Kasdan set out to create The Western, with all the cliches firmly in place, and to do it, not as parody, but as paradigm. He succeeded. This cast of actors may be the best ever assembled for a single movie (with Linda Hunt at her bewitching best as the conscience of the story), with the result that instead of feeling like most ensemble films do -- that everybody played bit parts and nobody was the lead -- you leave this film feeling like everybody, even the Brian Dennehy "bad guy," was the star of the film. Kasdan is not the reliable moneymaker that studios might wish he were, but he aspires to greatness in every film and, as often as not, achieves it. Most important though is the fact that I love this film. If it's on, no matter at what point in the story, I can't keep from watching it right through to the end.
Will knew I would agree. But there are a bunch of my favorite films in Card's list: It's A Wonderful Life, L.A. Story (what a great movie), Groundhog Day, The Sixth Sense, Grand Canyon, Babe (I dare you not to like this one), and The Usual Suspects.
His review of Usual Suspects yields perhaps the best line in the entire post: "unlike the cheap surprise in The Crying Game, this "reveal" absolutely transformed the story and made it deeper and richer and scarier. Which is weird -- just when the film ends, you are more afraid?" So true.
And I'm tickled that he included Nobody's Fool, a terrific film that I would never have thought to include in a faves list. Just thinking about that movie makes me smile.
Here's a link to my ancient top 10 films post, in case you enjoy being bored.