With over 100 years of incredible movie entertainment, the challenge of picking my favorite films seemed impossible. So many times I've answered, "I can't choose just one!" to inquiring questions about my favorites in any category, be it movies, music, food, or Xbox games. But for this Pick-a-Flick challenge, I decided to sit down and really think about my favorite movies and make some decisions. Let me tell you, it really made me appreciate the judges of all those annual awards shows a lot more! So although I feel I should have added at least 20 more categories, here are my choices:
1. Best Moment - City Lights (1931)
There are no words that can truly and completely describe the beauty that is the final scene of Charlie Chaplin's City Lights. This time around, the beloved tramp falls in love with a poor, blind girl who sells flowers on the street to pay the bills. Upon their first meeting, she mistakes the tramp as being rich, so when he gives her the money to pay for her bills and a surgical procedure that will fix her eyesight, she has no idea that the money was stolen. The tramp is arrested and jailed for near a year. Once released, he searches for her, eventually stumbling upon her thriving flower shop that she opened after gaining her eyesight. The ensuing scene is both heartbreaking and hopeful, as after grabbing his hand to give him a coin, she suddenly realizes who he is.
2. Best Story - The Imitation Game (2014)
"Sometimes it's the very people who no one imagines anything of, who do the things no one can imagine."
The story of Alan Turing (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) is simultaneously inspiring and tragic, and I get wrapped up in the story every time I watch it. It is a monumental shame that a person who did so much for the world and the advancement of technology and computers was shunned as a hero simply for being homosexual. What's even more disheartening is that it took the world about half a century after his death to get around to honoring him.
3. Best Dialogue - Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
"Look! The moonlight shows us what we really are! We are not among the living, so we cannot die, but neither are we dead! For too long, I've been parched of thirst and unable to quench it. Too long I've been starvin' to death and haven't died. I feel nothin'. Not the wind on my face nor the spray of the sea, nor the warmth of a woman's flesh. You best start believin' in ghost stories, Miss Turner. You're in one!"
I had to go with this string of dialogue simply because it is the longest which I have memorzied, so obviously it must be the best! ;) But it is easily the most awesome dialogue and coolest scene of the movie, and of the whole series. Geoffrey Rush's delivery is spot on.
4. Most Intelligent - The Thin Man (1934)
This little gem from 1934 is about Nick Charles (William Powell), a retired detective, who gets dragged back into the fray by both his wife, Nora, who just wants to see him in action, and by an old friend's daughter who claims that her father is missing. The movie somehow gracefully entwines a dark, cleverly twisted murder mystery with humorous banter, charm, and elegance. Now if that isn't an intelligent script, I don't know what is!
5. Best Overall Movie - Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
This movie has everything: an amazing story, witty dialogue, fantastic music, superb acting, great dancing, romance, comedy, and sadness. This is the movie that no matter what time of day it is, no matter how I am feeling, I always love watching it. The rags to riches, yet arrogant to humble story about the life of the great artist George M. Cohan (portrayed by James Cagney), is one of the most American patriotic tales ever to come from an Irish descendant, and can be enjoyed by everyone, young and old!