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Reviews for the latest movies in theaters and on DVD.

My All Time Big Eight

What is a Big Eight? If you are an Oscar fan, you may know that this term refers to the top eight categories in the Academy Awards (Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Original Screenplay, and Adapted Screenplay). Here is my personal All Time Big Eight. To make it on the list, the film does not have to be one nominated for the category. The lists are in order, with number one being the winner.

Best Picture

1. The Godfather
2. Forrest Gump
3. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
4. Citizen Kane
5. On the Waterfront
6. American Beauty
7. Titanic
8. The Shawshank Redemption
9. Pulp Fiction
10. No Country For Old Men

The Godfather, in my opinion is the greatest Best Picture winner of all time. Very rarely can a film generate so much buzz critically and commercially as this film did. Forrest Gump, clocking in at number two, is far from my favorite film, but was such and outstanding achievement, that it must be appreciated.

Best Director

1. Alfred Hitchcock - Psycho
2. Orson Welles - Citizen Kane
3. James Cameron - Titanic
4. Oliver Stone - JFK
5. Sydney Lumet - 12 Angry Men

Every one of these directors enhanced their respective films in such a brilliant style. My favorite of the bunch is Alfred Hitchcock, who made one of the most daring, groundbreaking movie of all time with 1960's Psycho. Orson Welles also steered the ship in his twenties in one of the most revolutionary movie ever with 1941's Citizen Kane.

Best Actor

1. Robert De Niro - Raging Bull
2. Marlon Brando - On the Waterfront
3. Jack Nicholson - One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
4. James Stewart - Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
5. Tom Hanks - Forrest Gump

Every one of these actors made film history with their respective performances. Each of these performances are such a treat to watch, as the actors disappear into their roles.

Best Actress

1. Charlize Theron - Monster
2. Frances Mcdormand - Fargo
3. Halle Berry - Monster's Ball
4. Jodie Foster - The Silence of the Lambs
5. Holly Hunter - The Piano

Charlize Theron gives one of the most chilling performances of all time in a role of a serial killer. But Theron makes the antihero a real person, enough to even empathize with her during the movie.

Best Supporting Actor

1. Javier Bardem - No Country For Old Men
2. Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight
3. Edward Norton - Primal Fear
4. Daniel Day-Lewis - Gangs of New York
5. Tom Cruise - Magnolia

Possibly my favorite acting category. Javier Bardem gives one of cinema's most menacing performances in 2007's No Country For Old Men. The way he delivers his "Call It" monologue is absolutely brilliant.

Best Supporting Actress

1. Kathy Bates  - Misery
2. Eva Marie Saint - On the Waterfront
3. Meryl Streep - Kramer Vs. Kramer
4. Gloria Swanson - Sunset Boulevard
5. Uma Thurman - Pulp Fiction

Meryl Streep may have given the most thought-provoking performance from this list in 1979's Kramer vs. Kramer. She plays the antagonist in a film that basically does not choose sides, so we must sympathize with both the hero and the "villain". She plays a character that the audience doe snot root for, but feels for.

Best Original Screenplay

1. Pulp Fiction
2. Citizen Kane
3. Sunset Boulevard
4. American Beauty
5. Little Miss Sunshine

Likely my favorite category. Each one of these films is a delight to watch, some even being revolutionary. Worth noting is Sunset Boulevard, which was incredible given the fact that it let the audience know the ending before it happened. American Beauty does the same thing, telling the audience the protagonist's fate at the beginning of the film. Brilliant stuff.

Best Adapted Screenplay

1. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
2. The Godfather
3. Forrest Gump
4. To Kill a Mockingbird
5. Dr. Strangelove

Each one of these films are based off of a novel, but bring a new life to the film by adding a unique twist. Perhaps the most impressive is Forrest Gump, as the film was memorable despite the fact that it did not contain a single antagonist, and that the main character never exactly set off to do anything. It broke cinema's two most important rules, yet made it work.

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