VERTIGO is not as good as CITIZEN KANE. I think there are more female film critics out there now so a 'women's' thriller might start to shade a very masculine film like Kane. Kane's cinematography (photographed by Greg Tolland) is what does it for me and all the other innovations that have been followed ever since 1941. Men like Kane and Welles for that matter still exist but they fail to inspire us. In today's world they simply revile us.
The Cinematography on BLACK NARCISSUS will never be equaled (the legendary Jack Cardiff). Black Narcissus is a women's picture but handled with skill and compassion. The acting style is dated but if you watch with sound off you are transported to a higher spiritual realm. I just wish there was at least one explicit sex scene in it (little chance of that in 1947).
THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION is the best mainstream film made in last 20 years. Some claim HEAT is that film. I saw Heat in the cinema it was good but full of bluster. It spoke to me only on a superficial level. It did delight and influenced the recent Batman films but it didn't touch my soul. Shawshank I didn't see it in the cinema but at home several times, keeps giving. Both films are aimed at men (most are) but women are also drawn to these stories. I for one can't stand the drivel studios patronizingly aim at women. You have to look hard for a film that shows the makers respect female filmgoers.
I’m prepared to argue point by point why I think Kane still has the edge over Vertigo. Kane cannot by itself beat Hitchcock’s film output and that might be why the greatest British filmmaker has finally received this nod.