WWD’S BEST MOVIES OF 1994

Byline: Merle Ginsberg

Sure, we’re tired of lists, like everybody else, but that’s because most of the Best Film lists have been extremely tired. Most critics made the mistake of seeking content in Hollywood movies, and thinking they found some. We know better.
1. “Heavenly Creatures”: Certainly the most original and bravest film of the year. Australian director Peter Jackson managed to make a story about two murderous girls into a wildly lively entertainment, with a background that reflects how close the creative process lies to madness.
2. “The Last Seduction”: Linda Fiorentino as a bitch on wheels, with a great body, great hair and a great wardrobe. We love her.
3. “Quiz Show”: Underneath the story of TV, greed and the fact that fame always seduces (nobody needed to tell us that) was the real American story: the class struggle between the rich and the self-righteous. A morality play done with total elegance.
4. “The Professional”: “Pulp Fiction” with a French accent and no laughs. It’s perverse, but in a good way. When the hit man and the 12-year-old fall in love, you believe it a helluva lot more than Sly and Sharon Stone falling in love.
5. “Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle”: There’s no screenwriter working in Hollywood today who can write dialog as crisp and biting as the kind Dorothy Parker spewed every day.
6. “Speed”: Okay, it’s thin. But unlike any film of its genre, it did what it set out to do: scare the pants off you and make you dizzy. A no-brainer, but who says you have to think all the time?
7. “The Madness of King George”: Royalty as it really is — depraved, debauched, demented, delightful.
8. “The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert”: Best costumes, best musical, best actors.
9. “Killing Zoe” and “Queen Margot”: A dual entry. Both feature the most interesting actor of ’94, France’s John-Hughes Anglade, who freaks out on heroin in the former, and sweats blood in the latter. Sure, “Queen Margot” is just a fancy bodice-ripper — but the bodices are great.
10. “Red”: There’s nothing like an odd, inappropriate, impossible relationship to show you what love’s really all about.
11. “Pulp Fiction”: The Emperor’s New Clothes. It’s fatuous, gratuitously violent, nostalgic, derivative and has virtually no plot. And it fooled everybody.

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