Best Costume Design

[8.0] Fans of Ridley Scott’s Gladiator might be surprised how much they will also enjoy (perhaps even prefer) its progenitor. Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus is a briskly-paced epic, and uncharacteristically emotional compared to his other work. Kirk Douglas is iconic in the lead role, playing a slave forced to fight in the gladiatorial arena for the enjoyment of the aristocracy. Of course he falls in love …

[7.5] Based on the novel Washington Square by Henry James, The Heiress centers around Catherine (Olivia de Havilland), a shy, socially inept young woman who gets swept off her feet by a dashing young destitute (Montgomery Clift). When her father (Ralph Richardson) accuses the man of preying on his daughter’s inheritance, he threatens to cut her off. Putting all her faith in her first love, …

[10] Peter Jackson (Dead Alive, The Frighteners) embraces the Herculean task of bringing Tolkien’s supreme fantasy to the silver screen, and hits a home run. The Fellowship of the Ring gets the trilogy off to a strong start, as Frodo Baggins and his companions set off to destroy the One Ring.  Jackson is faithful to the source material while masterfully balancing action, horror, heart, and …

[9.0] By anchoring his screenplay in one of the most inherently compelling tragedies of the twentieth century and placing the the weight of the story on Kate Winslet’s able shoulders, James Cameron concocts a recipe for the biggest money-making movie of all time (still true as of this writing, though his own Avatar threatens to dethrone the ill-fated vessel). The movie is split in two, …

[9.5] Two drag queens and a grouchy transsexual brave the Australian outback to perform at a hotel in the middle of nowhere. Hugo Weaving (The Matrix, Lord of the Rings) plays the drag queen with a secret, Guy Pierce (Memento, LA Confidential) plays the flaming provocateur, and in a brilliant bit of casting, Terence Stamp (General Zod from Superman) plays the grieving post-op woman whose …

[9.5] Straight biographies rarely make great film, but by filtering the subject through another man’s envy, director Milos Forman (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) delivers one of the best bio-films I’ve ever seen. This isn’t a film about a composer and his music (how boring would that be?) — it’s a film about an insanely jealous contemporary named Salieri. Salieri, played brilliantly by F. …

[10] Star Wars needs another review like a wookiee needs Rogaine, but let’s reflect anyway, lest we start to forget its cultural importance and overall awesomeness.  After film reached (still) unparalleled popularity in the late ’30s and ’40s, television came along and the film industry instantly began to shrivel. The dry spell lasted until the mid-70s (perfect timing, mom and dad), when the ‘film school …

[9.0] A crippled woman tries desperately to escape the torture of her jealous sister in this deliciously wicked suspense thriller starring icons Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Crawford is quite good in the sympathetic role, but its Davis’ maniacal performance as ‘Baby’ Jane Hudson that you’ll never forget. Her part is as juicy as it is ugly, and Davis is fearless in it — whether …

[9.0] Bette Davis revived her sagging career and writer/director Joseph L. Mankiewicz continued an Oscar streak with All About Eve. Davis stars as Margo Channing, an aging broadway star who takes a sympathetic, aspiring ingenue under her wing. Anne Baxter plays the ingenue and title character, Eve Harrigton. Over the course of the film, Eve ingratiates herself to Margo’s friends and acquaintances, who include a …

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