Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Top 100 Films of the 1990's: Part X
9. Three Colors: Red (1994) - Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colors trilogy remains one of the most celebrated of the decade, and while all three individual films are well-done, it is its finale (which earned Kieslowski two Oscar nomiantions), that remains the most celebrated, and simply the best of the bunch. The plot is a dense one, and not really worth spending a blog page trying to describe it, but within its narrative lies overencompassing themes that are universal, particularly the age-old battle of fate versus human free will. It features stunning performances, a dense, but navigable script, and finishes off Kieslowski's incredible trio with both style and substance. It is hard to describe why Red is so great, hell why Blue and White were so great for that matter. It is one of those great films that can only be discovered if you take the time to view its beautifully shot frames. It is the story of humans, of encounters, of fate and love and opportunity. It is something that every human no matter where they live can connect to. Maybe that is why it has survived the test of time as one of the 90's best, one of the best of all time, because it connects like so many films fail to do. A modern masterpiece.
8. Fargo (1996) - The Coens won the Oscar for Director/Picture in 2007 for their incredible work on No Country for Old Men, an honor which was well-deserved and long overdue. Because a decade (and a year) earlier, they hit creative heights with the dark and gruesome crime dramedy Fargo. Based in the snowy corners of North Dakota, a gruesome murder is committed by a guys who don't know how to cover their tracks properly and the pregnant and sharp Frances McDormand who handidly and deservedly won an Oscar for this role. At times it is laugh out loud funny in a dark and twisted sense, and then suddenly it is a nail-biting thriller that is downright scary. It is superbly acted, not just by McDormand, but by the whole cast including Steve Buscemi and William H. Macy. But essentially, this film is a success due to the distinctive style and constantly superb direction and script by the Coen Bros. While not all of their efforts have been as successful, they all play on the Coen's wit and their ability to have perfect timing, something several directors need to have a better understanding of. Put it simply, Fargo is the Coen's crowning achievement, and one of the best of all time.