I am not, by nature, a film person. I’ve always preferred reading a book because I have a seriously short attention span and it always felt more… immersive. And as you tend to watch films more with friends than you read books with them, I was never very good at pretending to enjoy a film if I hated it. A film has to really grip me in the first 15 minutes if I’m going to continue with it, and a lot of the time… it just didn’t. So I got bored.
But over the years of Christmases, family get-togethers, sleepovers, and Friday night wine dates with friends, I have been forced to sit through a few that I will now completely admit that I love. And I am SO thankful to each and every person to locked me into my seat (not literally) and made me watch them. I seriously love each and every one of these films and I could watch all five of them over and over and over again.
I’m definitely not a film hater, but I still hate the idea of committing myself to two hours of potential boredom. And if you ARE a film hater… I think you’ll like these five. I hope so.
1. Lost in Translation (2003)
Aging actor Bob Harris (Bill Murray) meets newly-wed college graduate Scarlett Johansson in a bar in a Tokyo hotel. Both are feeling strained and disillusioned about life, and an unlikely (but fleeting) friendship develops between the pair.
Why I love it: …it has Bill Murray in. And I love Bill Murray. The mystery of the end line of the entire film (yep, I’m being deliberately vague. Guess you’ll just have to watch the whole film). The fact that *spoiler alert* their relationship is so not what you think it’s going to be. Everybody can relate to feeling a little bit alone, especially when they’ve done something that everybody is telling them they’re brave for…like moving to a new city. The karaoke scene.
2. Moonlight (2016)
Moonlight depicts the life of Chiron, a young, homosexual, American black male at three stages – child, teenager, and young man – as he attempts to traverse through life with a drug-addicted mother.
Why I love it: Oh, my god. Where to even start? The way it looks. The pacing and structure. The fact that it deals with SO many different themes (drugs, race, sexuality) and balances them all so well. The fact that I was so surprised to find out that BLOODY BRAD PITT PRODUCED IT (and how glad I was to not have known that before I bought my ticket). That it’s a coming-of-age story (and who can resist a good one of those)?
3. High-Rise (2015)
Based on the novel by J.G. Ballard, High-Rise is a dystopian drama where the inhabitants of a block of flats turn insular and eventually violent.
Why I love it: A) The book is amazing. Seriously. If you like a thriller, dystopian-style book about the human condition (think Lord of the Flies) you will LOVE High-Rise by J.G. Ballard. Apart from the obvious point that both Tom Hiddleston and Luke Evans (Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, that guy from The Girl on the Train) are in the film… It’s creepy and funny and thrilling and the music is good and it just stayed with me for ages.
…and it has Tom Hiddleston in.
4. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
The Hoover family piled into a decrepit VW van to make a trip to California to support their daughter Olive in the ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ beauty pageant.
Why I love it: It’s a funny, sweet indie comedy mixed with some really good messages about family, loving yourself, acceptance, and truth. Steve Carrell plays a depressed, suicidal uncle so, so sensitively, and it’s so different from anything else I’ve ever seen him do but so GOOD. There is a dance scene at the end that makes me cry with laughter every single time. The grandfather is hilarious.
5. Napolean Dynamite (2004)
Awkward teen Napolean Dynamite decides to help his new friend Pedro run for class president in their small-town Preston, Idaho school.
Why I love it: I actually only saw this film for the first time about two weeks ago. It. Is. Hilarious. The sheer quotability. This film could literally outdo Mean Girls with the amount of quotes that stuck in my head after seeing it just once. The stupidity. The fact that in some way, Napolean Dynamite really is all of us. And Deb – Deb is who ALL us of should want to be.
Even self-proclaimed film haters may find some movies surprisingly enjoyable and interesting if given a chance. While certain genres and complex plots can frustrate people claiming to dislike cinema, films with elements of humor, compelling characters, inspiring true stories or critical acclaim deserve consideration.