05 November 2007

on the weekend, i asked a friend what his top five movies were. to which he responded first by groaning and then by pulling out his trio on which he has a list of 'top ten' movies (as well as a few other 'top ten' lists; in quotes because most of his lists exceeded ten). i found the idea of making 'top ten' lists, preserving them, and carrying them around amusing. and appealing. because i've found myself in that grasping-to-come-up-with-a-list of movies (books, museums, restaurants, or whatever other object you'd like) position more often than not. because the lists fluctuate--there's always more than five or ten; the ones i would include on my list shift based on any number of variables; and then there's the deer-in-the-headlights freeze that happens when i'm put on the spot to name my favorites, which happened later that night when my friend turned the question around on me. i think i could only name four favorite movies.

so i decided i'd do a series of 'top ten' lists on the blog. of various and sundry things, not just the usual suspects. but i think i'll start with one of the usual suspects. movies. of the 'serious' variety sometime in the future i'll post a list of the 'guilty pleasure' variety. not that the 'serious' ones have to be serious in content; just that they're what i would consider substantial in some way, rather than fluffy. with no further ado:

top ten(ish) 'serious' movies (or should i call them films?):

a room with a view: period piece, romance, and hilarious nudity. that's right, hilarious nudity.

13 conversations about one thing: a compelling look at the random intersections of lives, with one of the most life-affirming moments i've seen on film.

the sweet hereafter: stunning. a searing look at tragedy, grief, and anger.

little miss sunshine: i laughed so hard in the theater that i cried, which almost never happens. and a wonderful critique of the beauty culture.

lost in translation: beautiful. and bill murray was shafted when he didn't win the academy award for best actor.

on the waterfront: the film that convinced me marlon brando is a great actor. 50's hollywood at its best.

pride & prejudice: maybe this should go on the guilty pleasure list, because i'm in love with darcy. but it's so very well done. and austen's novel is such an insightful look at human relationships. so 'serious' it is.

the royal tenenbaums: darkly hilarious. my first exposure to wes anderson.

in the company of men: dating games turned destructive. and in showing how destructive they are in extreme settings, it also shows their innate deceptiveness.

being there: i like to watch. don't miss it.

in the mood for love: visually gorgeous. i think it actually captures what love looks like. literally.

amadeus: such a wonderful film. a thoroughly entertaining examination of genius and desire.


  1. i watched room with a view at my best friend's house when i was probably in the 6th grade. she had a lot of older, intelligent, and well-read sisters, and i was just a small naive little girl. i remember being absolutely mortified by the hilarious nudity (i think i even refused to watch the rest of the movie. haha.) and i haven't watched the movie since. maybe it's time to give it another chance?

  2. oh, i think it's definitely time to give it another chance. :)

    i watched it first with my parents. and when the hilarious nudity happened, i was taken aback--not only by the nudity, but also by the fact that my parents were laughing. out loud. at male frontal nudity. blew my little teenage mind. but it also helped me get over the fact that i was seeing a naked man's body for the first time and just enjoy the film.

    of course, i'm in love with george. and have a crush on freddy. which has something to do with watching that movie so much...

  3. I have only seen four of the movies. I probably havn't watched A Room with a View for ten or fifteen years. I was just telling R he should watch it with me and he agreed! I still think it would be better if all of us girls watched it with him. He would get a laugh out of us watching it!

  4. In the Company of Men?!?!

    That's a freaky, disturbing movie.

  5. yeah. it's a freaky disturbing movie. but i think it's a fabulous demonstration of the problem with the kinds of games people play in romantic relationships. the moves those two men make in wooing that girl are exactly the kinds of scripted moves so much literature and advice on dating suggest.

    jen-- maybe next time we do a girl trip out your way, we should all watch a room with a view together. ryan can join in; i'm sure it would amuse him to see us watch it.

  6. I have only seen 2 of your top 10! Maybe 3 but I can't remember if I saw Amadeus or not. I guess I have a new list to take next time we hit Blockbuster!

  7. just be forewarned that they're not exactly "light" entertainment. :) though amadeus is definitely fun, even if a bit dark. you'd like more of them than mark would.

  8. Ha, ha, ha.....what makes you think Mark wouldn't like them??!

    He very much dislikes our fav...a room with a view! Sometimes I think he hates it so much just because we like it so much. hee, hee, hee.....I love those kind of movies....so I usually rent them and watch them alone - or with the girls....


  9. Many of these would be on my top ten(ish) too. But I'm not surprised. Which makes me certain that I should watch the ones I haven't seen yet. Good post.