Friday, January 03, 2014

Favorite movies 2004-2014

I thought it would be fun to look back and make little lists of some of my favorite things over the last ten years.  I will start with movies.

Something odd seems to be happening.  I like fewer and fewer of the movies that the 'Academy' likes.
This morning I looked at numerous lists to help me remember which movies came out between 2004 and 2014.  I was surprised to notice that there were years that I did not like any of the movies chosen for 'best picture'.  In fact, this week, Patrick and I went to see American Hustle which has been touted as an award front runner.  We both thought it was terrible.  The acting was good.  But the story was really boring and dull.  We kept waiting for the good parts.  As Greg Brown would sing, "when does the good part start.'  And yesterday morning I watched Miss Potter from 2006.  I adored it and watched it a second time with Katie in the afternoon.

So yes.  I'm different from the critics in New York and Hollywood.  I guess that should NOT surprise me.

So here we go with the movies I really like in the last ten years.  I can not say that you will like them all.   Lots of times the unique construction of the storyline thrills me so much I am not shocked by the violence or language.  (I was however horrified by Django Unchained. I can not watch torture or gore.)
I will write an (R) after the movies that have violence and language.

In no particular order.

1. 500 Day of Summer
clever construction. cute actors. unique storyline. good looking.

2. The Help
touching story.

3. Slumdog Millionaire
clever construction. great story. beautiful. fave.

4. Crash (R)
genius editing. fantastic writing. dramatic.

5. Gran Torino (R)
excellent storytelling. dramatic. clint eastwood.

6. Hotel Rwanda (R)
true story. unbelievable. sad.

7. Miss Potter
sweet. inspirational.

8.  the Holiday
cute. sweet. chic flick.

9. It's Complicated
same writer as the Holiday.  nancy meyers. meryl and alec and steve.

10. The Kings Speech
true story. colin firth. well done.

11.  Les Miserables
spectacular musical

12.  September Issue
documentary about vogue september issue.  charming. beautiful. interesting.

13.  Beasts of the Southern Wild
beautiful, great music, magical.

14.  The Blind Side
touching. good story.

15.  In Bruge (R)
fantastic story telling. very dark but also funny.  dramatic.

16.  Bridesmaids (R)

Favorite Animated movies

Despicable Me
The Incredibles

A few trailers

I'm sorry. I'm very sorry.

This one may be my favorite.

What were some of your favorites?



  1. I love your choices, although there are a couple I haven't seen. When Walt and I are through with our little trist, I will have something to watch.... if I have the strength....b*%#h!!!

  2. Anonymous12:37 PM

    Good list…we have seen some, but not all. I like your comments and ratings after the movie names, very helpful. I grew up watching musicals and big epic films: The Ten Commandments, Ben Hur, South Pacific (the first one), Flower Drum Song, Oklahoma and so many more. My taste in movies was influenced and now I still like musicals. Yesterday I kept thinking that Ewan and Renee had been in another movie we liked and I looked it up: Down With Love (a satire on musical comedies). I like almost any movie with singing in it. Looking forward to your other lists and thank you for this one. love and prayers, jep

    1. I'm with you, Jep. A musical will get my vote every.time.

  3. I love your lists, Donna. My girls like to say that I am "squeamish" and they are absolutely right. So sometimes I just skip a movie.

    I've seen your chick flick choices, except for Bridesmaids. I'm pretty sure I would laugh in spite of myself! I love Melissa McCarthy - ever since Gilmore Girls :-)

    I have never seen "In Bruge" but ... I have been in Bruge ;-) hehe. In fact they were filming a scene for the movie in front of a big lovely building and pretending it was Winter, when in fact it was Spring!

    As for movies that I can watch over and over again (and I do!):

    2 Weeks Notice
    Music & Lyrics
    It's Complicated
    Something's Gotta Give (Nancy Meyer again!)
    You've Got Mail (except it's older than 2004)
    Harry Potter flicks - love 'em
    French Kiss (Really Old)
    Last Holiday (love Queen L.)
    Blades of Glory (don't judge)

    that's all I can think of off the top of my head


    1. Blades of Glory. For-evah. LOVE it.

  4. I am in no position to judge. But I admire you both for admitting you like that dopey Blades of Glory.

    1. "No exaggeration, I could not love a human baby more then I love this
      brush. ...." Chazz Michael Michaels.

      LOVE it.

  5. I'm making a list - we're always looking for movie recommendations. Thanks!

  6. Chocolate..with Johnny Depp!

    THe Painted Veil

    1. Kathy, Chocolat is from 2000. The painted veil IS good. I have seen the old version many times. I think there are three versions, they all end differently.

  7. Anonymous3:37 PM

    I've seen 8 out of the 16 movies. We loved Gran Torino and Slumdog Millionaire. I've watched Bridesmaids a couple times. Ok, so I actually have the DVD. Love it. It makes me laugh just thinking about it.
    Of course I've seen all the animated ones a bazillion times. Sophia just loves Wall-E and Despicable Me and DM 2.
    I think we'll watch movies tonight. : )
    Have a good night!
    Sarah P. from Iowa

  8. Anonymous4:29 PM

    I enjoyed Quartet with Maggie Smith, The Tourist (loved all the beautiful artistic camera angles of Angelina and Johnny), War Horse, Knight and Day (just for fun), About Schmidt (rated R, thought-provoking), and the new Jane Eyre with Mia Wasikowska (although the version with Toby Stephens and Ruth will always be my favorite).

    Debbie Z.

