Mettel Ray Movie Blog is currently running this blogathon and I thought that I would contribute my movie alphabet. Please check out her blog here, and read some of the other contributions here.
I hope that you enjoy my choices!
# – 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days
This film really impacted upon me, it’s a bleak story about a young woman attempting to help her friend have an illegal abortion during the final years of Romanian communism. It rarely falters when creating a suspenseful and almost overpowering atmosphere, and lingered at the back of my mind for quite some time after I watched it.
A – Alien (Runners up: Alfred Hitchcock and Alfred Molina)
Alien is one of my all time favourite films, in fact it’s one of those very select few that I would describe as nigh on perfect. There was never any doubt that it would make the list and even Alfred Hitchcock can’t shake it from the top spot.
B – Bond Films (Runners up: Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid and Blade Runner)
Like Alien it was a given that Bond films would also be on my list, and it didn’t take too much thought to realise that they would claim first place. The films pretty much defined my childhood, well those and Star Wars, and it’s still a crazy passion of mine now. Butch Cassidy and Blade Runner actually both come very close to the winning choice, but there’s just no way that I can allow Bond to not take this slot.
C – Cabaret (Runners up: Carey Mulligan and Colin Firth)
Cabaret affected me pretty deeply when I first saw it, it’s one of the most interesting and affecting films that I’ve ever seen, and it’s certainly in my top three musicals. It also contains one of the most unnerving and scary moments that I’ve ever seen, and it doesn’t use blood, or monsters, or ghosts to freak me out, but instead needs only a group of people singing together to do its job. It’s a fantastic film.
D – Drive (Runners up: La Dolce Vita and Daniel Day Lewis)
Drive is one of the best films to have come out in the last twenty years, I was a little late to the party but now that I’ve eventually seen it I realise just how excellent it is, and it has rocketed its way into my all time favourite films. If you are like I was and you haven’t seen it, then do so ASAP, it’s pretty awesome.
E – Emma Stone (Runners up: Edward Scissorhands and Ellen Page)
Emma Stone has tackled a variety of roles and genres, and seems as if she can handle them all. From the romantic, to the comedic, to the serious drama, I haven’t seen her be anything less than excellent in any of them.
F – Fight Club (Runners up: Fargo and Michael Fassbender)
I don’t really feel that I have to explain why Fight Club makes this list, it completely wowed me the first time I saw it, and although I think I have only seen it once since then, it remains one of the most memorable and entertaining films that I’ve ever seen. I should also just admit that I had to bend my method of sorting people by their first names in order to ensure Michael Fassbender made it onto the list. ‘M’ is a ridiculously competitive letter for me and he didn’t make the cut there, but I just had to have him on the list!
G – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Runners up: Gary Oldman and Ghostbusters)
This film may just be my all time favourite western, it’s certainly tied between this and another that will appear further down on my list. Gary Oldman is, need I say it, an awesome actor who’s capable of one hell of range, and this alphabet just wouldn’t feel right if Ghostbusters didn’t make an appearance. I can re-watch that film endlessly and still find the jokes as funny as I did the first time around.
H- Hero (Runners up: Hans Zimmer and Harvey)
I can see why some people dislike Hero for its rather slow pace, but I think that its speed is justified by just how beautiful these moments are. I’m not going to start listing Hero’s impressive scenes because I’ll end up doing a blow by blow account of the entire film, instead I’ll just say that this is one of my all-time favourite films, and that I recommend it highly to anyone with even a vague interest in martial arts.
I – Inception (Runners up: It’s a a Wonderful Life and Ian McKellen)
Inception is a fantastic film; I recently decided that it was the best of Christopher Nolan’s films and even though Memento does a fair bit to challenge that, I still argue that this is one of the best heist movies ever made. I’ve heard some people say that they didn’t like the romance story contained within the film’s subplots but I thought that that was also really well done, it helped that Marion Cotillard was cast in the female role as she added a lot of gravity to the relationship, but regardless I think that this and pretty much every other element of the film works ridiculously well.
J – Jaws (Runners up: Julianne Moore and Javier Bardem)
Jaws is a film that I rate almost as highly as Alien, it’s a near perfect film with every single element working fantastically well; from the score to the cast, the humour to the terror – it’s just great. I consider Julianne Moore to be the absolute best actress working today. She seems to be able to give out a great performance in every film, regardless of the script’s quality, and is hugely diverse and is capable it seems of pretty much anything. She came so very close to knocking Jaws off the top spot.
K – Kill Bill (Runners up: Kick-Ass and Keira Knightley)
Kill Bill is one of those films that I can endlessly re-watch and endlessly praise. It made its way onto a desert island with me, and is one of those special films that made me fall in love with cinema just that little bit more. I still rank Pulp Fiction higher, but it’s pretty close between them.
L – Lost In Translation (Runners up: The Lion King and Leon)
Lost in Translation is a film that took me quite a while to warm to, but once it managed to grab me it has remained a firm favourite of mine. It’s one of those films that I can revisit multiple times and each time I’ll get sucked into the two lead characters’ lives, and will also fall just that little bit more in love with Scarlett Johansson. I can see why many people loathe the film, it’s not a particularly fast paced or event packed movie, but it is one of the best written friendships that I’ve ever seen.
