Monthly Archives: December 2009

My 100 Favorite Film Performances (In no particular order)

Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver

Diane Keaton in Annie Hall

Marion Cotillard in La Vie En Rose

Sean Penn in Milk

James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause

Bette Davis in All About Eve

Cary Grant in North by Northwest

Cary Grant in Notorious

Meryl Streep in Kramer vs. Kramer

Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate

Anne Bancroft in The Graduate

Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon

Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca

Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca

Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch

Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain

Frances McDormand in Fargo

Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men

Jean Seberg in Breathless

Jean-Paul Belmondo in Breathless

Brad Pitt in Fight Club

Helena Bonham Carter in Fight Club

Robert De Niro in Raging Bull

Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire

Paul Newman in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Elizabeth Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Sigourney Weaver in Alien and Aliens

Ian McKellen in The Lord of the Rings

Mieko Harada in Ran

Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs

Jodie Foster in The Silence of the Lambs

Peter O’Toole in Lawrence of Arabia

Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight

Giulietta Masina in Nights of Cabiria

Marlon Brando in The Godfather

Martina Gedeck in The Lives of Others

Kate Winslet in Little Children

Jackie Earle Haley in Little Children

Uma Thurman in Kill Bill

Kevin Spacey in American Beauty

Annette Benning in American Beauty

Shirley MacLaine in The Apartment

Warren Beatty in Bonnie and Clyde

Faye Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde

Warren Beatty in Reds

Penelope Cruz in Volver

Johnny Depp in Edward Scissorhands

Henry Fonda in The Grapes of Wrath

Robert De Niro in Once Upon a Time in America

Vivien Leigh in Gone With the Wind

Marcello Mastroianni in 8 ½

Cate Blanchett in I’m Not There

Rinko Kikuchi in Babel

Viggo Mortensen in Eastern Promises

Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Cate Blanchett in The Aviator

Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino

Tommy Lee Jones in In The Valley of Ellah

Jack Nicholson in The Shining

Anne Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married

Angelina Jolie in Girl, Interrupted

Julianne Moore in Far From Heaven

Sissy Spacek in Carrie

Grace Kelly in Rear Window

Toshiro Mifune in Seven Samurai

Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction

Burt Lancaster in From Here to Eternity

Judie Garland in The Wizard of Oz

Ryan Gosling in Lars and The Real Girl

Marilyn Monroe in Some Like it Hot

Jack Lemmon in Some Like it Hot

Reese Witherspoon in Election

Denzel Washington in Training Day

Ben Kingsley in Gandhi

Katherine Hepburn in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

Sidney Poitier in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

Rita Hayworth in Gilda

Halle Berry in Monster’s Ball

Anita Eckberg in La Dolce Vida

Sasha Baron Cohen in Borat

Natalie Wood in West Side Story

Ellen Burstyn in Requiem for a Dream

Ken Watanabe in Letters from Iwo Jima

Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood

Gael Garcia Bernal in The Motorcycle Diaries

Judi Dench in Notes on a Scandal

Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland

Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction

James Stewart in Vertigo

Dustin Hoffman in Midnight Cowboy

Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove

Marisa Tomei in The Wrestler

Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump

Robert Redford in The Sting

Mel Gibson in Braveheart

Christopher Walken in The Deer Hunter

Audrey Tautou in Amelie

Johnny Depp in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Christopher Waltz in Inglorious Basterds

George Clooney in Up in the Air

What are some of your favorite film performances?

EKL

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Top 10 Films of the Decade

Hey ya’ll, here is my list of favorite/best films of the decade. I have only included movies I have seen so there is a possibility that a film I have not yet seen this year could later make it onto my personal list. There is also a very good possibility that if I re-watched a film that it could take the place of a film on this current list. Anyway here is my list, what films are on your list?

10. Lost In Translation – 2003

In other hands this film could have been boring or meaningless but Sofia Coppola gives this story about two strangers, looking to connect in a foreign land both humor and depth. The cinematography is beautiful, Bill Murray is at his finest and Scarlett Johansson is unusually and delightfully modest.

9. Kill Bill (Volume 1 & 2) – 2003 & 2004

I remember coming home after seeing Kill Bill Volume 1 for the first time and feeling like my mind had turned into jelly. What exactly had I just seen? I wasn’t sure at the time, all I knew was that I was floored by the films visuals and non-linear plot. Volume 2 added an emotional subtext that completed the story and Uma Thurman created one of the greatest heroines ever on screen. Bravo to both Uma and Quentin!

8. Wall-E – 2008

Who knew Pixar could create such an artistic, message driven movie? The long, dialogue-free beginning somehow manages to be both disturbing and charming. Wall-E proves that kids’ movies need not be simple, dumb nor for that matter comforting.

