100 all-time film from the great master Alfred Hitchcock, so this category is a strength for Kelly. Her second best is actually Fred Zinneman’s western High Noon over the other two Hitchcock collaborations.     Grace Kelly in high gloss in an unforgettable close-up from Hitchcock's Rear Window     best performance:  Rear Window - and it is just by an eyelash over To Catch a Thief. She swallows up the scenes (in a positive way) in both films with

The 72nd Best Actress of All-Time: Grace Kelly2023-01-14T13:28:42+00:00

The 71st Best Actress of All-Time: Simone Signoret

  best film:  Simone Signoret has three films at the top that any actor would be proud of. She is in Max Ophüls’ La Ronde (1950), Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Diabolique (1955), and Jean-Pierre Melville’s Army of Shadows (1969). In the end, Melville’s spy film triumphs in this category. This is a masterfully told espionage/war film – full of intelligence and a distinct narrative and visual tone. Melville’s style is fully developed and mature by the late 1960s and Army of Shadows is draped in a jaw-droppingly beautiful and consistent mise-en-scene of muted blues, grays and midnight indigo day for night

The 71st Best Actress of All-Time: Simone Signoret2023-01-12T16:07:27+00:00
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