This morning Indiewire‘s Matt Singer posted responses to the latest Criticwire question: “Name the best film of the last 25 years.” Variety‘s Scott Foundas selected There Will Be Blood. The Toronto Star‘s Peter Howell chose In The Mood For Love. And Edwin Arnaudin of Ashvegas chose The Royal Tennenbaums…c’mon!
Choosing the best film of the last quarter century (or anything released since April 1988) is one of those dopey questions. Ridiculous, really. If I had to choose under threat of death I’d probably pick Election or Zodiac or Rushmore. But there’s no perfect answer that you wouldn’t want to change an hour or a day or a week later. Every other time I mention what I do to a stranger at a party they’ll say “what’s your favorite all-time film?” and I’ll always answer the same way: “I can’t think that way. Okay, Dr. Strangelove but it’s….I just don’t like doing this. There’s no single film that sits on top of the mountain.”
I’m willing to list the best 25 films of the last quarter-century and stick to it. That I can do. Actually I’ve just put the list together and it has to be at least 30.
Hollywood Elsewhere’s Top 30 Films Since April 1988: Election, Zodiac, Rushmore, Goodfellas, Groundhog Day, Heat, The Big Lebowski, The Social Network, Children of Men, A Serious Man, There Will Be Blood, The Insider, Memento, Fargo, Traffic, Che, Pulp Fiction, Zero Dark Thirty, Schindler’s List, Moneyball, Being John Malkovich, Silver Linings Playbook, United 93, The Limey, Volver, Se7en, Amour. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Fight Club, The Lives of Others.
HE’s Best Film of the last 25 Years (although I hate doing this): Election.