Shefaly, who is a bit of cool meme central, had this one up on her blog. And how could I resist?
Name one favourite movie for each letter of the English alphabet!
Oh yeah, baby! Before we get started, though, keep this in mind:
It’s rather difficult to do. For some letters, it’s clear. For other letters, I have to decide between 10 movies. The alphabet is unfair like that. When I have to decide, I’ll try to mention the movies which are not as well known. Oh, and there won’t be any movies by Tim Burton on the list. I started to add every single one [except Planet of the Apes] and then I thought, “Screw this! I’ll just tell everybody that Tim Burton is a genius and that they should watch all of them, except Planet of the Apes.”
As usual, feel free to steal. :)
Okay, but now, let’s get going.
First, I couldn’t not add two movies starting with numbers:
25th Hour – a subtle study of a drug dealer’s [Edward Norton] last day before he goes to prison. Directed by Spike Lee, written by David Benioff (novel and screenplay).
300 [aka 1800 abs] – adaptaion of the Frank Miller comic. Raises my testosterone level 300% everytime I watch it. Stunning visuals and so much honour. Directed by Zack Snyder.
Billy Elliot – a young boy from Northern England discovers his love and talent for Ballet. Heartbreaking, funny, sweet, adorable. Directed by Stephen Daldry.
[Runner-Up: The Batman Movies (which I could rank again); Brokeback Mountain; Bröderna Lejonhjärta (The Brothers Lionheart)]
Constantine – based on the Hellblazer comics, all you have to do is ignore Keanu Reeves‘ abysmal acting [aka Acting? What’s Acting?] and you’re in for one hell of a ride with a great supporting cast. Directed by Francis Lawrence.
[Runner-Up: Clueless; Coffee and Cigarettes; Chocolat]
Dead Man – a nervous accountant [Johnny Depp] becomes a legend in the wild west. Except not that easy and much more beautiful. Tagline: No one can survive becoming a legend. Directed by Jim Jarmusch.
[Runner-Up: Dogma; Dracula 2000; Death to Smoochy]
Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age – the life of Queen Elizabeth I [Cate Blanchett]: wonderful costumes, a great story and perfect writing [Michael Hirst and William Nicholson]. Directed by Shekhar Kapur.
The Godfather I, Part II and Part III (yes, I’m a fan of all three films) – the Mafia family film and started a mafia craze. Achieved perfection on the first try. Just don’t watch all three in one night, or else you’ll be completely bonkers for a day or two. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch – Transexual punk rocker tours with her band through the US and tells her life story, which started in East Berlin. Wonderful music, touching and interesting story, perfectly acted and beautiful animated sequences. Directed by, written by and starring John Cameron Mitchell.
[Runner-Up: Hauru no ugoku shiro (Howl’s Moving Castle); Hero; Hair]
An Ideal Husband – Oscar Wilde and Rupert Everett is the perfect combination [also Oscar Wilde and Stephen Fry]. Add to that an overall great cast and fond memories about a cinema visit with L. and this movie will always have a place in my heart. Of course, it’s also really, really good. Directed by Oliver Parker.
Jesus Christ Superstar – whacky 70s musical about the last days of Jesus. Music is good and the film is so bad, it’s great. It’s a family tradition to watch it every easter. Plus, one of the apostles is a porn actor/director in real life. Directed by Norman Jewison.
Kill Bill Volume 1 and Volume 2 – The Bride takes vengeance after being almost killed at her wedding rehearsal while being pregnant. Perfect B cast, interesting dialogue, great action scenes, a lot of violence. Directed by Quentin Tarantino.
[Too many movies, so I settled for two.]
Love the Hard Way – Adrien Brody as a intelligent thief who falls for a college girl and vice versa. Wonderfully acted, great story, makes me sigh when I think about it. It’s also really sad. Directed by Peter Sehr, based on the novel by Shuo Wang.
Little Voice – LV [Jane Horrocks] is so shy, she hardly dares to talk. But when she starts to sing songs by Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland, she becomes them. Then she’s overheard, asked to perform and she falls in love with Ewan McGregor in his sweetest role to date. Directed by Mark Herman.