7. The Dark Knight – 2008

Just when people had given up hope on intelligent action movies, The Dark Knight came in to save the day. The plot touches upon terrorism, corruption and the extent of power. Heath Ledger indeed gives a fantastic, terrifying performance all the more scary considering in the end, it is the Joker, not Batman who seems to speak the most sense, whom perhaps you end up rooting for.

6. Milk – 2008

Somehow you forget that you are watching a biopic when watching this film. Instead of simply following a man’s life, Gus Van Sant chronicles the lifespan of a political movement. This isn’t just a movie about gay rights, it’s about all the underdogs who have ever fought against established order – and won. Sean Penn is unbelievable in this film and his co-stars (Josh Brolin, James Franco and Emile Hirsch) deliver.

5. No Country for Old Men – 2007

Suspense, pure suspense. As Llewelyn Moss runs away from crazed sociopath Anton Chigurh, you cannot help but feel everything he feels. The cinematography is aggressive and the acting superb but most of all this film transports you, not to a fantasy land but to a land where evil triumphs over good.

4. Babel – 2006

Some have said that Babel is Crash but set around the globe. One of the biggest differences though is that the characters and emotions in Babel feel genuine. This film speaks not only to the fact that we are more connected than ever before but also how we are more detached. From the first scene in Morocco to the final scene in Tokyo, this film shows us that we all have the same desires and fears and it’s time we started understanding that. Beautiful cinematography, awesome score and great performances from an international cast.

3. There Will Be Blood – 2007

To me this movie is like the film equivalent of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. It is so rich in themes and ideas I don’t even know where to begin discussing it. I’ll admit when I first saw it I didn’t like it that much, I still find No Country for Old Men a more enjoyable film. That being said, when I saw it a second time, it all clicked for me. The incredible cinematography, the nerve-wracking score and most of all Daniel Day-Lewis’ performance make this not simply a great film but the one film of this decade that I believe will one day be in the same category of film as Citizen Kane and Casablanca.

2. The Lives of Others – 2006

In 2007 The Lives of Others won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film which is a nice award to receive but I want to make this clear, this film is not just one of the best foreign films, it is one of the best films period. This story of East Germany’s secret police eavesdropping on a writer and his actress girlfriend is so well constructed and so full of twists and turns it will leave you breathless. Disturbing, hopeful, beautiful, this movie will stay in your mind for days.

1. Lord of the Rings (Trilogy) – 2001, 2002 & 2003

The script, the visuals, the acting, the direction, the score, the editing. Every aspect of this film is so well executed, you can really tell how much attention and love (and money) was put into these films. The Return of the King won all 11 Oscars it was nominated for and for good reason. This is a landmark trilogy that does what movies do best: transport you to another world where even the smallest person can change the course of the future.

Very Honorable Mentions:

2000 – Gladiator, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Erin Brockovich, Almost Famous, O Brother Where Are Thou?

2001 – Monster’s Ball, Training Day, Moulin Rouge, Mulholland Drive, Amelie

2002 – Catch Me If You Can, Spirited Away, Hable Con Ella, Far From Heaven, Minority Report

2003 – Mystic River, 21 Grams, A Mighty Wind

2004 – Million Dollar Baby, The Aviator, Sideways, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

2005 – Brokeback Mountain, Good Night and Good Luck, Transamerica, Walk the Line

2006 – The Departed, Letters from Iwo Jima, Little Miss Sunshine, Volver, Little Children, Borat, Notes on a Scandal, Pan’s Labyrinth, Children of Men

2007 – In the Valley of Elah, Eastern Promises, Atonement, Ratatouille, Knocked Up, Zodiac, Lars and the Real Girl

2008 – The Wrestler, Slumdog Millionaire, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

2009 – Up in the Air, Inglorious Basterds, Avatar, The Hurt Locker

EKL

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Welcome to Film Buffet (All you can eat film for $0.00)

Hey everyone,

Welcome to Film Buffet! Your one stop blog for all things film. I started this blog because I was tired of people constantly complaining about Hollywood and denigrating films as a lower art form. So in a sense this blog is in defense of film. I also started this blog because I wanted to share my own thoughts on films both new and old. Additionally I would like to know what films you would recommend, so I urge you to comment on my posts and start up a dialogue.

Since the decade is coming to a close, I have been thinking a lot about the films that have come out in the last 10 years. I was 10 years old when the decade began and am 20 as this decade ends, so clearly my taste and understanding of movies has changed a lot. I might not be Peter Travers or Richard Roeper but I am young and us young folk heavily control the box office, so it is my hope that my generation spends its $10.50 on movies that will stand the test of time. My first official post will be on my 10 favorite films of the decade.

Talk to ya later,

EKL

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