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  • Jennifer

...Crazy? "25 Favorite Films"

Sharing my “25 Favorite Films” list is an absurdly personal thing to do. I’m quite protective of revealing my favorite “anything” – but most especially my favorite art. I see it as revealing a part of my soul – and who wants their soul to be in any way criticized, or left on the table for all to view. I prefer to keep something for myself. I see on social media profiles a place where you can enter your favorite movies, books, etc. I love seeing what others have written. And I envy their putting it out there. But me? I feel I’d be revealing too much. Call me a common phrase “crazy.”

This now brings me back to the below list. WHAT AM I DOING?! Am I going against what I’ve always felt so strongly? I say “yes” and “no.” I list this list for three reasons: (1) It was fun to crystallize my favorite films and delve deeper into the reasons why each film is “a favorite.” (2) I also want to support these films as unique works of art. (3) Lastly, I hope to bring smiles to the faces of the folks (you) who read my movie taglines.

I’ve watched A LOT of movies. And I’ve written A LOT of reviews in my life – film, restaurant, theater. I’m a walking-talking vessel of research and hopefully good-hearted commentary. I prefer to write about art I’ve enjoyed – and try to steer clear of highlighting negative experiences. If I can recommend a great movie to someone that I think they will personally like for ‘xyz’ reasons pertaining to their ‘xyz’ personality – I'm all about that. I like to connect with people through movies. Quite simply, it's fun. What resonates with them in a film? Or what do they consider a well-made film versus a rotten-egg Templeton stink-bomb? Hello, animated tearjerker classic "Charlotte's Web" (1973). To me, it's all fascinating. Let the gory dissection begin. Operation!

Still, I haven’t gone against my strong convictions completely. This movie list, although I’ve left it on the table for all to see, does still leave a bit for myself alone. Because I’ve decided to focus my taglines on you (the reader), I’ve purposely left out all first-person “I” pronouns. Thus, I do not reveal why certain movies on this list connect with me so subconsciously. Movies like “Romancing the Stone” and “Between Strangers” and unnamed others – you know who you are, and why I love you even more than the taglines below testify. Until the day I’m ready to share you further with the world – I’ve kept your beautiful mysteries intact.

I’ll leave by saying, “AFI lists, IMDb snapshots, DVD, Blu-Ray, and even that lovely MGM roaring lion – you have brought me joy.” Film is a special medium. I for one am grateful to sit in that darkened movie theater with a tub of popcorn (who am I kidding, I don’t eat that stuff) and watch a new tale of life unfold on a gigantic screen. Or, even better, I like to cozy up on the couch on a Saturday night. The warmth of my blanket is appreciated, though forgotten, once I’m immersed in the warmth of a film. I want all movies to bring me in, and make me “think and feel, laugh and cry.” The magic of art connects us to so much.


1. The Way We Were (1973) / Romancing the Stone (1984)

A tie for first place… could never choose just one

The Way We Were (1973) – a legendary “opposites attract” romance that rips your

tender heart out… leaves you depressed and singing beautiful Barbra Streisand music for days

Romancing the Stone (1984) – simply the best action/adventure romantic comedy movie set in New York City and South America EVER!

2. Scarface (1983) - Al Pacino in this oft-described “over the top” ‘80s Miami drug film… so palpably crazy that skeptics become the converted

3. Out of Africa (1985) – an exotic, hypnotizing love story that sweeps right through you… makes you cry at nature, at beauty, at life 4. 9 to 5 (1980) – the ultimate “POWER" chick flick... it has something important to say, and yet does so in such a hilariously fun, clever way

5. An Affair to Remember (1957) – quite possibly the most PERFECT romance movie ever made… enough said, full stop.

6. Dead Again (1991) – an excellent neo-noir “past lives” thriller with European on-screen and off-screen pair Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh in their first big American hit

7. Jaws (1975) – nothing else like it, one-of-a-kind, an unparalleled classic thriller that will forever make children afraid to swim in even a swimming pool, let alone the ocean

8. Annie Hall (1977) – modern New York City love story… so comedically sharp, neurotic, endearing that you’ll want to cheer from your couch, and give a standing ovation, at the end

9. Two for the Road (1967) – precious “swan song” romance movie… sparkling France, sparkling Henry Mancini musical score

10. Stranger Than Fiction (2006) – Will Ferrell ROCKS with a clever premise, ensemble cast, and director… so good this movie can be watched a hundred times

11. Doctor Zhivago (1965) – breathtakingly poetic epic love story of the winter wonderland variety… “Nobody loves poetry like a Russian” 12. Contact (1997) – astronomer Carl Sagan would be extremely proud... an “awe-some” and “awe-inspiring” sci-fi flick with fierce Jodie Foster at the helm 13. The English Patient (1996) – haunting World War II love story that explores the landscape of the body, soul… and our drifting memories of it all

14. Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969) – 1969 "couples kookiness" on full, delightful BLUSH-worthy display!

15. Beloved Infidel (1959) - an obscure gem starring two actors in their prime... Gregory Peck and Deborah Kerr are absolutely beautiful portraying two famous writers doomed in their affair

16. The Thomas Crown Affair (1999) – so slick, so steamy, so sexy… a sophisticated love caper made even better since the couple is “over forty”

17. The Abyss (1989) – early “under water” James Cameron film… hints at his future success in absolutely captivating an audience with plot and special effects

18. Ordinary People (1980) – Robert Redford directorial stunner… beautiful in its subtlety, realism, and heart

19. Black Narcissus (1947) – Deborah Kerr tour de force that leaves you breathless... an insightful "nuns on the edge" story full of emotional depth and stunning cinematography

20. Between Strangers (2002) – indie film finesse… so thoughtfully done, an interesting intersection of characters

21. The Remains of the Day (1993) – quintessential “English countryside” film that drips with repressed passion and regret

22. Dances With Wolves (1990) – epic story of America that needs to be told… sprawling, grand, gorgeous

23. Irreconcilable Differences (1984) – one of the sweetest, most touching movies about families and “the good, the bad, and the ugly”… Frank Sinatra’s song, “We Wanted It All”

24. Mon Oncle (1958) – the ultimate “artsy French film"… if you love Picasso’s bright colors, visual comedy, and crave some mid-century nostalgia

25. Grease (1978) / The Sound of Music (1965)

Another tie… could never choose just one

Grease (1978) an American musical treasure… always a “guilty pleasure” sing-along that you never outgrow, even at age forty

The Sound of Music (1965) – a dazzling musical juggernaut... heaven truly exists in the Alps Mountains, and in a tasty dish called WIENER SCHNITZEL



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