Top 10 Favourite Films (In no particular order)
Since awards seasons is pretty dry right now, and I haven't had too much time to watch/review any past winners, I thought I'd compile a list of my top 10 favourite films, in no particular order. It's a variety of Best Pictures, Indie favourites, and musicals, and animated films. Here we go!
1. Pride & Prejudice (2005)
I was only thirteen when previews for this movie came out. And I was swept away. I had only briefly heard of the book, and had no idea what it was about. My parents were surprised I was interested in such a movie. After watching the movie, I bought the book several years later. I have read it several times over since then, after buying it at 16 years old. I loved how the film was portrayed. The costumes were varied from simple and plain (The Bennetts), and grandiose (Ms. De Burgh, etc). Keira Knightly was well suited for Elizabeth, the fiesty young girl, and Matthew MacFayden had the look that was able to convince you he could be sinister, but was heartbreaking when painted with the face of someone in love (something I thought Colin Firth didn't quite get. I had a hard time believing anyone could find him proud and mean). It's romantic, and it was well-received, gained Kinghtly a Best Actress nod. Rightly so.
2. Julie & Julia (2009)
This movie is the story of 2 women, living in very different times. One is Julie Powell, a young woman living in Queens, New York and decides to blog about cooking through Julia Child's cookbook in 1 year, as a way of finding happiness and a hobby in her life. The other half of the story is about Julia Child herself, about her life in Paris and how she came to be who she is. Julie is portrayed by the cute and iridescent Amy Adams, and Julia is played by the famous Meryl Streep. I love the 2 stories about these 2 women, and feel empowered by both of them. Both portray their very different marriages (Julie and her husband are very young and presumably not been married very long, and Julia and her husband have been together a long time). Meryl streep is absolutely fantastic (obviously) and we also get performances from Stanley Tucci (who's a favourite of mine), and Jane Lynch.
3. The King's Speech (2010)
Yes this movie only came out last year, and yes many people didn't think it deserved Best Picture as it was very Oscar-bait and very British. But I honestly loved this film. It's the moving story of King George VI (Bertie), and his unforseen ascension to the throne- and his struggle with a speech impediment. It has an All-Star cast, and the story is moving, funny, and very feel-good (in a good way!). This movie never fails to make me a little teary in the beginning, and Colin Firth is absolutely extraordinary, along with the lovely Helena Bonham-Carter and Geoffrey Rush.
4. Oliver! (1968)
Another Best Picture, but this one very different from the last. Oliver! is the story about Oliver Twist, an orphan who runs away from the funeral home and orphanage in England, to "seek his fortune" in London. He gets involved in the company of child pick-pocketers, and mixed up in the crimes of the older thieves as well. All in musical form. I watched this movie several times growing up, and still love it to this day. The musical is fabulous and catchy, and the story is complex and interesting. I just love it, ok?
5. Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
I've been a Harry Potter fan since just after the 3rd movie was released in theaters. And while there were 8 movies to choose from (I loved them all), Prisoner of Azkaban is almost tied with Deathly Hallows Part I for my favourite, though I've loved this one longer than the other, and decided to include it instead. (DH1 is a runner up for the top 10 list). It's the first more grown up tale of Harry Potter and his friends, and is brilliantly done. Sirius Black is a notorious killer and he's escaped from prison, and he's after Harry. The tale deals with time-travel, criminals, and further secrets about Hogwarts and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Alfonso Cuaron took this film over from Chris Columbus, the director of the 1st 2 and put a new spin and a new look to the series. Everything looks a lot smoother, and artistically, is fabulous. While it isn't as true to the book as the 1st two, it captures the spirit and tone of the book perfectly, and the characters are more "teenaged" and look very much how the fans had pictured them.
6. How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
I thoroughly enjoy animated films, and it was hard to choose which one to include on this list. I'm a huge fan of Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc, but decided to go with How to Train Your Dragon, which I watched far more than I do the other 2. It's the fun tale about a young viking named Hiccup who lives on the island of Berk, which is frequently attacked by dragons. Dragons are the enemy of the people, and they are trained to kill them. But when Hiccup befriends an injured dragon, the one supposed to be the most vicious of all, he realizes maybe these animals have been misunderstood...all the while trying to fix the dragon's tail so he can fly again. It's a hilarious film which is funny for both kids and adults. And the score is amazing. Pretty much Scottish music meets Hans Zimmer.
7. Dan In Real Life (2007)
This movie is severely underrated. It's the story of Dan, a widower with 3 daughter, 2 of them teenagers, and one a pre-teen. He's a "good father, but a bad dad", as his youngest daughter tells him. He and the girls go up to a cottage for a large family reunion, and while out in town at a bookstore, meets a woman named Marie. Dan hasn't met a woman in a long time. They talk for hours, and then she leaves. And when Dan gets back to the cottage he realizes the woman he met is actually his brothers new girlfriend. You can imagine what ensues after this. This movie features Steve Carell as Dan, and Juliette Binoche as Marie, as well as fun supporting cast including Dane Cook as Dan's brother who dates Marie, Alison Pill as Dan's eldest daughter, and Emily Blunt as a hot blind date. It's a nice movie to snuggle up with on a rainy day. It's cute, romantic, and funny.
8. The Dark Knight (2008)
Do I even need to explain anything about why I love this movie or what it's about? This movie is complex and epic, and the acting is top-notch. This movie is actually perfect. The Joker is just so insane, and Heath Ledger was brilliant. I have no doubts whatsoever that he truly deserved his Supporting Actor Oscar. Yeah, I think he would've still gotten it had he been alive. He really brought it and immersed himself in the Joker. Christian Bale, I don't know, I love him as Batman honestly. He plays a fantastic Bruce Wayne, and I really like him. Of course Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman as great, and the Harvey Dent storyline is also great. It's a complex story told in perfect, unfolding at just the right speed, with one of the best opening sequences ever.
9. (500) Day of Summer (2009)
Cult classic and I love it. (500) Days of Summer tells the story of Tom, a young man who works at a Greeting Card company. He meets Summer, and the movie tells us their 500 day 'relationship', in no order. Zooey Deschanel's big break into the entertainment world (if we don't include Elf). Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the adorable and aggravating Tom. The story is told in such an interesting way, very reminiscent of Woody Allen's Annie Hall. We get musical numbers, and Expectations vs Reality sequences and character interviews. And the story has more to it than it appears, look closely and you'll see the scenes parallel each other, and we see Tom's bias opinion of their relationship and of Summer herself. It's a cute, fun movie, but is also smart, and complex.
10. Singin' In The Rain (1952)
Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, some extremely memorable songs and dances, and tap dancing. All together in one film called Singin In the Rain. I was introduced to this movie in my film class in college. And oh, how I loved it. It's exactly my kind of humor, and I discovered tap-dancing is pretty much the coolest thing ever. For those who don't know about this movie, it's about Don Lockwood, a silent film star who finds he has to adjust to the transition from silent films to talkies. While it may sound similar to the Artist, this film is a comedy in which Don agrees to continue in his career, but tries to figure out how to deal with his obnoxious co-star with an annoying voice, and is falling in love with an aspiring actress. And how to solve the fact that they're having troubles recording their voices at all? And the audience found their romantic, dramatic film exceedingly comical? This movie is just so hilarious, and it's just so good. One of my favourite movies, ever.
There you have it! My top 10 favourite movies thus far. Wide variety, some Award winners, so not at all.