I’ve decided I’m going to write this post after feeling challenged by this youtube video from Shmoes Know, one of my favorite movie-related youtube channels. Which should be another list.
The idea of writing a list of my top seven movies is horrifying to me. But it’s also an oddly exciting challenge. But I’m sure I can’t do it without regret and self-blame (because of those poor sad rejected favorites- how will they forgive me?!)
You know I love making lists, right? Yes, I know it’s the whole point of this blog, but I’m just checking. I have an Excel spreadsheet of movie ratings. From 1-5. It’s been a while since I went through and edited to reflect current preferences, but as it stands now, there are 81 ‘5-star’ movies and 312 ‘4-star’ movies.
So here it goes, my top seven, in no particular order.
- Rear Window, 1954: Rear Window was the movie that really got me into movies. I also have an all-encompassing love of Hitchcock (and of Grace Kelly, and of Jimmy Stewart). If I had to only watch one Hitchcock ever again
I would be miserableI would choose this one. Spoiler spoiler spoiler: That part where Thorwald realizes he’s being watched… he looks out the window and locks eyes with the viewer (who has the perspective of Stewart’s binoculars). Chilling.
- Spirited Away, 2001: Odd that this has ended up on my favorites list. i first saw it in the theater when I was in FIRST GRADE. I was also a very sensitive first grader (I’m now a very sensitive 16th grader). And I had been told I was going to see some movie with Piglet in it. And Winnie the Pooh. I also ended up with a soda that exploded in my lap. It was a rough day. Anyway, this film was terrifying. Her parents are turned into pigs and she’s captured by semi-vengeful semi-murderous spirits. After maybe a decade (or… maybe longer) I watched it again and fell in love. What had been nightmare became fantasy. It’s gorgeous in every way.
- The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, 1966: It’s tough to fall in love with Clint Eastwood and then realize he’s currently 80 and yelling at an imaginary Obama’s chair (but he does have a similarly amazingly attractive son, so’s you know). This movie is funny, adventurous, beautifully atmospheric, philosophical, exciting. Ennio Morricone’s soundtrack is superb. There’s so much attitude to this film.
- House of Flying Daggers, 2004: A bit painful to admit that I prefer this to Crouching Tiger, but I have to own up to it. There are definite similarities, but Crouching Tiger is grungier. There are more beautiful costumes here, a bit more focus on the female characters, and fight scenes like THIS. Ziyi Zhang is, as always, incredible.
- Gone With the Wind, 1939: Epic, devastating, romantic (but not exactly?). The cast is amazing, I love that they toasted the King Kong Manhattan set to get the scenes of Georgia burning. It’s both a Civil War period drama and a seriously 1939 period piece.
- Moonrise Kingdom, 2012: Le Temps de l’Amour is part of the soundtrack. The film is hysterical. Vintage-y summer camp in feel, and like Wes Anderson films in general, extremely aesthetic. Great acting from a few great names and a few unfamiliar faces. A complete flight of the imagination. Beetle earrings, a cat… and, oh yes… What kind of bird are you?
- Haha, just kidding. I’m leaving 7 blank so all of the other movies in the world don’t feel that I’m slighting them. Aside to every other movie: “Don’t worry, it definitely would have been you, the real favorite. Best for last.”
Upset by my decision to not pick a final seventh movie?
In the immortal words of Rhett Butler: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”