Alright, this one deserves a longer explanation…
The Movie of the Year race can vary in difficulty of decision. Some years it is easy to declare the winner (even having the victor in mind prior to creating the elimination posts), but others it is incredibly difficult. I spent the better part of three weeks trying to decide who should take the gold. And after much deliberation, I narrowed down the race to two candidates. One is a movie of nostalgia that rocked my childhood, the other is a 2022 portrait of a filmmaker I resonate with…
Holding 1999’s “Tarzan” at the number two spot may seem like a no-brainer to most of you. It isn’t Disney’s most iconic feature, nor is it perfect. However, in rewatching it, I found myself in tears. The film is deeply rooted in my childhood, with songs that are incredible, animation that holds up (well… for the most part, when it comes to physics), and a beautiful theme surrounding family/adoption. It is my favorite Disney 2D animated flick, and pitting it against a profound Spielberg picture was a terrible match-up.
Both are equally great in their own right, though in different areas. What ultimately was the deciding factor to me came from a poem I recently read.
Yep. A poem…
Nostalgia is a pretty lie,
the past filtered in all the pretty colors you like.
You admire what’s behind you,
moments no longer filled with life,
while neglecting the present and anything that lives within it.
You’ve been tending to dead flowers,
unable to see that you’ve been killing the only garden you have left.
This was written by Robert M. Drake, and referenced in a screenplay I was sent to analyze. Little did I know that it would be the answer to my two-week-long dilemma.
Of the nine Movie of the Year victors I have crowned, only three of them were movies released long before the year I reviewed them (“The Truman Show,” “Django Unchained,” and “When Harry Met Sally”). However, those years marked the first time I saw those flicks. Not only that, but they served as pivotal moments of my life.
1999’s “Tarzan” is exactly how I described it: a childhood classic. It was a prominent movie of my early years that just so happened to be nominated for Movie of the Year. And though it defined my childhood, it did not define 2022. Rather, that title belongs to “The Fabelmans” (which I will touch more on in the Movie of the Year post).
Nevertheless, if you haven’t seen this picture, I implore you to do so. It’s a heartwarming, sometimes tear-jerking family venture that will surely lift your spirits. Here’s to many more rewatches!