Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Monkey Jedi's Top 10 Favorite Films

It’s almost Oscar day!!! Woo hoo!!! For me, the Academy Awards are bigger than the Super Bowl and the World Series put together. In honor of the awards, the following are my all-time top 10 favorite films/film series . I’m sure most of you have seen almost all of these, but if not, I recommend each and every one.

Yes, this one is an obvious choice. Yes, I am including the prequels even though there are elements of them that I don’t like. Ultimately, it’s George Lucas’ story to tell and even if I don’t love every aspect of it, I’m glad it’s complete.

If it weren’t for Star Wars, this film would be at the top of my list. Hitchcock was a master storyteller and this is, in my opinion, his best film. Almost every time I see it (and I’ve seen it a lot) I see something new. Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak give riveting performances.

Over the last decade or so Nicolas Cage has become the butt of many jokes. Yes, he has been in some clunkers but if you’ve seen this film, you know the man can act. His performance in this film is nothing short of heartbreaking. The man does not draw one single sober breath the entire length of this film. It's not easy to watch, especially since the author of the book, like Cage's character, comitted suicide himself.

Forrest Gump. Andrew Beckett. Ray Peterson. Woody. These are all amazing performances by Tom Hanks. The one that he should have won the Oscar for (he lost to Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man) is his performance as Josh Baskin. Hanks so completely transforms himself into a kid that I don't know if you could call it acting.

Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy have created some of cinema’s most believable, most romantic couples ever put on film. The actors have an incredible, almost incendiary chemistry. We've gotten to see them in three films. I'm hoping against hope for three more.

François Truffaut’s alter-ego, Antoine Doinel is a creation for the ages. The five films follow Doinel through childhood, his teens, marriage, children, and divorce over the course of twenty years. Doinel was played throughout the saga by Jean-Pierre Léaud. These films are definitely essential viewing.

I am not a real big Adam Sandler fan. In fact, most of his work I don’t get at all (Billy Madison). But I do love Paul Thomas Anderson’s films. When I first learned of this pairing I thought, “Oh great, PTA is going the easy money route.” Yeah, I ate those words.

I adore this film. It’s where I fell hopelessly in love with Hope Davis. It's a romantic comedy that doesn't go the traditional route (boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back) which is what I love about it. The main characters seem destined to be together but something always seems to keep them from actually meeting. Will they finally be brought together? You’ll just have to watch to find out.

Cameron Crowe is one of my favorite directors. He has an amazing way of melding music and film and depending on the day, my favorite Crowe movie changes. Today, it’s Say Anything. It's a slice of life story that is honest in every way imaginable. It also has two of my favorite quotes from a movie:" She's gone. She gave me a pen. I gave her my heart, she gave me a pen." and also "What I really want to do with my life - what I want to do for a living - is I want to be with your daughter. I'm good at it." I think everyone should know love like Lloyd and Diane’s.

Just a flat out fucking brilliant movie. The writing, acting and directing just came together perfectly. This movie hit all the right chords with me.

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