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.