I am officially 29 years old and whilst some people joke and say, “That means I’m a level 29 so I win!” I am sadly not of that mind set.
I’m 29 and have been for over a week now. Before I know it I will be 30 and that terrifies me. I don’t look 29 and I certainly don’t act 29 and due to that I’m even more scared. We’ll save the whole aging thing for another post. 😛
Every year I always try to write a post to coincide with the age I have just become. I usually write facts about myself, things I wish I’d told my younger self, etc. However this time I wanted to write about something I’m somewhat passionate about. Films.
I LOVE films. I always choose watching a film whilst I do blog writing and housework over listening to music. I feel like this is due to years of acting in plays at school and even studying it at university. I love how you can lose yourself somewhat whilst watching a film, whatever genre it may be.
A while ago now I wrote a guest post for Scarlett over at Scarlettssribbles (which you can read here) about films you need to watch and why and I thought it would be cool for me to recommend 29 films you all should watch this year!
I really hope you like this post today. I just wanted to try and do something different and as I love recommending films for people to watch, I thought this would be perfect for some Monday morning reading. 😛
1. Get Carter (1971) Directed by Mike Hodges.
This is another film that my dad introduced me to when I was younger and I’m so grateful! This is the oldest film on this list and is seen as a classic. It’s a British crime film about Jack, a London gangster who has to travel back to his hometown after discovering his brother has died. However, his death doesn’t seem to be accidental and he starts to unveil the truth about his brother, whilst we find out Jack’s past. It’s a great film and I recommend everyone to watch it.
2. Clerks (1994) Directed by Kevin Smith.
This is a film I first watched when I met Dane after he stuck it on for us to watch one evening. I don’t quite know how I got on without Kevin Smith films in my life. This is actually Kevin Smith’s first film (as in major!) which is really nice to know, considering how awesome it is. I’ve worked in retail and hospitality on and off since the age of 14 so when I watched this film I couldn’t relate more to the characters in the film and how pissed off they were at life, as well as at their jobs. One of my favourite quotes from the film is, “This job would be great if it wasn’t for the fucking customers.” Honestly this film was like a holy grail to me at one point in my life when I really hated my last job. It was just such a great film to watch whenever I felt crap after a day at work and needed something to cheer me up. Clerks II is good too in its own way, but Clerks is the one that started it all.
3. Léon: The Professional (1994) Directed by Luc Besson.
I remember watching this film back in 2000 when my dad bought our first DVD player and I fell in love with the film. The style of it, the story, the actors, just everything about it. I know the story is a bit bizarre but that’s what I loved about it the most. I loved the characters especially Mathilda (Natalie Portman) and Norman Stansfield (Gary Oldman). It’s about Leon, a hitman living in New York. He doesn’t have any family, friends, partner, associates, no one. The only person he talks to is the guy who gives him jobs. Mathilda lives a few doors down from him, who finds Leon interesting and different. She lives in a dysfunctional home and one day after something happens, Leon takes her on and looks after her, but due to Mathilda wanting revenge for her brother being killed, Leon’s world soon turns around. I feel like this film did well in the cinema but I hardly see it spoken about. I feel it’s more of a cult classic and it’s most definitely one that everyone needs to watch once!
4. Nil by Mouth (1997) Directed by Gary Oldman.
This is one of my favourite films. It’s dark, set in the UK and directed by one of my favourite actors. OH and it includes loads of my favourite actors too. I mean what’s not to love, eh? This film was Gary Oldman’s first and only film where he’s been credited as both a director and a writer. The film is about Ray and the people who he has in his life, including his family and friends. His wife is pregnant with their second child, his brother in law is a heroin addict and he’s a violent alcoholic and occasional drug user himself. It’s a dark film in all honesty, but it’s raw and real all at the same time. It’s based off of events that happened to Gary Oldman growing up and I honestly love films like this. Watch it, but obviously be prepared for lots of violence, as well as swearing.
