So, for those of you who have been following my articles, you’ll know that Part 4 means only one thing: the top 10 is finally here. So, without any hesitation, here we go:
10. Shaun of The Dead (2004) dir: Edgar Wright
Known as the very first romzomcom, you’ll struggle to find a more intelligent comedy than Shaun of the Dead. Not that you need to be smart to watch it, in fact, one of the beauties of the film is that it can be enjoyed no matter what your film taste. The beginning of ‘The Three Flavour Cornetto Trilogy’, Shaun of The Dead showed its audience how dynamic Wright and Pegg can be. It’s tense at its scariest points and gut-bustingly hilarious in its funniest bits, while Wright finds the exact right balance of drama, comedy and horror to make the film work.
9. Life is Sweet (1990) dir: Mike Leigh
Life is Sweet is as simple as it is brilliant. Mike Leigh is excellent at portraying the working class and their family dynamics and this film is where he really excels. Leigh’s characters have such depth and likeability and are brilliantly played by Alison Steadman, Jim Broadbent, Jane Horrocks, Claire Skinner and Timothy Spall (to name a few). The film is so realistic that you feel as if you’re watching an insider into a family-down-the-road’s life, but this doesn’t mean it’s a patience tester. Life is Sweet is exactly what the title suggests, a sweet, uplifting look at life.
8. Anchorman (2004) dir: Adam McKay
It takes a special kind of film to make an entire generation know the film’s script off by heart. Ferrell’s performance as the outlandish Ron Burgundy is now iconic and the funniest Ferrell creation ever. The script is comedy gold, while the actors’ improvisations only add to the film’s hilarious screenplay and never out-stay their welcome. It’s rare to see a comedy with such well-rounded characters, yet being as silly as it is. The film is a true masterpiece of the Apatow-ian era and fully deserves its place in the greatest comedies of all-time.
7. Little Miss Sunshine (2006) dir: Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris
Possibly one of the best ensemble casts in cinema history, everything about this film is spot on. From first-time writer Michael Arndt’s genius script to its excellent performances, Little Miss Sunshine is an incredibly enjoyable picture. The chemistry between its actors instantly drags the audience in, while its sincere, heartfelt direction from Dayton and Faris adds to the film’s infinite charm. It’s really difficult not to care about Little Miss Sunshine, it’s awesome.
6. Inglorious Basterds (2009) dir: Quentin Tarantino
What lifts this Tarantino epic above the rest is the fact that Tarantino has perfected all the qualities he had become known for in his earlier films. The film’s script is excellent, delicately balancing humour, violence and drama and Tarantino’s direction has not lost its distinctive edge, as his trademark flair works brilliantly with this kind of story. Also, the cast he has picked is just perfect for all the intricate characters of the films, especially Christoph Waltz who is monstrous in the part of SS Colonel Hans Landa. Tarantino’s best in my opinion, and that’s no mean feat.
5. The Pianist (2002) dir: Roman Polanski
This is one hell of a true story, the most dramatic of all drama films. Polanski manages to tell the shocking, almost unbelievable at times, tale of Wladyslaw Szpilman with such grit and integrity that you feel every emotion bursting off the screen. Brody is fantastic in the leading role and his desperation and hunger for survival will almost certainly leave the audience without any breath left and a tear in their eye.
4. Napoleon Dynamite (2004) dir: Jared Hess
With its dead pan humour and awkward central character, Napoleon Dynamite is not for everyone. But, the wonder of the film is that it appeals to everyone without trying too hard. You’ll find no risque jokes or nudity in this film, just well-written dialogue and a spectacularly downplayed performance by Jon Heder. Napoleon Dynamite is so easy to watch, but underneath all the geekiness is real heart and soul provided to us by people who really love cinema.
3. Monty Python and The Holy Grail (1975) dir: Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones
When a film released almost 40 years ago still manages to make you laugh your socks off as much as modern comedies, then it must be a very, very special film. The Holy Grail was leaps and bounds ahead of any comedy of the 70s and still manages to cause fits of laughter because of the silliness of its performers and its clever script. Monty Python are funny, it’s just fact in British history, and this film manages to display all the best qualities of the troupe in one movie. Still one of the funniest and most charming films ever made.
2. This Is England (2006) dir: Shane Meadows
An example of a perfect film. There is not a single flaw in Meadows’ best work to date. It’s funny, tense, scary and any other adjective you can think of, they’re all applicable. Meadows manages to do this with his small budget because he manages to make the film as gritty and as soulful as he can through his characters, who are portrayed by some of the best British actors working today and the film’s excellent score from Ludovico Einaudi and Danny Cohen’s raw cinematography. It is a masterpiece and shows that British indie cinema is in a very good place with Meadows about.
1. The Toy Story Trilogy (1995, 1999, 2010) dir: John Lasseter (1, 2), Lee Unkrich (3)
Yes, I know it’s more than one film but making me choose between the Toy Story films is impossible. Probably the best film trilogy of all-time and definitely the most consistent, Toy Story‘s magic goes further than what happens on the screen by creating loveable characters who you’ll want to re-visit over and over again. All three scripts are note-perfect and all the voice performances suit the characters to a tee. People underestimate how hard it is for a film (or films) to appeal to all and be enjoyed by so many people but Toy Story 1, 2, and 3 do it effortlessly. It’s a trilogy that makes you realise why you love film/cinema so much as it transports to places you never thought you’d go, feel emotions you didn’t think were there and most importantly, the enjoyment you get while watching.
What are your favourite films? What did you think of the list?
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