Tag Archives: John Williams

The Best Picture Project — Schindler’s List (1993)

Schindler's List movie.jpg

Directed by Steven Spielberg

Screenplan by Steve Zailian, based upon the novel by Thomas Kennealy

Starring Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley and Ralph Fiennes

I’ll say it: Schindler’s List might be the most important film ever to win Best Picture.  It represents a true cinematic achievement and, even if it was not revolutionary in the sense that Jaws was revolutionary, it full demonstrates how you can take a deadly subject matter and, by using all the tricks of the trade, can produce an important film about a tough subject without making it fee didactic.

That all being said – this is not a film you sit down to enjoy.  There truly is no enjoyment here.   It’s a tough film on a tough topic and there’s no enjoying that.  That being said, it’s not punishing either, nor is it a chore to watch.  Rather, it’s emotionally cathartic and the sort of thing you’ll put on only when you want to have your guts ripped open.

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The Also Ran’s — The Accidental Tourist (Best Picture Nominee 1988)

The accidental tourist.jpgDirected by Lawrence Kasdan

Screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and Frank Galati, Based upon the novel by Anne Tyler

Starring William Hurt, Geena Davis and Kathleen Turner

The Accidental Tourist is a quiet, earnest story, about a travel writer (William Hurt) who specializes in creating comfortable travel experiences – the key is control and predictability.  But, it’s not merely his writing which advocates predictability – rather, his whole worldview is based on sticking things in a rut and making sure they stay in them.  And honestly, it’s a viewpoint well-earned, as his entirely family (two brothers, one sister) also seem willfully stuck in their comfortable little ruts, with their comfortable little quirks.

However, after the senseless killing of their child, the writer’s wife (Kathleen Turner) leaves him.  Shortly thereafter, a free spirit (Geena Davis), comes into his life and shakes things up.  And therein lies the central tension of the film and that thing about which the plot revolves – will the writer choose to stay in his rut?  Or will he embrace the chaos of the world? Continue reading

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