Tag Archives: Oscar

337. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

This western gives fresh examinations of celebrity and post-traumatic stress disorder.

336. 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.

335. There Will Be Blood

Yes, Daniel Plainview is unlikable. But where is it written that characters have to be nice? They only have to be interesting.

329. The Godfather Part II

Less a sequel and more a cloak that wraps itself around the original, it has a son haunted by the memory of his dead father.

327. 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.

325. Munich

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

324. Y Tu Mamá También

This drug fuelled tale of two youths and an older woman in search of a mythical beach is really about social connectivity.

320. 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.

314. Investigation of a Citizen above Suspicion

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

311. 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.

306. 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.

300. The Wages of Fear

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

298. 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.

297. A Matter of Life and Death

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

295. 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.

290. 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.

287. Reds

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

286. 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.

285. Hannah and her Sisters

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

283. Dog Day Afternoon

With Frank Pierson’s Oscar-winning script, Sidney Lumet’s thriller is a masterclass in breaking the basic rules of screenwriting.

281. Taxi Driver

Taxi Driver was written in ten days by first-time screenwriter, Paul Schrader as a means to exorcise his festering, masochistic, narcissistic anger.

275. Deliverance

When we think of American cinema in the seventies, all too often we all too quickly think of the great directors. But what of the cinematograph-auteurs?

274. Day for Night

Francois Truffaut created the auteur theory, and with Day for Night he delivered a tribute to the art form without which he felt his life could not make sense.

271. Great Openings – Part Four

What makes for a great opening? Character? Conflict? Poetry? Hopefully, more than something we’re supposed to just listen to.

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