Now to the second part of the countdown . . . films 40-31 . . .
40. The Hours (2002)
Three women living in different times all linked together with “Mrs Dalloway” Virginia Woolf’s novel, we see her writing it, a housewife reading it and the last woman living the life. Strong cast and storylines make a very powerful film, with some very thought-provoking images and morals. Each woman is living a lie and has to deal with losing someone they love. Also making a big step for the gay community, in having male and female characters who are gay and issues that they have to face.
39. Gangs of New York (2002)
This is a very visually powerful film from Martin Scorsese. In 1863, Amsterdam Vallon returns to the Five Points area of New York City seeking revenge against Bill the Butcher, his father’s killer. Daniel Day-Lewis was outstanding and had brilliant chemistry with Leonardo DiCaprio who worked so well off one another, making a very believable story come across from the film.
38. Mamma Mia! (2008)
Probably the most controversal film on the whole list, but yes it is really here. The reason it is on the list is because it is a real feel good film and you cannot help but just enjoy it, sing along and have fun with it. It came out when times started to be difficult for people and it really helped. Everyone knows all the songs already as Abba are very popular, so it is a film you can just put on and enjoy. The songs are worked into the story in true musical fashion allowing the characters to randomly break into song to match the situation.
37. Vera Drake (2004)
A very powerful and moving drama, about a woman who “helps out” women who have gotten themself in trouble, which all goes well until one of her procedures go wrong. The shock of her family and the general story of the this film are so heart breaking and brilliantly acted. I rather difficult story line of back street abortions will always bring up a lot of debate to whether you are for or against abortions. As this film shows a lot of these women did not have a choice, it was a different time when sex outside of marriage was still very much frowned upon. Even looking at the picture of Imelda Staunton as Vera Drake touches a nerve as she was such a nice ‘old’ woman who wouldn’t do anyone any harm, she was just helping them.
36. (500) Days of Summer (2009)
A total different spin on romantic comedies and the usual role reversal has been changed as you would normally expected it to be the female character who falls for the male character but this is not a love story we are constantly reminded throughout the story which pans 500 days. I really think that future romantic comedies should take notes from this film and attempt a similar style in terms of more realistic and not building up false hope how the modern world is with “love”. It just shows that you don’t have to have a forever after with someone, it could be 500 days and this could change you, inspire you to do what you have always wanted. We have to take into account all the relationships we have as they are what make us, even the bad parts of them. I think this film captures that type of attitude, with some hilarious scenes.
35. The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus (2009)
Heath Ledger’s last performance although not finished, a script re-write was completed to be able to finish the film and it really worked. Yes it is a bizarre concept but I really liked the randomness of it all. It was story telling in a very different and unusual way, we don’t want to see the same things over and over do we? So Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell stepped in to finish the film and what a brilliant story they made. The many faces of Tony which changed every time he stepped in the mirror, must have been a reason for that !!!
34. Boy in the Sriped Pajamas (2008)
After watching this I stated it was the most depressing film I have ever seen and I will never watch it again, I still stand by what I said and for those reasons this film is on the list. It was so powerful that it disturbed me, in its sadness as they were just children. The innocence of the children to what is happening not only to them but around them and why they cannot actually play together is really something that makes this film much more heart wrenching, they do not understand the war and the concentration camps.
33. In the Valley of Elah (2007)
This film really stuck a nerve with me too, I did not really know anything about it before going into the cinema either but now years later I still hold it in very high regard. A retired military investigator Hank (Tommy Lee Jones) works with a police detective (Charlize Theron) to uncover the truth about his son’s disappearance following his return from Iraq. The police and army were not willing to work together and Hank does not believe the army’s answers. This is when he sets about to find out what exactly happened to his son, can he find out the truth?
32. Notes on a Scandal (2006)
Pure brilliance of showing how jealously in a friendship can drive you insane, two brilliant actresses Judi Dench and Cate Blachett having incredible arguments. The main storyline of a teacher having an affair with a student who is 15 years old, one year under the legal age is very taboo and at times very difficult to watch but such a powerful story. Seeing the downfall of the teacher when the sordid affair is brought into light because of her colleague and supposed friend. The scenes with her husband (my favorite Bill Nighy) are also very emotional and probably how any man would act if they found out his wife had an affair with a minor.
31. King Kong (2005)
Beauty killed the beast again in Peter Jackson’s remake of King Kong, and what a film he made. A cast and crew travel to Skull Island to make a movie but they get more than they bargained for in Kong and other creatures. A t-rex and Kong fighting makes for a brilliant scene. Jack Black also showing that he can indeed act and do it very well.