Ranking your favourite films may seem like an impossible task. Over recent years my definitive list of my favourite films has evolved into multiple lists of films; you have your favourite animated films, favourite genre films, films to watch when in need of cheering up, films to watch when you’re feeling pensive etc. in short it’s easy to compile many lists when it comes to films and that’s fair enough. So I set the challenge of listing my top ten films of all time.
It’s been a while since I’ve done a singular list of my favourite films and I’ve noticed there is more of a mixture than before and there aren’t as many blockbusters as people might expect and surprisingly no Disney films have made the cut. I noticed that there is only one “classic” film in the mix and I want to assure people I love films from all eras however upon compiling this list they just didn’t make the list. There are films that I love and could re-watch yet they are more personal favourite films that are so good but not “Top 10 List” worthy.
To make things interesting I’ve decided to list my top 10 in two parts: focusing on the lower half of the list first and then revealing the top 5 later on this week in another blog post.
10. Casablanca (1942)
What’s not to love about this film: Iconic lines (“Here’s to looking at you kid”, “We’ll always have Paris” etc.) Imposing soundtrack led by “As Time Goes By” (which acts as a running motif throughout the film), exotic location, classic movie stars and more. I love how this film takes place mainly in one location (Rick’s Bar) and yet so much is unpacked between the characters. If you need to start watching more classic films then start with Casablanca.
9. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
I love everything about this film. Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett are mesmerising in their performances as Benjamin and Daisy and the cinematography is beautiful. The incredible thing about this film is how the audience goes on the journey with Benjamin (Brad Pitt) and what an odyssey of life it is. David Fincher manages to allow the audience to feel like you’ve just experienced a lifetime in the space of a few hours by the end of the film. It’s a thought provoking film covering themes such as mortality, identity and making sure we take a hold of life and the experiences it has to offer. It is a lush film and is full of emotion, fleshed out characters and the film really engages the audience.
8. The Artist (2011)
A story told without any words. It’s a testament to great storytelling that no words are uttered yet so much was said in the performance of the incredible cast, accompanying music and the interesting look on the rise of “talkies” and the demise of silent films. It’s an ode to the Hollywood of old saying that these types of films are gone but never forgotten. It was such a refreshing film to watch in this day; that’s why it’s on my list because it wasn’t afraid to be different. The Artist was a phenomenal success; making it the first French film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture in 2012 and grossing over $133 million world wide (against a $15 million budget).
7. Like Crazy (2011)
Raw. Authentic. Natural. Organic. Emotional. Effortless. These are the words in how I would describe Like Crazy. It’s a refreshing watch to see everything stripped back and to see the film just be. Lead by the Oscar nominated Felicity Jones and the late Anton Yelchin, these two have perfect chemistry and carry the film with ease. Something to add to their amazing performances is that most of the film was improvised as they only had a 50 page outline of the film rather than a traditional screenplay; this explains how the film feels so natural in its delivery. It’s beautiful, tragic and honest.
6. Inception (2010)
Christopher Nolan is easily one of my favourite directors and if I could fit all of his films in this list I would; yet I think Inception is his best film and here’s why. Nolan has a slick and sophisticated look to his films and I love how bold and ambitious Inception is; led by a stellar cast and thankfully it treats the audience with respect without having to dumb anything down. Inception also has one of my favourite soundtracks of all time, Hanz Zimmer creates an imposing and extravagant sound to compliment the grand nature of the film whilst being able to tap into the more subtle moments of the film. Extra points for the fact this film is an original story; this is how a blockbuster should be done.
In order to find out which films made it into the top five of my top ten list just wait until my next blog post. Feel free to comment on whether you agree or disagree with my list so far and even try and guess which films will be my top choices.