1993 Ten Best Movies

As I write this, the question is whether this will be the year a woman finally wins the best director Oscar. One previous contendah was Jane Campion, nominated for The Piano, which lost a bunch to Schindler’s List. But she had the better film. Its merit can be measured by the way it seemed to offend people from all across the spectrum, generally a good sign. Holly Hunter was superb, and who in the world would have thought of casting Harvey Keitel against her? Only Campion.

The Age of Innocence is in the running for Scorsese’s best film, although it seems to have slid quietly into a forgotten zone of respectable-but-not-cherished costume pictures. It’s scrupulously made, however, a movie in which the slightest eyebrow-lift or camera twitch carries a world of meaning–sometimes life-changing.

And Schindler: a brilliantly made document, but not really a movie; Spielberg’s eagerness to say everything and get it all down overwhelms the basics of what a movie is. With all that, hard to argue with the results, even if many people have. I could never warm up to Short Cuts, which brings out Altman’s cruel streak, but still–couldn’t ignore it. The ten best of 1993:

1. The Piano (Jane Campion)

2. The Age of Innocence (Martin Scorsese)

3. Dazed and Confused (Richard Linklater)

4. Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis)

5. Short Cuts (Robert Altman)

6. Schindler’s List (Steven Spielberg)

7. The Snapper (Stephen Frears)

8. Three Colors: Blue (Krzysztof Kieslowski)

9. The Scent of Green Papaya (Anh Hung Tran)

10. Gettysburg (Ronald Maxwell)

I miss Mike Leigh’s Naked and Victor Nunez’s Ruby in Paradise, and the year offers quite an impressive list of also-rans: A Perfect World, Backbeat, Flesh and Bone, Nightmare Before Christmas, The Blue Kite, Farewell My Concubine, The Wedding Banquet, Madadayo, Fearless, Wrestling Ernest Hemingway, Red Rock West.

One Response

  1. You couldn’t have missed the boat more about Schindler’s List. To even suggest that The Piano was a better film is ludicrous……..it’s not even in the same league. Neither were any of the other films on your top ten list. Schindler’s List was not only far and away the best film of 93, but it’s one of the greatest of all time. Sorry if you were unable to see the utter brilliance in every aspect of Schindler’s List. I don’t see how anyone could miss it, but you apparantly did. I strongly suggest that you revisit it, and if you still don’t see how wrong you are then I don’t know what to tell you.

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