Okay, you guys, it’s my favorite time of the year again: listing down movies!
Every year, I rank my favorite films. I usually decide on a whim that’s why I never posted one. And only last winter did I start to finally list every movie I have ever watched on a notebook and rated them according to personal taste. I plucked 27 out of those hundred films that had garnered five stars and ranked them accordingly. Altogether, it’s a difficult task to do especially when I have a century of films to select and watch and contemplate on, and a variety of genres and countries producing them.
Usually, The Patrick Awards nominate five or six entries at a time but I have watched too many great and excellent films and it’s too difficult for me to narrow these 27 down. Star Wars (episodes IV, V, VI) didn’t even make it.
The photos are not mine. I do not own them. Photo credits belong to its own respective studios/company/person.
26. The Immigrant (2013) by James Gray
A story about an immigrant who gets fooled by a suave young man who is actually a pimp? Uhm, that’s my favorite plot. It’s a tragic and familiar plot especially in the Philippines, a third-world country, where we know it happens and everyone turns a blind eye about it.
It’s also important to me because it depicts a woman who has lost her innocence, her entire world, and ultimately her home. Add Jouaquin Phoenix’s and Marion Cotillard’s brilliant performances, and period clothes—1920’s New York City, and poof! You created my favorite movie.
- Schindler’s List (1993) by Steven Spielberg
One of my recently watched films and one that is so heartbreaking. Two of my favorite white men actors Ralph Fiennes whom I loved in The Reader and Liam Neeson (Taken, duh) star in it. Filmed in black and white, cleverly colored in some scenes and later on in the finale, the film tackles on war, Jews, and the Nazis. Spielberg was the perfect director for it because he knows how to handle such delicate historical material.
Added note: I’ve decided to watch it after The Amazing Race visited Krakow, Poland when Oskar Schindler helped thousands of Jews from getting killed during the war. This is a not-known fact but I secretly like war films.
- There’s Something About Mary (1998) by Peter and Bobby Farrelly
If you want to see Cameron Diaz’s best performance and in her prime years, you should see this classic rom-com. My Aunt who rarely talked about good ‘ole films said during lunch that she never forgot the beauty of Cameron Diaz and that it’s a wonderful film. Because this was an old film and I was thinking of her taste in films when she was younger—I decided to see it.
And she was right—Cameron Diaz is one of the prettiest faces in Hollywood and I had no doubt why she is successful now. I’ve always thought of her as an old actress who lost her Hollywood charm and now makes dirty movies (Bad Teacher). But here in this, hilarious movie, she charms us and she makes our hearts pound with her grace and performance.
Here are two funny memorable scenes: Ben Stiller’s character accidentally zips his entire balls and goes to the hospital on his prom date’s bathroom and everyone checked it out.
In the middle of the movie, he masturbates before seeing Diaz’s character. When he comes, he couldn’t find ‘it’ anywhere. Cameron Diaz then knocks and enter the scene and thinks that it’s ‘hair gel’ on his ear and put some in her hair, and all throughout Ben Stiller keeps looking at her hair. It’s so wicked.
- The Theory of Everything (2014) by James Marsh
I was already infatuated with Eddie Redmayne’s role in Les Miserables. Then, he comes out as Stephen Hawking in a more brilliant performance. Then, next year, I’ll be watching The Danish Girl where he will play a transgender. Is it me or is Redmayne’s filmography excellent? But of course, Felicity Jones is a wonderful surprise. In addition to that is a wonderful production design and cinematography. What makes this film brilliant is the accurate depiction of the famous scientist’s life and her personal life.
But up until now, I still don’t know the answer to: what is the Theory of Everything?
- Mommy (2014) by Xavier Dolan
Xavier Dolan is my favorite discovery director this year. He’s like my French, more ambitious, and more successful version of me. The story is about a slightly-mentally-ill son and mother relationship, plus a kind neighbor. Dolan has the same actors since his first film I Killed My Mother. But I think this is the more polished version of it. The film was shot in 1:1 aspect ratio so you know it’s extra special. I cried like a bitch in one of the scenes at the end.
P.S. He ended the film with a Lana del Rey song so I knew at that time he was going to be my favorite.
- Zero Dark Thirty (2012) by Kathryn Bigelow
One quiet night in our winter break in 2015, I watched Jessica Chastain make her movie debut to my life. And oh my god, this movie was exhilarating. This is like the female take on the previous year’s Argo which is my movie of the year in 2013. Note that this is a war film yet again and I’m not trying to make up some cool fact about me. I do love war films.
