An attempt in progress to compile the most universal movies of all time, the creamiest of the crop, the most rewarding and eternal.
Sharing your assent or dissent, as well as any pertinent info, will be greatly appreciated and cited. The goal is not to make you admire this list. It's to get more people making this kind of list for themselves.
The movie starts with a scene in an office that is so subtly realistic that it's amazing, especially since nothing much happens except that it serves as a lightly humorous way to introduce the main character in this serious drama. The main character is played by Juliette Binoche, who is already so watchable and talented that she seems like the reincarnated spirit of Ingrid Bergman. The movie opens up like a playground full of romantic joys and problems, and keeps the viewer's mind actively drawing comparisons to their own relationships.
As the movie plays, Binoche's character makes her decisions, and lives through a handful of relationships, each one seeming to lead her to a chauvinistic dead-end. Will she ever find the way to a love based on respect? She may be on the right path when she meets a director who is staging "Romeo and Juliet". Played by Jean-Louis Trintignant, who was the definition of cool in 1970, it's a treat to see a master actor performing with newcomer Binoche. His filmography travels nicely with him here, and his trademark gravitas proves he's still got it.
By the end of the movie, the viewer gets the feeling that love is a huge, breath-taking edifice, and that nothing matters more. This movie is a brilliant ode, parable, and poem to love where every line, every word is placed with care. The title translated from French means what it means in English, "Appointment".
The Purple Rose of Cairo
Written and directed by Woody Allen
Produced by Robert Greenhut
Music by Dick Hyman
Cinematography by Gordon Willis
Editing by Susan E. Morse
Production design by Stuart Wurtzel
Art direction by Edward Pisoni
Set decor by Carol Joffe
Costumes by Jeffrey Kurland
Makeup by Fern Buchner
Hair-styling by Romaine Greene
Starring Mia Farrow, Jeff Daniels,
and Danny Aiello
It's a soothing movie, even as it is awakeningly deep. With its story of a woman living a hopeless life during the Great Depression, we are treated to a glimpse of a fellow sufferer's trials and her joy of escaping into glamourous romantic movies. The genius of the movie comes when we get a glimpse of the business behind cinema magic. Splltting the dashing character on the screen from the actor who plays him, we are able to see that the protagonist, awesomely played by Mia Farrow, it might even be her best performance, is being used for her money by the actor even as she has a real relationship with the character. The comedy helps the whole heart-breaking affair go down easy.