5. American Beauty (1999) Directed by Sam Mendes.
I love this film and always have since I watched it as a teenager. It was based off of what was supposed to be a screenplay but alas came to the big screen instead! It’s about a man who isn’t particularly happy with his life, purely because he’s bored and constantly wonders, “What if?” like most of us tend to do. He begins to lust after his daughters best friend, quits his office job and instead decides to work in a fast food restaurant and well, basically turns his life around. The film however starts with him dying and you see how that moment came to be. American Beauty just covers so many topics and it’s worth watching if you love cinema.
6. Love, Honour and Obey (2000) Directed by Dominic Anciano and Ray Burdis.
This is a film my brother introduced both me and my dad to when I was growing up and it’s also one I quickly fell in love with! I really like how all the actors real first names are used for their characters, it’s just something different and it works quite well. The film is about Jonny, a guy who is fed up of his job and wishes for the “gangster lifestyle” his best friend Jude has. However, after Jonny joins the gang things start to turn sour between his gang and another gang. It’s quite relaxed though at the same time and I class it as a comedy. I definitely recommend watching it, if like me you like films based in the UK.
7. Sexy Beast (2000) Directed by Jonathan Glazer.
Another Ray Winstone film added to this list! He’s such a fabulous actor and definitely one of my favourites out there. This was a film my dad showed to me as I was growing up. He’d been lent it by someone he knew and watched it on his own, only to tell me to come watch too! It’s about a ex London gangster who has now moved to Spain to live his life to the fullest. He’s happy, with his wife and their friends, until the past comes back to haunt him and it won’t go away. I honestly love Sexy Beast, as there’s just something about it that isn’t like anything else out there.
8. Spirited Away (2001) Directed by Hayao Miyazaki.
Not only is this up there as one of my favourite films, but this was the first Studio Ghibli film I ever watched. From watching Spirited Away it really got me into wanting to watch more anime, especially more by Studio Ghibli. The plot is like Alice in Wonderland where a girl enters a different place/world and needs to find a way back out. It’s such an amazing film for all the family and not only is the story amazing, but so is the art style. If you’ve never watched a Studio Ghibli film but not this one, then I highly recommend that you check this one out.
9. Amélie (2001) Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
Amélie is definitely one of my favourite films and it’s one where for years I’d seen the trailer for it on a video but always wondered what happened at the end of the film! Finally one evening when I was waiting to start college it came on Film4 and I FINALLY got to watch it! I fell in love with the style of the film, as well as the plot and characters. I don’t really know how to explain the film other than Amélie is a girl in her 20’s and although content with her life, she’s missing something from it and seems bored with her mundane everyday life. One evening she discovers something in her flat that has been hidden there for years and is determined to find the owner of the items. It’s a lovely film, with a well known soundtrack. It’s one of those films you can watch with friends with a bowl of popcorn and snacks. 😛
10. One Hour Photo (2002) Directed by Mark Romanek.
I wasn’t sure whether to add this to the list as I wondered if it was a popular film or not. I am trying not to mention big films on this list, if you hadn’t already noticed! I remember watching this film late at night years ago when I was in college and fell in love with it. Robin Williams (who plays the main character) is always known for acting in comedy films. This is not a comedy whatsoever and if anything is a dark thriller. His character seems normal on the outside, but deep down he has a dark secret. He’s a stalker. The story really keeps you on the edge of your seat and it’s definitely one to watch.
11. Secretary (2002) Directed by Steven Shainberg.
I remember when Fifty Shades of Grey came out and this film came to mind! This was the first film I found and watched that was about the relationship between a lawyer and his secretary, which in turn is a dom/sub relationship. The film doesn’t just tackle that, but also things such as mental health, self harm as well as love. It’s actually classed as a romance and comedy film! Whether you love or hate Fifty Shades of Grey I think you’ll definitely like this film.
12. Oldboy (2003) Directed by Park Chan-wook.
I can’t remember how I came to know if this film… I have a feeling my ex actually introduced it to me but at the same time I feel like I watched it on Film4 one evening. I honestly can’t remember. Either way, this is one of my favourite pieces of cinema from South Korea and one I definitely recommend everyone to go and watch! I had to watch this a good couple of times to 100% know what was going on. I feel like it’s really fast paced and if you take your attention away from it for even a short period of time, you’ll have to start again! There has actually been a remake of this film with Josh Brolin as the main character. I watched it and although it was okay, it wasn’t as good as the original. It’s about a man who is captured and locked away in a room for 15 years, he doesn’t know why. He’s one day let out and given 5 days to find out why he was imprisoned and why.
