From relatable coming-of-age to thrilling serial killer stories, some would say I have a very diverse taste in films. I can go from watching Legally Blonde one minute to Suspiria the next and rate them both five stars. Of course, the film is subjective. Not everyone will agree with me on comparing those two films and giving them both very high ratings (even though they should…), but that’s why movies are the most enjoyable thing to have such a strong passion for. Sometimes it’s fun to argue with your friends or family on why a certain film is better than the other. I couldn’t live without film but I could never in a million years pick a number one favorite. I’ve narrowed my favorites down to five that have inspired me in some way or have sparked something inside me that I can’t describe:
Léon: The Professional (1994)
The first time I watched Léon: The Professional, I was almost one hundred percent certain that I was going to hate it. My boyfriend forced me to watch it and I don’t think I blinked the entire hour and fifty minutes. Six months later, it’s one of my favorite films. I remember feeling so unbelievably inspired watching the events unfold. How can one human make such an incredible piece of art? Natalie Portman having her début performance at such a young age in a film like this had my jaw hitting the floor within minutes of watching her excel on-screen. I have never really been a huge fan of these types of films but for some reason, this one just sucked me right in and never spit me back out. It almost feels like a strange French drama film masking itself as a violent action film. It’s perfectly balanced with a bit of everything for everybody, and it will definitely tug at your heart-strings.
People will definitely judge me for saying this is one of my favorites but it means so much to me that I’ll push my ego off to the side for a minute (also, what little girl didn’t have an ‘I’ve always wanted to be a mermaid’ phase?!). Aquamarine taught me everything I needed to know about female friendship at such a young age and I am endlessly grateful for that. Although the plot is extremely predictable, undoubtedly falling into that young adult rom-com trope, I love it nonetheless and it’s the perfect film to throw in your DVD player when you’re feeling down. It’s heartwarming, the one-liners are hilarious and it’s just as quotable as Mean Girls.
The Silence of The Lambs (1991)
The Silence of The Lambs was the first psychological thriller that successfully psychologically thrilled me. My mum and dad had recommended this one to me since I was a little girl because they knew how much I would love it and they were definitely right. Each time I sit down to watch this film it is like a new experience all over again. When Hannibal Lecter speaks, his voice has the tone of a man so arrogant and pompous that he doesn’t want to find the time of day to talk to anyone he thinks is beneath him. He brings shock and terror within the scenes he’s not even apart of. Films that tell stories about fictional serial killers have always intrigued me because since you’re not re-telling a true story, there is no limit to what you can do with it.
Gone Girl (2011)
Ahhhhh, Gone Girl: A Fincher fan’s wet dream. This is it. The film that made me love film. I remember everything about the first time I watched it. Alone in my basement on a rainy day, snuggled up with oodles of fuzzy blankets and pillows, fully engrossed in what was occurring on the screen in front of me. I wish I could get this entire screenplay tattooed on my body. Yes, it’s THAT good. I can barely find the words to describe the feeling it gives me. This is a film that deserves to have an allotted, dedicated amount of time put towards it and it needs to be watched with zero distractions. You need to give your undivided attention to everything you see on-screen and in the background. David Fincher inspires me like no other. If you haven’t seen this one yet, what are you even doing?
Jake Gyllenhaal as a psychopathic freelancer? Count me in! It is so hard for me to find a film that keeps my eyes glued to the screen throughout the entire experience. Nightcrawler heightened my anxiety like no other film could. With Lou Bloom and his sunken eyes staring straight into my soul, it gets my adrenaline pumping and it makes me sweat like crazy. When a film physically affects me in such a way I know it’s going to be on my mind for some time and I haven’t stopped thinking about this one since I first watched it. Dan Gilroy’s directorial debut is extremely impressive and I can’t wait to see how his filmography plays out.
Each of these motion pictures has deeply affected me and changed my love for cinema over time. A film can affect many different people in many different ways and it’s so beautiful to read connections and reviews from people all over the world who share the same interests as you. I hope to one day work on a film that will change someone’s life the way these ones changed mine.
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Bethany is a Scottish born, film & TV loving 21 year old currently living in the big city of Toronto, Canada. She has big hopes and dreams of working in the entertainment industry and someday interviewing Saoirse Ronan, which will probably result in just staring at her in awe. Bethany is a dedicated binge-watcher, occasional photographer, and a huge fan of everything that Ethan Hawke does. She often writes about film/TV and pop-culture, feminism and other social issues.