22 Good Movies to Watch
BIG NIGHT (1996)
Drama. Stars Stanley Tucci, Tony Shalhoub, Ian Holm, Minnie Driver, and Isabella Rossellini. Written by Stanley Tucci and Joseph Tropiano. Directed by Stanley Tucci and Campbell Scott.
This is the quintessential “foodie” movie. The reason this movie makes my “good movies to watch” list is because of the story, performances, music, and good dramatic sequences.
This is the movie that inspired me to learn to make risotto, caused me to research recipes for the specialty Timpiano dish, and intrigues me to want to visit Bologna in Italy one day to try Lasagna Bolognese.
When I prepare pasta, this is one of my favorite movies to watch. Watch this good movie while eating pasta and, of course, drinking lots of red wine.
>> more of my notes about why BIG NIGHT is a good movie to watch:
- small, independent production
- a great foodie movie
- good story, good performances
- my favorite movie to watch when I make pasta for dinner
- the inspiration for me to first order risotto at a restaurant
- caused me to research risotto recipes
- risotto is now one of my staple dishes I prepare
I have also researched the dish in the movie, timpani, and have collected several recipes with preparation tips.
The authentic BIG NIGHT version of the timpani recipe can actually be found in Stanley Tucci’s mother’s published cookbook.
Because of this movie, I still would like to visit Bologna, “a dark city with superb food,” and try Lasagna Bolognesa there.
I have even tried to dissect what the recipe he is making in the pan while he is conversing with Ann (Allison Janney) but have been unable to find a recipe.
Has an amusing “fight” scene towards the end of the film that is natural and counter to the normal Hollywood type of fight you would normally find staged in a movie.
After the “fight” scene leading up to the confrontation scene between Secondo (Stanley Tucci) and Pascal (Ian Holm) after everyone has left the party, Pascal is playing a haunting melody on the piano.
Movie closes with an excellent, long, bittersweet scene, sans of any important dialogue, but entirely just the simple action of preparing and eating breakfast in the kitchen the next morning. No complicated actions, no dialogue summing up their thoughts or feelings, no loose ends tied up nicely. Perhaps this doesn’t answer a lot of questions about the fate of these two brothers, their restaurant, and if either or both of them will need to abandon themselves to Pascal or back to Italy, but it is poignant, nonetheless, and more importantly, it effectively conveys that, in spite of all, these two often bickering brothers are still united by their brotherly love and respect.
Other good movies to watch which I recommend:
THE AVIATOR (2004)
Stars Audrey Tautou
Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Perhaps one of the best setup/backstory/initial character development opening sequences in movie history. An excellent example of film economy.
Reasons this is a great movie to watch are the performances, the character interactions, the cinematography, the humor, the poignancy, and the unique take of the mysticism of voyeurism.
THE GAME (1997)
Thriller, Mystery. Stars Michael Douglas, Deborah Kara Unger, Sean Penn. Directed by David Fincher.
Engrossing, gripping movie. Excellent vehicle for Michael Douglas. One of my favorite films of all time. Taut story keeps you on the edge of your seat, while you are wondering where the movie is heading.
There are several poignant moments in this film that moved me tremendously and are some of my favorite moments in all of movies.
While SE7EN (SEVEN) may always be considered director David Fincher’s masterpiece, THE GAME will always be at the top of my list of good movies to watch, too. Don’t miss it.
THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION (1994)
THE SIXTH SENSE (1999)
RAIN MAN (1988)
RADERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981)
INGLORIOUS BASTERDS (2009)
DISTRICT 9 (2009)
HIS GIRL FRIDAY (1940)
Comedy. Stars Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy. Directed by Howard Hawks.
The quintessential screwball comedy with rapid-paced snappy dialogue and excellent performances by Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell.
Sharp direction by Howard Hawks who puts his own mark on the screwball comedy by basically making many of the characters unlikeable and motivated only by self-interest.
Based on the Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur play, “The Front Page,” Hawks updates the play for 1940 by making it a screwball comedy and converting the male role of Hildy Johnson to a female role with her being Walter Burns ex-wife.
Of all the filmed and staged productions I have seen of “The Front Page,” HIS GIRL FRIDAY will always be my favorite interpretation of the play.
THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN (1995)
IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)
PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED (1986)
FORREST GUMP (1994)
AS GOOD AS IT GETS (1997)
WHALE RIDER (2002)
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS (2011)
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