13. Thirteen (2003) Directed by Catherine Hardwicke.
This is a film I wasn’t sure whether to mention on this list or not due to what it’s about, but it’s a film that I watched during my time at college and it really was one I watched time and time again. Thirteen is about a teenage girl who changes to adapt to the new best friend she gains at school and goes from getting good grades at school to being a rebellious teenager who steals, takes drugs, drinks alcohol and has sex underage and is spiralling out of control. This film does include scenes of self-harm and it’s definitely something to be wary of if you wish to watch the film but get triggered by this sort of thing. It’s definitely worth a watch though, but I do warn you again to be wary of the self-harm scenes.
14. It’s All Gone Pete Tong (2004) Directed by Michael Dowse.
This isn’t the best film in the world, it’s not ever going to be like the Marvel films, or Star Wars but to me it does the job and I love it. It stars Paul Kaye, another one of my favourite actors who plays a DJ who becomes deaf. It’s a mockumentary but due to the fact the film featured real DJ’s throughout, a few people wondered if it was a genuine film or not. I just love how this film is, it’s not real but I guess it can tackle some serious issues about how loud music can affect your hearing. Alongside all this I LOVE the soundtrack for this film! I actually ordered it recently from CEX, but the order was cancelled as they couldn’t find the CD. 😦
15. Waiting… (2005) Directed by Rob McKittrick.
I think this is the first Ryan Reynolds film on this list and it certainly won’t be the last! I remember when I first discovered Ryan Reynolds and I kind of went a bit crazy for his films. This was one of the ones I picked up in HMV back in the day in one of those 2 for £10 deals. I remember taking it home and sticking it on to watch and not only did I love it for him, but I could relate to it so much too at the time of watching it! My first job was in 2004, I was 14 and worked in the kitchen washing up. I witnessed everything with both the kitchen staff as well as the waiters/waitresses and this film just took me straight back to that time! It gave me nostalgic feels and at the time it had probably only been about 4 years since I’d done that job. 😛 Not only that but the film is hilarious.
16. This Is England (2006) Directed by Shane Meadows.
Let’s kick start this post by talking about one of my favourite films. I’m pretty sure most people have watched this by now, but if you haven’t I honestly can’t recommend it enough! There are so many things I love about this film, most of all the cast and the fact it’s a UK film. This Is England is about skinheads in the 80’s and is somewhat based on true events that happened to Shane Meadows the writer/director. There are many racist themes throughout this film and whilst that isn’t what makes the film, what does make it is the character progression throughout with all the characters, especially Shaun and Combo who are clearly both searching for something and are alike due to that. The film went on to become a TV series on Channel 4, which did really well! I actually think I love the TV series more than the film because you get to find out more about the characters, especially LOL and Woody, who are my favourites. Again, if you haven’t seen This Is England I honestly recommend you do and if you like the film, go and watch the TV series too. The TV series is in three parts, This Is England ’86, This Is England ’88 and This Is England ’90.
17. London to Brighton (2006) Directed by Paul Andrew Williams.
This is such a small indie film from the UK and is so old now, even if it just the same age as This Is England! I remember seeing this in WHSmith whilst out with my dad back in 2006/2007 and liked how it sounded so bought it for myself. I have no regrets! It’s about a prostitute who is asked by her pimp to get one of his customers a young girl and although she’s reluctant, does it anyway. Something happens and we see the two running away from what has happened as well as away from her pimp and the customers son. They decided to travel from London to Brighton, hence the name of the film. It sounds horrible but honestly it’s such an amazing film all the same. I’m a huge fan of drama style films, especially if they’re set in the UK and this one had me hooked when I read the back of the DVD in WHSmith all them years ago! I am so glad I bought it.
18. Kidulthood (2006) Directed by Menhaj Huda.
This is a film I’ve added to the list because I feel it deserves a watch at least once! Although this film came out over 10 years ago now and was tackling loads of different issues that were happening at the time, I feel those issues are relevant still to this day, which is why it’s on this list. It tackles loads of different issues such as mental health, suicide, teenage pregnancy, gangs, bullying, underage sex and more! It isn’t too overcrowded though either with all those issues, which I think makes it so great.
