With the antics of Spiderman and Captain America not tickling my filmic fancy, it has been another slow week in the world of cinematic releases over here at Oh! That Film Blog. Time for another top ten list, then, and inspired by this post at Let There Be Movies, I present to you a selection of the movies I have come to love the most from the year I was born, 1989. In the year that we welcomed Daniel Radcliffe, Mia Wasikowska and Elizabeth Olsen and said goodbye to Bette Davis, Laurence Olivier and Lucille Ball, here are my personal picks. In no particular order:
1. The Little Mermaid
Arguably the film that launched Disney in to a new golden age after a slight slump in the eighties, The Little Mermaid is one of the studio’s very best animated features. The wonderful music by Alan Menken and the fact that the picture was Disney’s last film to use the traditional hand-painted cel method of animation set it high above many of the features that followed in its footsteps.
2. Steel Magnolias
A chick-flick to last for eternity, Steel Magnolias boasts one of the finest female casts you are ever likely to see on screen. Sally Field and Julia Roberts lead an exceptional group of performers in a one of the most warm hearted, hilarious and equally devastating pictures of the year. The tagline reads “the funniest movie to ever make you cry”, and ain’t that just the truth.
3. Field Of Dreams
A baseball film with more than just a hint of magic and the supernatural, Field Of Dreams captured me imagination as a child and has stayed with me ever since, remaining one of my favourite sports films. Baseball and melodrama in equal measure, the film’s peculiar story line appeals to a much wider audience than one might expect.
4. Honey, I Shrunk The Kids
A film that combined every child’s best dreams and worst nightmares, the prospect of adventure beyond anything imaginable mixed with constant and creative fatal danger. The series has suffered since with a few sequels of far lesser quality, but the original will always be a firm childhood favourite of mine.
5. Say Anything…
Just scraping in at the end of the decade to join the likes of the John Hughes films, Say Anything… is among the classic teen films of the eighties. John Cusack and Ione Skye play out an age old romantic tale, cool boy and clever girl fight against the odds to produce a coming of age love story that is still popular today.
6. When Harry Met Sally
The film that spawned an array of “friends with benefits” type pictures for years after its release, When Harry Met Sally will always be one of the cleverest and most enjoyable takes on the subject of relations between men and women. Meg Ryan’s infamous fake orgasm scene has transcended the cinematic world and seeped in to mainstream culture. I’ll have what she’s having!
7. Driving Miss Daisy
As heartwarming a film as you are ever likely to see, Driving Miss Daisy is the perfect example of a film that, through its basic themes and fine acting performances, will continue to be enjoyed by future generations. Jessica Tandy became the oldest ever recipient of the Best Actress Academy Award for her role, and Morgan Freeman is well, Morgan Freeman. Amazing as usual.
8. My Left Foot
An exceptional, Oscar winning performance from Daniel Day Lewis as Christy Brown, a working class born Irish man with cerebral palsy who can only control his left foot, who defies his circumstance to become a writer and artist. One of the most acclaimed film of the decade. My Left Foot also produced an Oscar for Brenda Fricker for Best Supporting Actress.
9. Lean On Me
Perhaps over sentimental at times, perhaps overly melodramatic, but Lean On Me represents the sort of filmic guilty pleasure that hooks me in every single time. The real life story of school teacher Joe Louis Clarke’s attempts to revitalise a run down New Jersey high school is dramatic, engrossing and uplifting. A perfect Sunday afternoon watch.
10. Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade
Ah, if only it had been his last crusade. A rip roaring, fast paced adventure featuring one of the decade’s favourite action heroes. Probably my favourite instalment of the series. Sean Connery, River Phoenix, borderline racist representations of other nationalities and caricatured version of Nazis, what more could one possibly want?