Top Ten Tuesdays is a meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is
Top Ten Favorite Movies
1. The Fellowship of the Ring: Of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, the first film is my favorite. I think it is the happiest. We get to meet many of the beloved characters at a time when they still feel relatively safe in the Shire, in Rivendell, in Lothlorien. Though the characters meet many obstacles, they still find many reprieves and they don’t all fully realize the extent of the danger into which they have thrown themselves. All too soon that illusion will vanish. I like to cherish these early moments.
2. Disney’s Sleeping Beauty: Aurora receives a lot of criticism these days for not saving herself, but the girl still has many good qualities–she is kind, helpful, and relatively cautious (at least she wants to bring her new crush home to meet the family!). Really, though, I think the Princess Line may have given the mistaken impression that this film is supposed to be all about Aurora and girl power, but it’s not. The fairies really steal the show and Prince Philip gets an awesome action sequence that no mutterings about how Aurora should have slain the dragon can ruin for me. Everyone in this film plays a part and does it admirably. And, of course, I can’t not mention the beautiful artwork.
3. The Two Towers: Everyone knows that middle films sometimes lag a little, but The Two Towers is, in my opinion, a solid addition to Jackson’s trilogy. I especially love this film because Rohan is one of my favorite places in Middle-earth and there’s nothing like seeing it come to life onscreen. Plus, the music that goes with Rohan is absolutely fantastic.
4. Glory: Glory tells the story of the 54th Massachusetts, one of the first African American units in the Civil War. The movie tells an important part of American history and does not flinch from the prejudice the unit faced, from having to be led by only white officers to receiving less pay than their white soldier counterparts. It is a moving, gripping film with a ton of fantastic actors and a beautiful soundtrack.
5. The Return of the King: Though this film received many accolades upon its release, it is my least favorite film in the trilogy. The heart is still there, but sometimes the action threatens to overtake the film. And some of that CGI is ridiculous. The oliphaunts look as if they could conquer Gondor simply by stepping on Minas Tirith.
6. From Up on Poppy Hill: Gorō Miyazaki directed this 2011 film for Studio Ghibli, which focuses on the innocent love of teenagers Umi and Shun as they fight to save their school clubhouse. The film possesses a rare, quiet beauty belying the power the story has to move audiences. Some great comic relief is also included.
7. Kiki’s Delivery Service: This 1989 film from Hayao Miyazaki inspires with its story of a young witch trying to find her place in the world. The stunning artwork is as big an attraction as the bright young protagonist, her talking cat, and the feel-good plot.
8. Kenneth’s Branagh’s Henry V: Action, romance, the St. Crispins’ Day speech–what more could you ask for? Kenneth Branagh is absolutely stunning in this Shakespearean adaptation. My favorite part? Act V.
9. Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet: This was the film that finally helped me to understand why everyone thinks Shakespeare is so great. I’d read a few plays before, but they’d never come alive for me until Branagh showed me how it’s done.
10. Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing: Emma Thompson is fabulous in this film, but I have also watched it simply for the chair scene. That’s how funny I find it.