Sunday, April 11, 2010

Favorite Films: The 1990's

This following group of posts will not be as extensive in categories, or analysis as the Decade in Review post was for 2000-2009; it will however give a breakdown of some of my favorite films of the decade between 1990-1999. Contrary to the previous post, I will limit these posts to 10 films per decade, I will not try to limit it to the five or six I had previously said. I will, however, try to give one favorite film with some analysis followed by nine to ten other films in alphabetical order.

1. Shawshank Redemption (1994) Frank Darabont - In 1994 a young filmmaker took two of the great American actors to an out-of-commision prison in Mansfield, Ohio with a script based off of an uncharacteristic novella by the king of horror, Stephen King. The novella was "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption." The story follows a man convicted with the murder of his wife and how he stays positive through the crucible and brings life back to the institutionalized men. The film condenses some of the novella's characters, specifically, the warden, who remains the same man throughout the film and is three men in the novella. The protagonist is played by an inspired Tim Robbins fresh off of two brilliant collaborations with American master, Robert Altman, and a successful political satire of his own, Bob Roberts. Robbins is perfect through the film, but the heart of the film comes from Morgan Freeman, the man Pauline Kael said was the greatest working American actor: after his first picture. The films tells a story of unlikely friendship through trying circumstances and 20 years of rejections, new friends, and old friends dying off. Darabont's film is a beautiful film that captures the best of friendship in the worst of circumstances.

The Rest:

Being John Malkavich (1999) Spike Jonze
Bringing Out the Dead (1999) Martin Scorsese
Fargo (1996) Joel Coen
Goodfellas (1990) Martin Scorsese
L. A. Confidential (1997) Curtis Hanson
Magnolia (1999) Paul Thomas Anderson
The Player (1992) Robert Altman
Pulp Fiction (1994) Quentin Tarantino
Saving Private Ryan (1998) Steven Spielberg
Three Colors Trilogy (1993-94) Krzysztof Kieslowski

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