My Favorite Movies Since Coming Home

These are my favorite movies I have seen since May 2017. I had planned to write a review for each one, but realized I don’t have that kind of ambition. My mind moves on too fast. So, here is an easy access list. Hopefully you may discover something you haven’t seen before!

These movies don’t need to have been released in 2017 or 2018. So you may be surprised how long it took me to see certain movies. I won’t do full out reviews for each one, but just give my overall experience with them. Let’s begin!


14. The Incredibles 2 (2018)

I am a huge fan of the original movie The Incredibles (2004), and was generally pleased with this sequel. The action scenes were well paced, the animation amazing as ever, and Edna was as hilarious as I remember her! The message itself brought some very interesting questions to my mind about our freedom to protect others and be our true selves.

Now I wouldn’t say it is a perfect movie. I thought the conflict didn’t have the same resonance as the first film. But overall, I think it is great!


Favorite Quote:

[after finding out the Dicker had Tony’s mind erased after he’s seen Violet in her superhero suit]
Violet Parr: It was Dicker! You told him about Tony!
Bob Parr: Honey.
Violet Parr: You had me erased from Tony’s mind!
[Violet storms off to her room, gets her superhero suit walks back to the kitchen]
Violet Parr: I hate superheroes, and I renounce them!
[Violet throws her suit into the garbage dispenser in the sink and turns on the switch][watching in shock after Violet has tried to destroy her superhero suit]
Dashiell ‘Dash’ Parr: Is she having adolescence?


13. The Breadwinner (2017)

How to describe this film. Sometimes I think it is beneficial to see the trials and hurts of other people so as to understand suffering in places we have never been. Honestly, watching the main protagonist, Paravana’s world was the antithesis to the freedoms women in places like the United States enjoy. Examples: The freedom to learn and study in school, buy your own food, walk in our choice of clothing and to protect our family. The only way Paravana could help her family was to pretend to be a boy. That in and of itself was and is a sobering truth that left me thinking long and hard at the movie’s end. Here is my review if you are interested. CLICK HERE.

RATING: Choose not to (It didn’t seem right or relevant.)

Favorite Quote:
Parvana: [Last Lines]
Parvana: Raise your hearts, not your voice. It is rain that makes the flowers grow, not thunder.


12. Infinity War (2018)

Ho hum…. so I haven’t been the greatest Marvel fan. I definitely have not see all the movies but by some miracle I saw this one. My thoughts throughout the whole thing ranged from intrigued, saddened, enlightened and at times wistful. There was SO MUCH GOING ON, but it connected nicely at the end.

It raised very difficult moral questions and Thanos was an interesting villain because his perspective sprang from personal experience. He truly believed in his cause, to the point where he sacrificed what he loved most. It made me wonder at the human heart and its capacity for perfect evil and perfect good.


Favorite Quote:

Peter Parker: No, I’m Peter, by the way.

Dr. Strange: Dr. Strange.

Peter Parker: Oh, we’re using our made-up names. I’m Spider-Man then.


11. In This Corner of the World (2016)

Oh my heart. This movie was both beautiful and heartrending. What impresses me the more I watch Japanese animation is how well they can talk about history without becoming too consumed with the sorrow of it. This movie takes place before, during and a little after World War II and shows the war through the eyes of Japanese citizens who believed in their country, but didn’t understand the why of the war.

There was much loss, but in its end I wondered at how the world could still be beautiful as the people moved forward. I definitely recommend this movie to those who wish for a different perspective on World War II.


Favorite Quote:

Suzu: Thank you for finding me in this corner of the world.


10. Star Wars 7 and 8 (2015, 2017)

What can I say? I like Star Wars and was actually fairly impressed with both of the new films. I liked how there were more practical effects, the freshness of its characters, and the call back to the original films. Though many criticized both these for various reasons, I guess only avid fans would understand, I welcomed the call back to important themes like hope, faith, fighting for good and facing our inner fears. Also, I was glad to see Mark Hamill again as Luke. Also also, shout out for the Yoda appearance! That was my favorite part of the films!

