Sunday, January 9, 2011

Top 10 Favourite Films of All Time (well, as of January 2011...)

So, guys and girlies, I am back from escaping to the city for a wee holiday. Not much to report about that, apart from the fact I finally bought myself an iPod Touch, saw a few movies at the cinemas (including my first 3D...TRON: Legacy) and now have a huge amount of movies to review. And because my holiday has sucked some creative juices out of me, I had to do the easiest topics for this weeks Top 10: my favourite movies of all time. Well, hey, I haven't exactly told you them, have I? But you probably won't be surprised by this list...

Honourable mentions: Pulp Fiction, A Single Man, Fight Club, (500) Days of Summer, Kick-Ass, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Animal Kingdom, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Wizard of Oz, The Shawshank Redemption, An Education, The Hangover, Up in the Air, A Streetcar Named Desire, Batman Begins, The Prestige, All About Eve, Sunset Blvd., Forrest Gump, Revolutionary Road, The Aviator, The Departed, It Happened One Night, Rear Window, Psycho, District 9, Juno, Waitress, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day and What's Eating Gilbert Grape.

10. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

"You can be as mad as a mad dog at the way things went. You could swear, curse the fates, but when it comes to the end, you have to let go."

Some may call it a Forrest Gump wannabe, some may call it boring and overcooked, some may call it one of the worst David Fincher creations out there. I disagree with those three statements. When I first saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button around a year and a half ago, I was struck by it's beauty and the way it pulled off the aging process. But most of all, the story really got me. We've seen so many romantic dramas of late, but none manage to come close to the beauty of Benjamin and Daisy's relationship, which is precisely played with undeniable chemistry from Brad Pitt and the oft-snubbed Cate Blanchett. I revisited this film just recently and it is so weird to compare this to other David Fincher creations, particularly because of how spellbinding this journey is through the film. It isn't all Fincher by himself, though, there's that score by Alexandre Desplat which makes this film as magical and as sad as it is.
9. Let the Right One In

"If I wasn't a girl... would you like me anyway?"

Unfortunately, I think this movie will now be most associated with the American remake, Let Me In, but I'll always be in love with this Swedish horror film. It's practically perfect and just the way I like it: very slow-paced, taking time to take in the story and the scenery surrounding it. The best thing about it? It reminds me that cinema is still the greatest art form. And it also reminds me that vampire love stories aren't just a fad to keep the Twi-hards happy. The love story between vampire Eli and human Oskar is one that is different, often confusing and really sweet. If only more people could see this Swedish gem...

8. The Social Network

"The internet's not written in pencil, Mark. It's written in ink."

I feel like it's a bit of a gamble sticking this movie in my top favourites, but it totally deserves it. Last week I went to go and see it again, and I don't know whether it was before I even knew about this project I was pretty much an expert on Facebook, but I really enjoyed it. Like, I was genuinely entertained by a movie which shouldn't have been entertaining at all. From the amazing performances from Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Armie Hammer and even Justin Timberlake, to the wonderfully subtle and timed direction from David Fincher, The Social Network may just be a masterpiece. Thank God a man like Aaron Sorkin lived to make an interesting story even more interesting by creating a script which was unlike anything I had heard before. And I can't not mention the really awesome score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, which is currently on repeat on my (new) iPod. Coming out of this film for the second time, I could only think of two things: I want to start a million dollar business or make a movie similar to this one. I can't say whether either of those plans will be successful.

7. Inglourious Basterds

"My name is Shoshanna Dreyfus, and THIS is the face...of Jewish vengeance!"

I love Quentin Tarantino, so of course one of his films had to be in here. And it just so happens that I love Inglourious Basterds the most. He had a lot of guts to make this film. I mean, it takes something that actually happened and gave it a fictional twist, compiled his story of World War II in to what could have been five short films, and gave us the most epic ending scene that I have ever seen. All of which couldn't have been possible without the discovery of Christoph Waltz, who gives literally one of the best performances ever as the slightly sadistic, multilingual nutjob villain Hans Landa. It may be a long ride, but I enjoy every single gut-wrenching second of it.

