by Anna Campbell
As those of you who visit my website know, every month I do a column called My Favorite Things. It's pure self-indulgence, really, but it gives me a chance to write about stuff I like. Among an assortment of topics, I talk about places I've been and books and movies that are particular favorites.
The last two months (March and April), I've been talking about movies. March's topic was THE BIG EASY which is such a great romance and so much fun. And April's is THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS starring Daniel Day-Lewis and his flowing hair. An absolutely magnificent film and one I'd highly recommend if you haven't seen it.
You can see what I said about the film here. And also feast your eyes on some yummy pictures - love this one of him staring stalwartly into the distance! You'll also find links back to previous columns, including a list of my top 11 favorite films.
I thought it might be fun to think of my top three films - for today that is, as this list tends to change hourly if not daily! If you ask me tomorrow to name my top three, you'll get a different answer.
But today, the first of my favorites is LAWRENCE OF ARABIA which is where that spectacular still at the top of this blog comes from.
I was lucky enough to be living in a major city when the restored version of this masterpiece was released in the cinemas. I think I went to it about ten times. It became a bit of an obsession. But the chance to see that magnificent photography in 70mm as David Lean intended and to hear Maurice Jarre's haunting score in full surround sound was too precious to waste. I've always had a soft spot for Peter O'Toole and my crush was reawakened big time, seeing his wonderful performance over and over again. Mind you, Omar Sharif isn't exactly tough to look at in this film either.
My next film is a real girly classic. DIRTY DANCING! Nobody puts Baby in a corner! This was another film I went to see a couple of times in the cinema although it works much better on TV than LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. This is a wonderful coming of age story about two people who are so much more than they realize they are.
What works for me in this film is that for all its fantasy elements, it's very real. The relationships have that awkwardness that real relationships have. For example, I always cry when Baby/Frances finally confronts her father on the porch in the rain. They love each other so much which is why they manage to hurt each other so profoundly.
The last of my short list is an oldie but a goodie. THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR was made in 1947 and it's one of the most poignant, magical romances I know on film. Gene Tierney is luminous as young widow, Lucy Muir, who moves into a haunted house on the English coast. Rex Harrison was never so warm and human as he is here, playing the ghost of sea captain Daniel Gregg. Quite ironic, really. But he makes the most wonderful romantic hero in this film.
On my website, I make the comment about THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS that one of the most compelling things about the hero in that film is that he knows he's met his destiny the moment he lays eyes on the heroine. There's a similar dynamic in THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR and it works in spades! But of course, a ghost and a living woman can't have a happy ending in this life, which is where the heart-wrenching poignancy comes from.
If you haven't seen this film, get it. It's breathtakingly romantic and I bet you cry at the end. I always do!
So what are your three favorite films and why? I'd love to hear your lists!