Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Keeping 1995 Alive

Over at The Film Experience, Nathaniel has turned his retro eye toward 1995. Since this was a pretty great year for movies in my life, I figure I'll offer my counterpoint. Nat mentioned '95 as being a particularly emotional movie year for him. For me, it was more of a landmark. Spurred on by the previous year's Pulp Fiction, 1995 was the first year that I actively sought out good, challenging films. Lucky for me, there were a lot to go around.

The "Because I Say So" Awards for 1995

Best Picture
01. The Usual Suspects
02. Dead Man Walking
03. Before Sunrise
04. The American President
05. Dolores Claiborne

[The full top ten continues: 06-Heat; 07-Clueless; 08-Leaving Las Vegas; 09-12 Monkeys; 10-Seven.]

Best Director
1. Bryan Singer - The Usual Suspects
2. Tim Robbins - Dead Man Walking
3. Michael Mann - Heat
4. Taylor Hackford - Dolores Claiborne
5. David Fincher - Seven

[Honorable mentions: Terry Gilliam (12 Monkeys); Richard Linklater (Before Sunrise); Oliver Stone (Nixon)]

Best Actor
1. Sean Penn - Dead Man Walking
2. Nicolas Cage – Leaving Las Vegas
3. Ethan Hawke - Before Sunrise
4. Ian McKellan - Richard III
5. Anthony Hopkins - Nixon

[Honorable mentions: Robert DeNiro (Heat); Morgan Freeman (Seven); Michael Douglas (The American President)]

Best Actress
1. Susan Sarandon - Dead Man Walking
2. Elisabeth Shue - Leaving Las Vegas
3. Kathy Bates - Dolores Claiborne
4. Nicole Kidman - To Die For
5. Julianne Moore – Safe

[Honorable mentions: Annette Bening (The American President); Julie Delpy (Before Sunrise); Alicia Silverstone (Clueless); Jennifer Jason Leigh (Georgia)]

The rest after a click of the link . . .

Best Supporting Actor
1. Kevin Spacey - The Usual Suspects
2. Brad Pitt - 12 Monkeys
3. Chaz Palminteri - The Usual Suspects
4. Gene Hackman - Get Shorty
5. Benicio Del Toro - The Usual Suspects

[Honorable mentions: David Strathairn (Dolores Claiborne); Dermott Mulroney (Living in Oblivion); Gabriel Byrne (The Usual Suspects); Martin Sheen (The American President)]

Best Supporting Actress
1. Sharon Stone - Casino
2. Joan Allen - Nixon
3. Catherine Keener - Living In Oblivion
4. Jennifer Jason Leigh - Dolores Claiborne
5. Ashley Judd - Heat

[Honorable mentions: Mare Winningham (Georgia); Madeline Stowe (12 Monkeys); Chloe Sevigny (Kids)]

Best Original Screenplay
1. The Usual Suspects (Christopher McQuarrie)
2. Before Sunrise (Richard Linklater; Kim Krizan)
3. The American President (Aaron Sorkin)
4. Seven (Andrew Kevin Walker)
5. Nixon (Oliver Stone; Stephen J. Rivelle; Christopher Wilkinson)

[Honorable mentions: Heat (Michael Mann); The Brothers McMullen (Edward Burns); Living in Oblivion (Tom DiCillo)]

Best Adapted Screenplay
1. Dolores Claiborne (Tony Gilroy)
2. Dead Man Walking (Tim Robbins)
3. Leaving Las Vegas (Mike Figgis)
4. Richard III (Richard Loncraine; Ian McKellan)
5. Clueless (Amy Heckerling)

[Honorable mentions: Get Shorty (Scott Frank); 12 Monkeys (David Webb Peoples; Janet Peoples)]

Best Ensemble Cast
1. The Usual Suspects
2. Heat
3. Nixon
4. The American President
5. Get Shorty

[Honorable mentions: Dolores Claiborne; Dead Man Walking; Seven; Clueless]

Best Cinematography
1. Dolores Claiborne (Gabriel Baristain)
2. Seven (Darius Khondji)
3. Heat (Dante Spinotti)
4. Nixon (Robert Richardson)
5. The Usual Suspects (Newton Thomas Sigel)

[Honorable mentions: Dead Man Walking (Roger Deakins); 12 Monkeys (Roger Pratt); Leaving Las Vegas (Declan Quinn); Babe (Andrew Lesnie)]

Best Production Design
1. Seven
2. Babe
3. Toy Story
4. Dolores Claiborne
5. 12 Monkeys

[Honorable mentions: Heat; Nixon; Leaving Las Vegas; Clueless]

Best Achievement in Music
1. The Brothers McMullen
2. Mr. Holland's Opus
3. Empire Records
4. Georgia
5. Dead Man Walking

[Honorable mention: Clueless; The Basketball Diaries; Toy Story; Babe]


mathan said...

You're ranking "Heat" a bit higher than I would.

It didn't even come close to living up to the hype and was ruined (for me) by the parody that has become Al Pacino.

His interrogation of Hank Azaria, where you can actually see his mouth contort to alter lines ("she's got a great ass...and you've got you're head, all the way up it!") and his confrontation with Tone Loc's cousin (?) where Phoenix comes into play come immediately to mind.

Heat would have been a solid flick if Al Pacino wasn't in it, because it wouldn't have had the hype or the overacting.

There's also the chance that Bob might have gotten away in the end (another aspect that really rubbed me the wrong way.)

I felt the ensemble aspect is greatly underused in "Heat." Sure they all played their roles, but some actors were wasted in their roles.

You were dead on with the Usual Suspects, 12 Monkeys, Seven, Dead Man Walking, Leaving Las Vegas, and even Before Sunrise. But 'Heat' to me will probably always stand as a lukewarm pile of turd, and mostly because of Pacino.

Carlie said...

yay clueless, that is what i always think of when i hear 1995.

speaking of 1995...you *may* want to proofread.....just ONE more time.....

Joe R. said...


Re: Heat - I'm totally with you on Pacino. HORRIBLE performance, worst I have ever seen from him. He's what holds the movie back from being one of the greats. Plus it featured the last truly great DeNiro performance, maybe ever.

j.a.m., truly outrageous said...

"Clueless"? "The American President"? Dude, how long HAVE you been gay?

Joe R. said...

Err. Well. I could go with "since I was born," although if you ask a Republican, it's "since I chose to be and rejected God's divine plan." You know, po-tay-to/po-tah-to.

phi slamma j.a.m.ma said...

You missed the perfect opportunity for a dan quayle "potatoe" joke.

That came down in 1992 and well within Joe Reid's realm of relevance. I eagerly await your next post: "Emmy Thoughts '76! (IN COLOR!)"