Friday, December 18, 2009

My Top Ten...

To coincide with my bottom ten film list, I thought I would also present to you my current standing Top 10 Movie List:

1. It's a Wonderful Life

This has been my #1 favorite for a long, long time. I suppose at various times in our lives we all feel a bit like George Bailey. The lessons he learns, with the help of an angel named Clarence, I believe to be essential life lessons that we all must learn. This has become a Christmas classic, which is nice, but I don't actually think this is a Christmas movie. The conclusion of the film happens to take place at Christmas time, but the film largely is set during other times of the year. I'm glad that most people watch this movie at least once a year, but I think it is an excellent film for any time or season.

Here is a good quote by Karolyn Grimes (who played Zuzu) on what makes the film so important: "The film is timeless -- it applies to yesterday, today and tomorrow. We can all identify with the fellow whose dreams never quite work out the way he envisioned for himself. But in the end, we reflect on our own lives and realize that we have touched others and truly made a difference. We also are reminded, once again, what really are the most important things in our lives: faith, family and friends."

2. Life Is Beautiful

This is a hard movie to watch, but I love it. The first half of the film has some of the most genuine romance I have ever seen, and the last half is powerful, tragic, and life altering. To me, Life is Beautiful is the best hollocaust film ever made. I found it to be far more moving than Schindler's List without showing anything graphic. This movie will change your life!

3. Big Fish

There is just something about this movie that is hard to describe, but it gets me every time. This often absurd story covers a lot of ground, all of which is profound. I love this movie! If you haven't seen it, you need to, immediately!

4. Forrest Gump

I know a lot of people who don't like this movie very much, and I can't understand why. To me, Forrest Gump is about seeing the best in all people. Here is a man who is so simple minded that he doesn't really see the differences in people that sometimes lead to prejudices. He is genuine and caring, and unquestionably loyal. I think if we all learned to look at the world through the eyes of Forrest Gump, the world would be a better place.

5. Gattaca

Gattaca is science fiction at its best. It masterfully portrays the triumph of the human spirit over seemingly insurmountable obstacles. I think that as our society progresses, this film will become even more relevant than the time at which is was originally made. That alone is an indication of how good this movie really is.

6. The Shawshank Redemption

If ever there was a film that exemplified making the best of a bad situation, this would be it.  Inspirational is an understatement.

7. Return To Me

This has been one of my favorite movies for a really long time. I know it's sort of cheesy, and a bit predictable, but I love it! Roger Ebert called it a PG rated adult romance. "Here's an old-fashioned love story so innocent, so naive, so sweet and sincere, that you must leave your cynicism at the door or choose another movie. Bonnie Hunt's "Return to Me" could have been made in 1955, starring Doris Day and James Stewart. " -Roger Ebert
I don't remember the circumstances now, but this movie came to me at a time when I needed a pick-me-up, and it has helped me in this respect many times over the years.

8. (500) Days of Summer

Often when I am going through a difficult time, I somehow seem to find the perfect movie to make me feel better. This is exactly what (500) Days of Summer did for me. It came to me literally the very day I was upset after having my hopes for another relationship shattered. It helped me to have a positive outlook again.
A comparison with Annie Hall is unavoidable, but I never really found common ground with Annie Hall like I did with (500) Days of Summer. If any woman is wondering how it feels to be a guy after being rejected, especially those prone to pining and infatuation, they need to see this film. I've dealt with a lot of rejection, and this movie perfectly illustrates the mental, and emotional process I always seem to go through.

9. Love Actually

Yet another film that came to me at a time when I was despairing over some failed attempt at a relationship. Many of the films on my top ten list earned their place by associating themselves with periods of my life filled with great emotion. Love Actually is quite simply the ultimate romantic comedy. It tells eight stories simultaneously, and chances are you will identify with at least one of them. It is absolutely delightful, and whenever I am feeling down, it is guaranteed to put a smile on my face. I like to think of Love Actually as a cure for the holiday blues.

10. Dan in Real Life

I have no idea if or when this movie was in theaters. I never heard anything about it. I first saw it based solely on my parents recommendation; I fell instantly in love with it. The titular character demonstrates my personality almost perfectly. His reactions to less than ideal circumstances really hit home to me. I identify with this movie in a very personal way, and it has become very special to me.

There you have my top ten list of movies. Once again, these are only my opinions and don't really have any value whatsoever, so don't get upset if you disagree. I welcome any comments, especially lists of some of your favorite movies.

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