By singling out one performance, I don't want to imply that any others are less valuable or less of an achievement. But I will testify that Dead Poets Society is probably the #1 essential movie of my lifetime. I routinely put it in my Top All-Time Films list, and I have often mentioned my Life Arc Trilogy that I feel explains me better than I could myself: Dead Poets Society-Dolores Claiborne-The Hours, in that order. Today, thinking about Robin Williams' death, I realized that Dead Poets Society is for me the most essential film, the one I can't give up. If there were any other film, even one of my favorites, that you wanted to take away, but I could keep all the other films in existence, I could conceivably make that trade--OK, you can have this one as a price for all the other films of the world ever. But after Dead Poets Society, for me, there can be no going back. Even for everything else out there, I couldn't give it up.
Remember the ending where, amid shouts of, "Sit down Mr. Anderson! I'm warning you!" he just stands there in the doorway, a face full of realization? And then he speaks the last line.
Thank you, Robin Williams. Thank you.