Ending the 90's on a strong noteFeb 24, 2000 Write an essay on this topic.
I have seen many top tens since the end of the decade. I realize that some of the films on my list are common to others but I hope my list does stand out and maybe characterize the type of films I truly enjoy.
10. The Insider: Brilliant performance by Russel Crowe coupled with the talented Michael Mann directing landed this film the ten spot. I was very impressed by the performance from Al Pacino as well, because he has not had many good roles lately.
9. Bringing Out the Dead: Nicolas Cage's best work since Leaving Las Vegas put into the gifted hands of Martin Scorsese was plenty for me, but this film also has Tom Seizmore, Patricia Arquette, Ving Rhames, and even John Goodman pulling out great performances.
8. Fight Club: All the bad press and complaints about violence could not keep me away from David Fincher and Brad Pitt. These two work great together and even better with the outstanding Edward Norton. The acting in this film is spectacular, the directing is top notch, the only part I am unsure of is the ending, but it was adapted from a novel.
7. The Talented Mr. Ripley: By now almost every film has been described as having incredible acting, directing, and tremendous writing. Well every movie on this list does because that is what makes a great film. Damon is awesome. Minghella is a cinematic great. Law, Paltrow, Blanchett, Hoffman, all are amazing here.
6. The Green Mile: Possibly the best combination of author and director in history would have to be Frank Durabont and Stephan King. Durabont has the insight to portray King's vision and he gets the stars who pull it off. Who would have thought Michael Clarke Duncan could act.
5. Summer of Sam: Drowned by negative press from victim's families this film is dark, gritty, and tremendous. Spike Lee's best since Do the Right Thing. Adrein Brody is spectacular, along with Mira Sorvino, Jennifer Esposito, and John Leguizamo.
4. Boys Don't Cry: Hilary Swank is outstanding. This is independent film at its best. Take a group of almost completely unheard of actors, a tough subject matter that doesn't attract a lot of spectators, make it a true story, set it out in the middle of nowhere Nebraska, and watch it turn into gold.
3. Eyes Wide Shut: Another film clouded by bad press and a long running time. The worst thing about this film is the cheesy special effects used in the orgy scene. I do not allow those to factor into my opinion because Kubrick did not put them there. He agreed to do an R rated film but as meticulous as he is, he would have done better. Incredibly well written and well developed. Cruise and Kidman at their absolute finest.
2. American Beauty: Definitely a favorite this year and why not. Comedy, tragedy an all-star cast with the widest appeal. From up an comers Wes Bently, Thora Birch, and Mena Suvari to the older group of Kevin Spacey, Annette Being, Peter Gallagher and Chris Cooper. They are all amazing in their own way. Each character transforms subtly enough to pull off the major changes that occur in their lives.
1. Magnolia: Either you got this film and you loved it. Or you didn't. Well I got it. I got the whole thing. This film has everything. It has the most complexly written, transformed, and acted characters ever created for the screen. Each character is undergoing their own torment amidst a comedy and tragedy that feels like real life. The films greatest accomplishment is the message that hope is never all lost and life is not necessarily so bleak.
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