I haven’t watched Happiness in years, and I honestly wasn’t expecting to revisit it ever in my life. Yet here I am, writing about it up on the pages of Paste Magazine for the Movies section’s Best Movies of 1998 list. What a thing. My write-up makes the film sound miserable, which it is, and it makes me sound miserable while recollecting it, which I was, but none of that’s to say it’s a bad movie (else it wouldn’t be here) or that I don’t like it (because I do like it). Movies that make us uncomfortable, I was recently reminded via the Unspooled podcast, aren’t automatically bad. I don’t commit that faux pas, like ever, but the re-affirmation is nice all the same.
But! I also wrote about Hirokazu Kore-eda’s After Life, which I haven’t seen in an even longer period of time since I last saw Happiness, and I was delighted to remember that movie, which I unabashedly recommend.
So, in short: Here are the 25 best movies of 1998. Don’t complain to me if you don’t agree. I don’t make the rules. I just enforce them.