29 December 2017; Best of 1997 Films Throwback

Cinema has provided audiences more interesting films 20 years ago. Welcome to MMM and today I’m counting down the best of 1997 films based on my own enjoyment of them.

Before I begin, this is part of a list of film countdowns spanning over a 5 year radius from 1967 to 2017 from today to the 31st December. If you don’t see a film that you think should have made the list, please comment.

On an extra note, I apologize that I did not send this list out on Wednesday 27th due to exciting events.

#10: Air Force One (Political action thriller)
Taking a note from Die Hard (1988), considered one of the most popular action films in the decade, and directed by Oscar nominee Wolfgang Petersen, who you may know was in the director’s seat for the beloved 80s classic “The NeverEnding Story” (1984), terrorists led by Ivan Korshunov (Oscar nominee Gary Oldman) hijack the titular airplane containing United States president James Marshall (Oscar nominee Harrison Ford), his family, colleagues and passengers. Thanks to his ex-soldier experiences, Marshall must rely on his skills in order to defeat the antagonists.

Oscar wins and/or nominations: 2 nominations (Best Sound and Film Editing).

Highlights: Action, cast, performances; lead and supporting, music score by Oscar winner Jerry Goldsmith, and thrills.

#9: My Best Friend’s Wedding (Romantic comedy)
Regarded as one of the best films of the genre ever made, the film follows Oscar winner Julia Roberts who plays restaurant critic Julianne Potter who discovers that her best friend (Dermot Mulroney) is marrying young Kimmy (Golden Globe nominee Cameron Diaz). She realizes her feelings for him and ventures to get him during the few days before the wedding.

Oscar wins and/or nominations: 1 nomination (Best Original Musical or Comedy Score – James Newton Howard).

Highlights: Cast, performances especially Roberts, humor, and charm.

#8: As Good as It Gets (Romantic dramedy)
A pessimistic and obsessive compulsive author (Oscar winner Jack Nicholson), a single mother (Oscar winner Helen Hunt) and gay artist (Oscar nominee Greg Kinnear) form an unlikely bond.

Oscar wins and/or nominations: 2 wins (Best Actor in A Leading Role – Jack Nicholson, and Actress in a Leading Role – Helen Hunt), and 5 nominations (Best Picture, Actor in a Supporting Role – Greg Kinnear, Original Screenplay, Film Editing, and Original Musical or Comedy Score – Hans Zimmer).

Highlights: Cast, performances especially the lead actors, dialogue, and charm.

#7: Zeus and Roxanne (Family comedy adventure)
The eponymous dog and dolphin form an inter-species friendship as well as their respective owners; a musician and a marine biologist (Steve Guttenberg and Oscar nominee Kathleen Quinlan respectively).

Oscar wins and/or nominations: None.

Highlights: Cast, performances; animals and humans, and charm.

#6: Fairytale: A True Story (Biographical family fantasy drama)
Loosely based on the Cottingley Fairies story, the film follows 2 girls who take a photograph, which some believe to be the existence of fairies.

Oscar wins and/or nominations: None.

Highlights: Cast including Oscar nominee Harvey Keitel and late Oscar nominee Peter O’Toole, performances, visual effects, music score by Golden Globe nominee Zbigniew Preisner, and charm.

#5: Contact (Sci-fi drama)
Directed by Oscar winner Robert Zemeckis, and based on Carl Sagan’s 1985 novel of the same name, Oscar winner Jodie Foster plays a SETI scientist who finds radio proof of extraterrestrial life, as well as sending out plans for a machine.

Oscar wins and/or nominations: 1 nomination (Best Sound).

Highlights: Themes, cast including Oscar nominees James Woods, John Hurt, and Angela Bassett, performances, thrills, and ending.

#4: Fierce Creatures (Comedy)
A spiritual sequel of sorts to “A Fish Called Wanda” (1988), the film follows the hilarious antics of a zoo director (Oscar nominee John Cleese), his love interest (Golden Globe winner Jamie Lee Curtis), a harsh tycoon’s son (Oscar winner Kevin Kline) and a talkative zoo employee (BAFTA winner Michael Palin).

Oscar wins and/or nominations: None.

Highlights: Cast, performances, and humor.

#3: Mononoke-hime (Princess Mononoke) (Action adventure fantasy anime)
Considered as one of the greatest Anime films, as well as one of my favourites of Oscar winner Hayao Miyazaki’s works, after a young warrior (voiced by Yōji Matsuda) is cursed by a Boar god, he sets out to find a cure and gets caught in the middle of a battle between Gods in the form of giant animals and greedy humans. Along the way, he meets San (voiced by Yuriko Ishida) a young woman raised by the Wolf gods.

Oscar wins and/or nominations: None.

Highlights: Story, themes, animation, voice cast, humor, and message.

#2: Anastasia (Historical animated adventure dramedy musical)
Based on the legend of the titular Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia which claims that she escaped the assassination of her family, 18-year-old Anya (voiced by Golden Globe nominee Meg Ryan) joins 2 con men (voiced by Golden Globe nominee John Cusack and Golden Globe winner Kelsey Grammer) to reunite with her grandmother, The Dowager Empress (Oscar nominee Angela Lansbury), meanwhile, the undead sorcerer Rasputin (Primetime Emmy winner Christopher Lloyd) sets out to execute the protagonist.

Oscar wins and/or nominations: 2 nominations (Best Original Song – “Journey to the Past”, and Original Musical or Comedy Score – Stephen Flaherty, Lynn Ahrens, and David Newman).

Highlights: Animation, voice cast; lead and supporting, humor, musical numbers, and charm.

Before I reveal my top pick, here are some honourable mentions:
Suicide Kings (Dramedy mystery)
Life is Beautiful (Dramedy)
Good Will Hunting (Dramedy)
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (Action sci-fi adventure)
Titanic (Romantic drama)

#1: Hercules (Animated action adventure fantasy dramedy romantic musical)
After the massive success of Aladdin (1992), Oscar-nominated directors John Musker and Ron Clements directed this Disney gem. The eponymous son (voiced by Primetime Emmy winner Tate Donovan) of the Greek God Zeus (voiced by Oscar nominee Rip Torn) has his immortality stolen as an infant. He must prove himself a true hero in order to regain his godlike state as well as defeat the God of the Underworld; the comical Hades (Oscar nominee James Woods).

Oscar wins and/or nominations: 1 nomination (Best Original Song – “Go the Distance”).

Highlights: Story, animation, characters, voice cast, humor, musical numbers, and message.