Tag Archives: Oscar

Gladiator

Going into production, Gladiator had nothing near a finished script yet one simple change to the start of the story turned it into the greatest opera ever filmed.

Cold War

Despite its title, Cold War is not an espionage thriller. Instead, Pawel Pawlikowski loosely based it on his parents’ lives. But it’s not a biopic either. So what is it?

Edward Scissorhands

Ever wondered where snow comes from? That and all manner of other wonders – and horrors – are uncovered in Tim Burton’s classic fantasy.

No Country for Old Men

While Cormac McCarthy’s acclaimed novel broke genre convention, the Coens’ adaptation is a study in audiovisual chaos.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

This western opened new frontiers for the genre; celebrity and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters

Films about writers are tricky propositions but you can roughly divide the genre into two eras; pre- and post-Mishima.

There Will Be Blood

Many audiences complain that Daniel Plainview is unlikable. But where is it written that characters have to be likeable? Characters only have to be interesting.

The Godfather Part II

The Godfather Part II is less a sequel and more a cloak that wraps itself around the original, leaving Michael Corleone haunted by the memory of his dead father.

The Godfather

Regarded as the greatest gangster picture of them all, the passing years continue to reveal new layers and meanings in Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece.

Munich

Upon its release, Munich was attacked for historical inaccuracy, political naivety and moral equivalency. But it is one of Spielberg’s greatest works.

Y Tu Mamá También

Alfonso Cuarón’s drug fuelled tale of two oversexed youths and an older woman on a road trip in search of a mythical beach results in a thesis on social connectivity.

Cries and Whispers

Cries and Whispers was Ingmar Bergman’s fourth colour film but with a palette of just black, white and red, he still painted deep emotions and vivid dreams.

Investigation of a Citizen above Suspicion

Elio Petri’s bitterly satirical Oscar winner from 1970 cuts a stark picture of today’s political leaders.

Peeping Tom

Reviled upon its release and long out of circulation, the influence of Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom is now to be found in the most unexpected places.

Bicycle Thieves

Many films enjoy exaggerated reputations, but it is almost impossible to underestimate the beauty, truth and importance of Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves.

The Wages of Fear

Described as the most evil film ever made, Henri George Clouzot’s masterpiece resembles Hemingway, Hitchcock, neo-realism and Casablanca.

The Great Beauty

While Paolo Sorrentino’s film follows in the footsteps of Federico Fellini and Michelangelo Antonioni, its quest arrives at a very surprising answer.

A Matter of Life and Death

Francois Truffaut once claimed ‘cinema’ and ‘Britain’ were incompatible. Powell and Pressburger proved him wrong.

The Silence of the Lambs

Jonathan Demme’s film is a classic because its Little Red Riding Hood plot mines the moral depths of its central characters.

Babette’s Feast

In adapting Karen Blixen’s short story, Gabriel Axel chose to omit the politics and focus on the religious parable. But really, it works best as a recipe for life.

Reds

As Hollywood found the formula for the modern blockbuster, Warren Beatty embarked on a project examining the origins of American communism.

The Battle of Algiers

The impact of Gillo Pontecorvo’s masterpiece is so great that it extends far beyond cinema and into terrorist organisations, as well as the US Pentagon.

Hannah and her Sisters

Woody Allen’s romantic drama draws from unusual sources; the Great American Songbook, Italian opera and Russian literature.

Dog Day Afternoon

With an Oscar-winning script from Frank Pierson, Dog Day Afternoon is a masterclass in breaking the basic rules of screenwriting.

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