25 Years in Films


Today is April 2, 2019. That means I've been alive for a quarter of a century. Wow.

Because of the awful birthday I had last year and the fact that I'm 25 and I'm nowhere near where I thought I'd be at this point in life, I decided to not celebrate it. It's not like I have things to celebrate anyway.

It didn't feel right though to act as if today was just another day because clearly, it's not (the fact that I cried for almost an hour this morning and half an hour before posting this proves it) so a couple of months ago, I decided to celebrate my 25 years by writing about my favourite movie from each year I've spent on this earth. And once again procrastination got the best of me and I almost didn't manage to rewatch all the movies. 

1994 - Pulp Fiction


My birth year was such a good year for films —and yet somehow the Academy managed to fuck up and award Forrest Gump with Best Picture, which, don't get me wrong, I liked it, a lot, but it was not as good as The Shawshank Redemption. Nor as good as Pulp Fiction, the first Quentin Tarantino movie I saw —suggested by my Italian professor—, as well as my favourite from 1994. It has everything I love about Tarantino, the compelling non-linear story, the clever dialogue, and the fantastic soundtrack.

1995 - The Usual Suspects


Yes, you read that right. A movie directed by a paedophile and starring a paedophile is one of my favourite movies. You're free to say whatever you want about them, I don't care, but you can't deny that this is an intriguing film with one of the best plot twists ever. And the funniest line-up ever. And young Benicio del Toro. Yes, I'm that shallow. 

1996 - Fargo


I'm not sure what bothers me the most, noisy eaters or people associating Fargo to FX's series —don't get me wrong, I loved the first season but did I love it as much as I love the Coen Brothers original movie? I don't, and how could I? This film has one of the most simple yet most compelling stories ever, Marge is one of the greatest female characters in film history, the dark comedy is used perfectly to lighten up the tone, and Steve Buscemi kills it.

1997 - Anastasia


While other kids were too busy fighting over who the best sidekick was—maybe I'm being a bit dramatic here—, I was giving my love to Bartok, the Albino bat who works for Rasputin. Despite my love, the bat was not the reason I watched Anastasia over and over again as a kid, and still enjoy watching it as a grown up. I simply fell in love with the story, the characters, and the romance between Anja/Anastasia and Dimitri, and, despite its many flaws, it still holds a special place in my heart.

1998 - American History X


Edward Norton with a swastika tattooed on his chest is the reason I first watched American History X. I must have been fifteen and, there's no nice way to put this, I thought Nazis did the right thing killing all those innocent people. That change Derek Vinyard experiences in prison? I had that. Just like Derek, I realised my beliefs were wrong, that people with a different skin colour or professing a different religion are not guilty of anything because of it, that they don't deserve to be disrespected, hated, hurt and killed because of it. Hate is baggage. Life's too short to be pissed off all the time. It's just not worth it. was my conclusion too. It's a tough watch, especially that scene, but I've been rewatching it many times over the years and, the more I watch it, the more I'm grateful for discovering it. I don't even want to imagine what kind of person I would be today if I hadn't seen this film about ten years ago. 

1999 - Girl, Interrupted


Since romantic comedies and brainless action flicks were pretty much all I watched at the time, I didn't know what it meant to relate to a character. I learnt it when I watched James Mangold's film as for the first time in my life I saw on screen someone I could relate to, someone that felt about life, about the world the same way I felt. I still relate to her, and I still love this film, and I'm amazed by how diverse Mangold's filmography is. 

2000 - American Psycho


They say there's a little bit of psychopath in all of us. I think there's more than a little bit of psychopath in me otherwise how would you explain my unconditional love for this film, Patrick and the fact that I sit through most of the killings with a smile on my face? Seriously though, this is a hell of a dark comedy with a horror twist, and I will never get tired of it. 

2001 - Bridget Jones's Diary


I never cared much for Bridget Jones's Diary, in part because I'm not a fan of romantic comedies and in part because my mother hated it, but when a couple of years ago I finally decided to watch it, I found myself enjoying this corny chick flick, and absolutely loving Renée Zellweger and her clumsy, genuine and sweet Bridget Jones, and rewatch after rewatch, this became my favourite romantic comedy. 

