I have often wondered, what are my favourite films of all time. I managed to get 55 of them. I would like to share this list with you.
Here’s the earlier lists:
…and here’s some more.
25. NOISES OFF (1992)
Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Writer: Marty Kaplan
Based on Michael Frayn’s stage play, Noises Off is about a theater group led by a growingly frustrated director Lloyd Fellowes (Michael Caine) who tries to get their latest play to work on the night before the big premiere. The task isn’t easy because the tensions between the cast and crew grow increasingly chaotic and their tumultuous personal relationships threaten to destroy the meticulously timed sex farce. This movie has hands down the best writing for a comedy ever made. The dialogue is sharp as a surgical knife and the slapstick is on par with the masters of the silent era of comedy. Michael Caine gives a delicious performance as the director and the rest of the cast is delightful: Carol Burnett, John Ritter, Marilu Henner, Denholm Elliot and motherfucking Christopher Reeve all deliver hilarious performances. And Nicollette Sheridan has to prance around in her underwear most of the film, which is not a bad thing at all. If you’re looking for laugh out loud comedy, look no further. Peter Bogdanovich’s perfectly directed Noises Off is the best of the genre.
What I Love About It: The 3-show structure, where each consecutive show is more catastrophic than the previous one. The acting, the dialogue, the choreography and the ingenious timing of the film. No other movie makes me laugh more.
Best Quote: “Lloyd, let me just say one thing, since we’ve stopped. I’ve worked with a lotta directors, Lloyd. Some of them were geniuses, some of them were bastards. But I’ve never met one who was so totally and absolutely… I don’t know”.
“Thank you Gary, I’m very touched. Now will you get off the fucking stage?”
24. THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY (1995)
Director: Clint Eastwood
Writer: Richard LaGravenese
Clint Eastwood’s first and only romance movie he directed is also his best film to date. It’s not often that a rookie actor of hard action, western and war films would be this sensitive to material that could go so wrong so easily. On paper, the romance between a photographer and a married Italian-born housewife sounds like an awful tv-movie but Eastwood injects the film with such integrity and honesty that it makes even the most cynic viewer helpless against their bittersweet and all too short time the lovers spend together on-screen. Clint Eastwood plays the role of Robert Kincaid himself and it’s hard to imagine anyone else doing the part. He nails it as the world-weary photographer for the National Geographic. But it’s Meryl Streep who is the true star of this film. Her performance of Francesca is pitch perfect. The emotions oozing out of her character are well balanced and her rediscovery of her sexuality is very sensual. Their love feels genuine and well, earned. You truly hope all the best for these characters. Jack N. Green’s photography is gorgeous and Eastwood’s direction is assured and confident. A movie that shows that love can find you no matter how long it takes. A touching piece of cinema.
What I Love About It: It’s seemingly effortless ability to make the viewer to sympathize and relate in the romance between these two fantastic characters which are supported by the stellar performances of the veteran actors playing them.
Best Quote: “This kind of certainty comes but just once in a lifetime.”
23. THE PIANIST (2002)
Director: Roman Polanski
Writer: Ronald Harwood
Based on the memoirs of Wladyslaw Szpilman, the movie centers on a Polish musician who struggles to survive in the middle of the invasion of Warsaw ghetto by the German army during World War II. Played by Adrian Brody, a talented pianist Wladek Szpilman manages to evade the trains that transport the Jews into concentration camp. His journey has him trying to scavenge food and shelter for several years in the devastated rumbles that once was Warsaw. This gripping and harrowing survival film was directed by Roman Polanski, a Holocaust survivor himself and he clearly knows what he’s doing. The flawless technical performances by the art department, costume designer and the DOP are simply astonishing and the story carries itself never losing its grip on pacing Once again the art of cinema has captured a piece of history that deserves to be seen by everyone.
What I Love About It: The authenticity of the film. It feels real.
Best Quote: “Spielmann? That is a good name, for a pianist.”
22. SEN TO CHIHIRO NO KAMIKAKUSHI – SPIRITED AWAY (2001)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Writer: Hayao Miyazaki
A sort of Japanese Walt Disney, animation director Hayao Miyazaki has created many incredible animated films that have delighted several generations of film lovers all over the world and Spirited Away is his best film. On the way to their new home Chihiro’s parents take a wrong turn and arrive to an abandoned restaurant where delicious food is laid out but no one seems to be there. Against the 10-year-old Chihiro’s protest the famished parents decide to eat the food without permission. And then they turn into pigs. Yes. Chihiro’s left alone and when she tries to get help she comes across a magical bathhouse where she’s quickly employed as a washer. With the help of her newfound mysterious friend Haku, Chihiro tries to turn her parents back to normal. Spellbinding and awe-inspiring, this glorious anime grabs your attention from frame one and doesn’t let go until the very end. It’s surprisingly lengthy for an animated film (roughly over two hours), but the adventure whizzes by awfully quick. Mysterious (maybe overly complicated for western audiences) plot, inventive creatures, spellbinding music and brilliant animation makes this film one of the best animated films out there.
What I Love About It: Chihiro as a character. She’s brave yet not flawless and she’s very fun character to be around with. Joe Hisaishi’s score. The animation.
Best Quote: “What’s going on here?”
”Something you wouldn’t recognize. It’s called love.”
21 THE NUTTY PROFESSOR (1963)
Director: Jerry Lewis
Writers: Jerry Lewis & Bill Richmond
One of my all-time favourite films when I was a kid, The Nutty Professor still holds incredibly well even by today’s standards. Jerry Lewis has never been funnier than he is here and the movie has a big heart to back the comedy bits in the film. A nerdish professor Julius Kelp gets fed up with all the bullying and ridicule from his peers and students and creates a potion that will turn him into a cool customer that goes by the name of Buddy Love. Buddy Love takes crap from no one but he might be too obnoxious for his own good and to top it all off he doesn’t really want to turn back into Julius. Both Julius and Buddy are in love with Stella Purdy, one of Kelp’s students (whoa, that storyline wouldn’t be appropriate at all in this day and age!). Stella’s intrigued by the mysterious douche bag that Buddy Love is, but she’s ultimately falling for Buddy for parts of his personality that really belong to Julius. Can Julius win Stella’s heart and stop Buddy from taking over entirely? Lewis’s rendition of Buddy love is clearly based on his old partner, Dean Martin. He copies his suave demeanor in a delicious way and his Buddy Love is one of the best antagonists ever done in film. The film flows freely like its jazzy score and it’s pacing issues are easily outweighed with the brilliant humor and the outrageous gags. Not as all-the-time-raoaring-with-laughter-funny as Noises Off, but it’s got its heart in the right place and Jerry Lewis’s masterful handling with the double roles as Mr. Jerry and Mr. Hyde makes this a memorable romp. For a good time, there’s no better film to do it with.
What I Love About It: Jerry Lewis’s Buddy Love. Stella Stevens. Jerry Lewis’s Buddy Love.
Best Quote: “Here y’are, baby. Take this, wipe the lipstick off, slide over here next to me, and let’s get started.” Chauvinistically genius.