The Big Picture

Apparently, this is a meme: Pick your favourite movie from each year you’ve been alive. And since I haven’t posted for a while (again) I will. Caveat lector – I used IMDB’s view by year and 100 most popular in the main for this. Also my memory, which is very faulty. I may, therefore, have forgotten films that I would have placed higher than the one(s) I have chosen.

1974: Both Murder on the Orient Express and The Great Gatsby are pretty good, but both are better as books. Hm. Emanuelle? No. Perhaps not. I know: Herbie Rides Again. Gotta love sentient VW Beetles.

1975: Ah. It was a very good year. Monty Python and the Holy Grail. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Those were the days. However, there is really no contest, the winner HAS to be Flåklypa Grand Prix. Dra meg baklengs inn i fulgekassa!

1976: Uhm. Not so much. Of the IMDB top 100 by total votes I’ve hardly seen any. I’ve seen part of The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, but as I quit watching because it bored me, it hardly qualifies for a “Favourites” spot, does it? No, I didn’t think so.

1977: Pete’s Dragon! No discussion.

1978: I guess I’m going to have to go with Grease. I saw it first when I was around twelve, and liked it, except I preferred the pre-makeover Sandy then. Yes, I was probably a bit of a goody-two-shoes. I think I’ve changed my mind, now, though.

1979: I have a soft spot for Moonraker. Not quite sure why.

1980: The Blues Brothers. Though it’s closely followed by Herbie Goes Bananas, the first Herbie movie I saw (and loved). It occurs to me that I probably need a Herbie box set. Really.

1981: Gotta love The Fox and the Hound, I think it’s the first film that ever made me cry, and I was 7 in 1981 and not yet the sappy sentimental fool I seem to have turned into in my old age. Luckily The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy AND Brideshead Revisited are both tv-series, or this year would be a tough one to call. Though maybe not, I don’t suppose I could ever admit to anything beating Brideshead Revisited. (That new movie? Looks like a complete disaster, and no, I haven’t seen the trailer, I don’t dislike my brain that much, when I read that Emma Thompson was playing “a leading role” I knew they had seriously messed up already, as there is no female “leading” role in BR. Nope. Not. Lots of “supporting” roles, yes. But whatever.)

1982: Well, the competition is stiff: An Officer and a Gentleman? Annie? The World According to Garp? Victor Victoria? Perhaps not the latter, though I liked it in my Julie Andrews period. (What? What do you mean “Julie Andrews period?”? Doesn’t everyone go through a Julie Andrews period?) And The Last Unicorn! I had forgotten all about that film. And I think the fantastic going-down-a-cliff-on-a-horse scene was i The Man From Snowy River, Jamelah, which almost puts that film in the top spot. But I think I’m going to have to go with The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, actually. Partly because it has that song. But mainly just because.

1983: Back then: The Outsiders. Now? Either The Big Chill, WarGames or Flashdance, though it’s been a while since I saw either.

1984: Who’ you gonna call? Lots to choose from (Ghostbusters, Footloose, The Karate Kid, Against All Odds, Police Academy, Romancing the Stone)  but the winner has to be Ronja Rövardotter. It made me want to live in a draughty castle or a cave in the forest, and a daughter of the wilderness I am not, so it must have been pretty convincing.

1985: Back then it would have been The Goonies, hands down, no contest. The Color Purple is very good, though. And I recently watched Back to the Future with great enjoyment. Ooh, and White Nights! But still, The Color Purple it has to be.

1986: Children of a Lesser God made a deep impression, I seem to remember, but I’m going with Jumping Jack Flash, because, well, Whoopi Goldberg, you know?

1987: I like The Princess Bride, I really do, but I have to go with Jamelah on this one: Nobody puts Baby in a corner. I loved it then, I love it now (though for slightly different reasons, it must be said).

1988: Oh no. There can’t be just one for 1988, because there were at least three “Best film ever” candidates that year, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, A Fish Called Wanda (Don’t call me stupid!), and Die Hard.

1989: In 1989 I would probably have been willing to bet obscene amounts that Dead Poets Society would be my favourite film forever and ever. Good thing I didn’t. I later discovered Peter Greenaway, but The Cook, the Thief, his Wife & her Lover isn’t my favourite Greenaway film. I can watch Look Who’s Talking over and over, it’s one of those braincandy films that classify with chocolate in the comforting department. However, the best film made that year was probably A Grand Day Out, but since that’s a short, I’m going with The Fabulous Baker Boys, because it’s, well, fabulous.

