Last week we posted up the team’s favourite books and we couldn’t resist sharing our much-loved films with you too. We thought picking our favourite book was tricky but choosing between our favourite movies has been even more difficult!
Hope you like our selection; let us know what your ultimate film is in the comments box below.
Love, the Isabella Oliver team
Grease- Now although I have many favourite films depending on my mood (comedy/romance/weepy/classic/musical) I find myself coming back to this again and again, I must have seen this film a thousand times in my life, yet every time I see it I love it just a little bit more.
I first watched this at the age of seven, quickly became obsessed with it and watched it every day for a year, I loved the cars, the clothes, the makeup, the scenery, the boys, I wanted to live in the make believe world of Rydell High. For this reason I think it is probably the one film that stylistically has had the greatest effect on my life because as a result I became interested in the 1950’s as an era, now I am affectionately known as a ‘50’s throwback’ and live the lifestyle with the clothes, the makeup, the house, the car and even the boy!
12 Angry Men- This is a black and white low budget movie that is limited to only one room where 12 men – as the title suggests- are in talks to determine a verdict on a poor, uneducated boy who is accused of killing his father. From the very beginning they are sure that the boy has committed the crime until one man votes ‘not guilty’ because of his reasonable doubt. The entire movie follows the story of this man as he persuades the other man to slowly reconsider their judgments.
The music, the dialogue and the actors all contribute to making this film a cult favourite and soon-to-be classic! The famous scene of Dennis Hopper winding up Christopher Walker in the caravan is fantastic.
Henry (who couldn’t decide on just one film!) loves:
Ronin - Former US intelligence agent, Robert De Niro, tries to track down a mysterious package that is wanted by both the Irish and the Russians. Jean Reno, one of my favourite actors, and Natascha McElhone star in this exciting and credible action packed movie.
A Good Year – Based on a book by Peter Mayle (of A Year in Provence) Russell Crowe in an unusually delicate and sophisticated role plays a British investment broker who inherits his uncle’s chateau and vineyard in Provence, where he spent much of his childhood. He discovers a new laid-back lifestyle and a love interest played beautifully by Marion Cotillard.
Chocolat – A woman played by Juliette Binoche and her daughter open a chocolate shop in a small French village that shakes up the rigid morality of the community. Also stars Dame Judi Dench and a brilliant Alfred Molina – Johnny Depp also features.
Leon – Professional assassin Leon is played by Jean Reno, a great role for him to showcase his talent, reluctantly takes care of 12-year-old Mathilda, a neighbour whose parents are killed, and teaches her his trade. The film brings with it high tension, surprises and an interesting twist. You are on the edge of your seat when the curtain starts to fall…..!
My favourite films are two that belong together: Jean de Florette followed by Manon des Sources. They are French drama films that take place in the Provence. It has a superb story and features some of my favourite actors: Gerard Depardieu, Daniel Auteil, Emmanuelle Béart and Yves Montand. A perfect (long) evening would be watching these one after the other curled up on the sofa with a big pot of tea. It really is a shame if you haven’t watched them, they are a really worth it.
Little Women- This coming-of-age story brings back childhood memories and I love it just as much now as I did the first time I watched it. Based on the book by Louisa May Alcott, the film follows the story of four sisters living in New England during the civil war. The story centres around Jo (Winona Ryder), an aspiring writer who’s brave and outspoken nature captures the heart of her wealthy neighbour, Laurie (Christian Bale). It’s a feel-good film with touching moments.
Ocean’s Eleven-Where else can you find Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Matt Damon in the same film? I love this film, not just for the eye candy, but for the wit and humour, as well as a great storyline that can be watched over and over.
Dirty Dancing- The reason I love this film is because it’s a classic and puts me in a really good mood. When I was about 10 I watched it every night for about three weeks and am still not sick of it. It’s always my go-to film if I’m feeling bored or lonely, and I’m guilty of always singing and dancing along. I haven’t persuaded my boyfriend to learn the routines with me yet though, but I’m working on it.
Lord of The Rings – How can I not admire the beauty of my home country. New Zealand really is like that! It never fails to move me no matter how many times I watch it.
Casablanca- It’s got evil Nazis, the French Resistance, smugglers, an exotic location, dangerous underworld characters, an amoral anti-hero, an unapologetically corrupt police chief, and a tragic love story. I’m always charmed by the snappy dialogue and sense of humor even in the middle of a dark situation. Even people who haven’t seen the film would know the famous line, “Here’s looking at you kid”.
Amadeus- This film is about Mozart’s life. I like this movie a lot because within two hours you learn about the type of person he was and get a realization of how good his music actually is. On top of that, the acting (especially the main character) are cast brilliantly. It’s interesting and probably an easy and quick way to introduce this genius composer to the little kids who have never heard of him!
La’ Toya loves:
I’m a sucker for love so Love & Basketball has to be one of my favourite movies. It is written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, starring Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan. The film is about two childhood friends who have a deep love for basketball and have big dreams of playing in the NBA when they grow up. The film spans roughly across 13 years of their lives. They have a love-hate relationship with each other. They both eventually make it pro but Monica finds out that basketball is no longer fun without Quincy. Their paths cross again and they play for love in a final one-on-one game.