Saturday, January 5, 2013

List #2 — A Movie List for a Wintry Saturday

It's cold in Rochester these days. Winter has settled in with her blustery dances and winds that could toss a window from my corner apartment. We sit here from the couch watching the snow dance from the alley way onto the streets, and listen to cars zip along the sandy and salty roads. We are cozy here. Candles lit. Pajamas warm. Blankets heavy and tucked. Somedays I might say, "Let's bundle and wander, and fall into piles of snow." But today, I say, "Let's snuggle and stay warm and let winter happen out there."

On days like these, I want to share all good things with my growing daughter. Good things like warm drinks in our laps with our hands curled around them, toast with creamy butter and cinnamon sugar, and of course, some of my favorite movies.

So here's my countdown list of some of my favorites (and maybe a mini series) along with some of the scenes and songs that make me love these pieces of film. Not all of these will be Saturday afternoon favorites for me and Madeleine, but some of them are worth a winter watch.

10. Anne of Green Gables/Avonlea
Because I, like most young, artistic, dramatic girls, could relate to Anne in more ways than one. And of course, how can you not love the story of Anne and Gil? Plus, the soundtrack is beautiful.

9. Pride and Prejudice
The BBC version was my first taste of Pride and Prejudice. Since it came out, and PBS played it on Sunday nights, my girlfriends and I had our VHS tapes ready and we've been swooning for Colin Firth ever since we were 13. Firth will always be Darcy to me. ALWAYS. And then the new one came out and I begrudgingly went, and griped that "BBC was the only pure and authentic version," but then nearly fainted for all the beauty. So, I'm including them both. Also, the soundtrack on the new one? Perfection.

8. North and South

I'm sneaking a mini-series into this list. My sister and childhood friend told me time and time again to watch. And I finally caved. And now it's a favorite. Need I say more?

7. Lord of the Rings —
I don't understand when people say they've never seen this and/or don't like it. (If you're one of these people, I still love you. I just don't understand this about you.) This is a mystery to me because this trilogy was one of the best things I've ever experienced as a movie-goer. Also, I just want to live in the Shire. Is that too much to ask?

6. You've Got Mail —
One of my good friends from my teenage years claimed this as his favorite movie. I didn't understand then why or how or for what reason. So I watched it, again and again. I watched it until I finally understood. And then I loved it. I can probably quote the entire thing from beginning to end. That friend ended up leaving this dusty earth to move on into eternity at the fragile age of 20. My dear girlfriend and I brought daisies to his funeral. It felt right.

5. The Sound of Music —
When I was young and little, my dad always sang "Edelweiss" in his sweet tenor voice to hush me to sleep. He counted my freckles, sang this tune and I felt loved. One of the most precious gifts I've ever received was from him — a wooden jewelry box that gently pings out the tune of Edelweiss. When I was a dramatic youth (see #1), I would take a loaf of french bread and cheese in a backpack and hike up to the hills above my house in the mountains and sing. So between that and Edelweiss, this movie made me feel like home.

4. Meet Me in St. Louis —
It wasn't until the past 5 years or so that this one made it to the top 10. I think it has something to do with Judy Garland's rendition of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", which has always been one of my favorite songs. Ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you I have a penchant for sad things. This scene + this song + Judy Garland  = and this movie crawled right up into my old-fashioned, music-singing, good story-loving heart. (To be honest, most musicals are favorites of mine. It's why they take up almost 1/3 of my DVD library now.)

3. Last of the Mohicans
This movie (though filmed in North Carolina) historically would have happened in the area I grew up in. The waterfalls, the mountains, the shale ledges — all home to me. And then the story. The musicAll of it. It is most definitely one of my most favorite movies of all time.

2. Glory
After this movie came out, I somehow got the soundtrack and it became the soundtrack to the summer of my 16th year. I still feel like this movie somehow ended up in the shadow of other war films, even though the story is powerful of sacrifice and bravery. Once again, music seems to be a common theme in all my favorite movies. This one has it (thanks to James Horner).

1. I've gone back and forth for this last one. I've gone from Little Women to The Painted Veil, and a myriad of others, but I've decided to go with a really obscure one because I am only doing one movie list, and I want to cover all my bases. So my last pick is random...

The Birds
My dad introduced me to Hitchcock in my teens. Even though I won't sit through five minutes of a true horror film now, I'll take Hitchcock's cloak and dagger approach any day. The Birds had me dodging the fair-feathered fowl for awhile. Still does, really, whenever I see a flock of crows.

This does not even begin to cover my whole list. I never am sure of what to say when I'm asked "What's your favorite movie?" because I feel like it changes... monthly, seasonally, yearly, or whatever my mood happens to be. But here's 10 to start. Happy clip-watching.


  1. I love this list! All the movies I've seen and love, especially North and South. Swoon!

    1. N&S is so good, and perfect for a lazy day!

  2. Some of my very favorites made the list! Good call ;)

  3. love this list!
    colin firth will always be darcy for me, too, and not to sound like a teenager, but the male lead in north and south is hot.
    now i want to run to the library to grab movies.

  4. The Birds!!! Love it! Probably why to this day I suspect every bird that comes close of wanting to peck my eyes out! I have not seen a few of these--North and South looks like something I should check out!