Or just any old time.
I love movies. Sometimes I call them “films”, but only if they have subtitles. Otherwise, they’re movies — short for “moving pictures” —the emphasis on “moving”.
I love movies that move me. I love movies that make me cry. I love movies that make me laugh and cry and do it all over again, until I’m reduced to a soggy but satisfying mess. (Looking at you, Terms of Endearment. Bring it on, The Color Purple. Steel Magnolias! Yes! You’re killing me, Dreamgirls.)
I love movies that speak to me; that share my sense of honor and duty and don’t talk down to me. (Gandhi. A Few Good Men. Silkwood. Matewan. The China Syndrome. Norma Rae. Erin Brockovich. All The President’s Men. )
I love movies that build up to scenes so amazing they take my breath away. They don’t have to do it with pyrotechnics or special effects. Memorable dialogue and spectacular cinematography will take me there. (The Life of Pi. The Black Stallion. Out of Africa. )
Although there’s nothing wrong with special effects. Avatar and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon are spectacular. (That battle scene with the ludicrous general nearly spoiled Avatar, but the special effects redeemed it.)
I love movies that make me laugh out loud. (It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World — still the funniest movie ever made. But What’s Up, Doc? is right up there. So is Elf. Oh, and My Favorite Year. Because Peter O’Toole!)
I love quiet movies. Movies that tell a story without beating me over the head. Movies that immerse me and make me care about the flawed and the vulnerable. (Tender Mercies. The Yearling, The Bridge Over the River Kwai, The King’s Speech. On Golden Pond. Educating Rita. Field of Dreams, Cinema Paradiso.)
I love movies with many characters, many stories, all coming together in the end, as they should. (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Added attractions: Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel). Love, Actually (I mean, Colin Firth? Emma Thompson? Alan Rickman? Pure heaven.) A Passage to India. (Judy Davis is insanely superb. Peggy Ashcroft, Victor Banerjee, and Alec Guinness — unforgettable.)
I avoid most violence in movies — I don’t find it entertaining at all — but I admit there are some epic movies that I can’t get enough of. I can’t explain it, I just go with it: Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Never-Ending Story.
Edited to Add: OMG, I can’t believe I almost left out Princess Bride! INCONCEIVABLE! (Don’t even TRY to do a remake. You hear me??)
I own an almost complete DVD library of Studio Ghibli/Miyazaki anime films. Spirited Away hooked me first. Weird and amazing and like nothing I had ever seen before. And they only got better. Miyazaki was a genius. He’s gone now and Disney owns the franchise, but the stories will live on. (Spirited Away is having a resurgence this week, showing in theaters across the country.)
I love some movies that everyone else either hated or ignored or are so obscure nobody ever heard of them. I’m okay with that. I love everything about The Color Purple, but it was snubbed badly at the Oscars. Stephen Spielberg’s 1941 was panned, but I like it. Ned Beatty is amazing in Hear My Song. I love Peter Reigert in Local Hero and in Crossing Delancy. Strictly Ballroom was one of Baz Luhrmann’s first as a director and it’s quirky and mesmerizing. Peter Dinklage is hilarious and heartbreaking in The Station Agent. Bagdad Cafe is weird and wonderful. I’ll never stop watching Educating Rita.
So that’s just some of them. You’ll notice that most of my favorites are old now. I’ve tried to think of more current movies that might stick with me and I haven’t come up with any. Yet. It could be them, it could be me. But I love that I can go back and watch almost any of my favorites any time I want to.
This was fun. Maybe next time I’ll talk about the movies I hate. I have a long list of those, too, and many of them were highly successful.
But for now, tell me some of your favorites. I promise I won’t judge if you won’t, either.