    1. Anonymous6:04 PM

      My husband and I enjoyed The Tourist, but you are the first person to agree with us. :-) Angelina wore some beautiful clothes in the movie I thought. jep

    2. I loved Quartet!!

    3. I love Knight and Day - we quote it all the time! :)

  9. Dawn K7:03 PM

    I couldn't quite understand how the Lord of the Rings films were left of the list--however, they were distributed 2001-03. And I'm so glad I'm not the only one who didn't really like American Hustle. It's very overrated, IMHO.

    My faves include: Toy Story 3, Wall-E, Ratatouille, The Hangover, Crash, King's Speech, Wreck-it-Ralph, and Les Miz. And surprisingly, I really liked Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

  10. Dawn,
    I have not read or watched Lord of the Rings.
    I have not read or watched Harry Potter.

    Isn't that something?

    1. Me neither, Donna, so I'm something with you? ;) I've also avoided all vampire movies.....

      Tammy ~@~

    2. Dawn K10:12 PM

      Really?? I've read and seen both series. However, I didn't read LOTR until after I'd seen all three movies. I really loved both. And I have definitely enjoyed the HP movies--I should have added HP4-7.2 to my list above. And I do give a thumbs up to Hobbit 2. (It's better than Hobbit 1.)

      I've only seen a few of the vampire films, and they are definitely NOT on my list.

    3. No vampires or zombies either. My cultural literacy has plummeted in the last ten years.

    4. Lord of the Rings comments are almost as controversial as mustard and swimming babies (-:

      But on this weekend of Packers freezing against 49ers freezing, I will just say that LOTR and I are friends forever (-:

      But I am with you on vampire and zombie things. No thanks.

      The movies on your list that I have seen I really liked, so I will add the others to my queue. I had to laugh at Mary's comment below about Love Actually. With a few noteworthy scenes as an exception, I really like that film. But it is not a movie I chat about regularly (-:


    5. (-: (-: (-: Smiley much?

    6. I didn't expect to be as moved by LOTR as I was. SOBS. Truly loved those movies.

  11. Anonymous10:47 PM

    Loved reading your list and have seen all but 3 of the films. I couldn't come up with my favorites for the past 10 years without looking at what was released during that time period. It's time to put the Christmas DVDs away and, much like the decorations and the music, it makes me sad. Don't tell anyone, but I may break out Love Actually or The Holiday sometime this summer. :)

    Two of my recent faves are Philomena and Saving Mr. Banks. Both are highly recommended!

    Mary Z

    1. I really want to see both, but have to wait for their release here :-/ have heard great reports.

  12. Anonymous11:52 AM

    Thanks everyone for new ideas for our empty Netflix queue!

  13. Love Miss Potter. I think it's one of those hidden gems. Love everything about it: the story of her life (even if at times inaccurate, so I've heard), the literary/artistic themes, the 'woman ahead of her time' theme, the love theme.

    I will never watch Slumdog again. Just can't stomach what the "bad guys" do to the children. It's too painful and horrible to watch.

    Love The Help. It touches me deeply since I came from a southern family and witnessed some of the civil rights struggles up close as a little girl.

    My husband and I adore 'Waking Ned Devine,' set in Ireland. It is so clever and witty and gorgeous scenery!

    1. We love Waking Ned Devine, Barb.


    2. "Oh no! The man has melted!"

      Those aren't his intesTINES -- it's his chicken dinner

  14. Anonymous2:54 PM

    Barb, I love Waking Ned Devine, too!!

    Di, I completely agree about Love Actually (and I suspect we're talking about the same scenes...) I resented that those were in there as it prevented me from sharing it with my daughter years ago. The rest of it is oh so awesome, that I've been able to overlook a few less than desirable moments. :)

    Mary Z

    1. The scenes with Emma Thompson while Jodi Mitchell is singing break my heart every time. I have to say it's easier watching that film when your kids are grown and flown the nest!

    2. Emma is amazing!


    3. I wanted to love it. But the nonsense ruins it for me. Would love to see the tv edit - I've heard that coupe isn't even in it!

  15. I will have to look into your list as I haven't some of them and I LOVE the movies. I agree about American hustle just went to see it and was very disappointed. I would add Django to your list. I thought that was great but graphic. My all time favorite movie is Good Will Hunting.

  16. Anonymous11:34 AM

    I just watched the trailer from Bridesmaids...makes me LOL everytime I watch it!!

    sis' cindy :)

    1. Never seen it. Might watch it tomorrow since scott is out of town, and he would not approve!! ;)

  17. Replies
    1. Anonymous8:27 PM

      OMG. LOL

      So funny,
      Sarah P. from Iowa

  18. Love your list! I watched Beasts of the Southern Wild because of you and adored it. Hushpuppy stole my heart :-)

    I would suggest "Lars and the Real Girl" and "Phoebe in Wonderland." Patricia Clarkson is amazing in both. Phoebe is played by Elle Fanning, Dakota's little sis - and in my opinion the more talented of the two. Speaking of Dakota Fanning... "Man on Fire" Love. Love. Love. Just keep the tissues handy.

  19. Here to say, I just watched Miss Potter. Never knew about it before you. (You do so well at keeping me informed!) and I loved it. I have dreamed of authoring a children's book with beautiful water color paintings. I did write a quick, silly story for my children and nieces and nephews this Christmas but did not put the time into the sketches they were quick and colorful but not beautiful. Ah well, that Miss Potter movie will cause me to dream about painting some more!


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