There seemed to be a never ending list of possible entries for this letter, but I always knew that Marilyn would win out. I think that she is great in films such as Some Like it Hot, but I also am one of those people who really admires her dramatic side in say The Misfits or Don’t Bother to Knock. Marion Cotillard is also a firm favourite of mine, and is second only to Julianne Moore in terms of who I consider to be the best actresses working today.
N – Natalie Portman (Runners up: Noomi Rapace and Notting Hill)
I’ve been a fan of Natalie Portman for a long time now, yes she did have to try and get through one of the worst romances ever written when she was in the Star Wars prequels, but she has proved herself in multiple roles outside of that one, with I guess Black Swan being her best performance out of them all. Notting Hill is what I suppose could be called my guilty pleasure, I’m not really a fan of Rom-Com’s but when I want to see one, this film ticks all the boxes for me.
O – Once Upon a Time in the West (Runners up: Oldboy and Olivia Williams)
Here’s the only film that I know of that can compete with The Good, the Bad and the Ugly as my favourite western. They are both great and it would be interesting to hear if any of you guys has an opinion one way or another on these two. I’ve also included Olivia Williams in this letter, I think that she is a fantastic actress who keeps popping up in films that I see and always impresses me. I really need to check out some more of her work.
P – Pulp Fiction (Runners up: Psycho and Paul Thomas Anderson)
Pulp Fiction is the film that I attribute to me becoming a cinephile; I always enjoyed films but when Pulp Fiction’s credits rolled I sat there not quite understanding what had just happened to me. I knew that what I had just watched was something very special, and after several minutes of thinking the film over, I grabbed some food, sat down, and watched Pulp Fiction all over again, just trying to understand quite what was so great about this film. Since then I’ve watched the film too many times to count and I’ve never found it to get boring or tired, it just stays ridiculously enjoyable.
Q – Quentin Tarantino (Runners up: Q (from the James Bond films))
This one perhaps doesn’t come as a surprise, it’s not just Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill that gets him on here though, it’s listening to him talk in interviews and director commentaries. The man is so informed and passionate about film that it is often a joy just listening to him.
R -Rust and Bone (Runners up: Ryan Gosling and Reservoir Dogs)
Perhaps it’s a little early to be placing Rust and Bone in this slot but I thought the film was seriously impressive, with a fantastic performance given by Marion Cotillard. It certainly made enough of a mark to stop the awesome Ryan Gosling from winning first place, which takes some doing.
S – Some Like It Hot (Runners up: Singin’ In The Rain and Star Wars)
Some Like It Hot doesn’t really take the top spot for this letter; it’s more of a draw between that and Singin’ In The Rain to be honest. They are both fantastic, wonderful films and with Star Wars coming in very close behind them – this is a very strong entry into my alphabet.
T -Tom Hardy (Runners up: Thelma and Louise and The Third Man)
Tom Hardy is quite possibly my all-time favourite actor, I’ve been going on about him to anyone that would listen for ages and I’m so glad that Inception launched him into the successful position he is in now. I’ve never seen the man give a bad performance, and will happily see anything that he is in.
U – Unforgiven
Another western on my list, I admit that I can’t think of anything or anyone other than this film that I would want on here, but this is more than just an OK film that happens to start with a ‘U’. I do enjoy it, it’s just that it isn’t in the same league as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly or Once upon a time in the West.
V – Vertigo (Runners up: Viggo Mortensen and V for Vendetta)
Another Hitchcock on my list, Vertigo didn’t have quite the same impact that Psycho had on me, and for that reason I guess I enjoy watching Psycho just a little more, but they are both clearly classics and for good reasons. Viggo Mortensen is a fantastic actor, one that I really need to catch up with as I haven’t seen anything he has been in since The Road. Anyone know if A Dangerous Method is any good?
W – The Wizard of Oz (Runners up: Wings of Desire and Wall-e)
The Wizard of Oz is one of my favourite movies; its vivid colours, wonderful characters, and memorable songs make it a ridiculously charming film, and one that I’m always happy to watch.
X – X-Men
So like almost everyone else who has taken part in this blogathon, I’ve chosen X-Men for this letter. That’s not from a lack of other choices, although granted there aren’t loads out there, but because I do enjoy the odd superhero movie and X-Men is up there as one of the better ones. I would need to re-watch X-Men 2, and see First Class before I really give a concrete answer as to which is my favourite of the films, but I’ve always particularly enjoyed the first twenty or so minutes of the first, and so for now I’ll go with that.
Y – Yimou Zhang
The director of Hero and House of Flying Daggers has impressed me with these two films and I consider myself a fan. Having said that I still need to do some serious catching up with his work, I’ll most probably star with The Flowers of War.
Z – Zooey Deschanel
I’ve been a fan of Zooey Deschanel since I saw her in Yes Man opposite Jim Carrey. I can see why her quirkiness annoys some people, but personally I think she is great and I’ve always enjoyed her performances in a range of different films. I haven’t seen 500 Days of Summer though, it doesn’t really sound like my sort of film but with both her and Joseph Gorden-Levitt starring I really should give it a watch.
So thank you very much for reading through my alphabet, it took up far too much of my time, but it has been a lot of fun! Be sure to check out some of the other lists here, and thanks again to Mettel Ray for creating this blogathon!