Monday sees the release of the next edition of the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die book, which sees my recently reviewed Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
on the cover. This release got me thinking, what films would I most like to be added in this edition? As usual, my first instinct regarded efficiency and time-saving, so of course the films I’d post want to be added would be ones that I’d already reviewed, so I wouldn’t have to review them again. But then I thought no, that’s not really what I want. I want to watch new films, experience new things and write about them, that’s why I’m writing a blog in the first place; to discuss movies. Why would I want an excuse to do that less? So as well as my already-reviewed list there’s another for films that not only have I not reviewed, but that I haven’t even seen, and I think should probably be on the List. Thirdly, because it’s a super-bumper-bonus day, there’s a final top 5 for the films that haven’t appeared on either list, but will most likely be on the actual list, for which I haven’t been consulted. What films do you all think will be on there?
5. The Help
Though not a great film, this is another one of those ‘Important’ films, predominantly due to it’s subject matter. I didn’t have a lot of problems with it personally, other than the shameless tugging of the heartstrings, and the performances are all very solid, particularly Jessica Chastain in my opinion, playing against type before she even had a type to play against. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it on the List, however there are many more worthy candidates.
4. The Descendants
Another good film that maybe wasn’t quite good enough, but that I wouldn’t mind seeing on there. By no means Alexander Payne’s best film, but Clooney is just brilliant in it. It’s unlikely to gain a place mainly because the only Payne film to ever make it on to date is Sideways (it is nothing short of a crime that Election was never on there), and even that has now been removed. I’d rather Sideways be reinstated or Election be given it’s well-deserved place than The Descendants find it’s way on there, but I’ll take what I can get, Payne-wise.
I will be shocked if The Artist isn’t on the List, mainly because I think the Best Picture Oscar-winner always gets on there, and for the amount of other awards it swept up earlier this year. I’d also be very happy if, no, when it gets a place, because it was a frankly charming film thoroughly deserving of all the praise, that I’m looking forward to rewatching and probably re-reviewing some time in the future.
I liked this film far more than I thought I would, as Owen Wilson has been known to put me off, but the concept of a Woody Allen time travel film is too good to pass up. Allen has a smattering of films on the List, so I feel this has a good shot, but I don’t know if it will stay for more than a year, as much as I’d like it to.
You have no idea how overjoyed I will be if The Muppets makes it onto the 1001 List. Its one of the best films I’ve seen in the past year (though as you’ll see I’ve missed some big ones), and the concept of it’s inclusion isn’t unheard of, as 1979’s The Muppet Movie currently has a place. I’m not suggesting we remove the original and put in this new one instead, but I think the new one is better. Just saying. Anyway, though I’m starting a little late, this is the beginning of my official campaign to have The Muppets included in the 2012 edition of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. Who’s with me?
– Nowhere near as good as everyone else seems to think it is, the best this could do is take the place of The Hangover, another wildly overrated wedding-themed comedy. If included it is entirely because of John Hamm and Chris O’Dowd, without whom I’m confident this film would be forgotten.
– Spielberg has made quite a presence on the list, justifiably so, but unfortunately this film doesn’t really compare to some of his greater works. It was enjoyable enough, surprisingly more so if you don’t like horses because you care less whether or not it survives, but I can confidently say it won’t be on the List.
Want to see
5. A Prophet
I’ve had this DVD for a little while now, but have yet to bring myself to watch it, mainly because the reviews I’ve seen offer comparisons to The Shawshank Redemption, but without any of the joy or hope that the classic entails. So yes, I do want to see this generally well reviewed film, but I think it might take a place on the 1001 List to make me do it.
4. 127 Hours
Danny Boyle’s widley appreciated films tend to make it onto the List (Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire), and whilst 127 Hours didn’t receive quite as many accolades as those two, it was still well received, so could be a surprise entry.
3. The Skin I Live In
I’ve heard very good things about this plastic surgery thriller from Pedro Almodovar, but as yet it hasn’t drifted my way. I’ve done my best to avoid any description of what the twist is – though just by knowing there is a twist could be bad enough – so if it does end up on the List I’ll be sure not to read the description included in the book, as very often the reviewer neglects to consider whether or not the reader has seen it yet, and will henceforth spoil every damn thing.
