March 18, 2015

My Top 3 Favourite Films

So I finally saw Interstellar last night, and now here I am, inspired to have a chat about my top 3 favourite films. As I mentioned in And...Action!, I really only started watching and appreciating films four years ago. I certainly don't claim to be a movie critic; I'm just a girl who loves a good story.

3. Doubt

It's a shame this movie didn't get more exposure, because it's quite the hidden gem. This film is not about awing you with theatrics; the strength of the script and the formidable performances by Meryl Streep (one of my favourites), the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams were the driving forces behind this film.  Doubt had me gripped from beginning to end with a very simple question: "Did he or didn't he?" Doubt is a powerful emotion - it is a relentless feeling that slowly, sometimes painfully, chips away at our most sacred trust in others. When placed within the context of religion, this tension becomes an even more potent and perplexing force. Doubt kept me thinking long after the credits rolled, and the more I re-watch the film, the more nuances I uncover.

2. All Christopher Nolan films

This is a bit of a cheat because I am grouping all Christopher Nolan films together, but I truly cannot pick a favourite among them. Nolan is hands-down the greatest filmmaker of our time, and I am honestly so grateful for his existence. Everything he touches is gold. 

Nonetheless, Interstellar was the film that compelled me to compile this list, and so here are my thoughts on it:

In classic Nolan fashion, Interstellar was a cerebral journey, elevated by a rousing score, a smart script, an admirable cast, and flawless cinematography. As usual, the story was a circular one, where the end provided the puzzle pieces necessary to understand the beginning. Nolan is a master at suspense, and I found myself literally gripping the edge of my seat and holding my breath on multiple occasions. Many people commented on the heavy science in the film, believing one must love science in order to truly enjoy the film. While I don't purport to be overly intelligent, I did not find the science to be at all obstructive to my ability to follow the storyline. The science was undoubtedly complex, but the implications of those scientific concepts were made exceptionally clear. Not once did I lose my understanding of the film simply because I could not understand the science. Even if the science eluded you, the underlying story of the film was a rather emotional one. Interstellar is as much about the power of love transcending time and space as it is about celestial exploration. Which is why this was the first Nolan film - and film in general - to have made me cry so deeply. His portrayal of intense emotion set against the thought-provoking gravity of interstellar travel created a surreal experience in which I found myself moved both emotionally and mentally.

1. Cloud Atlas

As much as Nolan's films leave me breathless, I must say my #1 spot still goes out to Cloud Atlas. This film was slaughtered by critics, but I was profoundly touched by its incredible beauty. It was certainly more graphic than I usually prefer, but it used violence very strategically to tease out sentiment. What astonished me about this film was how it told six stories at once. The stories were like strings of thread that each had their own beginning and end - and yet once woven in and out of each other, became a stunning tapestry. During the span of 3 hours, I went on a rollercoaster of shock, laughter, disgust, joy, and sadness. Emotionally wrecking, but perfect in every sense possible. The cinematography was achingly artistic, the editing phenomenal and suspenseful, the acting tender and raw, the score majestic, and the makeup unbelievable. But most remarkable was the script. It was the script that thumbed my heart-strings. Cloud Atlas was beautifully written - its words were lyrical and poetic. Each line of dialogue crushed me beneath its weight, and I came away absolutely devoured by how emotional yet intelligent the film was.

You may be able to see I have a particular taste when it comes to films, but there are still many movies beyond my top 3 that I would recommend (among them August: Osage County, The Avengers, The Imitation Game, Shutter Island, The Theory of Everything, Predestination, Peacock, Her, Captain Phillips, Still Alice,...). Nonetheless, I gravitate towards films that make me think. I have yet to see a comedy or romantic-comedy I like, and I don't tend to watch animated films (although WALL-E did impress me).  I want thoughtful humour and genuine characters, not cheap laughs and cheesy dialogue. I want to be tested during a film because confusion is what makes the ultimate dawning of understanding that much more impactful. 

Image Source: Doubt, Interstellar, Cloud Atlas

No comments:

Post a Comment