It’s about a woman from CIA and her mission to find Osama Bin Laden and kill him following the 9/11 terrorism attacks. It has this beautiful cinematography, highlighting the sand dunes and the darkness of it all. (The night vision goggles part was epic in technical and visual effects.) [Insert 100 emoji] War does not have any winners and the pictures of the innocent shown were heartbreaking. I preferred this than American Sniper which did not make it to this list because I find that there’s really nothing new to contribute to the genre of war films except maybe Bradley Cooper’s performance on that film and that one specific scene when it was all clouded with sands and confusing. Fury could have been in this list but I haven’t watched it in its entirety.
Speaking of Chastain, Xavier Dolan, the hot French director I’ve been telling you about earlier, and a bunch of other well-known American actors are collaborating for a movie!
- Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) & 2: The Legend Continues (2013) by Adam McKay
One of the craziest movies ever made. It’s the only comedy film that has a sequel that is as good as the first one as far as I could remember. Ron Burgundy, I’ve been told, is a character off a Saturday Night Live sketch, who is a reporter, flawed, terrible and a sex maniac. And the entire gang of ex-SNL players are here to play. It’s completely over-the-top and absurd and that’s why I loved them. Steve Carell is here as Brick and he plays a dumb person. I watched this in the middle of schooling so I definitely laughed the stress out of me.
- The Graduate (1967) by Mike Nichols
What I love about extremely old films is that they do not have too many multiple plots and take their time to explore a single one: an affair with an older woman then falls in love with her daughter. In The Graduate, considered a classic, we find ourselves forced in the situation with a character very much ourselves. We are forced to take Mrs. Robinson home, and have an affair with her because we’re horny twentysomethings out of college. Also, the cinematography’s excellent. It was wonderfully shot. I’d like to take it as inspiration. The music is also to die for: a bunch of Simon & Garfunkel are played all throughout, and not just the instrumental but the entire song with lyrics: Hello darkness, my old friend…
- The Skeleton Twins (2014) by Craig Johnson
Kristen Wiig, in any movie, is brilliant as seen in Welcome to Me which almost made it in the list, and Bridesmaids. If we’re going to add Bill Hader, another beloved SNL alum, then that movie is worth the watch. The Skeleton Twins tackles mental illness when Hader’s gay character decides to take his own life then fails. This event brings his sister back to his life, recreating memories as scars resurface and Wiig’s character deals with her marriage. This movie is so warm to the heart and I’d like to recommend it to anybody feeling down. In addition to that is another great cinematographer Reed Morano who also filmed Kill Your Darlings.
- Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) by Chris Columbus
The photos above are from The Mindy Project. Context: Mindy is looking for a new nanny for her baby. Also, why is everyone not watching this show? It’s freaking hilarious.
With the wake of Robin Williams death, I’ve decided together with my little cousins to watch this classic. I’ve known Williams from Jumanji which was on repeat when I was a child and Dead Poets Society which I watched during my first year in college that ignited my interest in Walt Whitman and poetry itself. And with glassy eyes, I’ve decided this film was one of the important films for it deals directly with divorce and family in general.
- Whiplash (2014) by Damien Chazelle
Watched this three times! I recommended this to my family and some of them loved it and some did not because it’s ‘violent’ and ‘over-the-top’. This Oscar-nominated film is about an abusive mentor and a passionate student of music. The musical score on this film is also something to commend but it’s J.K. Simmons’ performance that probably made the film more powerful than it already is.
- Interstellar (2014) by Christopher Nolan
When I got my hands on this movie, I wanted to take a peek first before I sleep. It was 2AM anyway but oh my god, I slept at 5am on a school night because of this. It was gripping, equipped with beautiful CGI, and has this heartwarming tale of being lost and being found. Also, Jessica Chastain and Anne Hathaway are here.
- Inglorious Basterds (2005) by Quentin Tarantino
You can definitely cannot go wrong with a Quentin Tarantino film, starring Christoph Waltz as a Nazi and Brad Pitt as one of the soldiers. Is it me or does Waltz like portraying creepy men (like in Big Eyes)? But Waltz deserved that Oscar win especially in that farm scene which I loved the most. Also, BJ Novak makes a cameo. And that French girl, oh my god. Yes, another war film.
Pulp Fiction, another Tarantino film, did not made it to the list but I enjoyed it immensely as well – it was a four stars I think.
Well, that ends our first part in films in review. I am tired and my writing has degraded. On January, I’ll be posting the second part so stay tune to The Patrick Awards.
To give you a sneak peek, here are a few movies in the second part of My Year in Movies: Boogie Nights, The Matrix, The Black Swan…
Youtube the trailers or Wikipedia the movies. X