RATING: Episode VII 4/5, Episode VIII 4/5

Favorite Quote:
Luke Skywalker: [Yoda appears as a ghost] Master Yoda.
Yoda: Young Skywalker.
Luke Skywalker: I’m ending all of this. The tree, the texts, the Jedi. I’m going to burn it all down.
Yoda: [Yoda summons lightning to burn down the tree and the Jedi texts. He laughs] Ah, Skywalker. Missed you, have I.
Luke Skywalker: So it is time for the Jedi Order to end.
Yoda: Time it is for you to look past a pile of old books, hmm?
Luke Skywalker: The sacred Jedi texts?
Yoda: Oh, read them, have you? Page-turners they were not. Yes, yes, yes. Wisdom they held, but that library contained nothing that the girl Rey does not already possess. Skywalker, still looking to the horizon. Never here, now, hmm? The need in front of your nose.
Luke Skywalker: I was weak. Unwise.
Yoda: Lost Ben Solo you did. Lose Rey we must not.
Luke Skywalker: I can’t be what she needs me to be.
Yoda: Heeded my words not, did you? Pass on what you have learned. Strength. Mastery. But weakness, folly, failure also. Yes, failure most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is. Luke, we are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters.


9. The Little Prince (2015)

Truly, I was surprised how much I came to love this movie. Parts of it felt cliqued at times and its ending did not surprise me, but on the other hand I found myself inevitably drawn into its simple story and portrayal of the beloved children’s classic from which it is named. It was a gentle movie and really I need those types of films the more time goes on. If you are interested in my review CLICK HERE.

RATING: 4.2/5

Favorite Quote:

The Little Prince: She was not a common rose. She was the only one of her kind in the whole universe. I remember her. I remember all of it. She is not gone. She is still here. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.”


8. Black Panther (2018)

Lo and behold I found my favorite Marvel movie and by golly it is extraordinary. This movie was truly engaging because of its cry not for change only in its universe but also for those of us today. History has not treated those of African American descent very kindly and I feel in my heart there are many of them caught in a world of poverty and sorrow. Theirs is the history of many people of this world, but I also found it so inspiring to not only see the despair, but also good, kind powerful people who were not confined to that world.

It made me think, people have the power despite their history or circumstances, race or ethnicity to live their lives empowered and with their heads held high.

T’Challa has become one of my favorite characters in film because he was not only willing to be a just, kind and forgiving king but he also admitted his mistakes and changed. He saw from other’s perspectives and acted. All in all, I enjoyed this movie and am glad it received an Oscar nomination.

RATING: 4.5/5

Favorite Quote:
T’Challa: Wakanda will no longer watch from the shadows. We can not. We must not. We will work to be an example of how we, as brothers and sisters on this earth, should treat each other. Now, more than ever, the illusions of division threaten our very existence. We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe.


7. A Silent Voice (2016)

(Sorry the poster is in a different language) I loved this movie for its message on love and forgiveness. It is too complicated to explain all here, but suffice it to say two characters who, estranged by bullying and misunderstandings find in each other the will to keep living . It made me wonder how much I don’t know about others’ lives, the horrors they carry. It also helped me understand people can change and do amazing things in goodness and kindness.

If you want to cry, watch this movie.


Favorite Quote:

“Friendship is something …that defies both words and logic.”


6. The Greatest Showman (2017)

Oh gosh I am a sucker for good music. And truly, the soundtrack for this movie has become one of my favorites. Every song has such beautiful lyrics and energy! I liked how this movie centered on family and seeing the world out of the confines of prejudice. Was the original Barnum the man showed in the movie? Hmmm…. probably not. ( Hmmm hmm not at all really.) But I was really too grateful the movie promoted family, acceptance, individual worth, love and fidelity to notice the historical inaccuracies. I think in a few years, critics will think more highly of it. Not that it matters really.


Favorite Quote:
James Gordon Bennett: I never liked your show, but I always thought the people did
P.T. Barnum: They did. They do!
James Gordon Bennett: Putting people of all Shapes, Sizes, Colours. Putting them on stage together and presenting them as equals, another critic might have even called it a celebration of humanity.
P.T. Barnum: I would’ve liked that.

robin 9

5. Christopher Robin (2018)

This movie was so simple and heart warming. Rather than portraying a father and husband who had become callous and inattentive in his adulthood, it showed a boy grown into a man who felt he must put behind his childhood to become the “adult” people expected him to be. His father died, he fought in World War II and lost himself along the way.

