I struggled for nearly TWELVE hours over this list. I know, I know, it doesn’t sound like I was a tortured soul but I assure you, I’m still reeling from the decision making process. Anyway, you should know by now that my particular brand of living life consists of inconsistency and crippling indecision. So for me to narrow down hundreds, if not thousands, of movies I absolutely adore to a mere five? What a process.

Why was this a process? Well, I had to consider all factors and points of interest:

  • Does the movie cause me to feel? If so, what kind of feels does it give me–happy, sad, terror, fear, etc.
  • Does the movie hold some sort of nostalgia? Does it allow me to see into my past, as though I were being happily haunted by the ghosts of Christmas past while watching it?
  • Does it tie into my beliefs or how I see the world?
  • Does it satisfy every single damn thing I need to have satisfied in a film?

And now I’ll hush up and share the list, I’m sure you’re just dying to know… 😉

#1 Beauty & the Beast

This movie. Ohhhh, this movie. Within it’s one hour and thirty-minute runtime, there takes place a most beautiful love story, packing such a punch that even if the score and soundtrack weren’t as epic as they are (they are so epic), I’d still *feel *the characters falling in love. But it also showcases the best and worst bits of humanity: jealousy, desire, anger, hatred and fear. It’s mean and vicious at points, with bullies (dammit Gaston, go home) and uneducated drones that act as thy master bids. But it comes around, of course, because this is Disney and no love story can ever truly end. I think it’s a lovely guide for real, actual life: be kind, be open and true to others and follow your heart. It also holds a super special place in my heart because I remember so many, many days and nights spent singing and dancing around with my best friend, my cousin and partner in crime, D. Here’s to immeasurable happiness given by this brilliant, poignant an hour and a half.

#2 A Hard Day’s Night

Where to begin with this movie. It’s brilliant, funny, a bit nonsensical and aimless, but it’s perfect. In every single silly, ridiculous way, it’s a perfect film. The Beatles, as most of you should know by now, are in my all-time everythings list, which is limited to a very select few things. I even have a Sgt. Pepper tattoo on my left arm because, yes, it’s the arm closest to my heart and that’s EXACTLY why I chose to put it there. I smile every day when I see it and it’s a point of pride, always will be. It’s also a great conversation piece, but enough about the ink. I first saw AHDN when I was seven years old. I didn’t know what the hell I had watched and it wasn’t until I was twelve that it really became a permanent staple for me. That was when I fell head over heels, madly, truly, deeply, in love with Paul McCartney. Who I, obviously, still feel the same for today (just saw him in concert for the second time a few weeks ago, so blog coming about this genius!). With AHDN, I found myself charmed–I laughed, I swooned and bobbed my tom-boyish hair to every note and syllable sung by these four lads from Liverpool and I will always do this when watching it. It’s basically tied with #1 but because I saw it *after *Beauty, I felt justified giving it this slot, so long as I explained that it’s just as meaningful!

#3 Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Episode V. Star Wars. The Empire Strikes Back. I almost want to drop a mic and walk away, because what could I write that would say any *more than what’s already been written? But I won’t do that, because this is my blog and I have things to say. Once you believe you figured out something or suspect a thing that might be, it flips on its head and smacks you in the face in the best possible way! Basically? This movie is ABSOLUTE PERFECTION. The story, the characters, the LAYERS, Jesus take the wheel, the layers to this film are innumerable. The dynamics between every single person are tight and mysterious, with a plot and story arc that leaves people wanting more more more. And even after big things have been revealed (cmon, you know), you still lust and need just ten more minutes, please?! *Because that’s what Star Wars is, and what’s been proven time and again–people adore it, they scream from every corner of the earth their love, and I am no different. I love how many movies have been made (yes, even the prequels I can tolerate because they are still Star Wars films) and continue to be made this day. But Empire rules over them ALL. There is nothing comparable to it, save for Return of the Jedi/A New Hope as distant seconds, and possibly The Force Awakens (I’m still pondering this), and I love that about this franchise. That I can love all of these films for specific reasons, and yet keep V above and beyond the others because that’s what it deserves. Oh look, it’s just about that time to go stare at Luke(‘s arms) on Dagobah again…

#4 The Shawshank Redemption

This is one of those “if this film is on TV, it *stays *on TV,” kind of masterpieces. There is nothing wrong with this film, no shot, no dialogue, no plot holes, no lack of emotion, NOTHING. It is a masterpiece. And a beautiful one at that. You *feel *for ‘Red’ and Andy and the injustice of the Justice System. You *feel *for the mistreatment of prisoners and even the guilty ones leave you attached and sympathetic. Dare I say a bit of Stockholm Syndrome occurs when reaching the end scene of this film? You don’t want to side with murderers or see them free (Andy WAS innocent, so he’s excluded from this bit) and enjoying their golden years, but you also couldn’t stomach the thought of them remaining in that hell hole a moment longer. Red was that character for me. He was a murderer, he was a lifer and then you get to know him and opinions are changed and you need Andy and Red together in the end, on an island, fixing a boat, or ELSE. It’s just absolute film mastery and its place on this list was never in question. Oh and “get busy living, or get busy dying.” If that doesn’t make you bleed with emotion, you’re not really alive.

#5 Interstellar

Christopher Nolan hails from another world, he must. There’s no other reason to explain how ALL of his films are brilliant and mind-blowingly awesome. Interstellar is the diamond, it’s the winner’s lap, the victory parade and everything in between. There is not a scene in this epic that leaves you feeling dull or allows your mind to wander. It’s intelligent, too, which means it might not be appreciated by everyone–I’m not saying that to demean anyone, only that science, math, physics and theoretical calculations aren’t everyone’s bag. To be honest, out of that last sentence only science is my “thing,” as I’m dreadfully inept when it comes to mathematics of any kind. That said, I still *got the movie. *And it hit directly into my soul. The idea of love transcending space and time is beautiful and something I believe passionately in. That no matter how brief our stay on this planet may be, we could very well exist in some manner of the beyond because of love. And isn’t that what we all want to believe, regardless of religious denominations and our varying views on the afterlife? That love *is *the separating component? That it has been and will remain here long before and long after we are gone? What a comforting thought. To have writers (the Nolan brothers) believe similarly is reassuring that a lot of others feel the same as me. This movie is light, and even though it’s ranked fifth and technically last, it’s not last by any means. This film is hope, and delivered in way that finds you fulfilled.

So there it is for July, as chosen by a Twitter poll I conducted shortly after debuting my top 5 apps blog. You guys have spoken and this is the product. I’d love to hear your opinions or read your own list of favorites and why, so feel free to DM me over on Twitter or drop me a line here! <3 x