If you were asked to pick your top ten movies of all time could you do it? In less than one minute? I mean reel them off, not in any particular order, but quickly? Give a list of ten movies without having to think too hard about it?
It’s not easy is it? But I can do it. With a fair few notable mentions for those movies which I love but didn’t quite make my top ten. And of that top ten, three of them were made in the same year: 1994.
Why 1994? I have no idea. I probably went to the movies a fair bit in that year but I only saw one of the three in the cinema. I have subsequently watched all three of them many times.
Why am I writing about this now you may ask? Well even if you are not asking that question I will tell you. I just watched one of them (again) using a free service from our local library. It’s like a Netflix style thing and it is free using your library membership number and password. Fantastic! In fact I may just cancel Netflix (as it is becoming increasingly crap anyway) but I need to see just how good this library service is. A quick look tells me it has a few old movies that Netflix does not…
The three movies from 1994 in my top ten are: Pulp Fiction, The Shawshank Redemption and Leon
The one I watched on that library network was Leon. Also called Leon. The Professional and it is possibly French film director Luc Besson’s best film. It stars Jean Reno and Natalie Portman in her film debut (and before she disappeared up her own backside). But for me Gary Oldman steals the show as the corrupt cop Stansfield. He is absolutely fantastic. It is one of those movies that contains certain scenes that I can watch again and again. That scene with Gary Oldman in particular, is out of this world. What a great performance.
“I like these calm little moments before the storm. It reminds me of Beethoven.”
Brilliant! It is my honest opinion that he should have won an Oscar on the strength of that one scene alone. And here it is on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elx5n_uIEEM
Speaking of memorable scenes… That site also has the 1979 movie The Wanderers. A bit of a surprise as that is a difficult movie to find these days in any format. For anyone who knows the movie that one great scene is worth watching again and again. That scene is still available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2OGNhKILBQ
None of my three 1994 movies won any Oscars for the acting. Pulp Fiction won a screenplay award and I think that was it. A few acting nominations but no winners. Forrest Gump won most Oscars for that year’s films. I like that film but it’s not in my top ten.
Also in 1994 one of my favourite Aussie films was made – which I have mentioned before: The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. That one won an Oscar – for best costume. No real surprises there eh?