As part of the gig I get asked to do Top 5 lists and questionnaires of the “You and your underarm hair” kind all the time. This one took a bit of thought (they change so frequently) so is worth reprinting here and at least here I can do it with visuals! Beat that traditional media!!
Actually no. I love the Guide. They’re nice people.
This will be in the RTE Guide in a few weeks.
Top 5 Movies
The Royal Tenenbaums
This one is pure genius. Looks like a box of chocolates and tastes like one too. Desperately funny and with pitch perfect performances from a cast you’d kill for – Gene Hackman, Ben Stiller, Angelica Huston, The Wilson brothers, Gwyneth Paltrow and with Alec Baldwin as your voiceover. The only modern movie in my list.
Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid
One of the finest structured films ever and with William Goldman’s career best screenplay. Newman and Redford are close to having the best on screen chemistry ever. Of anyone. It manages to be funny time and time again without being a comedy and has one of the truly great endings of 1960s cinema. Genius.
The Great Dictator
Even if it were just for the ballet with the globe that Tomanian dictator Adenoid Hynkel performs in his office this would be Chaplin’s finest film. He satirised Hitler and fascists all across Europe when no-one else dared. The speech at the end when the Jewish barber has been mistaken or the dictator was a touch too egalitarian and eventually got him branded a communist by the Joe McCarthys of this world but it’s all just beautiful.
Dr Strangelove (Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying An Love The Bomb)
Simple for Kubrick really – take the possibility of nuclear annihilation for all of us and make it funny. And make it still scary and genuinely brilliant over 40 years later. I still think this is Peter Sellers finest hour, playing the three leads and again, the ending is the sort of thing people wouldn’t get away with these days. “Mein Führer! I can walk!”
Jacques Tati’s last great silent masterpiece was, in 1967, well after the golden era of silent cinema but is beautiful and very, very funny all the same. Mr Bean is based on the character who has his last hurrah here (Mr Hulot) but this is a thousand times more visually beautiful and gently funny. It’s, I’ve just noticed, the third of my films in black and white. But, after all, everything looks better in black and white.
Oh, and this is post number 1200(!)