Book Review: Best. Movie. Year. Ever. by  Brian Raftery

Best. Movie. Year. Ever.: How 1999 Blew Up the Big Screen by  Brian Raftery is a book in which the author examines movies from 1999, a groundbreaking year in cinema. Mr. Raftery is a culture writer and modern movie expect.

  • 416 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1501175386

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My rating for Best. Movie. Year. Ever. – 4
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I never realized that 1999 was such a monumental year for movies. In his book Best. Movie. Year. Ever.: How 1999 Blew Up the Big Screen author  Brian Raftery makes exactly that claim, the year where some landmark titles were pushed out – whether we knew it at the time or not.

The movies that the author writes about are, indeed, groundbreaking. They include Fight Club. The Matrix. Office Space. The Blair Witch Project. The Sixth Sense. Being John Malkovich. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. American Beauty, the wonderful Iron Giant, Galaxy Quest (quite possible the best Star Trek movie ever made), among others. It would be interesting to see if other years, certainly not all, had such outpouring of creativity.

As in many instances, many of the movies were not critically or commercially successful, but found their audience later on thanks to the many home video options which came on the market and quickly became affordable to the average American homes. It seems that many movies, which became examples of creativity and thinking outside the box office, were not accepted initially.

I thought this was a well-researched, and well organized, book. The author makes his case in an easy to read, relatable narrative without trying to seem too smart and go over the audience’s head. Some of the information borders on gossip, but there is enough film business entries to make the book interesting.

I enjoyed reading about the way many of the creators had to fight, often for years, to get their movies made, it made me wonder about the gems which we’ll never get to see. Many of the movies mentioned were not hits, either in monetary or critical terms, yet the author does make a case for each as to why they were either immediately successful, or gained appreciation later on.

Was 1999 the greatest movie year ever?
That could be debated endlessly around water coolers and IT departments – but honestly, who cares?
It certainly was a great year for movies.

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More Books by Brian Raftery*

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got this book for free.
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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