2002 - 8 Mile


If someone asked me who my favourite singer is I'd say Eminem without hesitation as he is the only I loved as a kid and still love now. He is the reason I watched 8 Mile in the first place and, although it's not a perfect film, I still think it's a great underdog story with "nice" mother and son relationship, a great soundtrack and an underrated performance by Eminem. 

2003 - The Room


When I first watched Tommy Wiseau's film, I hated it, every single minute of it, and I felt so angry afterwards. A couple of months later, after seeing many videos on YouTube about the film, I did the unthinkable, I rewatched it and I found pretty much everything about it to be hilarious. From Johnny fucking Lisa's belly button to his outburst on the roof. Now, whenever I feel like relaxing, The Room is one of the movies I go for.

2004 - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind


When I first watched this, because of the Italian title, which translates into if you leave me I will erase you, and Jim Carrey being the lead, I was expecting one of those clichéd romantic comedies everybody loves. I couldn't have been more wrong as it turned out to be such a wonderful film, one of the most heartwarming and heartbreaking films of all times. And Jim Carrey's performance is phenomenal. 

2005 - Green Street


This is a guilty pleasure of mine. I know it's not a masterpiece. It wants to be the Fight Club of football —soccer if you live on the other side of the pond— but it's not as effective. That said, I enjoy the hell out of this movie every single time. I always cry when Charlie Hunnam's character dies, and, unpopular opinion, I think Elijah Wood fits the role of the tough guy very well as the character is not strong, nor brave at all the beginning. Also, this is the film that made me sympathize for West Ham United. So there's that. 

2006 - Little Miss Sunshine


The more I watch this film, the more I love it. It's just so charming, funny and touching. It has so much heart, flawed and yet wonderful, beautiful characters and even more wonderful performances. Also, you can't beat Abigal Breslin dancing to Rick James's Super Freak.  

2007 - Hot Fuzz


Shaun of the Dead used to be my only Edgar Wright movie. Then I discovered the Cornetto trilogy —by the way, I love how native English speakers say cornetto— and it was love at first sight with Hot Fuzz. Not only it's my favourite of the trilogy, but also my favourite action flick parody. The fact that I love British humour really helps, I think. 

2008 - In Bruges


Yes, another dark comedy. This is the feature debut of a director with whom I eventually fell in love with, Martin McDonagh. Colin Farrell is mindblowing in this, Ralph Fiennes has an epic breakdown, and Bruge is gorgeous. But what I love the most about this is that not only it finds humour in dark places, but it manages to be smart and thought-provoking while doing it. 

2009 - Zombieland


When I first watched it many years ago, I did only because of Emma Stone, and I was prepared to hate it because of Jesse Eisenberg. As you probably guessed, I actually ended up loving with. And I didn't even mind Eisenberg. It's not a smart film but the great thing is that it doesn't try to be smart. It's just plain dumb but so fun, and that's the reason I love it. 

2010 - Easy A


Meredith Grey has her person, Cristina Yang. I have my movie, Easy A. When I feel sad, I watch this. When I'm tired but still feel like watching a movie, I watch this. When I want to see something light and heartwarming, I watch this. I don't care about how clichéd it is, I could watch this every single day and not get tired of it. Also, this is the movie that made me fall in love with Emma Stone.

2011 - Horrible Bosses


For once, the Italian title is way catchier than the original one —it's Come ammazzare il capo e vivere felici which translates into How to kill your boss and live happily— and it's the reason I watched this eight years ago. Needless to say, I loved the hell out of this movie. Yes, it's idiotic, vulgar and offensive. And so what? Sue me for liking it. 

2012 - Silver Linings Playbook


There was a time when I loved Jennifer Lawrence and she was the first I checked this out six years ago. But she is not the reason I've rewatched this many times over the years, the fact that it's an emotional rollercoaster ride that deals with mental illness in such an incredible way is. I hate the way the camera often lingers on Lawrence's butt —David O. Russell is a disgusting "man", after all— but I cannot help but love the film. And my heart breaks every time Pat leaves Tiffany to talk to Nikki.

2013 -  This Is the End


I know he's kind of creepy, but I love James Franco and, after loving Pineapple Express, I watched this. And it's about the greatest idiotic movie I've ever seen and I will ever see because it's really impossible to top this. I love how each actor makes fun of himself,  how ridiculous and yet memorable some scenes are. If the apocalypse ever comes, I want to be with these guys. 

