I wrapped up night one of what is proving to be a non-traditional, but delicious Thanksgiving this year. Tuna mousse, gnocci, spaghetti all' amatriciana, midnight lace cake, Santa Margherita pinot grigio for dinner last night. That's going to be hard to top today. In honor of Thanksgiving, I give you twenty movies I'm thankful for.
1. The Godfather. My favorite film. We got to see Marlon Brando in his last great role, and Al Pacino in his first.
2. The Searchers. I fell in love with the western when I saw this film. It's practically perfect in every way.
3. Rushmore. Wes Anderson's genius found its way onto the screen in his second feature. It is, and I predict will always remain, his finest film.
4. E.T. the Extra Terrestrial. I realized the magic of movies when I saw those bicycles flying through the sky. I was four.
5. Big Night. The ultimate film for foodies.
6. Bull Durham. Baseball. The Big Screen. And perhaps the best :30 monologue ever written.
7. The Departed. The right pick is "Raging Bull" or "Taxi Driver" or "Mean Streets" or "Goodfellas." But "The Departed" won Marty Scorsese an Oscar, an award long, long overdue.
8. The Thin Red Line. War is horrible thing, but no one has made a finer war film that Terrence Malick.
9. Gosford Park. This is Altman's masterpiece. I miss that he's not here to keep making movies.
10. The Candidate. Still the best political movie ever made.
11. The Pianist. A subtle and brutal account of the Holocaust from one of the world's finest filmmakers.
12. Reds. There is no film that better explores the rise of communism in Europe and America.
13. Shrek. The animated feature became a movie for adults too. Donkey will always be the funniest animated character ever invented. Thank you, Mr. Murphy.
14. To Kill a Mockingbird. How can we not be thankful for this film?
15. Manhattan. My personal favorite in a very long line of great Woody Allen films.
16. Pulp Fiction. Great writing, violence and some guy named Tarantino would change the way movies were made.
17. Double Indemnity. Film noir found a fan when I saw this film on the big screen in a film class in college. Fred MacMurray and Barabara Stanwyck are just phenomenal.
18. Batman Begins. The best superhero movie ever rivaled only by "Superman II."
19. The Big Lebowski. The dude always abides.
20. Superbad. It's hard to imagine a funnier movie ever being made . . .ever. But if anyone will do it, it will be Judd Apatow.