I won’t spoil it, but I just loved how the kind boy, lost to life’s hardships, was found by his dearest friend. It was as though a veil was lifted from his mind and the sunshine could finally come through. If you are interested in my review, CLICK HERE.

RATING: Hmm…I didn’t feel like it.

Favorite Quote:
Christopher Robin: I’m not the person I used to be.
Winnie The Pooh: You saved us. You’re a hero.
Christopher Robin: I’m not a hero, Pooh. The fact is, I’m lost.
Winnie The Pooh: But I found you.

4. Fantastic Beasts and The Crimes of Grindewald (2016, 2018)

So if you thought I liked Star Wars, it is nothing compared to how much I love J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Honestly, I liked these two new films set in 1920’s America and Great Britain more than the original Harry Potter Films. It is because I feel they really are from Rowling herself. When I watched Fantastic Beasts for the first time, I wondered why I liked it so much. I read up on it and realized Rowling wrote the screen play for it. I thought, “Ah, that makes sense then.”

Rowling has a way of portraying themes such as discrimination, abuse, manipulation and deep regret in ways I truly appreciate. She doesn’t shy from heavy themes but makes it clear that yes there is evil in this world, but also that it can be counteracted by the kindest and unlikeliest people. That being said, Newt has also, like T’Challa, become one of my favorite characters. He was compassionate, kind and an overall genuine soul which has been missing from our entertainment. Kindness is not weakness.

Anyway, I love these movies and…. really want to know what happens.

RATING: Fantastic Beasts- 4.5/5, Crimes of Grindewald- 4/5

Favorite Quote(s):

1. Jacob Kowalski: Uh, Mr. Scamander?
Newt Scamander: Oh, call me Newt.
Jacob Kowalski: Newt. I don’t think I’m dreaming.
Newt Scamander: [mildly amused] What gave it away?
Jacob Kowalski: I ain’t got the brains to make this up.

2. Newt Scamander: No, I’m here to… You know, your eyes really are…
Tina Goldstein: Are what?
Newt Scamander: I’m not supposed to say. I got this picture of you from the paper, but it’s interesting because your eyes in newsprint. See, in reality they have this effect in them, Tina. It’s like fire in water, in dark water. I’ve only ever seen that… I’ve only ever seen that in…
Tina Goldstein: Salamanders?

Peanuts (1)

3. The Peanuts Movie (2015)

Now we come to the top contenders of my affection! First, there is this remake of Charles Schultz’s comic strip. I missed this film’s release because I went to Russia on my mission and I thought of it often. I asked my mom what she thought of it and was elated but sad when she said it was great. (The sadness came because I couldn’t watch it yet.)

Anyway, long story short I watched it and just loved it in all its Charlie Brown and company glory! The message to see ourselves for the goodness we do and to put honesty, family and generosity before popularity really warmed my heart. Also, I was so glad he could finally after more than 50 years talk to the little red-haired girl.

Also also, a special shout out for the animation! Despite it being 3D I really liked its look and feel. It really seemed like one of Schultz’s comic strips and stayed true to his style.

RATING: 5/5 (Cough, I am biased)

Favorite Quote:
Little Red-Haired Girl: Oh, hi, Charlie Brown.
Charlie Brown: You remembered my name?
Little Red-Haired Girl: Of course I did.
Charlie Brown: Before you leave, there’s something I really need to know. Why, out of all the kids in our class, would you want to be partners with me?
Little Red-Haired Girl: That’s easy. It’s because I’ve seen the type of person you are.
Charlie Brown: An insecure, wishy-washy failure?
Little Red-Haired Girl: That’s not who you are at all. I like the compassion you showed for your sister at the talent show. The honesty you had at the assembly. And at the dance, you were brave and funny. And what you did for me, doing the book report while I was away, was so sweet of you. So when I look at you, I don’t see a failure at all. You have all the qualities I admire.


2. Coco (2017)

I think my experience with this movie will reflect that of many others. When I saw this movie in theaters I had just come home from visiting my grandma Engler in New York. She was 93 and I had not seen her for fifteen years because my family lived in Arizona and New Mexico. I had gone to New York with a deep feeling, which I now understand as familial love and bonding.

Anyway, when I left her in New York I felt in my heart it would be the last time I would see her in this life. She did not die until May 2018, but I knew it was coming. Seeing this movie I finally understood what is most important in this life. The movie was not about Miguel becoming a musician or finding his way home. It was about the missing picture of his great great grandfather, whose family was forgetting him.

