Thursday, June 3, 2010

Top 5 Most Underrated Movies of All Time

Number 1:

Ed Wood (1994)

Directed by:  Tim Burton

Starring:  Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker, Patricia Arquette, Jeffrey Jones, Vincent D'Onofrio, Bill Murray

Academy Awards (winners in bold):  Best Supporting Actor (Martin Landau), Best Makeup

Academy Awards it Should have been Nominated for:  Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design

Why this movie is underrated:  I remember watching this movie for the first time not knowing what to expect, but knowing that I like the majority of the people involved with the movie.  This has my vote as Tim Burton's best work and I would argue it is his most personal as well.  I feel Tim Burton sees a bit of himself in Ed Wood, someone who wants to direct for the love of film, the love of the magical, and every scene is a good scene and every take is a good take simply because it is all on film.  That sort of deep love of film can drive you to greatness, or infamy and being forgotten.

It was the latter category that Ed Wood was in.  Wood made some of the most putridly bad B-movies in Hollywood history.  Yet, however bad they were, it was still clear how much he loved what he did.  This is what makes this movie so great.  The tragic nature of the character.  No matter how much Ed Wood cares or how hard he tries, he will never be a great director.  Still, in his own mind, he is one of the greatest and every film he makes is the greatest film of his life.  There is a child like quality to this mentality of Ed Wood that endears him to the audience.

I was blown away by how well done this movie was and more precisely, how well acted it was.  Johnny Depp gives what may be his best performance ever.  He truly slips into his character and this remains a movie in which you can go halfway through and not even realize it's Depp.  In my book that is as good of a performance as you can get.  Martin Landau won the Oscar for this movie for Best Supporting Actor for his tragic portrayal of an aging Bela Lugosi.  It is the relationship that develops between Ed Wood and Lugosi that really gives the movie it's greatness.  Here are two people who still think they are great even though the world thinks different and both people think the other is their ticket back to greatness.  Through that a friendship develops that is truly meaningful, they come to realize that even if the world doesn't think they are great, they think each other is and that is all that matters.

This is an extremely personal movie for Tim Burton and a movie with surprising depth.  It doesn't contain the fantastical elements or surreal nature as many of his other movies, it is just real.  It is my feeling that the movie is all the more powerful for it.  Definitely worth your time and I do not think you will be disappointed.

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