Films to watch on a winter’s day
With flooding battering Britain and snow in New York, now’s the time to stay indoors. What could be better than a film fest? Here, in no particular order, are five of my favourites:
Kind Hearts and Coronets
Alec Guinness pulls off a blinder in playing eight roles in this 1949 black comedy. Based around Edwardian manners and morals, this 106 minute film centres upon a young man’s quest for vengeance against the aristocratic relatives who disowned his mother for marrying beneath her.
Starring Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen and Daryl Hannah, this film immortalised the phrase “greed is good”. Gordon Gekko’s story is as relevant today as it was in 1987 and though many criticise its sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, I’m a great fan of that also.
Remains of the Day
A 1993 Merchant Ivory film based on the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, this universally praised film includes impeccable performances by Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson. Exploring the inability of a butler to express his true feelings and the follies of an aristocrat who blindly falls into the trap of appeasement, here is one to watch again and again.
Coffee and Cigarettes
Jim Jaramusch tells eleven short stories in this 2003 feature film. All share coffee and cigarettes as a common theme and feature a cast that includes Cate Blanchett, Steve Coogan Bill Murray, Iggy Pop and the RZA. The visual use of black and white successfully exposes interpersonal contrasts.
Whistle Down the Wind
Richard Attenborough showed pure genius in casting Alan Bates and Hayley Mills in this 1961 classic in which three Lancashire farm children mistake a fugitive for Jesus. This 99 minute film is both heart warming and comically dark.
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