Thursday, 27 March 2014

Best Picture Ranking So Far

So I have now watched 70 out of 86 of the Best Picture winners and now only have 16 to go! It's definitely been really interesting and fun (and sometimes boring) to see many of the films that have won. Also, it's been a while since I've done this, so I thought I'd update you all on how my rankings stand, best to worst. While some of my choices probably aren't as "critical" as others, I've endeavored to find a ranking that equally ranks how "good" a film is, and how much I enjoyed it. The list has had some adjustments since I last did this (mainly do to rewatching, and just my view of films being sharpened since). So here we go!

70.  How Green Was My Valley- 55/10
As told before, I thought this film was extremely boring. I did not like this film (and I haven't even seen Citizen Kane the whole way through yet!)

69.  West Side Story- 56/100
While the music is good, it's just not something I can take seriously like at all. The dancing around while wielding knives and being in "gangs". Also Natalie Wood is supposed to be a Latino? And most of these people could either sing, or act but definitely not both. Sorry, everyone.  

68.  Crash- 59/100
This film was more funny than anything. It was incredibly preachy and didn't really try to make real connection or have real character development. 

67.  The Last Emperor- 60.5/100
This film just felt so... irrelevant. I'm not sure what it was, but it was a history that wasn't that interesting, nor was it something really anyone could relate to. 

66.  Braveheart- 61/100
I just do not like Mel Gibson. He is constantly miscasting himself. This being an obvious example. 

65.  The Broadway Melody- 61.5/100
Not terrible, but not great either. I recognized some of the music that later goes on to be used in other work, but otherwise, there wasn't much of a story. 

64.  The Greatest Show on Earth- 62/100
The most recent one I've watched. It played out a little too much like a soap opera with not much of a story and no grasp on montage scenes. 

63.  American Beauty- 62/100
This is a film in which I have no sympathy for really any character, nor can I relate to any at all. The premise was just a little too creepy for me. Maybe upon rewatching I'll find I'd like it better, but it's not really ever the sort of film I enjoy. 

62.  All The King’s Men- 62/100
Well acted, but dull. 

61.  Cavalcade- 63/100
This didn't really have too much a story and more felt like a "highlights" of big events that took place between 1900-1933 rather than an actual movie.

60.  Shakespeare In Love- 63.5/100
A cute chick flick for sure, but not much more to it really. 

59.  Out of Africa- 63.5/100
I love Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. This was a little too slow and a little dramatic for my liking however. 

58.  Rocky- 64/100
I was expecting a lot more from this since it's suuuuuch a classic and very pop-culture-y. But it was a lot slower than I ever expected and not that inspiring. 

57.  Going My Way- 64.5/10
A few nice songs, some solid acting from Big Crosby, but the story was just over long and not exciting, despite the premise sounding quite interesting. And it never really was the movie the back of the DVD case told me it would be. 

56.  Patton- 65.5/100
A little patriotic for me, even if that is kind of the point. George C Scott was undoubtedly really awesome, but I even just question why a film was made about Patton in the first place. 

55.  Midnight Cowboy- 66/100
A controversial film, with good performances from Dustin Hoffman (whom I always love) and Jon Voight. Though the content was not really up my alley and moved a little slowly. 

54.  Terms of Endearment- 67/100
A mother-daughter story with some very solid acting. Some of the story was unrealistic, some of it just boring. 

53.  Forrest Gump- 68/100
Probably one of the most over-rated movies ever. Tom Hanks is spectacular, of course, but the height at which it sits in people minds and in pop culture is ridiculous. It never could decide if it was a comedy or a drama, and if it had picked one side of the other, it could've been much better. 

52.  The English Patient- 69/100
I do enjoy Ralph Fiennes, but this was a dull, dull love story that just never really goes anyway at all. 

51.  Ordinary People- 70/100
Well acted, and definitely interested subject matter. I enjoy this film just for it's variety within the wins (even if it seems a little baity in hindsight) but I did enjoy this more (not that it's an incredibly well made film or anything..)

50.  Grand Hotel- 70.25/100
One of the first movies about intersecting lives with huge stars (think Valentine's Day or New Years Eve). And while films like this haven't really been done too well this day and age, this one was a fun little movie, but not too much else. 

49.  Rebecca- 70.5/100
I haven't seen much Alfred Hitchcock but I expected this to be more of a thriller than it was. It was definitely creepy and a little twisted, but not quite what I was expecting however. 

48.  Dances With Wolves- 70.5/100
This film gets ragged on for being terrible, but it had a good pace for how long it was, had a bit of a story, and looked really great. The love story felt a little forced. However, it's definitely not the best made film, but I enjoyed it for what it was. 

47.  All Quiet On the Western Front- 70.5/100
This was pretty impressive for when it was made (1930). I find WWI to be such a sad and interesting topic, so it was definitely interesting to see one of the first films on the topic.

