Like anything, movies are subjective.
Before I went into work yesterday, I watched a Top Ten Movies of 2009 according to two respected critics. Of course, I don't remember their names. It isn't really the point. I watched their list and was unfamiliar with several of their choices. Avatar and Where the Wild Things Are were both dominant and near the top of their list. I commented to Sara that I wanted to see Up in the Air--another feature on their list--and a few other flicks. Last year, I had seen several of the contenders. Granted, I cleansed the month of January and needed to fill my time with something besides dreaming of Rapture wine at Elway's.
Ironically, I went into work and again, people were talking about movies. These two guys, were writing down movies that had influenced them. Everyone sitting at the horse shoe joined in. It took awhile and thankfully, they were occupied. I was entertained and interested with their list. I asked if they had American Beauty, The English Patient, or Y Tu Mama Tambien. They didn't.
Our tastes were different and I knew it immediately.
They had Fight Club, the Departed, Reservoir Dogs, Dumb & Dumber, and a slew of other movies. I think the list grew to 120 options and they wanted to whittle it down to ten movies. They asked ten people to choose their lists and then they would cross reference it to have the completed top ten. I was asked to join in, but never able to make time to do my list. One of my co-workers said that I would have extreme difficulty finding ten movies that I enjoyed or felt influenced by on their list. I believe their top 3 were--The Departed, Reservoir Dogs and Silence of the Lambs---respectively.
It made me think--what are movies that influence me or that I love, love, love? And, I suppose, it is more than that. Movies that I can watch, repetitively, and still enjoy them.
So here goes--
1. American Beauty--I went and saw it 5 times at the theatre. It was well-acted, cinematographally beautiful and it completely surprised me. I know many people that were untinterested during the trailers that made it seem more Lola like. Instead of showing how it did relate to materialism and the need to simplify life.
2. Fight Club--I am a huge Ed Norton fan. It continued the theme of materialism does not equate to happiness.
3. Slumlord Millionaire--I had no idea what the movie was about. I went prior to the hype of the awards. I felt it deserved everything it got.
4. Lost in Translation. I think I enjoyed that you never knew what Bill Murray said to Scarlett Johansen in the end. It was romantic.
5. The English Patient. I avoided this movie like the plague. Everyone kept saying how fantastic it was and I didn't want to allow it to crush my expecations. Eventually, I went to Liberty Hall in Lawrence and fell in love with the romance of it. I think I fell in love with Ralph Fiennes, too.
6. Million Dollar Baby. I cried. I laughed. I felt nauseous when the kid got beat up and when Hillary Swank got hurt. I was overwhelmed, emotionally, by the plot, the acting and the ending.
7. Memento. I enjoyed the concept of the movie. Chris Nolan is talented.
8. Amores Perros. The director also directed 21 Grams. I enjoyed the idea of the 3 stories converging and how it all came together. Both movies were well done and interesting.
9. Usual Suspects. Extremely well acted and entertaining. I can watch it again, and again, and again.
10. Pulp Fiction. How could this not be on a top ten? Quentin Tarentino is masterful. This movie reinvigorated John Travolta's career as well as Bruce Willis. Samuel Jackson was hilarious. I don't know. If I had more time, I would truly consider my top ten and know that yes, it is absolutely without a doubt, my top ten.
I also enjoy Little Miss Sunshine. It reminded me of my childhood and the family roadtrip. Neither of my parents found much humor with it. My sisters and I all cracked up.
The Departed was well acted. I like Jack Nicholson.
Good Fellas. Scorscese at his best.
Casino. Long, but entertainig. The Joe Pesci death scene is memorable. Enough said.
Heat--talk about well acted. The scene between Al Pacino and Robert De Niro was simple, but incredibly intense. Then you add Val Kilmer, Ashley Judd, Dennis Haysbert, Jon Voigt, etc.
Traffic. I mean, the war on drugs continues and that movie protrayed it honestly. The Drug Czar's daughter was a junkie. Eventually, it was suggested that perhaps we should start on an individual level as opposed to thinking this can be solved on an international level. I like Benicio del Toro and I enjoyed the cinematography. San Diego was an immense blue, Mexico was dirty and Ohio was gritty/gray.
Like Water for Chocolate, In the Weeds, Opening Night, and other restaurant inspired movies. It is always fun to see how they service industry is protrayed. Some are better than others. Waiting was funny, but definitely not a repeat in my book.
So, what is your top 3 movies? Why do you like them or feel inspired by them? I think I go in phases where things definitely stick out in my life--the need to simplify, enjoy and not get wrapped up in things is why I believe I am such an avid fan of both American Beauty and Fight Club.
Whatever inspries you--go with it and enjoy. Yes, it is subjective. I could go on and on and on......