2014 - What We Do in the Shadows


I had my first taste of Taika Waititi when I watched Hunt for the Wilderpeople about three years ago, but it's only after seeing that marvellous film that is Thor: Ragnarok to decide to check out the rest of his filmography. I watched this for the first time last year on Christmas and, despite the fact that I always loved vampire movies and TV series, I would have never thought I'd love something vampire-related so much. It's macabre, unique and absolutely hilarious. 

2015 - Me and Earl and the Dying Girl


We all have seen at least one of those movies where two characters fall in love, even though one is terminally ill and before he/she dies, he/she gives the surviving lover an important life lesson. This film though isn't a romance and it isn't really about cancer either. It's a beautiful, sweet and touching story of a doomed friendship that makes me laugh and cry every time I watch it. Plus, Jon Bernthal plays a hot history teacher. 

2016 - La La Land


I was never a fan of musicals and yet I was very excited to see this because it's Damien Chazelle's —I loved Whiplash. I had to wait so, so much to see this because my country never gets important movies when the rest of the world does, but the wait did pay off. This movie took my breath away from start to finish, from the wonderful opening musical number that put a huge smile on my face to the heartbreaking ending. It still does that every time I watch it. 

2017 - The Disaster Artist


This film is the reason I watched The Room the first time. No matter how much I hated Wiseau's movie, I still wanted to see this and it mainly had to do with James Franco being in it. Anyways, I adored every single moment of it, its exhilarating humour, the heartwarming friendship between Tommy and Greg, the "chase your dreams" message it delivers, and James Franco's performance —one of the greatest performances of all times, if you ask me. I can no longer even listen to "Rhythm of the Night" without picturing Franco dancing. 

2018 - A Star Is Born


I wasn't even interested in seeing this because as I said above I'm not into musicals. Also, the trailer to this looked so, so cheesy. But when I finally watched it, it broke me. I don't remember the last time I watched a film and loved it so much, and made me feel so much. I found the courage to rewatch it on Sunday and it broke me again. I cried even more than the first time and I didn't even think it was possible. 

16 comments :

  1. Sorry to hear you don’t feel happy. Birthdays can be hard to enjoy when you don’t feel life is where you want it to be. A lot of people (including myself) aren’t where they want to be so you are never alone no matter how much you feel it.

    Anyway, these are diverse choices. Your commentary on American History X is interesting…but the past you isn’t the current you. It proves people can change for the better. Hell I said some stupid, offensive shit when I was younger.

    You won’t be surprised to learn West Ham fans are still causing trouble. haha

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    1. Thank you for saying that. I really needed to hear it.

      I know West Ham fans are still doing that, it's kinda the reason I stopped following the team

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  2. Great post!! As I said I love the idea too. Also sensing a theme with actors/actresses. Definitely surprised to see Green Street on here BUT I totally guilty pleasures. Happy birthday!!!

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    1. Thank you! I noticed that actors/actresses theme too as I was writing this and I'm considering writing about it in the future.

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  3. happy birthday! this is a fabulous list.

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  4. Happy Birthday! And what a cool idea for a post. I would have to start in 1971!!!! :/

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    1. Thank you! You'd have a lot of writing to do haha

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  5. Buon compleanno Sonia! Che idea carina... :) e quanto sei giovane! Ti conosco da poco ma il tuo blog è ormai stabilmente nei miei preferiti. E lo leggo sempre con grande piacere. Perciò ancora tanti, tanti auguri!

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  6. Happy Birthday Sonia!!! I hope this next year brings you closer to where you want to be. I'm turning 30 December, and low-key trying not to have a meltdown all year. Great list! I'm surprised by how many of these I haven't seen yet, especially the first dozen or so. I love seeing 8Mile and What We Do In The Shadows on here. They're so underrated.

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    1. Thank you Katy! I'm feeling kind of bad now for complaining about having turned 25😅

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  7. Gurl why are you crying? Cheer up! 25 is so young! It could be worse....you could be almost 30 and stuck in a stupid job, single and childless *vomits all over herself*

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    1. Well, at least you have a job. I've been trying to find one for years but there's always someone better than me who gets the job :(

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