Truly, this was the best pixar film I have seen since Up (2009). Also, the animation was SO BEAUTIFUL! If I made a new top beautifully animated films this would definitely be in the top 10.


Favorite Quote:
Ernesto de la Cruz: [to Mamá Imelda] Don’t I know you?
Mamá Imelda: [Smacks Ernesto with her shoe] That’s for murdering the love of my life!
Ernesto de la Cruz: [Confused] Who the…?
Héctor: She’s talking about me!

Héctor: I am the love of your life?
Mamá Imelda: I don’t know, I am still angry at you!


1.Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)

It was hard choosing between this and Coco, and I might change my mind later, but for now this is my number one. My mother told me about this movie while I was still on my mission. Her words were basically, “I saw this really interesting animated film. It was kind of strange. I think you would like it.” Laika animation studios really outdid themselves when they did this movie.

The animation is stunning! (I would also now put this in my top most beautifully animated films list.) Really, compared to other stop-motion animated films I have seen these last few years, the beauty and quality of this movie’s action scenes, touching moments and story telling ability just astounded me!

All the characters were very well rounded, complex and endearing. Even the villain, who Kubo “defeats” in a truly Hayao Miyazaki fashion, really drew me in. I just can’t get over how much I loved this movie! I really want to dissect it and understand how it works story and animation wise! That might be my next project. . .

Anyway! That is my beautiful list! Hopefully, I have more films to add as this year goes on!


Favorite Quote:
(After seeing golden herrings fly overhead)
Monkey- It’s believed that they carry the souls of the departed. Carrying them over to where ever they need to go.
Beetle- What are they singing?
Monkey- Many say, the songs about what happens when we die, how we don’t just disappear. Like Kubo’s paper, we shift, we transform, so we can continue our story in another place. The end of one story is merely the beginning of another.

My Favorite Movies: 30-21

More and more animated films will leak onto my list. Just a heads up. 

30. Rebecca (1940)

This is one of the few times where I loved the movie more then the book. Based on French author Daphne du Maurier’s novel Rebecca, many critics and Hitchcock fans consider this film to be one of Alfred Hitchcock’s best. I have to agree with them. It is the way Hitchcock handled the material. He changed the ending and kept the main antagonist Rebecca hidden throughout. Not even a picture of the chilling beauty appeared. 

The tragedy of this story is the fate of the main character, the new Mrs. De Winter. Despite her love, there was the nagging omen Rebecca causing her to doubt her worth. By the end, it is too late to bring back her far away lost look and innocence. The love story takes a long time to unfold but by its end it feels so real. Not everything is what it’s seems but that is where the brilliance shines the better.  

Favorite Quote(s): 

1. Maxim de Winter: I can’t forget what it’s done to you. I’ve been thinking of nothing else since it happened. It’s gone forever, that funny young, lost look I loved won’t ever come back. I killed that when I told you about Rebecca. It’s gone. In a few hours, you’ve grown so much older.

2. Maxim de Winter: You thought I loved Rebecca? You thought that? I hated her!

3. Mrs. de Winter: [about her father] He had a theory that if you should find one perfect thing, or place or person, you should stick to it. Do you think that’s very silly? 

Maxim de Winter: No, I’m a firm believer in that myself.

29. Life of Pi (2012) 

This film is impossible to make without computer effects. Yet, it does not feel computer generated. The story is meant to make you believe in God. I think “make” is the wrong word. There is nothing in this world that can make one believe in God and stay true to Him. No, it does it into another way. But that is the personal journey. 

It is rare for a film to be so openly spiritual. Yet, I believe there is beauty hidden in it if only people will lift their eyes from the shield of doubt. It is obvious why I love this story so. To believe takes an open heart. And those  who go through such hard trials come out the stronger if they endure it well. I know to believe is not popular but when has popularity ever supported truth? 

Favorite Quote(s): 

1. Adult Pi Patel: So which story do you prefer? 

Writer: The one with the tiger. That’s the better story. 

Adult Pi Patel: Thank you. And so it goes with God. 

2. Santosh Patel: We will sail like Columbus. 

Pi Patel: But Columbus was looking for India!

3. Adult Pi Patel: Faith is a house with many rooms. 

Writer: But no room for doubt? 

