Whenever the year 1998 comes to mind, people instantly think of the founding of Google, Titanic’s dominance of the Oscars, and former president Bill Clinton’s impeachment. However, 1998 is another year of fantastic cinema for moviegoers and cinephiles, with so many films that will go down in history as the best ever.
1998 showcases the best in the industry as well as the artists working there, ranging from a genre-bending film to one of the greatest war films ever. Thus, whenever movie lovers think of 1998, these are the movies they should revisit.
10 ‘There’s Something About Mary’
There’s Something About Mary follows Ted (Ben Stiller), a former high school geek, who realizes he is still in love with Mary Jensen (Cameron Diaz), his almost-former prom date, thus, he employs a private investigator to track her down. Yet, when the P.I. realizes he could also be in love with Mary, he decides to keep Ted away from her by providing him with some fake information.
Blending absurd fantasy, painful realism, and cartoonish humor, There’s Something About Mary magically straightens out the chaos of characters engaged in conflict while maintaining romanticism and honesty. Moreover, the Farrellys truly have the ability to make uncomfortable situations funny and vice versa, which is an insight that is frequently mistaken for being offensive.
9 ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas follows Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) and Dr. Gonzo (Benicio del Toro) as the duo goes around Las Vegas, where their initial intentions to cover the city for a newspaper turn into an investigation of the city while high on substances.
The movie depicts the highs and lows, the dreadful bewilderment that alternates with clarity, and the enthusiasm that gives way to paranoia far more accurately, revealing how much director Terry Gilliam knows about drug highs. Additionally, thanks to its stunning visuals and stellar performances from Depp and Del Toro, Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas is bound to become a cult classic.
Pleasantville follows siblings Jennifer (Reese Witherspoon) and her brother, David (Tobey Maguire), who spends the majority of his time watching Pleasantville, a black-and-white 1950s sitcom about the happy Parker family. The two then quarrel over the television one evening while their mother is away, breaking the remote control, and they end up stranded in Pleasantville.
Pleasantville is a fascinating, complicated, and surprisingly anti-nostalgic tale that was brilliantly designed and masterfully produced, disguised as a mainstream high-concept comedy. Additionally, it’s a movie that demonstrates Hollywood’s continued ability to produce comedies that are as clever and innovative as they are feel-good while simultaneously managing to capture Americana and highlight the issue of repression, which is still relevant today.
Rushmore follows an eccentric 15-year-old scholarship student Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) at Rushmore Academy who befriends a middle-aged industrialist (Bill Murray) and develops feelings for a teacher (Olivia Williams) who is significantly older. Later, after learning that his friend and his love interest have feelings for each other, he begins his vendetta.
Whether it’s a sarcastic romance or a comedy with a sinister edge, Rushmore belongs to a genre that is practically impossible to categorize. Schwartzman makes a stunning and flawless debut as an outsider who just might wind up leading all those who laugh at him while Murray dominates every scene he was in in a very unique, edgy, and incredible manner.
6 ‘American History X’
American History X follows Neo-Nazi Derek Vinyard (Edward Norton), whose life has been characterized by violence and hatred, is eventually sentenced to prison after killing two black adolescents who attempted to steal his car. After his release, he subsequently makes an effort to stop his brother, Danny (Edward Furlong), from receiving more indoctrination.
While some movies are the products of their time, American History X resembles something that was created over all of human history with an imperial, war, and supremacy narrative. Moreover, Norton’s outstanding acting and a sense of the male reality of the conservative working-class milieu are the film’s greatest assets.
The Truman Show follows Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) who was chosen from infancy after an unintended pregnancy to star in the titular show, a reality television series that is unbeknownst to him and is continuously filmed by thousands of hidden cameras and broadcast globally.
The Truman Show is that exceptional film, provocative, profoundly thought-provoking, and enormously amusing that makes one think of how we accept our own commonplace realities without ever really realizing how simple it is to escape from them. Also, Carrey finally demonstrates his ability to tackle serious material by fusing his comedic talents with genuine human feeling in a transformative performance sure to establish both the character and the movie as 90s icons.
4 ‘The Thin Red Line’
Adapted from the 1962 novel of the same name by James Jones, The Thin Red Line follows Private Witt (Jim Caviezel), a 1942 U.S. Army deserter who coexists amicably with the inhabitants of a small South Pacific island. When Sgt. Welsh (Sean Penn), his commanding officer, learns of Witt, he orders him to continue his active duty training for the Battle of Guadalcanal. As Witt and his squad arrive at the island, American forces launch an attack against stubborn Japanese fortifications.
Although the action scenes are expertly filmed, The Thin Red Line truly shines in its quieter, more reflective moments along with its anti-war message that reminds viewers that hope and light can emerge from destruction and love can appear in the most unexpected places.
3 ‘The Big Lebowski’
The Big Lebowski follows Los Angeles couch potato and enthusiastic bowler Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) who gets attacked after being mistaken for a millionaire with the same name. Later, the millionaire Lebowski (David Huddleston) hires The Dude to deliver the money to free his trophy wife when she is abducted. Yet, the plan goes off course when The Dude’s pal devises a plot to keep the ransom money instead.
Despite the movie’s initial failure at the box office, The Dude has emerged as an ideal character who is unfazed by growing craziness and is always able to express himself in quotable ways. It’s indisputable that the Coens Brothers have created and mastered their own peculiar subgenre with this film, which makes it among their best works.
2 ‘Shakespeare in Love’
Shakespeare in Love follows the titular character, William Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) a well-known but struggling poet, playwright, and actor who is currently out of inspiration and has not yet started writing. Every attempt he makes to find his muse—the lady who will inspire him—fails until he meets the stunning Viola De Lesseps (Gwyneth Paltrow) who dresses as a man and goes by the name “Thomas Kent.”
The movie is sophisticated without being pretentious, lewd without being revolting, and historically accurate without being restricted by it. Moreover, Shakespeare in Love, which was boldly directed by John Madden and cleverly written, works in pretty much every way it chooses.
1 ‘Saving Private Ryan’
Set in 1944 in France during World War II, Saving Private Ryan follows a group of troops under the command of Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) as they attempt to rescue Private James Ryan (Matt Damon) whose three brothers are killed in combat from the war.
Saving Private Ryan is Steven Spielberg‘s cinematic triumph, and one of the most powerful and absorbing war films of all time, brings us as near to the front line as is humanly feasible and offers a human perspective on the mayhem of war. It also combines a moving human story with some of the most genuinely upsetting battle footage yet to be featured in a feature film.
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