Meta-post: The Ranking

It’s the moment you’ve not been waiting for:  my top twenty Best Pictures!

It’s worth pointing out that these are my personal favorites; I’m not trying to objectively classify the actual Best Pictures.  Maybe they’re not even definitive, considering how much tweaking I’ve already done, and I’m more than willing to accept that I have unrefined taste in film.  I’m just looking forward to going back to my usual rate of movie-watching, which is approximately two per year.

Links to my original posts are included for reference.

  1. Wings

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The first movie ever.  Okay, not the first, but an enjoyable first foray into movie history.  Also, they filmed all the aerial scenes using what limited technology was available at the time, so put that in your CGI pipe and smoke it.

  1. The Sound of Music

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This film wins the Least Expected to Like award, but for once a schmaltzy musical managed to warm the chilled cockles of my heart.  Let’s hope we can take this lesson on    how to defeat Nazis through the power of song into the new year.

  1. The Deer Hunter

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Is it weird to say that I remember the first half of this film, the pre-war wedding scene,  better than the part where all the action happened?  Or that that’s the part I really liked best?  I’m still a bit befuddled by the Russian roulette stuff, but it is a thoughtful look at the effect of war on a community.

  1. Rebecca

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Creepy movie, creepy characters, creepy boat, creepy plot twist that I don’t fully   remember, which will be convenient if ever I get the chance to watch this again.

  1. The Best Years of Our Lives

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An impressive look at PTSD before it was even a thing, this is the kind of war movie that interests me:  one set after the fighting is over and everyone is left to pick up the pieces and move on with their lives.  Made almost immediately after the war, and starring actual veterans.

  1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

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I don’t think I’d even consider this my favorite LOTR film, but it’s an enjoyable   adventure story, and I can see myself coming back to it on occasion.  Sometimes you need to see the good guys win.

  1. From Here to Eternity

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Okay, I only watched it a few weeks ago and have already forgotten exactly what happened, but it was high on my rank list, so I’m going to stick with it.  Making out on a beach, Pearl Harbor, you get the gist.

  1. Million Dollar Baby

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I’m not a fan of Clint Eastwood by any stretch, but I do enjoy this story.  It’s nice to see a badass girl kicking ass, at least until everything goes to pot.

  1. The Bridge on the River Kwai

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I mean, it’s kind of a war movie, but I’d say it’s really more of a superhero adventure movie.  You’ve got dudes performing inhuman feats, and devious villains, and – best of all – explosions!

  1. Grand Hotel

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I’m pretty sure this film created a whole genre – lots of unrelated characters crossing paths in a contained area – and I’ve seen plenty of other examples of it before the original.  Also a great opportunity to see the biggest stars of the day, all in one place.

  1. In the Heat of the Night

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Great film, and probably notable that the racism is far more memorable than the crime they investigated.  It could easily be remade today, changing little, and be just as relevant.

  1. The Silence of the Lambs

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I seem to have quite a few films featuring psychopaths high on my list.  Not sure what that says about me.  In fairness, I was rooting for Clarice the whole time.

  1. All About Eve

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I’d already forgotten about the clever lines of dialogue in this film until I looked back over my post.  It’s hard to find movie dialogue that is witty and fun even when you recognize it as movie dialogue.  Also:  women leads!

  1. Ordinary People

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A genuine film about mental health and how a family can be torn apart by emotional trauma.  The characters felt real in a way that’s sort of rare even in some of the finest films I’ve seen.

  1. The Godfather

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I liked the first part way better than the second.  There, I said it (again).  Every man’s revenge fantasy realized.

  1. Chicago

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Probably a little weird to rank this so high, but I liked it a lot when I watched it and couldn’t think of a good reason to downgrade it.  I’ll probably watch it again sometime and see whether it still holds up for me.  Two musicals in one top-twenty list – not bad!

  1. Casablanca

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Though most of the films with reputations as classics failed to impress me (which I’m not saying is due to my high standards or anything), this is one that holds up.  A mystery, a war, intrigue, double-crossing – a good show.

  1. Shakespeare in Love

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I’m certainly not the biggest or most knowledgeable Shakespeare fan, but I do like a good (winter’s?) tale.  This Shakespeare is way sexier than the balding, unwashed, real-life one must have been.

  1. 12 Years a Slave

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I’m not sure whether I’ll have the guts to watch this again, but it’s important to remind ourselves of the terrible crime our nation’s (white) people perpetuated for so long, and the legacy we haven’t yet fully dealt with today.

  1. The Artist

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Here’s a film I’ll happily watch over and over again.  It’s fun but serious; it’s a bit meta but not pretentious; and it makes you believe in the healing power of love.

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