1990: Die Hard 2 is my favourite Die Hard film (well, ok, so I haven’t seen the last one yet) and a strong contender. Three Men and a Little Lady still charms the pants off me (though not literally), so does Home Alone. I’d go all intellectual and say Rosenkrantz & Guildenstern are Dead, except I saw an amateur production of it live a few years ago which made the film look rather silly and tame, so Die Hard 2 it is.

1991: This is the year of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The Fisher King and Hook.  The latter two are simply really good, the former… Ok, so you have a Robin with an american accent, but then you also have Morgan Freeman. Yes, you do. And Alan Rickman as the sherrif, managing to be quite creepy, absolutely pathetic and yet sexy (well, it IS Alan Rickman) all at the same time. AND you have Sean Connery in a sort of very noticeable cameo.

1992: Aladdin. There you go, that was easy. Except then my eyes continue down the list and find Home Alone in New York and Strictly Ballroom. And at the very bottom, Peter’s Friends. And Peter’s Friends it’s got to be. Stricktly speaking I suppose it’s rather clichee in all manner of ways, but the actors are so good they pull it off wonderfully. Which in itself makes it almost more impressive than if the script had been really good to start with.

1993: This is the period when I really saw A LOT of movies (quite a few of them as “press”), and so chosing just one is getting harder. Schindler’s List was chilling, The Fugitive adrenaline-inducing, Sister Act 2 quite charming, Cool Runnings funny, Shadowlands oh so sad and Trois Couleurs: Bleu impressive. But the film I loved in 1993 and which threw fuel on the flame that was my love of Shakespeare, for which I can only be grateful, was Much Ado About Nothing.

1994: Priscilla – Queen of the Desert it is, but if you’re looking for recommendations you might also like to try Nobody’s Fool, Shawshank Redmption, Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Hudsucker Proxy, It Could Happen to You, Leon, Quiz Show, Clerks, Clear and Present Danger, True Lies, The Flintstones (for a laugh), Reality Bites (at least if you’re around 20, or were, in 1994) and The Lion King (if only to watch Jeremy Irons as Scar), roughly in that order.

1995: Well, for once I have the same film in the top spot as IMDB’s voters, namely The Usual Suspects. Toy Story is, of course, also great and I still like Clueless and Sense & Sensibility, too.

1996: Kenneth Brannagh’s Hamlet.

1997: As Good as it Gets.

1998: An increasing number of films that I planned to see one day but obviously “one day” hasn’t come round yet. I’m going with Blues Brothers 2000.

1999: Fight Club made an impression, that’s for sure, but Toy Story 2 just beats it, if for no other reason that I’ve seen it several times, and it stands up to it, whereas I’m hesitant to watch Fight Club again because I fear that it just might not work second time round. Also, the Danish Den eneste ene is pretty much the bees knees.

2000: No big, earth-shattering experiences, out of the main contenders (Chicken Run, The Wonderboys, Billy Elliot and Coyote Ugly) I’ve seen Chicken Run the most times. If that counts for anything.

2001: So much better, Shrek beats LotR – FotR, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Monsters Inc, Bridget Jones’ Diary and Moulin Rouge. I also saw, and hugely enjoyed, The Princess Diaries and Save the Last Dance, but, hush, don’t tell anyone.

2002: Bowling for Columbine totally knocked me off kilter, but it’s hard to call it “a favourite”. The usual suspects may be Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and LotR Two Towers, but guess what? I REALLY like Bend it Like Beckham.

2003: I’m going to go with Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World. There may have been better films in 2003, but this was a very good attempt at filming the unfilmable, and I do love Jack and Stephen – with a passion.

2004: Flip a coin: Shrek 2 or Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban? Also, A State of Mind (which I saw in 2006), is VERY good.

2005: I’d waited for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for so many years it seems a pity not to mention it, but Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was better. And Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was good, but not scary enough (it’s much scarier in my head when I read it). Narnia – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was good, too. Four of my favourite books filmed and all actually quite good. How often does that happen?  

2006: Another year of films that I meant to se, but somehow… Well, of the ones I did see, I think Ice Age 2: The Meltdown was the best.

2007: Hampered in my movie-going by the lass, I didn’t see very many films in the cinema (or at all) in 2007. I saw Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which was very good. Looking at the IMDB list of 100 most popular now I’m wondering if perhaps I didn’t miss much. There aren’t that many titles that seem interesting. Was 2007 a bad year for film, or what?

2008: I hate to admit it, but so far this year I’ve only seen one (1!) new film: Prince Caspian. It was good, though, so I don’t mind calling it my favourite.

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