6. Mean Girls

"On Wednesday's we wear pink!"
While a real cinephile will probably have some black-and-white Russian film that no-one has ever heard of in this spot, I have chosen to go with my favourite comedy ever, Mean Girls. Yes, I do feel kinda strange about putting a Lindsay Lohan movie on my list. But, regardless, this movie is like the bible to surviving 'girl-world', and we have one woman to thank for that: Tina Fey. Her script is an absolute cracker, and it's so true that you can't help but like it. We all know a Regina, a Gretchen, and maybe a Karen, and we've all at some point in our life felt a little victimised like Cady, which is why this movie is so great. Seriously, I could watch this movie over and over and over (and so on and so forth), and it would never get old.
5. Meet Me in St. Louis

"It'll take me at least a week to dig up all my dolls at the cemetery!"

This movie deserves it's place here because I watch it every Christmas, and it, without fail, always makes me happy. There were so many musicals that came out during that era, but none of them stand out as much as Meet Me in St. Louis. Firstly, because this movie isn't really a musical, as there are only a few songs scattered through the film. Those songs, which include 'Trolley Song' and 'Have Youself a Merry Little Christmas', are simply sublime with the voice of Judy Garland making them what they are. Secondly, this movie has a real heart. It shows the dynamics of a family and sees what happens when everything is turned upside down. And finally, this movie deals with the 'no place like home' theme, which, in the end, reduces me to tears. Gosh, there is no more syrupy fun then there is in Meet Me in St. Louis.

4. Memento

"Memory can change the shape of a room; it can change the color of a car. And memories can be distorted. They're just an interpretation, they're not a record, and they're irrelevant if you have the facts."
You know how I had to watch Memento? On youtube. And you know how I had to buy it? As a DVD which has a different region, which I can't play on my laptop. But neither of those slight annoyances stopped me from absolutely loving this movie. I guess it was with this movie that I kinda became really serious about being a screenwriter/director, because I loved the way Christopher Nolan played with a simple narrative and flipped it around so it transformed into something that had to be pieced together, bit by bit, as if you were the main protagonist Leonard. I often just randomly start thinking about this film and jumping for joy (not literally...that would be a bit strange) because it is so great. It just makes me happy that there are some great filmmakers out there who take risks and make enriching viewing experience which give you a lot more if you put in the effort.
3. Gone with the Wind

"With enough courage, you can do without a reputation."

Even though I may not watch it as much anymore, I will always love Gone with the Wind to death. I think watching it around the time you are 12 is quite a good way to do it for some reason, because there is just something about it which is so romantic and grand scale epic which manages to sweep you away. It would be nothing without it's heroine Scarlett O'Hara and her performer Vivien Leigh, who dares to do things differently, which is both entertaining and heartbreaking to watch. Say no more, this is filmmaking at it's utmost best.

2. Inception

"She locked away a secret, deep inside herself, something she once knew to be true...but chose to forget."

Y'all probably saw this coming, and I must say, this isn't very 'eclectic' of me. But who says I can't have Inception on my list? This movie is literally my dream come true, and it's definitely one of the films which I have been affected by the most. I mean, I have never walked out of the cinema crying. Inception really did it for me. At least a modern blockbuster can actually be entirely fulfilling at the hand of master Christopher Nolan. I can't really add more...just search Inception on this blog and you'll find at least a million reasons as to why I love this movie so much.

1. The Dark Knight

"Because he's the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we'll hunt him because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A dark knight."