19. Stuart: A Life Backwards (2007) Directed by David Attwood.
This was actually a TV film, but meh it’s being added to this list, because you still need to watch it! 😛 My best friend Gabriella showed me this film years ago when we were in our Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hardy highs. So when she told me she’d found a film with them both in together, WE HAD TO WATCH IT! I have never felt my heart break so hard over a film and since watching it the first time I’ve watched it a handful of times since and every single time I have cried and felt sad afterwards. It’s based on a true story of when these two men met up, Stuart being a homeless man with a heroin addiction, the other who decides to write about the Stuart’s life, but backwards. You find out about how Stuart came to be where he was when they met and it’s incredibly depressing to find out what happened to Stuart, but the fact it is all true really breaks your heart. Tom Hardy plays the role of Stuart so damn well! He’s such an amazing actor and this film truly does show that.
20. Fish Tank (2009) Directed by Andrea Arnold.
I was in two minds whether to add this to this list as after a couple of watches it kind of makes me cringe in places. It’s a great film and I’ll always recommend people watch it once but after that you’ll live. It’s about Mia a rebellious teenager with a love and passion for dancing. She lives with her single mother and younger sister, who both often get on her nerves. One day Mia discovers her mother has a new boyfriend and Mia’s life sort of gets more interesting. I discovered this film because Michael Fassbender is in it, who at one point was an actor I was really into so I searched for loads of British films he was in, this included. Again, watch it once at least! I doubt very much so you’ll need to watch it again. 😛
21. Precious (2009) Directed by Lee Daniels.
This film is based off a novel of the same name and it is by far one of my favourite films. I remember it came out in whilst I was studying at university and I wanted to go and watch it in the cinema, but I had no one who wanted to go. So, I was naughty and watched it illegally online instead! Not long after I had to buy it on DVD as I NEEDED to watch this film properly and in decent quality. I remember watching it three times the day it arrived, and I fell in love. It’s such a strong and powerful film that requires tissues. It’s set in the 80’s and is about Precious, a young girl who has dealt with a life time of abuse and poverty. One of the last scenes of this films really sends shivers down my spine due to how powerful it is. It’s also incredibly depressing but it’s got a positive vibe at the end.
22. The Unloved (2009) Directed by Samantha Morton.
Although this is a TV film, it’s one of my favourites. I remember the hype coming up towards it’s release and I fell in love with it. It’s a drama based in the UK about children in the care system and he dark side of it. A girl is taken away from her father due to his violence towards her, but it turns out being in care doesn’t mean escaping anything bad. You see the inside of care, with teenagers abusing alcohol and drugs, as well as being sexually abused by care workers. It’s a harsh reality check about the care system, which is done from the prospective of the main character. You definitely need to watch this if you haven’t as it really opens your eyes!
23. Buried (2010) Directed by Rodrigo Cortés.
Another Ryan Reynolds one and one I really love, it’s one of my favourites that he’s in. I actually went to the cinema to watch this and I’m so glad I did as it really did add to the tension that the film constantly has. It’s about an American truck driver who has been kidnapped, put into a wooden box and buried under the ground. Whilst watching the film you’re pretty much stuck in this box with him, all the while on the edge of your seat wondering what’s going to happen. The only time he talks to anyone else is via a mobile phone. If you want something that will keep you on the edge and tense, give this a go.
24. Submarine (2010) Directed by Richard Ayoade.
This is by far one of my favourite films! I remember one of my old friends lent it me to watch as not only did she think I would love the film due to the plot, but also because of directed it. Richard Ayoade is one of my favourite people, he’s hilarious and such a legend! He did Submarine so well and it’s truly a little masterpiece in it’s own right. The thing I love about this film the most is how it got me through some dark places when I was kind of in a limbo between late 2011 to when I met Dane in 2013. It really helped and kept my spirits up.
