Thursday, September 12, 2013

Top 10 Tearjerkers

18 March 2013

So, this is obviously not a Sunday, so I'm a few days late this week, but its been a busy week. I'm a girl so I really do enjoy a good tearjerker. However, most of these are not chick-flicks so I think its important that that is clear so that males will not be afraid to also look at this. All of these are fantastic movies, but I'm not raking them by how good the films are themselves, but by how the number of tears they managed to wrangle out of me. All but 2 of these films one Oscars, so I can assure you they really are all fantastic films. Here is this weeks (late) Top 10 list: Top 10 Tearjerkers.

10.) Finding Neverland
This is a film about the family who inspired J.M. Barrie to write the famous story of Peter Pan. A very sweet story with a lot of drama and tragedy surrounding it. The film is directed by the ever talented Marc Foster, and has a very impressive cast includingJohnny Depp as JM Barrie, Kate Winslet, Dustin Hoffman, and Freddie Highmore. I think that their casting was really perfect, and the acting was really fantastic, which can really come as no surprise from the names I just listed. A really interesting way to come up with the infamous story of children not wanting and choosing not to grow up. Sylvia Davies(Winslet) and her four young children change something inside of the playwright who at the time of meeting them has just had another one of his plays flop and is desperately searching for something new, and thats exactly what he finds. It was nominated 7 Oscars and won for best score. 

9.) Atonement
Based on the novel by Ian McEwan, Atonement is a film about forbidden love from the point of view of Briony Tallis(Saoirse Ronan), a 13 year old girl from a well-off family who's older sister, Cecilia(Keira Knightly) falls in love with a friend, Robbie Turner(James McAvoy) from a lower class who they've grown up with all of their lives. The films takes place during World War I and things become complicated and spiral downwards for the pair after Briony accuses Robbie(McAvoy) of something he did not do. She spends the rest of her life trying to make up for the mistake. The story takes a surprising turn of events which ends with Briony making another surprising confession. Absolutely fantastic acting all around, Saoirse Ronan was nominated for an Oscar for best supporting actress, and the film was nominated for 6 other Oscars as well, winning Best Original Score in the end. 

8.) I Am Sam
Despite the fact that I only watched this film sometime last year, if  you haven't heard about this film, or somehow don't know what this film is about, you should probably crawl out from whatever rock you've been living under. I Am Sam is the heartbreaking story of a man who has some type of mental illness who is fighting to keep custody of his 7 year old daughter. Sam Dawson is played by Sean Penn in a truly mind-blowing performance on his part, his daughter is played by the talented Dakota Fanning. The story is also focused around Rita Williams(Michelle Pfeiffer) who plays a cold-hearted lawyer, who's life is changed by this custody case. Sean Penn was nominated for an Oscar for his performance, but somehow this film wasn't nominated for anything? Definite fail by the Academy. Great film all around, and pretty much the whole film is filled with tears. Enjoy. 

7.) Ghost
This movie was always sad but since Patrick Swayze (aka the love of my life) is actually dead in real life now, it adds about 50 extra pounds of sadness to it. Again, if for some reason you've been living somewhere without  electricity for the last 23 years, Ghost is a story about a couple, Sam Wheat(Patrick Swayze) and Molly Jensen(Demi Moore) who are living life happily together with their best friend Carl(Tony Goldwyn) when Sam(Swayze) is suddenly murdered. Sam discovers that his ghost is stuck in our world and soon finds that Molly might be in trouble. He recruits the help of Oda Mae Brown(Whoopie Goldberg), a medium to help warn her. Fantastic movie, it was nominated  for 5 Oscars and won 2, Best Supporting Actress for Whoopi Goldberg, and best writing. The last scene is absolutely heartbreaking. I cannot listen to the song Unchained Melody without bawling. "Its amazing Molly, the love inside, you take it with you." 
6.) Forrest Gump
I really think that Forrest Gump is one of the greatest films of all time. Its such an epic film that covers so much time. Its a comedy, a drama, and a tragedy and every moment of it is filled with memorable moments.  This is a film about a man named Forrest Gump(Tom Hanks) starting in childhood and going all the way into adulthood. Somehow he has the most interesting man on earth and despite his mental challenges, he manages to accomplish 10 times more then any other person on earth. Ping-Pong champion, war hero, shrimp king, etc. There are few things in life that Forrest Gump is not capable of, but the thing that really keeps him going throughout his entire life is his love for his childhood friend Jenny(Robin Wright). The films was nominated for a mind-blowing 13 Oscars of which it won 6 including Best Picture, Best Actor for Tom Hanks and Best Director. Other cast members include Sally Field, and Gary Sinise. This film had so many epic quotes including "Run Forrest Run!", "I love you Jennay", "Hello Mr. GUMP", and, of course, "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get."
5.) Terms of Endearment
This is actually the movie that made me want to make this list, I watched it last week and adored it. I really like how it not only showed such a time frame, but showed so much of the time in between. They never really spent more then 5 minutes in a specific place in time and normally there were a year or so between them. Debra Winger really did a great job playing Emma Horton not only as a fully grown women, wife, and mother, but also as a young teen, and was believable as both, very impressive. I lovedShirley MacLaineJack NicholsonJeff DanielsDanny DeVito and John Lithgow as well, so weird to see them all so young, but I think we can all agree that it was Huckleberry Fox who stole the show as Teddy Horton. I don't want to give anything away, but lets just say that I was totally fine with everything that was happening until little Teddy gave the most heart-wrenching performance from a child, or possibly anyone in the history of cinema. He absolutely destroyed me and in just those few moments in that devastating scene I fell in love with this movie. It was nominated for 11 Oscars and won 5 of those including Best Picture, Best Director for James L. Brooks, Best Writing, Best Supporting Actor for Jack Nicholson, and Best Supporting Actress for Shirley MacLaine. 

