“What is your favourite film?“ The most difficult question to answer about cinema. Why? Because cinema is powerful. It can make even the hardest of men shed a tear and make the kindest of women feel hatred. It can move minds, inspire us and help us deal with the everyday stresses of life, love and loss. It can take you onto different levels of thinking and can take you on a journey, as it twists and turns through a story. It just isn’t possible to narrow it down to one film.
So instead I have tried to narrow my love for cinema down to 10, of my top films of all time.
1. Avatar (2009) - This revolutionary film really deserves to be at number one. It takes 3D to a whole new level and that put this film into my number 1 spot. It isn't just the 3D though, you really feel connected to the characters, despite them being from an alternative world. The storyline covers everything; romance, action, love, loss, community, spirit, friendship and hardship. What really makes this film stand out is how incredibly well written it is. You feel like you know the characters and the bad guys aren’t just bad guys, they are people making questionable decisions. The story has such imagination and could have been taken in so many different directions but the characters decisions through the film, shape it. If you still haven’t got around to seeing this film, make sure it is high on your to do list.
2. Beauty and the Beast (1991) - Disney’s all time classic. Apart from wining awards such as Oscars and Golden Globes, this film truly does tell the ‘the tale as old as time’, the story of beauty only being skin deep. In this case a shallow Prince is turned into a Beast, whose heart of stone is warmed by the loving and beautiful girl next door. Although in this version she is from a village close to The Beast’s castle and he has forced her to be there. But despite that, you can‘t help but want Belle to see the wonderful beast for who he can be. Of course there is always a bad guy who tries to ruin the day, Gaston in this case. Even though it is an animated film, you hate that guy. His chauvinistic and arrogant ways annoy and anger you throughout the entire film and you can’t help but root for the lovable and temperamental beast. With adult humour worked cleverly into the script (think of the scene with the candlestick and his feather duster), loveable, fun characters and musical numbers throughout, this film deserves to be in my top 10.
3. Titanic (1997) - Men all over deem this film to be ‘dull’, but what makes me question that is, every man I know who has made that statement doesn’t put up much of a fight when deciding on a movie choice. They then know the story like the back of their hand and parts of the script. Not really something anybody should do if they found a film ‘boring’. The story of Titanic will always be a held close to our hearts as it tells the story of how so many souls were lost in 1912. So before the film has even started, the audience is emotionally involved. Then Leonardo diCaprio, a legend in cinema gives a beautiful performance that transports us to the lust and love of his character, Jack’s relationship with Rose. The way both characters will risk everything to keep each other alive is so moving and just when we think it ends all doom and gloom, the uplifting ending makes our hearts melt (even for the men who pretend that it doesn’t). As one of the most iconic films of all time, this is one film that you must see.
4. Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983) - In my opinion, despite what anybody says, the old star wars are a million times better than the new ones, even with the rather dated ‘special effects‘, mainly because of the storyline. The return of the Jedi is the most enjoyable to watch out of all of the Star Wars films. It is of course in this film that we discover Luke Skywalker and Leia are in fact brother and sister (slightly creepy as they kissed in the empire strikes back) and we get to meet the EWOKS, which are the insanely cute, cuddly bear like creatures. The film is about Good vs. Evil and although it is a group effort in saving the galaxy, I still strongly believe that without R2D2, the film would have been a lot shorter and have ended in tragedy (notice how the little robot is everywhere all the time, fixing things and saving the day). With so many colourful characters and twist and turns in the interesting plot, if you haven’t seen this film yet… get to it.
5. Romeo and Juliet (1996) - The greatest love story of all time, set in the modern world with Shakespearean language. This film creates a whole new spectrum for Shakespeare and makes him cool. Romeo and Juliet is already established as the greatest love story of all time, but to take that love story from centuries ago and rework it into a modern day masterpiece, that relates to a younger generation, who may not completely understand Shakespeare? That took some work. The setting for every scene is so carefully planned to relate well with the script, the passion behind every monologue is so raw and the acting throughout the entire film is so perfectly flawless with great direction from Baz Luhrmann, that this film had to make my top 10.
6. Armageddon (1998) - One of the biggest tearjerkers of all time wrapped up in a ball of action packed, emotionally draining, space movie. When an asteroid is due to hit earth, a crew of astronauts are sent to drill deep into the asteroid to break it into two so it will avoid earth. On this dangerous mission, we see a number of the crew die and it all comes down to one person being left behind to detonate a bomb manually, to break the asteroid in half. The crew’s relationships with each other make this film a tearjerker, one of the men is set to marry another crew member’s daughter and after a hand of straws, one of them has to stay behind and face certain death to detonate the bomb. This emotional space film leaves us with a sense of closeness and community as these men set out to save the world knowing, they may never return.
7. Inception (2010) - A film that makes you think. A story based on a concept that you can plant an idea into somebody’s mind while they're sleeping. It isn’t that simple though, Dom Cobb (played by diCaprio) used inception on his late wife, resulting in her killing herself. While fighting his guilt and running from special forces, he works to find a solution so he can return home to his children. But to do that he has to go through several layers of dreaming to plant an idea into an heir‘s head, so that he will destroy his father’s energy company. Cobb doesn’t do it alone though, he takes with him a team of fellow dream invaders, including a budding architect student. This film is gripping from start to end and although complex in concept, easy to follow. With well thought out plot, brilliant acting throughout, and thought provoking ending, this film is an ultimate Sci Fi movie.
8. Snatch (2000) - Bringing cockney to the table. Even if crime, thriller isn’t your thing, this film will be. With funny one liners the whole way through, this is one not to miss. Snatch has a famous cast including the likes of Brad Pitt, Jason Statham and Vinnie Jones, who each bring something unique to table. The assortment of characters brings a welcomed diversity to this genre of film and even though the characters are mainly ‘bad guys’, you laugh with them, at them and you just generally love them. There are several different storylines to the film that all cross over and entwine with each other, which gives Snatch the diversity to push it forward in this genre. If you haven’t seen this yet, make sure you get to it, even if it is just for the famous line of “You can land a f****** jumbo jet in there”.
9. Bridget Jone’s Diary (2001) - Without sounding too cliché, every girl on the planet can relate to Bridget Jones. Her questionable choice in men and her boozy antics, run home a little bit in all of us. Bridget entertains us to no end with her dysfunctional family, embarrassing friends, and quirky attitude. Of course Hugh Grant and Colin Firth bring British Rom Com humour to the film with their posh boy rivalry and dislike for each other. British banter is shown throughout the film and gives it a unique twist. This is definitely one for a night in with a cup of hot tea, a big bar of chocolate and a blanket.
10. Chicago (2002) - Chicago tells the story of the ‘innocent’ and lovable Roxy (Renee Zellweger), who cheats on her husband with a man who promises her a career in the music industry. When he doesn’t come up with the goods, she kills him and tries to pin the blame on her doting husband. You should hate her right? Wrong! Her lawyer Billy (Richard Gere) makes you see her as a sweet, innocent and darling woman who acted in self defence. Chicago is a beautifully constructed musical, that has stormed theatres and cinema. Set in a prison filled with murderesses, the classic musical gives everything a musical should. You laugh at the character’s reasons behind their murder and mourn the loss of an innocent woman. With strong influences of fame and music, this story highlights the lengths some women will go to seek revenge and fame all in one.
With such a beautiful and colourful cinematic history across the world, it really is a challenge to chose just a few. However if you haven’t seen my top 10, you need to spend a weekend taking part in a movie marathon. These are not to be missed.
FemaleFirst, Emma Chaplin