A few months ago, I came to the conclusion that I had to pick one favourite film. At first, I may have said Inception, but that was really just a phase I went through which may just blow over one day. So I went through a big process of elimination (similar to the one I just painfully went through to make this list), and discovered that there is no film I love more than The Dark Knight. This film is almost perfect...there's only one thing I don't like: the line spoken by Dr. Crane "Not in my diagnosis" (it's a little cheesy). Otherwise, I love the intensity, the drama and the awesome scriptwriting that comes with this movie. It's so much more than a comic book movie. It's a dark tale which is masterfully done by Christopher Nolan (he seems to be appearing a lot around here), and isn't without that amazing performance from Heath Ledger. One watch isn't enough. Neither are fifty watches.

What are some of your favourite films? Please drop some comments in, lovely people!


  1. Awesome list! I'm always scared and reluctant to make mine of all time favorites, it is not easy. I didn't know that you also love Inglourious Basterds, I love it, too. Movies #1,#2,#3 are definitely on my top list too!

  2. What I like about your list is it doesn't look like every film has been plucked from the AFI's favourite films, and essentially, that is what film is about - it is a very personal experience.

    I am also glad The Godfather didn't feature there - no matter how much of an excellent film it is (and it really is, I always see it worming it's way to the number one spot of these lists (surely, a better film has come out in the last 40 YEARS.)

    Well, now I am through with that vent, though none of the films you mentioned would pop up in my top 10, certain ones have been selected for a top 100 I have been doing (Let the Right one in, Memento, probably The Dark Knight.)

    But good choices none the less, as it does reflect your love for Christopher Nolan (and I was honestly expecting to see Inception at the top spot!)

    On the note of crying at the cinema, the only time I can recall still blubbering when leaving (when I saw Jean Reno's Godzilla I had stopped crying when I left the cinema, haha) was Peter Jackson's King Kong. Lord, it was a ridiculous amount of crying. Never again, dammit!

  3. Interesting list - and I can't help but cock a smile at the fact that Mr. Nolan has three of the top four slots (what? No love for THE PRESTIGE??).

    As for BUTTON, count me as a big fan of the film, and someone who thinks it was widely misunderstood - including by myself the first time I saw it.

  4. Favorite of all time - LA Confidential. And for favorite comedy ever, I have to go with Love Actually (also in my top 10)

  5. @ Lesya--I thought it was time to do my list, and I must admit, it was pretty hard. Nice to see some love for Inglourious Basterds plus the top films from my list!

    @ Cherokee--I totally agree. I wasn't going to put every classic movie I've ever watched in here, because while that might look good, it's not right. The Godfather is far from one of my favourite films of all time. Sure, it may have been one of the best movies I have ever seen, but it's certainly not one of my favourites. Good luck with your top 100! And, I guess since Peter Jackson is a Kiwi and I'm a Kiwi...sorry for making you cry so much :)

    @ Hatter--Of course Mr. Nolan has to dominate the top end of my list! And, you know, The Prestige is a little further down, perhaps in my Top 30? Totally agree on BUTTON!

    @ Karla--I must check out LA Confidential one day! And love for Love Actually=awesome!

  6. Glad you think so too. Film afterall, should be viewed as something that is personal to everyone. If someone likes a really bad film, there may be certain qualities about it that the person who enjoys it holds up high (i.e. the experience of watching it, when they watched it etc.) and that alters a lot of Favourite Film lists. After all, they're not Best Film Lists.

    It's going okay so far - it seems to be a very Japanese/French/American affair, but I'm hoping some others are gonna pop up in there. It'll be interesting to look back on too, to see how my film changes have altered.

    You should try doing a Top 100 list! Especially for a Blogger, it'd be an incredible challenge (luckily, I have chosen to put all the films in alphabetical order.)

  7. Though I haven't seen 4 of those 10 movies but I got to say Mr. Nolan, he is a genius or may be much more. Have seen all his movies and most of them repeatedly except The Following which I am yet to find out.
    I would say The Prestige was also a remarkable movie from him. I found it to be far more engaging and challenging on a deeper emotional level. I mean to say its more about the feel of that connection.
    Quentin's Inglorious was Phew! wow, just too too good.
    I guess what you said about the after effect of social network,I had the same.
    Big big follower of these two men.


You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.


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