1990 Best Picture Winner: Dances With Wolves.
And the Eward goes to . . . GoodFellas. First, let’s be honest: Joe Versus the Volcano is a far superior movie. But GoodFellas did so much to shape the course of ‘90s pop culture that Evil can’t ignore its historical significance. It would be an injustice to deny Lil’ Evil the knowledge of why his father always snaps at him, “Go get your shinebox!”
1991 Best Picture Winner: The Silence of the Lambs
And the Eward goes to . . . The Last Boy Scout. Firstly: Evil wouldn’t think of denying Lil’ Evil Anthony Hopkins’ performance as Hannibal Lecter—but really, beyond that, Lambs isn’t top-notch. Also, it spawned the serial-killer-crazed culture we’ve been locked in ever since, and serial killers are possibly the least interesting villains imaginable. Secondly: most guys Evil’s age were all abuzz about Terminator 2: Judgment Day, but, having seen the original at least 50 times, Evil couldn’t work up the enthusiasm for Good Arnie that he had for Bad Arnie. All of this is moot, of course, because The Last Boy Scout is THE most underrated movie of the ‘90s. Possibly ever. How good is it? Good enough to convince the Evil that Damon Wayans was on a rocketship to superstardom. That’s how good.
1992 Best Picture Winner: Unforgiven.
And the Eward goes to . . . Basic Instinct. Look: Unforgiven rocks. And believe you the Evil, Lil’ Evil will be inundated with Eastwood flicks. But c’mon. Every growing boy needs to jam his face against the television screen so as to get a closer look at Sharon Stone’s beaver. It’s a rite of passage.
Gee, Dad, are they ALL that blurry?
1993 Best Picture Winner: Schindler’s List.
And the Eward goes to . . . Dazed & Confused. Lil’ Evil will inevitably wonder: when I move into the freshman dorm and stay stoned for a week, what movie will I watch 20 times? And his father will be there with the answer.
1994 Best Picture Winner: Forrest Gump
And the Eward goes to . . . Pulp Fiction. No movie has ever rocked the Evil as hard as the Fiction did upon first viewing. It will probably always be the gold standard for “Holy shit, this is what a movie can be” moments. Though he and Lil’ Evil will watch Forrest Gump so that Evil might show his son what a horrifically self-absorbed generation we had in the Baby Boomers. (Evil would like to give kudos to Clerks here, too.)
1995 Best Picture Winner: Braveheart.
And the Eward goes to . . . Heat, in a close win over The Usual Suspects. Hell, maybe it should be the other way—Suspects is definitely more relevant, pop-culturally (plus, Evil figured out the twist before the reveal, for which he can brag to his offspring) . . . crap. Gotta call this a tie. We’ll watch Braveheart, too, so the little one with know why his father howls “FREEEEEDOOOM!” whenever he drops a big one on the pot. Also a shout-out to The Last Supper, an overlooked but brilliantly black comedy.
1996 Best Picture Winner: The English Patient.
And the Eward goes to . . . Trainspotting. Because Evil never wants to have to worry over his progeny deciding it might be fun to shoot up. Some might suggest that Requiem For a Dream would do a much better job of accomplishing this . . . but Evil wants his offspring taught a lesson, not scarred for life.
1997 Best Picture Winner: Titanic.
And the Eward goes to . . . L.A. Confidential. Look on Wikipedia and you’ll see . . . this was actually a rather poor year, movie-wise. Luckily there’s this gem, which completes the mid-‘90s brilliant-gritty-crime-movie-trilogy along with Heat and The Usual Suspects.
1998 Best Picture Winner: Shakespeare in Love.
And the Eward goes to . . . The Big Lebowski. Two things. (1) Out of Sight was the best movie of 1998. (2) Evil, who saw Lebowski in the theater, is actually getting a little tired of its cult classicity. He freely admits he’s a Lebowski snob and preferred a world in which few people had actually seen it. (He feels the same way about Office Space, which he saw on opening day, then spent five years telling disinterested people about before it exploded into pop-cultural cliché.) That said . . . Lil’ Evil must be exposed to the Dude. There are no two ways about it.
1999 Best Picture Winner: American Beauty.
And the Eward goes to . . . Fight Club. The best movie of the past 10 years. Neck and neck with Pulp Fiction for Best Movie of the ‘90s.