Adult Pi Patel: Oh plenty, on every floor. Doubt is useful, it keeps faith a living thing. After all, you cannot know the strength of your faith until it is tested.
28. Jesus of Nazareth (1977)

Technically this is a miniseries commissioned by the Roman Catholic Church. There were many big name actors and actresses throughout including Laurence Olivier and James Mason. But I did not know those famous people when I saw it as a child. This a powerful watch. Some may say it is a bloated push to force Christ at people. But again, this is a situation where the message and beauty is there if people are willing to see it. 

Though it is impossible to truly portray Christ, because only imperfect people can play him, there is power in revisiting his life and ministry. My family and I watched this every Easter and it implanted deeply in me a spiritual perspective on the season. 

Favorite Quote(s):

1. Pontius Pilate: Do you realize I have the power to release you or have you crucified? 

Jesus Christ: You wouldn’t have had that power over me if it hadn’t been given to you from above.

27. Song of the Sea (2014)

Though I also like Secret of Kells, the beauty and innocence of this film struck me hard the first time I saw it. There is no antagonist nor any impressing doom. What permeates, is this sad feeling that old things are passing away. I have always had a strong love of old tales and cultures. Irish folktales have a particularly somber tone. Yet, there is reprise and happiness found at the film’s end. 

There is beauty in childhood innocence and true love. It is funny how alongside great sadness there is always found great happiness. Perhaps that is why I love this story. I watched a show once called Kino’s Journey (2003). The premis is “The world is not beautiful therefore it is beautiful.”. I think the same can be said about this movie. Bronagh must leave behind her husband and son for the sea. But there’s love still there. That is much makes the journey in this film so memorable. 

Favorite Quote(s):

1. Bronagh: My son, remember me in your stories and in your songs. Know that I will always love you, always. 

 26. Hotarubu no Mori E (2011)

Before I saw this movie, I saw a short video on YouTube dedicated to it. I wept. Then I saw the movie and cried again. It had been a long time since a story had touched me so. The story centers around a girl named Hotaru who meets a young man Gin who is trapped between life and death. He cannot touch her or else he will disappear from her world. 

 This film shows that love is not dependant on physical interaction. The fruit of love is companionship and friendship. It was hard to see two people growing together and loving yet separated by unimaginable forces. But there was more beauty and love shown in this obscure animated film then I have seen in a long time. Though I cried for their inevitable parting, something in me knew it was a wonderful thing. In The Return of the King (1955) Gandalf said, “I will not say do not weep, for not all tears are an evil.” In seeing this film, I believe him. 

Favorite Quote(s):

1. Hotaru: Gin, I thought of you during the winter. Even during autumn and spring. Gin, don’t forget about me.”

2. Hotaru: Time may separate us someday. But, even still, until then, let’s stay together. 

3. Gin: I can’t wait for summer to come around. When I’m away from you, even though I can’t be around crowds, I want to go see you.

4. Hotaru: I probably won’t be able to look forward to summer for a long time. My chest will hurt. My tears will be overflowing. But this warmth in my hands and these summer memories will live on in my heart. 

25. Coraline (2009)

I love creepy children’s films like this. I believe that is my German soul speaking to me. I think this is because I love to see evils like the other mother be defeated. The original novel written by Neil Gaiman painted a startling picture of a more modern day boogie man. It also shows that children are often more perceptive than adults to the evils that surround us. That is the tragedy of our age. The child is being driven out by our media and grown ups become all the more oblivious at an earlier age. 

The imagery is so colorful and out of all the still motion pictures made I think this is the most beautiful visually.  I also like how “not” childish this movie feels. It does not rely on corny jokes or dating references. It tells a story about temptation and finding that what we always wanted is more often sitting right in front of us. 

Favorite Quote(s): 

1. Coraline Jones: How can you walk away from something and then come towards it? 

Cat: Walk around the world. 

Coraline Jones: Small world.

2. Miss Forcible: [reading tea leaves] Well, not to worry, child: It’s good news. There’s a tall, handsome beast in your future. 

Coraline Jones: A what? 

Miss Spink: Miriam, really, you’re holding it wrong. See? Danger! 

Coraline Jones: What do you see? 

Miss Spink: I see a very peculiar hand. 

Miss Forcible: I see a giraffe. 

Miss Spink: Giraffes don’t just fall from the sky, Miriam. 

