89. The Nightmare Before Christmas (B)
This has become a cult classic for people of my generation, but I didn't see it when it first came out in theatres. Henry Selick's early stop motion work is impressive (and it anticipates some of the aesthetic of Tim Burton's own entry in that genre, The Corpse Bride
), but on a story level it never really grabs me, and if they were going to include music, it should be more memorable.
90. Vertigo (A)
Recently crowned the greatest film of all time in the decennial Sight & Sound
poll, this was the Hitchcock's last collaboration with Jimmy Stewart, who gives one of his darkest performances. The film is both a thriller and a study in obsession, which has largely been read as Hitchcock's study of his own controlling tendencies toward actresses (the degree to which this was unconscious being debated). The latter aspect is exceptionally compelling; as a thriller the film is a bit odd, as Hitchcock abruptly dumps all the answers into the audience's lap in a voiceover with a quarter of the film still to go. This has the effect of making the film almost solely a study of Stewart's obsession for the rest of the run-time, until the final revelation. It's a somewhat curious narrative choice. I do find it interesting how, with the revelation, the movie's focus effectively switches from Stewart to Kim Novak; indeed, this is an excellent example of how a POV can be used to make you sympathize with a character who really doesn't deserve it, in the grand scheme of things.
Home Video: 45