7 October 2011

Retro Lists! Best Films of the Year: 1997

Continuing my intermittent retrospective top ten lists of backdated year-by-year Best Ofs (sporadically ongoing whilst I attempt to juggle this year's London Film Festival, a few current print articles and bits and pieces elsewhere - and as a fill-in before I resume with regularly scheduled Dark Eye Socket reviews, comments and general film write-up shenanigans), here are My Ten Selections for Best Films and Acting of 1997:

01. Crash (David Cronenberg)

02. Lost Highway (David Lynch)

03. Under the Skin (Carine Adler)

04. The Addiction (Abel Ferrara)

05. The Trigger Effect (David Koepp)

06. The Sweet Hereafter (Atom Egoyan)
07. The People vs. Larry Flint (Milos Forman)
08. Grosse Point Blank (George Armitage)
09. Get on the Bus (Spike Lee)
10. The English Patient (Anthony Minghella)

Five more, in no order:

Flirting with Disaster
Nil by Mouth
Welcome to the Dollhouse
Trees Lounge

Male & Female Acting of the Year:

* Elias Koteas Crash
Woody Harrelson The People vs. Larry Flint
Wesley Snipes One Night Stand
John Cusack Grosse Point Blank
David Arquette Johns

* Samantha Morton Under the Skin
Lily Taylor The Addiction
Patricia Arquette Lost Highway
Maggie Cheung Irma Vep
Gabrielle Rose The Sweet Hereafter

* Denotes what I considered to be the best male and female performance of the year. 

The remainder of the nineties (1995 and earlier)  and beyond that decade will appear as soon as possible...


  1. This list is making a very good argument for why I should watch Crash immediately.

    And I thought The Addiction was fairly uneven overall -- had a lot of the tedious problems endemic to Ferrara's movies -- but I totally agree about Lili Taylor. She's something else entirely, both in that movie and all her other roles. (My review: http://wp.me/pvhns-PF)

  2. For honesty's sake, I approached this particular year with trepidation because my favourite movie of all time is from this year, and I'm glad it makes the list (just barely at #10). And, yes, a little part of me is happy that Fargo is not on the isn't on your list. I'm actually shocked that Von Trier isn't on the list. Not because I love Breaking the Waves, but because I THOUGHT it was up your alley. Receive that as you will, and discuss. Is it?

  3. Ah, The English Patient is your all-time favourite film? Nice one. That's interesting, as many people cast it off as 'just another sandy Oscar winner' or similar - and quite unfairly.

    I came to it late - about 11 years late - and I must say I found it to be one of the most affecting romantic movies I saw from that decade. (RF & KST were so entwined and in love it seeped through the screen!)

    Also, it was one of my favourite Oscar Best Pic wins of the last 20-odd years. Although I'm sure that outside of your own views that's an unpopular opinion. But it convinced me of its commitment to pushing its heart-on-sleeve love story angle well. And the church bit with Binoche was wonderful!

    Fargo was on the 'also ok' list for '96, but not anywhere near my top selections really. Good but not a great film. BtW should perhaps be more prominent. I liked it, but would need to see it again to properly comemnt/include it.

  4. It's difficult to explain why I love TEP so much, but I do. It's not the romance in particular, but all I know is that when I first saw it about 14 I watched every day for two weeks. It's gotten to a point where I know most of the dialogue. It's probably the sincerity of it which I appreciate most, something you don't really find too much without descending into mawkishness. I do love Minghella generally, though, I'm one of the dozens who defend Cold Mountain.