As an avid movie watcher, I thought I should take some time to recommend some movies I’ve watched that left an impact on me, or are just plain good. These movies vary in genre and purpose, but what (most) of them have in common is their ability to draw you in and make you anticipate the next scene.
4. The Room (2003)
15 years ago, Tommy Wiseau decided to write, direct, produce, and star as the main character in a film called The Room. To this day, if you go on any ‘Worst Movies Ever’ list or video on YouTube, you’re guaranteed to find The Room near or at the top of the list. This movie is so horribly bad that most people are struggling by the last twenty minutes to find a reason to finish it, but once you do finish, you feel as if you’ve entered an exclusive club of the few who managed to suffer through the entire hour and thirty-nine minutes. In my opinion, you watch The Room not for its’ quality, but for the humor of how bad it is, and the fun of knowing that a secretive man from Eastern Europe–who claimed he was from New Orleans–somehow had six million dollars to spend on a movie to make his dreams of being a movie star come true. And if you go to a showing in a theater, you might get lucky and see Tommy Wiseau himself there, and get the chance to ask him about his artistic process in making this movie.
3. The Disaster Artist (2017)
Not only is this a rare chance to see the Franco brothers in a movie together, but also a chance to see James Franco make Tommy Wiseau’s pet project into this Golden Globe-winning film. The Disaster Artist is a behind-the-scenes look into how Tommy Wiseau, played by James Franco of course, and Greg Sestero, played by Dave Franco, created the infamous movie that is The Room. The entire film is hilarious but realistic, with James Franco near-perfecting Wiseau’s accent, and Dave rocking Greg’s terrible early 2000s hair. It’s a film where amazing actors have fun by pretending to be terrible actors as they recreate the six million disaster movie. And if you wait for the after-credits (or just go on YouTube), you can see how much work went into making the scenes in The Disaster Artist match the ones from The Room.
2. Lost in Translation (2003)
Whatever your opinion on Sofia Coppola and her movies, Lost in Translation, one of her most well-known ones, is well-written and terrifically acted indie masterpiece. This movie tells the story of Bob Harris (Bill Murray), an aging movie star who is ironically popular in Japan, and travels there to film a whiskey commercial. At the same time, Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) is in the same hotel as Bob, but accompanying her photographer husband, who is constantly busy with his work. The movie chronicles their separate journeys as they meld into one in a slow and quiet way. Sofia Coppola is forever an indie-movie director, but I recommend this to anyone who wants a change of pace from the fast-paced quick-cut thrill of action and horror movies, and the tedious monotony of rom-coms and comedic movies. This is a movie with less dialogue than normal, but this allows the viewer to draw their own conclusions from the facial expressions and movements in every scene. This is a beautiful, timeless movie that everyone should watch at least once.
1. The Invitation (2015)
Karyn Kusama, who directed the amazing Girlfight (2000), comes back to direct this slow-burn horror-thriller (on Netflix!) that keeps you teetering on the edge the entire time. From the very first scenes, I felt uncomfortable and confused, but in a way that made me want to watch and see what would happen. From the outside, this movie is about a dinner party between old friends hosted by a woman and her husband, but as the movie progresses, you start to to see the cracks in the seemingly picturesque friend group. I recommend you make your own predictions about this film at the very beginning, and then see if you were right all along, or if you were as far off base as I was.