You now know MY top five favorite books. So what becomes of a good book? It becomes a movie! So now it's time for MY top five favorite movies. The synopsis for each movie was provided by the Netflix website. For some of the movies, I provided my own insight as well.
Casablanca starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman
***In this Oscar-winning classic, American expat Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) plays host to gamblers, thieves and refugees at his Moroccan nightclub during World War II ... but he never expected Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) - the woman who broke his heart -- to walk through that door. Ilsa hopes that with Rick's help, she and her fugitive husband (Paul Henreid) can escape to America. But the spark that brought the lovers together still burns brightly.***
My Take: I hate movies about romance, but I couldn't help but love Casablanca. Here's a little factoid for you...the writers changed the script so much during production that Bogart, Bergman and the rest of the cast had no clue who the character Isla was going to choose to love and leave at the end of the movie. Another factoid is that the movie's most famous line at the very end of the movie was not originally there. It was dubbed in later.
Sunset Bulevard starring Gloria Swanson and William Holden
***Running from debt collectors, screenwriter Joe (William Holden) stumbles upon the crumbling mansion of former silent-film star Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson). As he begins working for Norma, writing a comeback screenplay, their professional relationship evolves into something more. A provocative look inside Hollywood show business, Billy Wilder's classic noir won Academy Awards for Art Direction, Music and Screenplay.***
My Take: This movie is funny, dark and disturbing. It has been said that Swanson was playing herself (which she really was). However, she didn't go off the deep end.
All About Eve starring Bette Davis and Anne Baxter
***Writer-director Joseph L. Mankiewicz's sharp script anchors this story about New York City theater life, with Bette Davis playing an aging Broadway diva who employs a starstruck fan (Anne Baxter) as her assistant, only to learn the woman is a conniving upstart. The now-classic All About Eve won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director (Mankiewicz), Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor (George Sanders).***
My Take: This movie has the most Oscar nominations in film history (14)...what else needs to be said? And I might add, this was a time when Oscars really did go to the best movies.
Casino Royale starring Daniel Craig and Eva Greene
***Martin Campbell (GoldenEye) directs the 21st film adaptation of the 007 franchise, which marks Daniel Craig's debut as James Bond and plays him against a corrupt financier (Mads Mikkelsen) in a showdown of Texas Hold 'Em. Eva Green stars as Vesper Lynd, and the sublime Judi Dench reprises her role as M. Because the action is based on Ian Fleming's first novel, you'll also learn critical facts about Bond's back story.***
My Take: Gasp! I chose this movie above all the other classic Bond films? Yes, I did and I'm not ashamed. Why? Because Daniel Craig breathed new life into the aging Bond character, and the whole scenario was very believable.
Batman Returns starring Michael Keaton, Michelle Pfeiffer and Danny DeVito
***Trouble returns to Gotham in director Tim Burton's sequel as Batman (Michael Keaton) battles three new villains plotting to take over the city, including corrupt businessman Max Shreck (Christopher Walken), the hideous Penguin (Danny DeVito) and the mysterious Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer). This comic book brought to life drew two Oscar nods for its visuals, but its dark themes and violence led Warner Bros. in a lighter direction for Batman Forever.***
My Take: I was going to put Inception here, but I couldn't shake away a movie that I have known about practically since I was born (exaggeration). I'm not even going to attempt to hide the reason why I love this movie...Michelle Pfeiffer's amazing performance as the deeply troubled, leather clad seductress Catwoman.
WORST MOVIE EVER...
Napoleon Dynamite starring Jon Heder
***This Sundance Grand Jury Prize nominee follows Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder), a quirky, ninja-loving teenager growing up in the far reaches of Idaho, whose life gets complicated when his shady Uncle Rico (John Gries) shows up with a scheme to sell plastic serveware. While a shy girl (Tina Majorino) starts showing Napoleon some attention, his new best friend (Efren Ramirez) decides to run for school president.***
My Take: Don't even get me started on this complete waste of film...and my life.
Photos provided by Google