As promised…my list of must-see movies! Hope they strike a chord with you too 🙂
A Room with a View
This is my favourite movie EVER. To be honest, I’m not sure why – I just love the characters and the unexpected love story. My one regret when I was in Italy is that we didn’t have time to go to Florence – I will get there one day and ask for a room with a view, a’ la Lucy Honeychurch.
Anne of Green Gables
The adaptation is just a hair’s breadth away from being as wonderful as the book. I can – and do – watch this over and over again, and can’t wait to share it with Little Miss.
An American Werewolf in Paris
My taste in movies is even more eclectic then my taste in books. This horror-comedy is really funny – the scene where the head appears in a plate of fish is hilarious.
Not enough people have seen this movie! It is an absolute gem, and stars Kate Beckinsale before she was famous. It’s charming and funny and romantic and sweet – a winner.
Much Ado About Nothing
This adaptation of Shakespeare’s play (incidentally, my favourite of all his plays) is perfectly cast, which is what makes it so wonderful. The playfulness of the text comes to life; the opposites-attract premise of the story is just delightful.
I found this movie really astounding. It was darkly beautiful; I couldn’t get it out of my head for days. Challenging and confronting.
Another disturbing movie that is absolutely brilliant; Australian cinema at its best. The complexity of the relationships is dealt with in such a thoughtful and truthful way. Beautiful, uplifting and harrowing at the same time.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
The gorgeous scenery and actors (Viggo Mortensen – sigh) as well as the cinematography really capture the essence of Tolkien’s world. This is one of those rare occasions where I enjoyed the movies more than the books.
I find it hilarious that my gorgeous mother, who wouldn’t let me watch Young Talent Time or play with Barbies, was fine with me watching this Alfred Hitchcock frightener at the tender age of 12. I think it was because it is a classic. And it really is – there’s a reason why the shower scene is infamous! Psycho is the perfect example of how sometimes less can be more.
Look Both Ways
A lovely Australian film, with the wonderful William McInnis. Moving and sweet.
The Princess Bride
Everybody in the world simply must see this movie. Funny, magical, romantic, touching – a swashbuckling adventure with heart. The music is also beautiful – I walked down the aisle to the instrumental version of the theme song, “Storybook Love”.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
I just adore Audrey Hepburn, and Holly Golightly is one of the most charming and effervescent characters on film. This is such a funny, beautiful, sad and sweet film – and at the end when she’s looking for “Cat”, it always brings a tear to my eye.
How to Steal a Million
Another Audrey Hepburn classic, this movie is just heaps of fun. I’ve watched it many times and it never fails to disappoint. I wish modern-day romantic comedies were as funny and as clever.
This may have the been the first novel released in packaging due to its graphic content. It’s classic Brett Easton Ellis; dark and disturbing but with a wry humour as well. Not for the fainthearted, but worth it.
Not everyone I’ve spoken to likes this movie – and I’ll admit, it is a little slower than others of its kind – but the complex characters and intricate relationships make it very compelling to watch. The emotional arc of the characters is finely drawn.
Another Hitchcock classic. He really was the master of the psychological thriller. It’s not as graphic or violent as psycho, but absolutely gripping.
Dial M for Murder
I just love these old suspense thriller movies. Just because a movie is black and white and there’s not much action, sex or gore, doesn’t mean it can’t be enthralling.
The Lost Boys
The first and the best of the vampire movies – this totally takes me back to my early years. This is what the 80s was all about.
The Usual Suspects
Clever and fast-paced, this thriller has a great twist and cool characters.
This really is a modern-day classic, despite the fact that Mel Gibson has since turned a little nutty. There’s something so perennially compelling about humanity’s fight against tyrannical rule.
Fresh, charming and sweet, Amelie is a gorgeous French romp. Just delightful.
It’s the premise of this movie that makes it a must-see – it’s told backwards. Not a movie to see if you’re tired, because you probably won’t get what’s going on, but it’s a highly original and interesting premise.
While I accept this is a science fiction movie, I think it”s appeal is to a far wider audience than sci-fi geeks. Essentially Blade Runner explores what it is to be human; again, complex characters and a great storyline are aided by a superb cast – including a young Harrison Ford.
Wizard of Oz
One of the best children’s movies ever. Great music, great characters, lots of fun and magic and adventure.
