Two things first come to mind when thinking about #48 on my list of the best films of all time - what ever happened to Michael Douglas' rebudding career in the mid-1990s, and when will Annette Bening finally win that elusive Oscar? The American President features an epic pairing of great thesps, the clearly underused Douglas, who's never been better than in this movie, and the criminally under-awarded Bening, who's not surprisingly a great female lead for this romantic comedy/drama. Buoyed by the deftly political writing of Aaron Sorkin, who took his affinity for presidential fiction all the way to the long-running NBC series The West Wing, this film is terribly witty and an endearing thinking person's romance. Along with the powerful performances from its leads, it features fun sidekick turns from Martin Sheen as the president's best friend, Michael J. Fox as the on-edge advisor, and always-fun-to-watch Anna Deavere Smith as the no-nonsense co-advisor Robin to Fox's Louis.
Standout Performance: I'm going to go with Annette Bening on this one, as her Sydney Ellen Wade is a force, from her sensible haircut down to her politically savvy toes.