20/20 Hindsight: The Best Movies of 1997

TVOvermind | 3/21/2012 | Brian Hadsell
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Until now, my best-of-the-year picks had all been pretty conventional: by and large big, prestige dramas and big, hallmark blockbuster. Sure, there have been a couple indie movies, foreign movies and arthouse oddities thrown into the mix for color, but they had all broadly fallen under the purview of the usual suspects (up to and including The Usual Suspects (1995)). Starting with this year, however, it seems that you can see the cinephile that I would eventually turn into poking his head up from around the corners. You still have a litany of “popular” movies, just like every other year, but the particular cross-section of foreign, animated, ‘genre’ and outright bizarre movies is pretty typical of what you can expect to see from here on out.

You know, it’s kind of funny, but for as much as I love Jim Carrey, and for as unprecedentedly excellent as his run in the mid-90s was, I really haven’t been able to call attention to him very much at all so far in this series. He’s mentioned with some of his comedic contemporaries like Robin Williams and Bill Murray, but otherwise… nothing. Within half a decade of tearing onto the scene with Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994), he able to roll out Mask (1994), Dumb and Dumber (1994), Batman Forever (1995), Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995), The Cable Guy (1996), Liar Liar (1996) and The Truman Show (1998): essentially the entire essential Jim Carrey movie catalog. While Liar Liar really isn’t the best of these (like I said before, 1994 is considered one of the best years in movies for a reason), it is the first to include the kind of earnest point-of-view and genuine heart that made someone like Robin Williams light up the faces of a whole generation of comedy fans....
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