Stylish and Intelligent Movies

Hi there!  I have been thinking lately of where some of my inspiration comes from- and sometimes it's out of necessity, and sometimes it's seasonal, but sometimes it's from a terrific movie.  Here are some favorites of mine that I hope you will enjoy.  Maybe you've seen them multiple times before, maybe never, but I think you'll find them stylish, entertaining and fun!

Auntie Mame
This is a real favorite of our family's, we actually have watched it every Christmas for the past few years.  In the stylish category, Auntie Mame may be the most stylish woman that ever lived- in her personal appearance as well as in her constantly redecorated apartment.  The witty dialogue is terrific, as is the message of open-mindedness.  I seriously want to be Mame when I grow up.

This is a recent French movie starring Catherine Deneuve and it is toooooo  fabulous!  It's set in the 70's and the costumes and sets are simply perfect.  There is even a phone covered in cloth to match the room it is in...  I am not kidding.  My sister and I were elbowing each other when we saw it!  Ok, so the plot is great, too, I don't want to give too much away here- Catherine Deneuve is a trophy wife (which is what Potiche means) and her husband is not the best guy, then an ex-flame shows up, well, you just have to see it.  It's too, too much fun!

Mona Lisa Smile
I only saw this recently, and what struck me the most about it was that the girls and Marcia Gay Harden were phenomenally stylish.  It's also a very interesting look at New England young women in the 1950s.

Torn Curtain
This stars Paul Newman and Julie Andrews and is set during the cold war.  Julie Andrews is always wonderful, and while I think this movie is stylish, in a kind of a cold war way, I like how suspense is handled here- less action than today, but certainly riveting and effective.

Marie Antoinette
Perhaps the most stylish movie ever made?!!!  In all seriousness, this is literally a visual banquet.  I absolutely love this movie.  I'm sure I enjoyed it more having read the book first, it is based on a biography by Antonia Fraser.  I would recommend the book, it gives some more detail as to what is happening (i.e. why they take her dogs away from her at the border, etc.)  A warning, this will make you want to eat pastries.  And possibly embroider everything you own.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Yes, seriously.  When they are in Bulgaria, the dresses, castle and fabrics are beautiful.  Makes me want to have Oktoberfest early!  But, the child catcher is scary!

Black Robe
Well, maybe not stylish in the way these other movies are- this is the story of a French Catholic priest that travels to the New World in the 1700s.  I have to warn you that some parts are gory.  But, I really like this movie because it's a more detailed portrayal of Native American culture than we usually get to see in the movies.  A very good scene includes the running of a gauntlet.

The 13th Warrior
This is interesting from a style perspective with regard to Vikings, and we get to see their culture through the eyes of an Arab (played by Antonio Banderas).  One of the most interesting things about the film my father pointed out to me- the Arab believes he has some control over his destiny by his actions and the pagan Vikings truly believe fate is unavoidable.  An interesting commentary on the point of view of people of the three Abraham related religions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam) vs. pagan.  Also, a pretty good movie.  My favorite part is how they portray him learning the language.  I wonder if that is how it is for babies as they learn?  Neat.

Sleepy Hollow
Although this is a little scarier than I usually can stand- I am a total weenie, what can I say?  I like this movie nonetheless.  Its portrayal of early North American life is what I like about it- the interior of the homes, the costumes, and the foggy forests.  Also, great for the fall.  But, scary and R rated, not for the whole family.

Down Argentine Way
This is a great, classic 1940s musical movie- and it involves race horses, romance, Argentina, and incredible costumes, need I say more?  Apparently it was part of a push by the US government to promote relations with South America.  In any event, fun, cheerful and stylish!

The Last of the Mohicans
Set during the French and Indian War in North America.  Portrays Native Americans and British settlers.  One of my favorite scenes in this movie is when they are playing Lacrosse, which is a uniquely American sport, as it was originated by the Northeastern woodlands Native Americans.  Dramatic and romantic.  And while the British settlers' costumes are great looking, they could not be more impractical?!

Walk the Line
If you're unfamiliar with this movie, it's about Johnny Cash and June Carter (who becomes June Carter Cash).  Played to utter perfection by Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon, who, are actually singing themselves!  This movie is just so, so terrific.  The story is wonderful, the singing and performing is magical.  I Liked it so much I bought the soundtrack.  My toddler son LOVES listening to the music.  For about two months, he requested 'Jackson' as sung by Witherspoon and Phoenix every night at bedtime :)  And although Witherspoon is normally a blonde, she looks absolutely beautiful in this movie with dark hair.


essix said...

Requiem for a Dream
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
A Clockwork Orange
Shutter Island
The Great Dictator
American History X
The Matrix


La Dolce Duchessa said...

Thank you for your list! Love it!