46.  The Godfather Part II- 71/100
I know people say this one is better than the original but I disagree. While it probably should be ranked higher, I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as the original and felt it lacking. Robert DeNiro had the most interesting storyline and the best acting of the bunch.

45.  The Departed- 71/10
The first Scorsese film to win. And it definitely feels a bit like they just gave it to him because they kind of realized he hadn't won yet. He's done much better films than this. However, Leo, Matt, Mark and Jack did a great job acting-wise. 

44.  A Man For All Seasons- 72/100
While an inspiring films with great performances (and a movie my fellow Christians love), it was a little overlong for the story it told. 

43.  In the Heat of the Night- 72.5/100
A fairly run-of-the-mill production, at least in my eyes. Acting, sets, story all just alright. Though definitely an interesting pick considering what era it comes from, so it's not that surprising. 

42.  Chariots of Fire- 72.75/100
Another staple film that all the older Christian I know tell me I was just love and how "great" it is. While it was a well done film, it definitely shows how much filmmaking has changed. Good performances, interesting story, but nothing overly special.

41.  The Life of Emile Zola- 73/100
A really, really interesting topic (the Dreyfus affair) but was told really boringly. 

40.  Gone with the Wind- 74.5/100
A broad and sweeping film, it was beautiful and well acted. However, the first half of the film was far more interesting than the second, and definitely started to repeat itself. The naivety about the south and the civil war also interesting. 

39.  The French Connection- 75/100
A more subdued action film than my generation is used to seeing, but that car chase scene is still so darn good. 

38.  Gigi- 75.5/100
While, in hindsight, this film is a little creepy, it was still cute and had some great music. 

37.  Driving Miss Daisy- 75.5/100
This used to be rated much higher than it is now. I still really enjoyed the film, but it's not quite innovative or daring. However, Morgan Freeman is still fantastic, as is Jessica Tandy. 

36.  Million Dollar Baby- 76/100
Another film about Clint Eastwood being a grumpy old man, but this film definitely tugs the heartstrings in ways you really didn't expect going into the film. Very well acted, and definitely very emotional. 

35.  It Happened One Night- 76/100
I like rom-coms! And this is a critically acclaimed one that people do still watch! While it comes off as cliche now, it was one of the first from its day and age (or at least, the best done). Fun, cute and witty!

34.  Slumdog Millionaire- 76/100
While some of the premise is a little unrealistic (the sequence of the questions happen to go in chronological order of your childhood? Really?). However, I loved the first half of the film where Jamal and his brothers were still little, and while the love story was cheesy, it was still cute. 

33.  The King’s Speech- 76/100
While this film has dropped from being one of my favourite films to just a really good British film, I still do really enjoy it. While I don't think it's quite Best Picture calibre, I can't really see any other movie from that year as a better winner. (The Social Network was good, but not that good, in my opinion anyway). Fantastic performances, if nothing else. 

32.  Rain Man- 76.5/100
I just love Dustin Hoffman, and his performance in this was brilliant. Tom Cruise also showed off some acting chops, which he hasn't really done recently. 

31.  Lawrence of Arabia- 77/100
Another classic that I should have rated higher, but it was waaaay too long and it felt like nothing was really happening and that half the movie was camels and dunes. Peter O'Toole was fantastic, but I'd have preferred this to be a little more concise. 

30.  One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest- 77/100
A fantastic performance from Jack Nicholson, and definitely an interesting subject matter. While I felt the story was a bit bland and was definitely more of a performance film than a story one, it was interesting for sure. 

29.  An American In Paris- 77.5/100
I do enjoy Gene Kelly, and thought this film was fun, if nothing else. The dancing was fantastic and so was the music. 

28.  The Best Years of Our Lives- 77.5/100
Great performances, great story, interesting topic. While the film started to drag near the end, it was overall enjoyable and interesting. 

27.  Chicago- 77.5/100
I remember being surprised I enjoyed this as much as I did. While it wasn't the best made film ever, it was definitely fun and sexy. Also, Catherine Zeta-Jones was perfect. 

26.  Marty- 77.5/100
The acting was good and the story one I find interesting, it was good. Some of the story lines were, however, slightly unnecessary, and sometimes was a little too quirky, but this felt a lot more real than other romances. 

25.  No Country For Old Men- 77.5/100
A film I admittedly need to watch again (since it was the first I watched and haven't watched it since), but the performance from Javier Bardem and how incredibly creepy/awesome he is it hard to ignore. 

24.  A Beautiful Mind- 77.5/100
While this film isn't overly accurate, I still enjoyed it and thought it was interesting. Definitely a "guilty pleasure" within the winners more than it actually being a good film (is there such a thing?)

