7.Topsy-Turvy (1999) Since this has become a confessional post of sorts, I’ll also just come right out and also admit: I really like Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. HMS Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance, Yeoman of the Guard – it’s all good. This movie follows the British duo as they struggle to write The Mikado. Jim Broadbent as W.S. Gilbert is especially delightful.
8. Casino Royale (2006) I’m a big fan of the James Bond series, even the cheesy ones, which of course, is most of them. But the restart of the legendary spy series with Daniel Craig as Agent 007 in 2006 marked a notable improvement in the quality of the films. If you haven’t read Sir Ian Fleming’s source novels, you really should. The Bond of the novels is considerably more interesting (if less dependent on silly gadgets) than the Bond of the most of the movies. Casino Royale moves the film series back toward Fleming’s more interesting spy.
9. Star Wars (1977) The first CD I purchased with my own money was John Williams’ score to Star Wars. I still hum “The Imperial March” whenever I find myself walking down a long (ideally dim) hallway. George Lucas incurred the wrath of many fans with the – let’s say less than stellar – relaunch of the saga in with 1998’s The Phantom Menace. And though the prequels certainly don’t have the same panache as the original, there is a fun way to watch the series. So, try this sometime: watch the movies in this order by episode: 4, 5, 2, 3, 6. There is no need to ever watch Episode 1. I like this alternative order because it preserves the dramatic reveal involving Luke’s paternity in Episode 5. It also makes good thematic sense to introduce the Vader/Anakin back story after that dramatic moment in Episode 5, so that the entire saga can be viewed as a father/son redemption story.
10. Babette’s Feast (1987) The final scene in this understated film is probably the most enjoyable presentation a foodie could ask for. If you like the film, why not try some of the recipes from the great feast?