We previously covered my dated lists for Actors, Supporting Actresses and Supporting Actors -- lists I don't agree with in full anymore (though the supporting actresses list I quite like still). So now we move on to Picture and Actress.
Top ten chronological order. What follows is original text from the magazine, with the winner in bold text. I had purposefully excluded 1999 which is why you don't see Kate Winslet for Holy Smoke or Hilary Swank for Boy's Don't Cry though here's what I wrote about Swank in that same zine...
I'm rooting for Swank on Oscar night. But I must express concern that she could turn into Elisabeth Shue and only have this one great role in her.Ha. I was right but it's funny in retrospect to have proof that I had no animosity at all (I love Shue). I mean I wasn't giving the Swankster mean nicknames or spoofing my own hatred of her and I was actually rooting for her to win that first time. It was that damn disingenuous "girl from a trailer park" campaigning and the second win that rubbed me in directions wrong and wrongest. [sic]
- Anjelica Huston, The Grifters (1990)
Her daring unsympathetic work tore through the screen.
- Jodie Foster, The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Clarice Starling is one for the history books.
- Susan Sarandon & Geena Davis, Thelma & Louise (1991)
I'm loathe to separate this duet, so I shan't.
- Michelle Pfeiffer, Batman Returns (1992)
Meow. Her funniest most magnetic star turn this decade.
- Emma Thompson, Howards End (1992)
She shone as the passionate but centered Margaret Schlegel
- Juliette Binoche, Three Colors: Blue (1992 [sic] it was actually 1993. I think I was avoiding a certain 1993 problem in my head! read on.)
A mystifying transcendent performance.
- Holly Hunter, The Piano (1993)
One of our finest comic actresses in her best dramatic work.
- Elisabeth Shue, Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
No one knew she had this in her but I'm glad she did.
- Frances McDormand, Fargo (1996)
An expert comic performance that owns the great film.
- Helena Bonham-Carter, Wings of the Dove (1997)
She gets better and better and this is the top.
And I'm a touch surprised to see Juliette Binoche there though I think the performance is a hypnotic icy marvel. The film was released in the States in 1993 which means that I'd have to bump Michelle Pfeiffer from The Age of Innocence off of my best actress 5 that year (*sniffle*) which would leave me with Holly Hunter, The Piano (winner) and nominees: Angela Bassett, What's Love Got to Do With It; Juliette Binoche, Three Colors: Blue; Stockard Channing, Six Degrees of Separation and Emma Thompson, Much Ado About Nothing (previously discussed) none of whom I am able to part with. Sorry 'Chelle! It hurts me more than it hurts you.
[Chronological Top Ten. Winners in bold red. What follows is original text. 1999 I had originally excluded as it had just ended and I was still deciding on "bests" for that year.]
- Beauty & The Beast (1991)
Best cartoon of the decade. The genre has thankfully exploded since this.
- THELMA & LOUISE (1991)
Eternal thanks fo Ridley, Callie, Susan & Geena. Best road trip of the decade.
- Husbands and Wives (1992)
Allen's best film of the 90s. Its status will grow in time, trust me.
- Trois Coleurs (1992-1994)
Have this experience! Kiezlowski's enthralling spiritual trilogy.
- THE PIANO (1993)
Jane Campion's painterly erotic masterwork.
- Schindler's List (1993)
I hate to include Spielberg but he actually deserved the kudos on this one. (recently discussed at the blog)
- Heavenly Creatures (1994)
Peter Jackson's surreal mood juggling giddy nightmare.
- Dead Man Walking (1995)
Tim Robbins enthralling and enormously moving death row drama.
- Boogie Nights (1997)
P.T. Anderson's mega-entertaining superbly acted porn-opus.
- Wings of the Dove (1997)
Vastly underrated James adaptation by Iain Softley and a trio of fine actors.
Some notes: It appears that I was in love with the word "enthralling" in Spring 2000. I guess I could not choose an adjective for Heavenly Creatures so I just went with all of them. I was also, not yet dead set against "ties". The Piano (see my review) now holds the throne on its own and those porn stars, waitresses on the run and murderous teen girlfriends continue to sit nearby as ladies in waiting to "Best Film of the 90s." (And yes, I do still think Beauty & The Beast is the best animated film of the 90s. Sorry Toy Story and Princess Mononoke) The rest of the list would need a seriously rethink or overhaul.
And if that weren't enough -- you're all "please stop. It's 2010!" yeah, yeah, we'll get back to it -- here were some other fighting words back then. Original Text follows. I can't totally stand by all of this since it's 10 years ago that I wrote this and I haven't seen at least half of the films since. Plus, I seemed to have had a distinct distaste for films with negative messages. But here's what I wrote ten years ago...
The World is Stone Pt 1 (Unjustly aborted movie children i.e. the most underrated films of the 90s.)Hmmm.
- One True Thing
Dismissed as just a fine Streep film. Sorry, try again. Just a fine film.
- Velvet Goldmine
Time has lifted [safe] to grand cinema status. Same thing will happen to Todd Haynes' most electric film.
- Strange Days | Nell | The Ref
Not classics but severely and rudely underrated.
- Queen Margot
This film floors me. Luscious. Epic. Incredible.
- Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
You might want to hate it but you'll learn to love it.
- Truly Madly Deeply
A rarely insightful look at the mourning process with two terrific lead performances.
- Batman Returns | Mars Attacks
Burton's least appreciated. Funny and clever films.
- Living Out Loud | Home for the Holidays
The first was widely shrugged off, the second universally hated. I'll never get why. Holly Hunter is perfection in both.
- Men Don't Leave
An emotional stunner with Jessica Lange in top form.
- Romeo + Juliet
The media tried to reduce it to "Shakespearean MTV" when it's a visually inspired experience. DiCaprio and Danes briefly gave Young Hollywood a good name.
The World is Stone Pt 2 (spoiled brats - overrated films of the 90s)
- LA Confidential
Didn't anyone else find the ending a major cop out?
- Deconstructing Harry
One of Woody's worst. Childishly vicious.
- Henry Fool
A revered arthouse film that's so pretentious I felt like tearing at my skin.
- Forrest Gump | Saving Private Ryan
Two ultra adored patriotic Tom Hanks blockbusters with scary political implications or simplified messages.
- In the Company of Men
It's just inert as a film. Lifeless even in all its bile.
Mel Gibson's sick, homophobic, bloodthirsty operatically self-indulgent mess. Won the Oscar of course.
Just when I was sick to death of it, I realized it was only halfway over. Repetitious, ugly, and revered based solely upon the name in the director's chair.
Many many people have told me I should love Casino (1995) as they do. Perhaps I wasn't in the right place? But I still remember the visceral hatred of it in the movie theater ... so I'm scared to go back. I rarely employ "pretentious" as a kneejerk insult now so I wonder what I'd think of Henry Fool today? I still have plenty of hate for Forrest Gump (see recent proof) and Braveheart (see recent proof) but I am confused at the dismissal of LA Confidential which is obviously a goodie.
Things I have no memory of: Hating In the Company of Men or loving One True Thing.
What were your favorite and least favorites of the 1990s back in 2000?
How is the list different now?