‘This is true love. You think this happens every day?’ -Westley, The Princess Bride
The Princess Bride (1987)
As tempting as it is to write even more about my favourite movie of all time, I think I’ll let the love letter I wrote here for Den of Geek do the talking. And if that’s not enough to sate you there’s this visit I paid to Hoxton Movies or this podcast that I recorded with the legend that is Tom Beasley for Flickering Myth.
Even just thinking of this film makes my body ache. This tale of love, sacrifice and duty in the face of political turmoil remains hauntingly current. Extraordinary performances in a beautifully told tale.
A Matter Of Life And Death (1946)
Another film set during world war two, but from this side of the pond. Epic is the only way to describe this film by Powell and Pressburger. War & love, Heaven & Earth, duty and destiny all collide when British Air Force pilot Peter Carter doesn’t die when he was supposed to. Literally and metaphorically, absolutely divine.
Barry Lyndon (1975)
Perhaps not the most likely Kubrick film to appear in a top ten, but this adaptation of the The Luck Of Barry Lyndon by William Makepeace Thackeray’s (best known for Vanity Fair) is joyfully satirical and utterly scathing. With a running time of 187 minutes, with cinematic showings including an interval on top of that, this is event cinema at its most glorious.
Good Vibrations (2012)
The most recent and yet the least known of these films, Good Vibrations is an under-seen masterpiece. It’s the sort-of-true story of Belfast punk impresario Terri Hooley and how he became the extremely unlikely leader of an array of personalities in the Northern Ireland music scene.
All That Heaven Allows (1955)
Douglas Sirk was an auteur of the finest order. With this, his most achingly romantic and Romantic movie, he creates a sweeping tale of lovers fated not to be due to age and class differences. As it’s the epitome of a Sirkian epic, with it’s use of colour and mise-en-scene, it’s gorgeous to watch & experience.
It may be celebrating it’s tenth birthday this year, but Coraline remains a timeless watch. A dark and fantastical fairy-tale about a girl and her Other Mother. The stuff of beautiful nightmares.
Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)
If I expanded this list to 50 films, the majority of Studio Ghibli’s incredible output would feature. Instead, there’s only room for one. A hard choice made easy due to when I first watched it. The story of a young witch moving home for the first time, and having to find her place in the world on her own, meant a lot to 18 year-old Charlotte who had just arrived at university (University of Kent, sadly not Hogwarts) and felt desperately lonely & out of her depth. A film about finding your magic and finding your tribe.
Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
I think I could easily perform a one-women re-staging of Rocky Horror. I can’t really sing, but I can sort of dance and I know most of the script off-by-heart. An early teens discovery, which I proceeded to watch every day for a month. A film for all the beautiful weirdos out there who need to rose tint our worlds to keep us safe from the trouble and pain.
When Harry Met Sally (1989)
My first watch of this was just four years ago, but I’ve made up for it in re-watches since. There’s something in it for every mood and feeling. But the thing I take away from it each time, aside from Nora Ephron’s impeccable dialogue, is the unadulterated hope. Love is confusing, no-one really knows what they are doing but it will all work out okay in the end.