Lists are great. They inspire discussion, create arguments, and tend to spiral off into fun new lists. When you do a list about the “BEST” of anything it goes from being fun to becoming a hotbed for arguments. There’s no such thing as a definitive list but I’ve decided to pull from my rather extensive life of film watching and put it to good use.
This is not the “film critic’s top 100” list. There’s no guarantee Citizen Kane or The Bicycle Thief will be in the top echelon or even on the list. This is the 100 movies I would put my name on as my top 100. If I died tomorrow this would represent the 100 films I find most vital, special, or ones that bonded to whatever it is that makes me me. I’m not including documentaries, though that might make for a nice supplemental list.
The first 80 will be in no particular order. The last 20 will be in very particular order. One a day, you have my word.
#45 – Memento
Why is it here:
This could have just as easily just been a great gimmick movie.
Instead, it’s a masterclass of storytelling and sleight of hand and how malleable and ever-evolving film is. Christopher Nolan has made bigger films and possibly better films but this is one that truly and emotionally resonates and puts him in the all-timers category. Guy Pearce is phenomenal and surrounded by a great group of oddballs to make this quirky little memory loss mystery sing. The big test was always if it would retain value upon repeat viewings and it does. In spades.
One of those movies that’s a sleeper despite its success, because it’s a sneaky bugger and not one that often gets the retrospective love it deserves.
Moments to savor:
“No he’s chasing me.” The tattoos. Leonard Shelby realizes what the fuck. Mark Boone Junior! Carrie-Anne Moss shows us she’s not a one trick pony.
Low, but it grabs you once you give it a second.
I remember when we covered this movie when it was about to be released and then after it connected. Everyone was like “This Nolan guy is going to be shit without the gimmick of reverse narrative.” How’d that work out?