4.) Seven Pounds
There really isn't much I can say about this film. I can't explain to you why its so good, or why Will Smith is so amazing in this film. I can't tell you why the performances by amazing actors such as Rosario Dawson and Woody Harleson were just so fantastic. I really can't tell you anything else about this film without the fear of giving something away, so I will show you the IMDB description because I think that its safe. "An aerospace engineer with a fateful secret embarks on an extraordinary journey of redemption by forever changing the lives of seven strangers." 
I really wish I could tell you more, but I think its really important that if you do see this film, that you go into it knowing as little about it as you can. I will say that its an amazing story about trying to redeem yourself, and the struggles that come with that. Please watch and enjoy this film. 

3.)Dear Zachary
I probably could have put this film at #1 and been okay with it, but I think #3 is a worthy position. I watched this documentary the first time because I saw that part of it took place here in St. John's, but I really could never know how fantastic of a movie it really was. Its basically story about a really great guy and medical student, Andrew Bagby, who is murdered not long after breaking up with his girlfriend, Shirley Turner. His life story is then told through the eyes of all of his friends and family spread out all over the globe from across America, to Newfoundland  where he went to Medical School, to the UK where his mother is originally from. His family soon finds out that his ex-girlfriend and suspected murderer is pregnant with his child and is now living back to Newfoundland where she has escaped to. Andrews parents Kathleen andDavid, find new reason to live and spend their days fighting to spend time with their new grandson while having to face their sons ex-girlfriend who they strongly suspect is their sons murderer. Absolutely fantastic film, but there are a few turns in the movie that are just too much for most people to handle without hardcore sobbing. I urge you to bring a full box of kleenex with you while watching this film. Even men will have a difficult time keeping it in while watching this one. Its very clear how much Andrew Bagby was loved by his friends, family and colleagues  and how painful it is to have to go on without him. I hope that when I die I leave a quarter of the impact on my friends and family's lives as this man clearly had. I really urge everyone out there to watch this film. Its on Netflix, even the Canadian one! Don't hesitate!
2.) Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Somehow its probably not super surprising that the top two films are about the holocaust. However, I feel like most people near my age have definitely not seen my #1, and for some reason many people have not seen this film either. The best part of this movie is how much a different perspective this is when it comes to Holocaust movies/books. This is definitely the first I've heard of from a child of a high ranking Nazi commander. There are definitely a few from a child of the holocaust's point of view, but not from the other side. Asa Butterfield plays Bruno, an eight year old boy who doesn't understand why he is forbidden from playing with the people next door in the funny looking, striped pajamas. Its really quite difficult to see him slowly try and put together whats happening, and the fact that his father is really the bad-guy in this scenario  and not the hero soldier he once believed in. I'd like to say this film has a happy ending, but its clearly a holocaust movie so its pretty much impossible but this film left me in puddles of tears by the end. Great movie that really shows that putting yourself in someone else's shoes just might make you change your mind, hopefully before its too late.

1.) Sophie's Choice
I watched this film for the first time last month, and oh my god I wish I had been warned. The film is pretty heart breaking even from the beginning, but its not until the end that the true tearjerkerness is revealed. The main premise of the film is that Meryl Streep plays a survivor of the Holocaust and is currently living in New York City with her boyfriend played by Kevin Kline. The two have a pretty tumultuous relationship which is documented from the point of view of Stingo(Peter MacNicol), a country boy in the big city. Meryl Streep's performance is absolutely breathtaking, and the academy recognized this by giving her an Oscar for Best Actress, the film was also nominated in 4 other categories. The performances from Kevin Kline and Peter MacNicol were also fantastic. This is an amazing movie that everyone should see at least once in their lives, I'm sorry I waited as long as I did. Although Sophie's(Streep) devastating life story brought tears for me throughout the movie, its not until the very end that you realize how truly horrifying her life really has been, and the awful choices she's had to make, hence the title. Bring a box of tissues, don't say I didn't warn you.

Honourable Mentions:  Million Dollar Baby, The Notebook,  Philadelphia, Pay It Forward, Bicentennial Man, Schindler's List, Perks of being a w A.I: Artificial Intelligence  Steel Magnolias, Brokeback Mountain, Titanic, Ordinary People, Dead Poets Society, The Green Mile, Nights in Rodanthe, Saving Private Ryan, PS I Love You, The Last Song, Step Mom. Bonus: Old Yeller (for Joshy Josh)

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