What good are weekends if you don’t watch a movie, or two? The weekend is the perfect time to curl up on the couch, with some tea, and watch fun films. Here are 10 of our top picks.
Adapted form Bret Easton Ellis’s novel of the same name, American Psycho tells the story of a wealthy New York investment banker by day, Patrick Bateman, who leads a double life as a gruesome serial killer by night. He casually murders people whilst discussing popular music, sometimes using an axe, a chainsaw and is very mindful about protecting his expensive suits while doing it. The movie is a satire on the extravagant life of businessmen in modern America, their obsession with materialistic things like designer suits, costly restaurant reservations, and expensive furniture. Released in 2000, the movie is directed by Canadian director Mary Haron and Christian Bale stars as the sinister Patrick Bateman. It has reached a “cult” status since its release and, with Bale’s performance and the screenplay, it’s easy to understand why.
I Am Love
I Am Love is an Italian romantic drama directed by Luca Guadganino. You might know him from the 2017 critically acclaimed “Call Me By Your Name” starring Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer. A part of his thematic “Desire” trilogy, I Am Love is a movie about an upper class Italian family experiencing changing times and fortune. The film’s main theme is passion and shows how the characters, one of them being Tilda Swinton as a loving mother and housewife Emma Recchi, are driven by it. The film gives us a glimpse into the elite life of the Italians, their love for food, art and all things Italian. Released in 2009, it premiered in Venice Film Festival with one Washington Post critic calling it “carefully composed and framed, gorgeously appointed”.
Quentin Tarantino has become a household name in Hollywood, known for his eccentric, often violent but definitely entertaining movies. He has won over moviegoers with movies like “Pulp Fiction”, “Kill Bill”, “Django Unchained”, but before all that, there was Reservoir Dogs that has been called the “greatest independent film of all time”. The movie revolves about a heist planned among complete strangers who call themselves “Mr Pink”, “Mr Orange”, brought together by a mob boss Joe Cabot. The movie opens at a diner where our robbers are enjoying breakfast and talking religion and philosophy along with the details of their upcoming heist. With six men clad in black and white tuxedos and chic square sunglasses, the men plan a robbery destined for failure. The movie has a great soundtrack with rock bands of the 1960s to 80s.
Annie Hall is one of those movies that leave you feeling nice and warm after it ends. At first it might seem like a simple tale of boy meets girl yet it has a lot of depth to it. It feels relatable as it talks about the hardships of making it in a new city, succeeding in your career, and finding love. The overall mood of the movie is humorous and Woody Allen often breaks the fourth wall to personally talk to the audience about things that ail his state of mind. The movie starts with a hilarious monologue with Allen talking about Groucho Marx, self-depreciation and women. Diane Keaton is wonderful as Annie Hall, a role made specifically for her. The movie won the Academy Award for “Best Picture” in 1977.
Lost in Translation
Following her father’s footsteps the legendary director Francis Ford Copolla (the man behind The Godfather) is Sofia Copolla with her film Lost in Translation. Here, a middle-aged movie star, played by Bill Murray, arrives in Tokyo for an over-the-top commercial. His indifference to his work or fame is a clear window to the loneliness he feels inside. In Park Hyatt Tokyo, he meets a young college graduate named Charlotte (played by Scarlett Johansson) who too feels bored as her newly wed husband is off to work too often. They strike up a unique friendship, one that borders on passive loneliness and dissatisfaction they feel in their lives. Yet we see them drinking at bars, karaoking at four in the morning. This is a wonderful tale of two people trying to find their sense of belonging.
First of a wonderful trilogy by Richard Linklater, Before Sunrise is a one-of-a-kind movie. The entire movie is two people talking to each other but there is not a moment where it feels forced or stretched out. We are as smitten by both the characters – Jessie (played by a young Ethan Hawke) and Celeine (the wonderful Julie Deply) – as they are with each other. The two meet on a train and decide to spend one day in Vienna. As the two go on to share their thoughts, feelings, opinions, often exaggerating to impress each other, the subtle attraction between them is evident. A movie as wonderful as this is definitely able to tug at your heartstrings. The other two sequels “Before Sunset” and “Before Midnight” show the same couple at different stages of their lives.
Little Miss Sunshine
A film about a dysfunctional yet loving family, Little Miss Sunshine was highly praised for its witty and fresh storytelling. The family consists of a nihilistic son (mostly shown reading Nietzsche), an addict grandfather, a suicidal uncle, an obnoxious father, a stressed mother and a cute but shy daughter. At first we see them falling out over the smallest of things but as the movie progresses their bond and love for one another grow stronger, all thanks to a rushed road trip to California to get the daughter Olive to the pageant “Little Miss Sunshine”. Like the VW bus they are travelling on, their love too sometimes needs a push. Then, of course, there’s the finale. You don’t want to miss this one.
The Darjeeling Limited
Another dysfunctional family on the list, but this time it’s on a train in India. Three previously estranged brothers go looking for their mother in India after their father’s death. Directed by the man of colors, Wes Anderson (you might remember him from The Grand Budapest Hotel or Isle of Dogs), here Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman star as the brothers in search of meaning in their relationships as well as their personal lives. One has barely survived a car accident and has an epiphany about family happiness, the other is intent on wearing his dead father’s clothes and glasses while the third is distant and indifferent. Together, they make the movie a rollercoaster ride, full of intelligent comedy and great songs from bands like the Kinks and the Rolling Stones.
A man named Jack (played by Viggo Mortensen) and his family of six children living in the wilderness of Washington have renounced all things modern. They survive by hunting and gathering but have a good knowledge of quantum physics, left-wing politics, literature etc. Unfortunate circumstances lead to them being reintroduced to the real, selfish, cynical world and they must deal with it. The movie perfectly encapsulates the importance of nature and human interactions for a healthy and fruitful life. Director Matt Ross really helps us put things into perspective regarding our ways of life and how important it is to cherish nature as well as family. Plus, there is a sweet cover of “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses. The film received a ten-minute long ovation when it was screened at the Cannes Film Festival.
My life as a Zucchini
For the last movie, don’t forget to get a box of tissues. My life as a Zucchini is a Swiss-French stop motion picture directed by Claude Barras. It’s about a boy who is sent to a foster home after the death of his mother, where fortunately he is treated lovingly (for a change) except there’s a bully named Simon. Despite the upheavals, the children at the foster home reveal themselves as good-hearted, lonesome souls looking for a family, one that they eventually find in each other. Adapted from a novel by Gilles Paris that was made into a live-action French drama in 2004, My Life As A Zucchini is a relatively nice film once you get past the unnerving opening (and that’s not a spoiler).