20. The Illusionist (B)
21. The French Connection (B+)
22. Network (A+)
23. Incendies (A+)
24. Mrs. Miniver (A)
1942's Best Picture winner, the first of three to be directed by William Wyler. Since I recently did that post about the most successful actors' directors, with Wyler in the #1 spot, and I've been looking into past BP winners, I decided to watch one of his films. This film is an interesting case since while it was released in mid-1942, it was developed in 1941, when America was not yet at war. Wyler and co. were out to rally the American public to the Allied cause. Despite this, unlike a lot of films from the era, it doesn't feel especially propagandistic (it closes with a big speech, but it feels fairly natural). There was a war on, after all.
Great acting from everybody, with the standouts being Greer Garson (as the title character), Teresa Wright, Dame May Whitty, and Walter Pidgeon (who was also in the previous year's BP winner, How Green Was My Valley
; and he looks uncannily like Jon Hamm). There's also an appearance by Henry Travers (It's A Wonderful Life
's Clarence), and if a more loveable-looking old man ever lived, I'd be surprised. For the time period, the production values and special effects are surprisingly good (I'm thinking especially of the Dunkirk flotilla seen in the Thames).