Friday, February 15, 2008

10th Anniversary Award for Best Film, 1997

Boogie Nights (89 points/13 votes)

"1996’s Hard Eight (a.k.a. Sydney) was a very fine film. Well-written, featuring a swell cast (including John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow, Samuel L. Jackson, and a wonderful Philip Baker Hall in a rare leading role) and a fresh take on many familiar themes, it was a solid work. But the very next year, the young writer / director behind Hard Eight (some guy named Paul Thomas Anderson), brought us the movie that would truly announce him as a brilliantly original filmmaker and a world-class talent: an epic about the porn industry called Boogie Nights. From the incredible opening tracking shot to the Raging Bull-inspired closing monologue, Boogie Nights was and still is a stunner. Every performance, every camera shot, every line of dialogue, every one of the dozens of excellent songs that make up the soundtrack is just…perfect.

"What’s more is that it even seemed that way then. Unlike most movies that require a little aging and a few more viewings to be deemed “classic”, Boogie Nights already felt like one while I was actually watching it. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment that I realized it, but I think it may have been the strange (yet somehow so right) combination of a cocaine-crazed Alfred Molina and Night Ranger’s “Sister Christian”.

"Boogie Nights is the reason Mark Wahlberg went from being an ex-rapper who could kinda sorta act to being a respected actor. It’s the reason I’ll never see Phillip Seymour Hoffman without thinking of him whimpering in the driver’s seat of a brand-new sports car. It’s the reason I’ll always consider Heather Graham to be a damn good actress no matter what anyone says. It’s more than just the best movie of 1997, it’s one of the best movies of the 90’s, or any other decade, period." ~ Jason Alley

Jackie Brown (78/12)
L.A. Confidential (72/11)
The Sweet Hereafter (30/5)
The Ice Storm (24/4)

Click here for complete results


Scott W. Black said...

No, no, no, no, no...


No. Not "Boogie Nights."
I'll take my "The Sweet Hereafter," thank you very much.

Paul C. said...

At least your favorite made the top 5. Mine's sitting at #6, and two of my other favorites didn't receive any other votes.

Also, the thing I've noticed with these anniversary awards is that outside factors come into play quite a bit. Bergman dying this past year probably had something to do with the Seventh Seal winning by a nose. The new Blade Runner DVD had the movie fresh in many people's minds, which no doubt helped it win. And now PTA has a new movie out, so he's all the rage. I'm sure Blade Runner and Boogie Nights would've had a good chance anyway- especially the former- but these other factors couldn't have hurt their chances.

jahs34 said...


Jason_alley2 said...

This year was TOUGH. Just looking at the titles you provided, Paul, I was like "there were a freakin' LOT of great movies in 1997!" It was really, really hard to narrow it down to 5.

As opposed to 1982, when "The Thing" is CLEARLY #1. Clearly!

Victor said...

I’ll always consider Heather Graham to be a damn good actress

[Puts on Marrs Blackman voice]

It's the roller skates!! It;s the roller skates!!