25. Sightseers (2012) Directed by Ben Wheatley.
This film is so bizarre that you have to watch it for that alone! It’s set in the Midlands and is about a couple from Birmingham who haven’t long been together and decide to go on a driving trip in his motor home. Their cute and lovey dovey (yet cringe worthy and awkward) trip soon goes to a dark place and it doesn’t take long for the action of one to rub off onto the other. This film is a comedy thriller and you are constantly unsure of what is going to happen next and that is what I love about it the most. I especially love the thick as shit sounding Brummy accents, especially as I’m from Birmingham myself. I’d got more into the plot, but I don’t want to spoil anything so just go and watch it 😛
26. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) Directed by Stephen Chbosky.
This is another film that helped me get through some dark places between the same time that Submarine did. May I also just say, the book is amazing that the book is inspired by and in fact the director wrote the book so you know. 😛 The Perks of Being a Wallflower can be a pretty depressing film. It yo-yos as the film goes on from being good, to bad, to sad, to good again. It’s a great coming of age film though and if you loved the book but haven’t watched the film yet, then you really should!
27. The Voices (2014) Directed by Marjane Satrapi.
Again, another Ryan Reynolds film and another film of his I love! His performance in this for a start is amazing and you can’t fault it at all! It’s a dark comedy/horror about a man with schizophrenia but refuses to take his medication, as he enjoys the hallucinations that follow. He lives with his dog and cat, who both talk to him (obviously effects of not taking his medication) who act like the angel and devil on your shoulders. Some bad things happen and Ryan Reynolds character needs to decide what is best to do. It’s such a funny but yet fucked up film, but I still love it! I’m actually tempted to buy it on DVD soon, as I really fancy watching it now. 😛
28. Your Name. (2016) Directed by Makoto Shinkai.
Your Name. did so well when it came out in some selected cinemas throughout the UK, but it took the world by storm to be honest with you. Everyone was hyped for it and I feel like even people who weren’t massive anime fans before, soon became them after this film came out. It’s about two teenagers, one from the busy city of Tokyo and the other from the quieter countryside of Japan. They one day wake up to be in each others bodies and this happens for a while and eventually they do something about it. They keep diaries of each others days and give each other tips on what they should do, etc. One day though they wake up and the other person has disappeared. The story doesn’t end there however and goes into more than we thought it would! This is such a beautifully told love story, whilst looking gorgeous at the same time. Me and Dane went to watch this in the cinema and we had an amazing evening. Alongside this and A Silent Voice it really did inspire us to go and watch more anime films in the cinema. Your Name. will also always remind me of my 28th birthday when I was poorly and me and Dane got Japanese takeaway and cuddled up together watching this film.
29. A Silent Voice (2016) Directed by Naoko Yamada.
Finally, if there is one anime film I knew I had to mention in this list, I KNEW this had to be in here somewhere! I remember hearing about this film randomly online after being recommended to buy the manga series of the same name. I looked into it and saw that they stated that it was being made into a film. Not long after I found that this bit of information out, I also found out it had one showing for it in town and I decided to go with Dane. It is such a depressing story but a somewhat realistic and hard hitting one. It’s about Shōya a cocky young boy who just wants to play with his friends and enjoy being a kid. One day a new girl joins his class at school, Shōko who also happens to be deaf. During her time at the school the two clash and Shōya’s attitude towards her comes off as bullying behaviour, due to this Shōko ends up leaving the school and Shōya is outcast from the rest of the kids in his class, including his best friends. He grows depressed as the years go on as he is constantly reminded what he did to Shōko. Years later during high school we see Shōya discovers where Shōko goes for school, can he apologise for what he did all those years before? I was actually gutted that Your Name won an award over A Silent Voice at the Crunchyroll Anime Awards, as whilst I LOVED Your Name too, A Silent Voice just had a much stronger message. Either way this film is one you need to watch. It has such an emotional story which ends positively.
So those are ALL 29 FILMS! This has actually taken me a few days to write due to the fact it was hard to think of 29 films I wanted to share with you guys, write about them and have a somewhat relaxed and yet busy weekend. 😛
I really hope you guys loved all the films I mentioned and maybe you’ve seen some of them already? If so, which one(s) have you watched? Did you love them, or hate them? Make sure to let me know in the comments down below! 😀
Of course let me know which films you think I NEED to watch too! I’m always happy to check out new films.
Until next time however, I hope you’re all well and had a lovely weekend!