I’ve already written about my favourite books and albums, so I thought now would be a good time to write about my top ten films! This is another list which is constantly changing, depending on what I’ve seen recently, what kind of mood I’m in and how honest I’m being!
Richard Linklater’s Before Trilogy
I’m sort of cheating right from the start by counting this as one entry; technically it’s three films, called Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight. If you haven’t yet seen them, I’d urge you to – they’re beautiful pieces of art, well acted and well written.
The Lion King
I’m very rarely not in the mood for the Lion King – I made my cat watch it and she was definitely convinced by it! I love the songs, the animation, the characters. I know it’s a children’s film but I have returned to it so many times.
(Also the cast for the live-action one next year looks incredible!)
When Harry met Sally
Probably most people know this for the line ‘I’ll have what she’s having’ – and that is a brilliant line, but it’s a film made up of brilliant moments. It’s witty and clever and has a great cast – I can’t imagine it without Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan, but the supporting cast (including Carrie Fisher!) is fantastic too.
Ten Things I Hate About You
This is my favourite film based on my least favourite Shakespeare play. I watched it for the first time on the day I heard that Heath Ledger had died; this was not, in hindsight, a good idea! It’s fantastic though, with a great soundtrack and it is so quotable. I also like that it centres its women – they are all very different characters, but all have agency and their own distinctive personalities. In many ways, it’s sad that this is something that makes it stand out!
Star Wars: A New Hope
Well, there was obviously going to be a Star Wars film on this list! I was between this one and the Last Jedi – the latter probably an unusual choice, and I know most people rate Empire highest, but I personally am not a fan of the scenes between Luke and Yoda on Dagobah. This is another film I can return to time and time again, and Leia is probably my favourite character of all time.
If my dad hadn’t told me that this was directed by George Lucas, I probably wouldn’t have guessed. It’s a beautiful coming-of-age story – I haven’t rewatched it in years and if I did, I’m not sure if it would be as powerful now as it was when I was 17.
Sunshine on Leith
A jukebox musical based on the songs of the Proclaimers, this film makes me cry and laugh in almost equal measure. I’m not sure how well-known it is outside Scotland but it’s a lovely film, which seems to really love its characters, even when they make mistakes. It’s also a brilliant opportunity for location spotting for people who have lived in either Glasgow or Edinburgh!
This film tells the story of LGSM (Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners) – so obviously it is one of my favourite films! It’s based on a true story, but with some elements toned down a bit for mainstream audiences. I went through a phrase of watching it every few weeks – I watch it less often now but it’s beautiful and hopeful. If you need any convincing to watch it, see the clip where the women of the Welsh village sing ‘Bread and Roses’ and see how long you last before you cry.
I was between this and Gregory’s Girl for my next choice, but went for Local Hero partly because it’s the film I watch when I miss Scotland. It’s sleepy and lovely, much like parts of the Highlands themselves, and although it’s not about a part of Scotland I know well, it feels true to life. It also features a young Peter Capaldi, who is the most adorable person!
I studied this for German A-level, and even that didn’t ruin it for me. It’s probably one of the most successful German films in the UK, and is (by turns and often simultaneously) both funny and sad. You may have guessed this is a feature of films I rather like by now!
As soon as I hit publish, I’ll probably remember all the other films that should be on this list!