Sound of Music
I defy anyone to remain unmoved by this wonderful, uplifting tale. The fact it’s based on a true story makes it all the more amazing. And the songs are timeless.
I did think about making favourite musicals a post all on their own, but just decided to include them here. Music and song can convey emotion so powerfully and with such clarity. My favourite line, and one I try to live by: “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn, is just to love, and be loved in return”.
OK, so this is technically a modern opera and the screen version I love wasn’t ever on at the movies but I don’t care, because it is the greatest story ever told and the music and lyrics are absolute perfection. It’s about love and grace and freedom and redemption, and contains the best line of a song I’ve ever heard – “To love another person is to see the face of God”. And that wonderful song, “Do you hear the people sing?” Sign me up for a revolution, please.
Romeo and Juliet
Baz Luhrmann brilliance. This movie is feast for the senses; the cinematography, the wordsmithery, music, scenery – it’s just beautiful. The fact it features a charming young Leonardo Di Caprio also helps.
This movie is a brilliant commentary on the soul-destroying apathy of modern consumerism, violence, and masculinity. Interesting, entertaining, with a mind-blowing sting in its tail.
Kick Ass is just super cool. It made me want to be an assassin with a funky superhero name. Comic, but with a dark edge.
Stand by Me
This is such a Gen-X movie; we all loved it. It’s a beautiful exploration of friendship and a snapshot of childhood days, which doesn’t fall into sentimenatlism.
Singing in the Rain
Love this old classic. Lots of singing – as you might imagine – great plot, wonderful characters – just perfect.
A magical adventure to capture the imagination. Not for young kids, though; I was caught out last year when I got all excited about sharing it with Bookworm and Picasso. Then we started watching it and I remembered that the premise is basically about a witch trying to kill a baby…yeah, it didn’t go down so well. No matter – they’ll love it when they’re older.
I’m sure everyone has seen this movie, so I don’t really need to say much about it – only that it is harrowing, and simply must be watched, because as the adage rightly says, those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it.
The Neverending Story
Surely, the Neverending Story must be on every child’s best-loved list. Magical and haunting, the tale is timeless.
Jason and the Argonauts
Not many people have probably heard of this one; it’s an oldie but a goodie. Lots of silliness and fun, with Greek Gods thrown in.
Another great Australian movie. This is really just a very fun romp, and I’ve never since been able to get the song, “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the old Oak Tree” out of my head.
Dead Man Walking
Deeply harrowing, this movie deals so compassionately with the subject of capital punishment. It doesn’t preach and it’s not simplistic. It shows the complexity and pain that go along with truly horrific crimes. But it also explores the beauty of mercy and redemption.
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Okay, okay, so this is in no way a high-brow classic. But it has a young Christian Slater (whom I adored at the time it came out) and it’s good fun. I like the Robin Hood story, and I thought this was romantic and funny and engaging.
Including the Scream movies may seem strange – but I always enjoy postmodernism when it’s done well, and this is done very well. I enjoyed the self-reflexive nature of the films – that they so obviously reflected on the horror genre just as much as they were movies in their own right. Very clever.
In my opinion, this movie is still Pixar’s finest. It’s just so cleverly done – great animation, witty dialogue, loveable characters – a movie that is equally enjoyable for both for adults and kids, which is a rare find.
A childhood classic. You laugh, you cry, you rejoice – all good kids movies should make children feel something, and that’s part of what I love about E.T.
Another Aussie winner. Hilariously funny, engaging and sweet. I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by saying the good guys win in the end and that’s part of what makes it so great.
I loved the first three and hated the last one, which was just silly. Probably Raiders of the Lost Ark is my favourite – Temple of Doom still freaks me out a little with the eyeball soup. Souljourneyboy once confessed that as a young fella he snuck out one night to watch Temple of Doom against his parents’ wishes – and was completely terrified.
A gripping thriller which stars a young Harrison Ford – what more could you want? It also gives an interesting insight into the life of the Amish.
An honest and raw account of sexual violence, The Accused is brilliantly cast and expertly directed. It’s the kind of movie that makes you mad at the world, but with good reason.
Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels
Guy Ritchie’s ability to make movies seems to be limited to this genre, but he struck gold with this darkly comic British crime adventure. Great characters, funny twists – a must-see.
So there you have it! My “Bill Collins” list so far.