Martin Scorsese’s presence in the director’s chair usually guarantees my presence in the cinema, but the double whammy of a children’s movie and a third dimension put me off seeing this in the big screen, plus I was quite busy when it came out, so missed it’s theatrical run. I’ve garnered that it’s somewhat heavily about the birth of cinema – something every cinephile should at least be partially interested in – and I’m intrigued as to whether Marty can go an entire film without killing anyone.
Yes, I know, I still haven’t seen Drive, and I honestly have no good reason. It sounds like a film I’d adore, but I just haven’t got around to it yet. The Oscar shut-out may herald a similar fate 1001-wise, but I’ve got a feeling this will make a surprise appearance in a similar fashion to 2010’s Four Lions or 2009’s In The Loop. However, I’ve yet to run into someone in person who has seen it and actually liked it, but that generally means I’ll like it even more.
Moneyball – By all rights I should have seen this. I like Brad Pitt, love Philip Seymour Hoffman and worship Aaron Sorkin, but I can usually only just tolerate Jonah Hill, and I’ve never even seen a game of Baseball. Even if it’s not on the list I’ll get to this one eventually though.
Shame – I’ve tried hard to want to watch Shame, mostly based on the sheer amount of praise it has received (predominantly from Stevee at Cinematic Paradox), but the story just puts me off a bit, seeing as it’s about sex addiction, which so very rarely leads to a joyous, rolling-in-the-aisles good time. It may be too arthouse for the 1001 crowd, but there’s always a chance.
Probably will be on there
This is pretty much the one true certainty for being on the List, seeing as it’s on the cover and everything. I’ve said before that I don’t really think it was good enough to be included, as although it is a very well made film, with an unbeatable cast all acting their hearts out amidst an extremely evocative atmosphere, it’s just really damn boring and confusing. Even if it wasn’t on the cover though I’d have pegged it to be included, as it satisfied the seemingly obligatory ‘British movie’ category.
4. A foreign film I’ve never heard of
I won’t lie, there’s quite a lot of films out there, and I haven’t heard of a lot of them. None of my local cinemas are particularly fond of subtitled films (even Inglourious Basterds
and The Artist
weren’t out for that long), so most of the foreign films tend to zip by without my noticing them until I hear someone else, via podcast or blog, raving about them and I tag them onto my ever-growing ‘To See’ list. Chances are there’ll be a relatively obscure film in next week’s book, something along the lines of 2010’s Of Gods and Men
, which I rather liked, of 2008’s The Class
, which was OK. I don’t begrudge these films their places, and I look forward to whatever random foreign film is selected this time around.
3. A Separation
This sounds like just the kind of film to fill the aforementioned foreign position, except that I’ve heard of it, so is immediately disqualified. It sounds like a very emotional, talky piece, concerning a couple who must decide whether to stay in one country and care for an Alzheimer’s suffering parent or move somewhere else for the sake of their child, and that’s just the kind of film, full of powerful performances and evocative direction, that 1001 seems drawn to.
I’ve seen Melancholia, but I had so few feelings about it that I felt them unworthy of putting down in a review form. It probably didn’t help that I fell asleep at least twice during it, and that it’s by Lars Von Trier, with whom I’ve had a somewhat tentative relationship – I tend to avoid his films based largely on the subject matter, though I found Dogville to be interesting. If it’s on the list, I’ll do my best to watch it with an open mind (this won’t be hard, I can’t remember that much about it other than a beautiful opening that went on too long, and not enough John Hurt).
1. The Tree of Life
Terrence Malick released a film, so said film will of course be in the 1001 book. The only Malick films I’ve seen are The Thin Red Line
(yay!) and Badlands
(meh), but even though I’ve not even seen a trailer for The Tree of Life, I already feel like I know exactly what happens in it, so as yet I’ve not spent 2 1/2 hours watching it. The only parts I’m even slightly looking forward to are watching Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain (both actors I’m something of a fan of), and the dinosaurs. Apparently there’s some dinos in there somewhere, so who knows, I may love this film, but chances are, being a Malick movie, it’ll be endless pontificating and philosophising, usually at sunset, with some impressive scenery but devoid of much resembling a plot.