Coraline Jones: Well, what should I do? 

Miss Spink: Never wear green in your dressing room. 

Miss Forcible: Acquire a very tall step-ladder.
24. The Incredibles (2004)

Ahhhh I remember when this came out. This is yet another film I watched with my brother Spencer. The trailers made us laugh so hard! A sign of a great movie is one that makes you never forget the first time you saw it. There was something so human about this one. It is about a man stuck between a life he used to have as a superheroe and the daunting, dull life he thinks he has. 

One of the most powerful moments is when he hears his wife on the receiver at Syndrome’s lair and his family’s supposed death. There, he thinks he has lost everything he loves and unashamedly weeps. That was the time when he realized his family was the treasure he had been seeking all along. It is funny, cleverly written and a remarkable addition to the  super hero film genre. 

Favorite Quote(s):

1. Lucius: Honey? 

Honey: What? 

Lucius: Where’s my super suit? 

Honey: What? 

Lucius: Where – is – my – super – suit? 

Honey: I, uh, put it away. 

[helicopter explodes outside]

Lucius: *Where*? 

Honey: *Why* do you *need* to know? 

Lucius: I need it! 

[Lucius rummages through another room in his condo]

Honey: Uh-uh! Don’t you think about running off doing no daring-do. We’ve been planning this dinner for two months! 

Lucius: The public is in danger! 

Honey: My evening’s in danger! 

Lucius: You tell me where my suit is, woman! We are talking about the greater good! 

Honey: ‘Greater good?’ I am your wife! I’m the greatest *good* you are ever gonna get!

2. Bob: Weren’t you in the news? Some show in, Prayge… Prague? 

Edna: Milan, darling. Milan. Supermodels. Heh! Nothing super about them… spoiled, stupid little stick figures with poofy lips who think only about themselves. Feh! I used to design for *gods*!

3. [Bob is explaining an insurance policy loophole to a Mrs. Hogenson]

Bob: [whispering] Listen closely. I’d like to help you but I can’t. I’d like to tell you to take a copy of your policy to Norma Wilcox on… Norma Wilcox, W-I-L-C-O-X… on the third floor, but I can’t. 

[Mrs. Hogenson scribbles details of Bob’s loophole on a small notepad]

Bob: I also do not advise you to fill out and file a WS2475 form with our legal department on the second floor. I would not expect someone to get back to you quickly to resolve the matter. I’d like to help, but there’s nothing I can do.

4. Mr. Incredible: Wait here and stay hidden. I’m going in. 

Elastigirl: While what? I watch helplessly from the sidelines? I don’t think so. 

Mr. Incredible: I’m asking you to wait with the kids. 

Elastigirl: And I’m telling you, not a chance. You’re my husband, I’m with you – for better or worse. 

Mr. Incredible: I have to do this alone. 

Elastigirl: What is this to you? Playtime? 

Mr. Incredible: No. 

Elastigirl: So you can be Mr. Incredible again? 

Mr. Incredible: No! 

Elastigirl: Then what? What is it? 

Mr. Incredible: I’m not… 

Elastigirl: Not what? 

Mr. Incredible: Not… I’m not strong enough. 

Elastigirl: Strong enough? And this will make you stronger? 

Mr. Incredible: Yes. No! 

Elastigirl: That’s what this is? Some sort of work out? 

Mr. Incredible: [shouts] I can’t lose you again! [calms down]

Mr. Incredible: I can’t. Not again. I’m not s-strong enough. 

Elastigirl: [kisses him] If we work together, you won’t have to be. 

Mr. Incredible: I don’t know what will happen… 

Elastigirl: Hey, c’mon. We’re superheroes. What could happen?
23. Ratatouille (2006)

I did not like this movie as much the first watch. At the time, it never struck a chord with me. With further contemplation though, I came to love it. A movie about acceptance, companionship and family, it is told from the perspective of a rat Remi, who feels out of place with his family. 

I think I love it most for its end. Gusteau’s restaurant gets closed down, most of the workers abandon them and Anton Ego loses his place as France’s top food critic. All for believing in a rat. But where there is glitter there is gold. Remi, Linguini and Collette open a new restaurant, Ego visits often, a changed and happy man and Remy’s family finally embraces his talent. Sometimes what we need is not immediately apparent. More than not it is waiting behind a closed door. 

