15 Years of #1s

number-1It occurred to me that this is the 15th year I have been actively keeping a Top 10 movies list. So I did a little number crunching.

Of movies released from 1999-2013, I have seen 1029 (or 68.9 movies a year). Granted I see movies years after they are released and I also see movies released before 1999, so this is not an actual record of how many movies I see a year. But apparently I see quite a lot.

Of the movies I have seen, 144 of them were “not worth seeing” or 14%. Considering I intentionally skip most movies with terrible reviews, this means featured986% of the time I find the movie redeeming.

My picks for the best film of the year stand up as an eclectic collection. Only 1 of the films is not well known (50/50). 3 won the best picture Oscar. Another 7 were nominated (and Gravity might win). 5 were not nominated for best picture.

I can’t say which is the best. I haven’t watched 6 of the 15 a second time. I have seen 6 of them multiple times. One director repeats on the 15 – Ang Lee for two wildly different genres. I have watched other films (ex. Mean Girls) more than any of these films, but that doesn’t make it the “best,” just the most enjoyable.

See my #1 list below.

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Oscar Stats 2014

I love Oscar Stats.

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  • Meryl Streep breaking her own record for nominations with 18.
  • That we might have to utter the words “Oscar Winner” and add “The Lone Ranger” after it.
  • 49th (!) Oscar nomination for John Williams (Soundtrack to The Book Thief) and he is still 10 shy of Walt Disney.
  • Cinematographer Roger Deakins looking to avoid going 0 for 11.
  • Jennifer Lawrence has her 3rd nomination at age 23 – the youngest to do so. (Teresa Wright was 24).
  • Gravity is only the 5th film to be nominated for all 7 technical awards. Titanic swept all 7. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the WorldHugo, and Life of Pi did not.

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Best Films of 2012

bestmovies 2012As an armchair film critic, it takes me a while to finish seeing most of the “best” films of a year. There are still a half dozen smaller films that got great reviews I haven’t seen from 2012, about 15 films I’d still really like to see, and others I’ll discover down the road. So my Top Films list is always a work in progress. I feel no obligation to establish it in stone right this second.

As a whole, I thought 2012 was an outstanding year – one of the best overall in a while in depth. And, unlike some recent years, the best films weren’t all completely depressing. Of the 9 films nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, 8 of them made my top 20. Only Amour (AKA 2 hours of incredible sadness) didn’t quite make it.

Just before the Oscars, I will reveal my picks and predictions, but here is (ever-evolving) Top films of 2013.

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Oscar Nomination – Some Stats on the Rare Big 7!

side_oscarThe Oscar Nominations nominees are always full of surprises and excitement. I particularly love the records of the Academy Awards. The Hollywood Reporter lists a number of the landmarks this year, which are as fascinating as baseball stats to many. However, I love baseball stats.

Note: Stats are not a statement of quality of the film. I just like the quirkiness.

A few that stand out:

  • We have the youngest and oldest Best Actress nominees in Quvenzhane Wallis from Beasts of the Southern Wild at age 8 (6 when filmed) and Emmanuelle Riva from Amour at 85 although they aren’t the youngest/oldest in all acting categories.
  • Pity (?) poor Greg Russell of Skyfall – his 16th nominating as a sound mixer with no wins yet. But he isn’t the worst either – Kevin O’Connell, also a sound mixer, has 20 nominations with no wins.
  • The surprise Best Directors category didn’t include 3 of the 5 people nominated by the Director Guild of America (DGA) which usually matches up perfectly. They both had Spielberg (Lincoln) and Ang Lee (Life of Pi). But the DGA had Ben Affleck (Argo), Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty), and Tom Hooper (Les Misérables). The Academy substituted Michael Haneke (Amour), David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook), and Benh Zeitlin (Beast of the Southern Wild). This puts a serious dent in both Argo and Zero Dark Thirty’s Best Picture chances. See details in Erik Lundegaard’s blog post.

But I think there is a much bigger deal…

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