My Movie Alphabet: Pt. II
Here it is, folks! Part 2 of My Movie Alphabet. As a reminder, this is part of the wonderful blogathon started by Mettel Ray. Hope you like my choices from I to Q. To be honest, I wish this one was my last entry because it includes all the best letters! If you need a little refresher, here is Part I. Let’s get down to business, shall we?
I: It’s a Wonderful Life
With the holiday season upon us, it was impossible for me not to include a movie that celebrated the season. So here it is, Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life, the quintessential Christmas movie. Funny, sad, uplifting, inspiring: this one puts you through an emotional rollercoaster. The acting’s pretty great, too. That part with the talking stars has not aged well, though.
Other favorites: Inception
J: James Stewart
My favorite actor. A talented, versatile thespian on screen, a really nice, modest guy off it. Jimmy was just so damn likeable, even when he played creeps. My favorite performance by him is the one he gave in Harvey. Such a sweet, innocent portrayal. Stewart was and is a true star who got ahead based on talent and not sex appeal.
Other favorites: Javier Bardem, Judi Dench, Jessica Chastain, James Bond, Jodaeiye Nader az Simin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Judd Apatow, Jennifer Lawrence, Jack Nicholson, Juliette Lewis, John C. Reilly, James McAvoy, Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake, Julianne Moore (so many, I’m sorry, but there are a lot of people whose name starts with a “J”)
K: Kill Bill
This and another, very different film (my choice for “V”) are in a constant struggle to be called my favorite movie. I watched Kill Bill when I was 13; it was love at first sight. Beautiful, bloody and batshit-crazy, this is Quentin Tarantino at his best. As always, he shows a great knack for cool dialogue and music. Uma Thurman is all kinds of awesome as “The Bride” and she’s backed by a very talented cast that includes Daryl Hannah and Lucy Liu. Incredibly fun.
Other favorites: Kate Winslet, Kevin Spacey, Keira Knightley, Killer Joe, Kodi Smit-McPhee
L: Lisbeth Salander
One of my favorite literary and filmic characters. On the big screen, the punk Swedish hacker has been brought to life by two exceptionally gifted actresses. Noomi Rapace did it first in the Millennium trilogy. Rooney Mara was Lisbeth in the American version by David Fincher. Two different portrayals, both magnificent.
Other favorites: Leonardo DiCaprio, Laura Linney, Love Actually, El Laberinto del Fauno, Little Miss Sunshine, Léon, L.A. Confidential, Lars Von Trier, Lee Pace, The Lion King
M: Meryl Streep
I’m aware that many people say the same thing, but Meryl’s my favorite actress. Owner of timeless beauty and talent, Streep disappears into every role. Wise, down-to-earth and not-at-all a diva, this three-time Oscar winner is an acting goddess.
Other favorites: Marion Cotillard, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Scorsese, Midnight in Paris, Michael Fassbender, Memento, Moulin Rouge!, Michael Caine, Magnolia
N: North by Northwest
Maybe not his best, but my personal Hitchcock favorite. A great thriller, sprinkled with humor, and a fun central performance by the suave Cary Grant. Amazing chase scenes including, of course, the iconic crop duster sequence and the most memorable ‘Hitch’ cameo ever.
Other favorites: Natalie Portman, Noomi Rapace, Nancy Meyers, Nora Ephron, Nuovo Cinema Paradiso, Nicole Kidman, Network
A couple years ago, I said that Oscar night was the resulting baby from Christmas and my birthday having sex. I stand behind my words. It’s highly likely that by the end of the night I’ll be throwing some kind of tantrum over a major snub, but the day Hollywood gives out its biggest award is mostly bliss. Just a couple days ago, a friend shared something she found on Tumblr and that exemplifies perfectly my relationship with Oscar:
caring about the Oscars is like caring about someone who always disagrees with you and you can’t fucking stand but you just can’t stop loving them and it’s the absolute worst relationship of your fucking life.
Other favorites: The Omen, Ocean’s Eleven, Oprah Winfrey, O Brother, Where Art Thou?
P: Pedro Almodóvar
I love this man. Pedro’s a genius. Even if I’m not crazy about his earlier work, there’s always something interesting about his films that make them worth your time. The Spanish filmmaker just gets better with age and I look forward to each of his releases. Probably the director with most titles among my list of favorite movies. Additionally, I want to thank him for introducing the world to Antonio Banderas, Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem. Marvelous director, even better writer, an innate storyteller.
Other favorites: Pulp Fiction, Penélope Cruz, Paul Thomas Anderson, Pleasantville, The Philadelphia Story, The Prestige, Pixar, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Pirates of the Caribbean, Psycho
Q: Quentin Tarantino
This man was responsible for my transformation from casual movie watcher to hardcore film buff with Kill Bill. So thanks, Quentin. A director with a very distinct style, Tarantino is an encyclopedia of music and film. His fanatics can be very annoying, but the man deserves all the praise he gets. Undeniably influential, QT is the filmmaker of my generation.