Favorite Quote: 

 [when the restaurant is empty Linguini and Colette bring Remy to meet Ego]

Remy: At first, Ego thinks it’s a joke. But as Linguini explains, Ego’s smile disappears. He doesn’t react beyond asking the occasional question. And when the story’s done, Ego stands, thanks us for the meal, and leaves, without another word. The following day, his review appears: 

Anton Ego: In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the *new*. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new: an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau’s famous motto, “Anyone can cook.” But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist; but a great artist *can* come from *anywhere*. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau’s, who is, in this critic’s opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau’s soon, hungry for more.

22. Stairway to Heaven (1947)

A funny sort of story is attached to this film. The first time I saw it, I was sitting next to my younger brothers who were playing a computer game. I started the movie and gradually within the next five minutes they forgot the game and squeezed next to me to find out what happens. A war film on the surface, what it is really about is a man who challenges his fate to be with a woman he came to love. 

The man, Peter Carter, falls from a burning plane into the ocean after talking to June, one of the workers for the USAAF. He survives because his angel misses him in the London fog. Once he wakes up he meets June, whom he had never personally met, and they both recognize each other and fall in love. This is yet another powerful love story I adore for its genuinity. There is definitely more to this movie then initially meets the eye and it is a deep look into humanity’s perspective on death and the mind.

Favorite Quote(s): 

1. Peter: [over radio] Where were you born? 

June: Boston. 

Peter: Mass.? 

June: Yes. 

Peter: That’s a place to be born, history was made there. Are you in love with anybody? No, no don’t answer that. 

June: I could love a man like you, Peter. 

Peter: I love you, June. You’re life and I’m leaving you.

2. The Judge: Members of the jury, as Sir Walter Scott is always saying… In peace, Love tunes the shepherd’s reed; In war, he mounts the warrior’s steed; In halls, in gay attire is seen; In hamlets, dances on the green. Love rules the court, the camp, the grove, and men below, and saints above; For Love is heaven, and heaven is Love. Will you please consider your verdict.

3. Abraham Farlan: You claim you love her. 

Peter: I do love her! 

Abraham Farlan: Can you prove it? 

Peter: Well give me time, sir. Fifty years will do. 

Abraham Farlan: But can you prove it? 

Peter: Well, can a starving man prove he’s hungry except by eating? 

Abraham Farlan: Would you die for her? 

Peter: I would, but, er, I’d rather live.
21. Wizard of Oz (1939)

1939 was an incredible year for films. Classics like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Gone with the Wind, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Stagecoach, The Hound of the Baskervilles and Love Affair are considered some of the greatest films ever done. My favorite however is The Wizard of Oz. The book really is not that memorable for me. It is this movie that established my dreams for adventure and magic. 

Timeless in its music, effects and acting I believe this is one of the few movies that is nearly perfect. This is not because there were no mistakes made here and there with the backgrounds or costume design. No, it is an enchanting, universal almost indescribable feeling that rests throughout it. Roger Ebert put it best in his review. 

The elements in “The Wizard of Oz” powerfully fill a void that exists inside many children. For kids of a certain age, home is everything, the center of the world. But over the rainbow, dimly guessed at, is the wide earth, fascinating and terrifying. There is a deep fundamental fear that events might conspire to transport the child from the safety of home and strand him far away in a strange land. And what would he hope to find there? Why, new friends, to advise and protect him. And Toto, of course, because children have such a strong symbiotic relationship with their pets that they assume they would get lost together.

. . . its underlying story penetrates straight to the deepest insecurities of childhood, stirs them and then reassures them. As adults, we love it because it reminds us of a journey we have taken.

That is also why The Heroes Journey works so well for us as people. It is the idea that when all the war and hardship is over there is a place we all can go to for peace. That is how I feel about this movie. It’s magic lies in its heart and it means the world to me. 

Favorite Quote(s): 

1.Scarecrow: First they [the Flying Monkeys] took my legs off and they threw them over there! Then they took my chest out and they threw it over there! 

Tin Woodsman: Well, that’s you all over!

2. Auntie Em Gale: Almira Gulch, just because you own half the county doesn’t mean that you have the power to run the rest of us. For twenty-three years, I’ve been dying to tell you what I thought of you! And now… well, being a Christian woman, I can’t say it!