[Runner-Up: The Last Unicorn; The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, LotR: The Two Tours, LotR: The Return of the King; The Lion King; The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou; Léon; Life of Brian]
Mio min Mio (Mio in the Land of Faraway) – orphan Mio gets swept away to a magical country, where he has to defeat a dark wizard. Astrid Lindgren, who is single-handedly responsible for most of my childhood dreams, wrote the book and 13-year-old Christian Bale has a supporting role. Directed by Vladimir Grammatikov.
[Runner-Up: A Midsummer Night’s Dream; El Maquinista (The Machinist); Memento; Moulin Rouge!; My Beautiful Launderette; Mononoke-hime (Princess Mononoke)]
Once – street musician [Glen Hansard] meets immigrant [Markéta Irglová] and they make great, great music together for a week. Wonderful, smart, funny. And did I mention the great, great music? Directed by John Carney.
Penelope – Cursed girl [Christina Ricci] has to find true love. Magical realism/fairy tale with good message, wonderful set and costume design and a great cast. Directed by Mark Palansky.
[Runner-Up: The Prestige; Pi; The Princess Bride]
Le Roi Danse (The King is Dancing) – Sensual drama about Louis XIV [Benoît Magimel] told through the eyes of his court musician, Jean-Baptiste Lully [Boris Terral]. Benoît Magimel is hot, the film is visually stunning. Fortunately, historical accuracy is secondary. Directed by Gérard Corbiau.
[Runner-Up: Requiem for a Dream; Reservoir Dogs; The Rocky Horror Picture Show]
Spiele Leben (You Bet Your Life) – I bet you were thinking I wouldn’t include an Austrian movie. Well, here it is! Story of a gambling addict [Georg Friedrich] and a drug addict [Birgit Minichmayr], who kind of fall in love. The acting is great and the ending blows your mind. Directed by Antonin Svoboda.
[Runner-Up: Sense and Sensibility]
Todo sobre mi madre (All About My Mother) – After her son’s death, Manuela starts a search for reason and her self. Or something. Plot is kinda hard to sum up, but just know that this is a wonderful film, full with great characters and actors and it makes me cry. Every. Single. Time. Directed by Pedro Almodovar.
[Runner-Up: Trainspotting; Thelma & Louise]
[I only chose two movies, but I have to talk about both of them. :)]
Velvet Goldmine – the lives of Brian Slade (based on David Bowie) [Jonathan Rhys Meyers] and Curt Wild (based on Iggy Pop) [Ewan McGregor] as seen through the eyes of a journalist [Christian Bale] some time after glam rock exploded. Most of the dialogue is taken directly from Oscar Wilde, the story is inspired, they have a great support cast [Toni Collette, Eddie Izzard] and who doesn’t want to see these guys making out? Directed by Todd Haynes.
Valmont – like it’s prude brother Dangerous Liaisons and it’s cool sister Cruel Intentions, it’s based on Choderos de Laclos‘ book. While all three movies are really, really good [and the book is as well], I like Valmont best. It sticks best to the original, imo and has a wonderful cast. Directed by Milos Forman.
X-Men and X2 [Stay away with X-Men: The Last Stand. You ruined it all, Brett Ratner!]- a group of individuals with special powers fights against another group of individuals with special powers. It’s a geek fest with a great cast and sexy Hugh Jackman. What more could you want? Directed by Bryan Singer.
Yin shi nan nu [Eat Drink Man Woman] – a retired chef lives with his three grown daughters in Taipei. Their lives revolve around the weekly family dinner and their love lives. Beautiful, intelligent, well acted. *sigh* Directed by Ang Lee.
Zivot je cudo (Life is a Miracle) – in Bosnia, a railway gets build in a small village. But war comes ever closer. Again, this film is hard to sum up. It’s so full of life, it’s brimming over. It’s funny and sad, quirky, touching and takes you completely away. Great stuff. Directed by Emir Kusturica.