Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999, Michael Patrick Jann)
This mockumentary on the beauty pageant world is so full of satire that it is hard to believe Christopher Guest was not involved. An unfortunate victim of bad marketing (selling itself as a teen thriller, which it is not in any way), it never gained a huge following. Nonetheless, this movie will make you laugh so hard you will fall over. I promise.
Gaslight (1944, George Cukor)
I've been told that as a younger woman, my Grandmom looked a lot like Ingrid Bergman, and I've loved her movies as long as I can remember. This movie is thrilling in a wonderfully understated way, and the casting of romantic hero Charles Boyer as the potentially sinister Gregory Anton was a stroke of genius.
Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-3, Peter Jackson)
I'm cheating and including the trilogy as one entry on this list. The expansive story receives loving and respectful treatment from Peter Jackson, and is accessible to hardcore fans and the uninitiated alike. Besides, it's impossible not to cheer at the screen when Eowyn throws the Witch King of Agmar's prophesy back in his face.
Laura (1944, Otto Preminger)
I’m a sucker for film noir, and this one tops the list. The movie both relies on and plays with the genre’s most famous tropes in a refreshing way. Dana A ndrews’ Mark McPherson also feels more accessible and human than the more aloof Philip Marlowe.
MirrorMask (2005, Dave McKean)
I know this will be a controversial choice, but I promise my love for this movie goes beyond the big names in the credits. The visuals are stunning and unique, with Dave McKean's hand clear in every scene. The story may be a bit abstract and philosophical for some, but fans of Neil Gaiman's more retrospective writing will appreciate it.
Pan’s Labyrinth (2006, Guillermo del Toro)
It was a tough choice between this and Hellboy, but Pan’s Labyrinth’s depth, combined with its beautiful visuals, overcome my natural preference for lighter fare. It is also the perfect vehicle for Doug Jones to show off his amazing ability to defy both physics and biology.
Pride and Prejudice (BBC Version) (1995, Sue Birtwistle, Julie Scott, & Michael Wearing Producers)
This is my one chick flick concession. The story is timeless, and the intentionally long play time allows the director to cover plot points that are omitted in other versions. Jennifer Ehle’s Elizabeth Bennet is deliciously sassy, while Colin Firth in period dress is the perfect eye candy.
The Princess Bride (1987, Rob Reiner)
Yes, I realize this is a cop-out. But there are very few movies I can watch on loop, and this is one of them. Besides, I know I’m not the only one who can recite the “to the pain” speech from memory.
Some Like it Hot (1959, Billy Wilder)
I think this is probably the funniest movie of all time. The dialogue absolutely sparkles, and Jack Lemon and Tony Curtis play their roles with just enough camp to be funny without going over the top.
Spirited Away (2001, Hayao Miyazaki)
I knew from the start that a Miyazaki film would be on this list; the challenge was figuring out which one to go with. I chose Spirited Away because it strikes the best balance between the beautiful worlds of Princess Mononoke and Howl's Moving Castle, and the wide-eyed innocence of Ponyo.
Click Here for Il Barone's List