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Top Ten: Movies (5-1)

March 29, 2011

I realise everyone has been on tenterhooks waiting to hear what I’ve chosen for my top five…so here we go!

5. Beauty and the Beast

Yes, it’s the third animated picture of the countdown, and I make no apologies for it!  Maybe it’s because I’m so uncreative myself, but I just love the craftmanship and imagination contained in great animated films.  It’s a medium through which you can do just about anything.  Beauty and the Beast was the first animated picture to be included in the Best Picture nominations at the Oscars, and deservedly so.  It’s pure entertainment, looks beautiful and has such memorable songs which fit the story perfectly.  It also features my favourite Disney heroine, Belle, who is strong, intelligent and brave and was my idol growing up!


4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

A film which features Kate Winslet’s best ever performance was always going to be a guaranteed entry into my top ten, but there are so many reasons to love Eternal Sunshine.  The whole cast is brilliant (Jim Carrey receiving yet another disgraceful snub from Mr Oscar), the story is genuinely unique, the photography and direction is imaginative and creative, the soundtrack is spot-on…the list goes on and on.  I still vividly remember seeing this at the cinema and knowing it was a film I would love for life.


3. Lord of the Rings

Ok, I know it’s technically a trilogy, but as the three films were made during one production, I’m counting them as one.  Besides, where would the fun be in having three spots taken up by Lord of the Rings?  Lord of the Rings made me into a bonafide film fan.  I was a casual cinemagoer before they came along and ignited my passion.  I started buying film magazines, collecting DVDs, working my way through as many classic films as I could, and all as a result of my love for Lord of the Rings.  It’s filmmaking at the highest level, and there aren’t many better movie marathons than a 13 hour journey through the extended DVD editions (really!).  I even love all the endings to Return of the King.  If I had to choose a favourite, then I suppose it would be Fellowship of the Ring, but I do so grudgingly because they’re all incredible feats of filmmaking.


2. Schindler’s List

Steven Spielberg is my favourite director.  That may be an obvious choice, but it’s obvious because he’s the best.  I’m a history graduate and plan to return to university soon to do an MA in European History.  Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally is one of my favourite books.  That this film would be high in my top ten was a no-brainer.  It’s Spielberg’s best film, an incredibly powerful, haunting and unflinching take on the most brutal event in modern history.  I visited Auschwitz in 2008 and rewatched this film for the nth time not long after my return-it upset me so much that time that I haven’t been able to watch it again since.  I will, eventually, but not yet.  Still, I adore it and always will.


1. The Sound of Music

Yes, it’s true.  I chose The Sound of Music ahead of Schindler’s List and Lord of the Rings.  Why?  Because it’s the film I have watched more times than any other, the film I know every word to, the first film I fell truly in love with, back on Christmas Day 1989 when I was five years old.  I will always love it.  It’s massively entertaining, features Rodger & Hammerstein’s best music, is set in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Salzburg, has an utterly charming central performance by Julie Andrews…and it’s just brilliant.  Heartwarming and lovely.

Honorable mentions: The Wedding Singer, Atonement, Star Wars, West Side Story, The Incredibles, Casablanca, Groundhog Day

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Jesse permalink
    April 3, 2011 2:34 pm

    So, to re-comment what I said before it got deleted 🙂

    Thumbs up for the Top 5. I’ve seen all of them except for ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’…heard of it, of course, but it seems like there are so many films and so little time…

    Beauty and the Beast will always be in my Top 10 favorites, too. You’re right–you owe no apologies for including several animated films. I don’t know why some people tend to marginalize them, and consider them a separate category. I don’t. And on a lot of them (especially the works of Hayao Miyazaki) if they think that an animated film can’t have a complex storyline…they’re missing out.

    But I was talking about Beauty and the Beast. I remember seeing it in the theatre and how that opening sequence, with the waterfall in the forest and the castle in the distance, drawing nearer…that just totally blew us away. For the mid 1990s the graphics were amazing. And the voice acting was great, and the storyline, and the music, and pretty much everything. My entire family got into it all–even my father! When the video wasn’t playing at our house, the soundtrack was. And it always brings back happy times and good memories, whenever I watch it. Funny but the last time I watched it was several years ago, on my parents’ old VHS copy…I’ve been meaning to get the DVD but I think I’ll wait and get the blu ray when we get a new TV and blu ray player and all that. And then I will have to fall in love with Beauty and the Beast all over again.