23.  Amadeus- 78/100
The music was fabulous, and the performances were great. While it didn't feel like the most accurate film in the world, it was certainly well done and entertaining (if not a bit long)

22.  The Lost Weekend- 78/100
I thought this movie was incredibly interesting. It's about an alcoholic, in the time when alcohol addiction wasn't talked about very much. It was well-acted, and showed it in a really personal way. I enjoyed it. 

21.  Oliver!- 78.25/100
This used to be my number one, but I've come to be more subjective about this rather than sentimental. I still do love it though, despite how weak of an actor Mark Lester was. 

20.  Kramer vs Kramer- 78.5/100
Another Dustin Hoffman flick I enjoyed very much. Another interesting topical piece which is told unconventionally, even for this day and age. 

19.  The Gentleman’s Agreement- 78.5/100
Another good topical piece, even though it only stayed in the upper class way of things, it was interesting nonetheless and really showed how much antisemitism there was in the States. 

18.  Argo- 79/100
While it didn't really shine in any one thing, it did seem to have the package deal with a great screenplay, a not-so-typical story, humor and thrills, Affleck managed to package it all together and make a truly fun and fantastic film. 

17.  Lord of the Rings: Return of the King- 79.5/100
I have read LoTR and it took me a bit to get through the films (I initially insisted on watching the extended editions only at first but gave up), and while I thought the first film/book was the best of the three, it's great to see something of this genre and magnitude wide. 

16.  The Sound of Music- 79.5/100
Another bit of guilty pleasure? Yes, indeed. Julie Andrews is fantastic and lovely as always, and while the story is a little corny, it's a fun musical, with great music and great performances (despite anything Christopher Plummer says)

15.  The Artist- 80/100
While it may not necessarily be the film people most remember from this year, it is still very well done, rich with symbolism and character development. It's both fun and dramatic, and while it's a bit of a familiar story, it's still one we all enjoy. 

14.  My Fair Lady- 80/100
While it was a bit too long than it should've been, the music was great and Audrey Hepburn was fun. Another cute and fun film, which I can sometimes be partial to, being a girl. 

13.  Gladiator- 80.5/100
Okay, probably a bit of an unpopular opinion, but I do really enjoy Gladiator and do think it was well done! The sets and costumes were fantastic, the music was so good, and the acting was great! This is a film I don't exactly understand why it gets the flack it does. 

12.  The Hurt Locker- 80.5/100
An unconventional film, directed by a women, I really enjoyed this film way more than I ever expected. It's a different film to win, and while it isn't story-strong, it is rich in character development and tense scenes. 

11.  12 Years A Slave- 82/100
The most recent winner and one I almost had ranked over the Godfather, but I resisted because it's too soon to be so critical. But if there was any year when the film that won actually deserved to win, this was definitely it. A great package deal all around, and a topical film that deserves to be included. 

10.  All About Eve- 82/100
Upon second watching, I enjoyed this much more than the first time. Hollywood's first satire, and it was indeed witty and smart. Bette Davis is brilliant as usual, and Anne Baxter also added to the greatness. 

9.      The Bridge On the River Kwai- 82/100
A war movie very unlike most war movies, the story was so incredibly interesting, and the acting so pitch-perfect. War movies generally aren't ones I love, but this one is just too good. Even Ron Swanson agrees. 

8.      The Godfather- 82.5/100
This was definitely a fine balance between how "good" of a film it was and how much I actually enjoyed it. While I can definitely appreciate it (the acting and story like perfect), I wasn't like, enthralled or something while watching. Stereotypical of me, it is more of a guy movie. 

7.      Casablanca- 83.5/100
Another movie that was more appreciated on second viewing, it's sharp, witty and romantic. Definitely such a classic. 

6.      Annie Hall- 82.5/100
Funny, and smart, the best of the best from Woody Allen. 

5.      The Sting- 84.5/100
I've watched this film a few times since first viewing and I love more each time. It's so fun and well acted and Robert Redford and Paul Newman are a fantastic duo. 

4.      Schindler’s List- 84.25/100
Like 12 Years A Slave, definitely an important topical film to be included here. Also well-acted and really striking and moving. 

3.      Titanic- 84.5/100
Yes, I think Titanic is brilliant. It's so well directed, acted, and the scale of the sets and effects is incredible. 

2.      Ben-Hur- 85/100
While long, it was much more interesting than I thought it would be. And that chariot scene! Yet another "Christian" film I was told I would love, and this time I actually did. 

1.      On The Waterfront- 90/100
The perfect amount of romance, and action/crime, this film is overall just so well acted, directed, written, etc. While I will be soon rewacthing this, this was the film I enjoyed most overall and thought was the best done at the same time. 

There you go! I hope you enjoyed reading, and definitely know some will disagree, but I'm happy with where this all sits. I'll recap again once I finish off the project within the next few months!

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