As he attempted to make new moves, he was met with such resistance that it made the very act of living a revolutionary process in itself.Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich and Ed Harris (as Christof, the all-powerful man behind the curtain) made up Truman’s world and the cast of one of the most captivating and triumphant stories ever told.—Shannon M. Waking Ned Devine (Kirk Jones, 1998) Waking Ned Devine may be the most feel-good heist flick ever made.American Beauty (Sam Mendes, 1999) Screenwriter Alan Ball mined his experience as an unsatisfied member of the television industry to pen American Beauty—a beautiful meditation on the hollowness of American suburbia and its materialism.Although Ball originally intended it for the stage, director Sam Mendesmade the film intensely personal for each character, adding the kind of emotional heft that only a film—when expertly executed—can provide.
Other Irish themes championed: whiskey, lush landscapes, poetry, naked old dudes riding motorcycles, whiskey and the fiddle. He cited the young, inexperienced leads (Lillo Brancato and Taral Hicks) as the main factor in the film’s success: “I like using non-actors. There were no kids I could ever find that would have been like those kids.” Brancato and Hicks played Calogero (an Italian boy) and Jane (a black girl) respectively, two kids growing up—and falling for each other—in the racially charged ‘60s. Burnt By The Sun (Nikita Mikhalkov, 1994) This Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film from director/star Nikita Mikhalkov begins like one of Anton Chekhov’s melancholy comedies and ends like a Stalin-era tragedy.Instead of the ill-advised sequel, check out 12, Mikhalkov’s ingenious remake of 12 Angry Men.—Curt Holman 82.Quiz Show (Robert Redford, 1994) Released in a year filled with its share of lies and deceit, Quiz Show should be the official film of 1994.Maybe it was the birth of the modern American indie film movement, led by Steven Soderbergh and Richard Linklater, that produced such an explosion of memorable movies in the decade.Maybe it was the emergence of the New World Order (certainly the fall of Communism was directly responsible for Krzysztof Kieslowski, among many others, to do his finest work).Or maybe it’s just that we all have a soft spot in our hearts for our post-college-era movies.