    #4 I said, regrettably, that I haven’t seen…but I’ve certainly seen #3! Another piece of nostalgia for me, really. Will was just saying recently how he wants to re-watch some of the trilogy…however I have this thing with some films (and this is one of them) where I want to watch the whole thing in order, from the very beginning. With this one I think it’s because I like the beginning so much. So William always complains “I’ve had to watch the first one ten times, the second one four times, and I’ve barely seen the end of the third, because we always have to start over from the beginning!” ha. But yes…again…I know The Lord of the Rings was a blockbuster and all, but rightly so. The scenery was amazing. The acting cast had a LOT of talent. The music–always a big one with me–was wonderful. As I already kind of said, I have to agree with you–out of the three, The Fellowship of the Ring is my most favorite. And reading this makes me want to do the entire 13 hour + movie marathn, as well 🙂

    #2…it upset me too. I last watched it in high school, and I thought it was incredible, but also not something I can watch every day. However…I think it’s time to revisit it!

    And #1…I can’t fault you there. Again, it’s funny how films (and music, etc) connect you with a piece of your life in the past, meaning watching something classic usually reminds you of a certain point in your life…or at least it does for me. I don’t think any other movie could ever compare to Sound of Music. I remember first watching it with my mom, as a little kid, in the 1980s, and then over the years since then. It IS just brilliant, as you said. Julie Andrews really made this one shine. And I was always touched by the performances of the secondary, characters, as well. When I was little, when the Mother Superior sang “Climb Every Mountain,” it always made me cry. Hahaha, I know it’s supposed to be an uplifting and encouraging song, but for some reason it made me sad, too. Can’t really explain why. And…I even felt bad for Baroness Schraeder, believe it or not. Sure, she was mean and petty and all that…but there was something about the look on the actress’ face when she knew her relationship with Captain Von Trapp is over…it always made me sad, ha. And I always used to be scared to death of the “My Favorite Things” scene when I knew Captain Von Trapp was going to burst in…it makes me laugh thinking of all the reactions I had as a young child, I really need to go back and watch this as an adult now!

    Great list, Leanne…I loved reading about your picks!

    • June 14, 2011 9:42 am

      I just realised I didn’t reply to this! I feel terrible after you put in the effort to write such a nice, long comment (twice!) 🙂

      I think if I do marginalise animated films, it’s only to place them on a higher level to the vast majority of other movies. The amount of craft in even a subpar animated film far outweighs what you’d find a mediocre romantic comedy etc. I guess it’s because I’m so terrible at drawing and have a ridiculously limited imagination, so animation is very special to me. I used to watch Beauty and the Beast every day, and I vividly remember seeing it in the cinema too 🙂

      I insist you find time to watch Eternal Sunshine! Even if only for Kate 😉

      And wow, we have the exact same problem with Lord of the Rings! We always start off watching the trilogy and then by midway through The Two Towers we’re a bit tired and we end up giving up lol. I do adore the films, but they are a true marathon to get through. Luckily I do have an excuse to watch them now as part of my 500 Five-Star project, though it will be a while before I reach the ‘L’ list!

      I must watch Schindler’s List soon. It’s almost three years now since I watched it, as it was July 2008 that I visited Auschwitz. Definitely time to give it another go.

      Climb Every Mountain was my grandma’s favourite part of the movie. I always had to pause the film when she was around until she was ready and settled to watch that song with me. So now it makes me cry too as I miss her so much. And John can’t watch the film with me because I can’t help but recite the words along with the film-I know it far too well!

      Thanks again for the great comment-I loved reading it, too 🙂

      • Jesse permalink
        June 15, 2011 2:08 am

        No problem on commenting back, dear 🙂 I laughed about you being able to recite all the words along with The Sound of Music…I have films I can do that with, too, and it annoys WIll to no end (which, I admit, is half the fun, sometimes!)

        Appropriately enough, we’re in the middle of a Lord of the Rings marathon right now. We’ve watched a little at a time–sometimes only half an hour to 45 minutes or so, which makes it kind of choppy and disjointed when viewed over several weeks, but we usually only get about 45 minutes in the evening to sit down and watch a movie…we just finished Two Towers tonight, so it’s on to Return of the King!

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