1. Brighton Rock
Based on a thriller novel written in 1947, this film is a remake with two relatively unknown actors carrying it. Relatively well written, brilliantly shot, and excellently acted, it's a great modernized film noir.
A coming of age film about an awkward little boy from Swansea, you've gotta love how he idealizes the object of his affection, Jordana. You've also gotta love Jordana's uniform: red toggle coat and Lolita heart shaped glasses.
3. The Hour
Technically, this is a TV show done by the BBC and starring Ben Wishaw (who appears twice more on this list), but it's just so fantastically done that I had to list it. Following a news program show in 1956, the script is impeccable as is the casting and the scenery/props. The attention to detail is meticulous, and everything comes together beautifully albeit a bit slowly in the beginning.
4. Bright Star
Starring Ben Wishaw and Abbie Cornish, this film tells the love story between English poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne. One of his most noted poems (and one of the most romantic poems of all time), "Bright Star," was inspired by her. Visually impressive and filled with wispy moments (i.e. the moment when Fanny Brawne is laying on her bed with the curtain billowing around her), this is a perfect melancholy film.
5. Everywhere and Nowhere
Another coming of age film, but set in the "Asian" community in London. There are a lot of elements in this story that anyone who identifies themselves with a hyphen would understand. Though the plot could have been stronger, the music is solid and James Floyd is droolworthy.
6. Dans Paris
Following the story of a dysfunctional family on Christmas, the condensed one line plot summary makes the film sound dull and unwatchable. But with a very charming Louis Garrel who breaks the fourth wall by addressing the viewer, you forget that you're supposed to be watching a film and concentrate on him. Plus, it's shot in Paris, so what's not to visually love?
7. The Fantastic Mr. Fox
Hands down, favorite Wes Anderson film. How can you not love a film that inspires crazy GIFs? Stellar cast and strong script, it's a celebration of being different, minus the macarons and petit fours. Oh yeah, and it's mostly orange, a color that's overlooked in the color spectrum.
8. Norwegian Wood
The film was a sad mediocrity in comparison to the novel, but there's no denying that the film itself is aesthetically pleasing. Quaint college campuses give way to the rolling Japanese hillside, all while maintaining costume authenticity of the 1960s. At least it's a pretty waste of time.
- Brideshead Revisited - another film with Ben Wishaw, but felt like mentioning three of his films in this list was too much. This is definitely a must-see, especially since it has all the religious overtones that drive bloggers crazy in "The Virgin Suicides." The costume is pre-WWII and parts were filmed in Oxford, which always gets a plus from me.
- Pretty in Pink - aside from the modern Cinderella storyline, there are so many awesome things in this film: Duckie's alligator creepers, Iona's prom dress (and her awesome beehive), Andie's single long earring, Steff's 80s prep uniform...
*I'm aware that this list is mostly comprised of British films. I am a giant Anglophile.
photos: screencapped by yours truly