Here we are at the end of 2009, and the film industry is boasting its most profitable year ever.  And while I’m sure we’re all happy that Paul Blart: Mall Cop made nearly $150 million, I’d like to take this chance to look back to ten years ago, when I believe there was a renaissance in film.  1999 is by far my favorite year in movies, and I’m not the first to point out that it contains an unusually large number of stellar films as well as more than its fair share of masterpieces.  What follows is my own personal list of ’99 films that I felt worthy of highlighting.  Most of them I own or have seen multiple times, although there are a few I’ve never seen.  Some I don’t even like and are included purely for their reputation, good or bad, the point being that yes – amazingly – ALL of these movies came out in the same year.   As you peruse the list, make note of the titles you haven’t seen – I urge you seek out all of the lesser-known films.

1999 Was Fucking Amazing

10 Things I Hate About You
All About My Mother
American Beauty
American Movie
American Pie
Angela’s Ashes
Any Given Sunday
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
Being John Malkovich
The Blair Witch Project
The Boondock Saints
Boys Don’t Cry
Bringing Out the Dead
Buena Vista Social Club
The Cider House Rules
Eyes Wide Shut
Fantasia 2000
Fight Club
For Love of the Game
Galaxy Quest
George Lucas in Love
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
Girl, Interrupted

The Green Mile
The Insider
The Iron Giant
The Limey
Man on the Moon
The Matrix
The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc
Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr.
The Mummy
Mystery Men
October Sky
Office Space
One Day in September
The Sixth Sense
Sleepy Hollow
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace
Stir of Echoes
The Straight Story
Sweet and Lowdown
The Talented Mr. Ripley
The Thomas Crown Affair
Three Kings
Toy Story 2
The Virgin Suicides
The World is Not Enough

One is left to wonder about what the hell was going on in the few years before 1999, when these films were being written and filmed, that created such a perfect storm of creativity and perfect execution?  Logically, you just have to accept that 1999 must have just been one giant coincidence.  Well, ’99, I love you anyway, even if you were just a fluke.

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