10 Best Films of All Time: Margaret Roarty

5. Pride & Prejudice (2005)

“My dear Lizzy, you cannot think me so weak as to be in danger now.”

“I think you are in very great danger of making him as much in love with you as ever.”

Pride and Prejudice is deeply romantic and stunning to look at, and is based on my second favorite Jane Austen novel. Starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen as Lizzie Bennett and Mr. Darcy, the 2005 adaptation is, in my opinion, better than the 1995 BBC miniseries (I’m sorry, I know, I wrote what I wrote).

This film is a shining example of what a good adaptation should do. It retains the spirit of Austen’s novel while taking artistic liberties with certain scenes and characters that elevate the story for the screen. But there are little moments that are exactly like the novel that make me really happy. The moment that Mr. Darcy falls in love with Elizabeth, when he sees her with her wind-blown hair and flushed cheeks, is lifted perfectly from the novel.

Like a lot of the movies on this list, Pride and Prejudice is a movie that makes me feel something when I desperately need to. It’s so earnest and painfully romantic and it feels like standing in the sun – warm, bright and alive.

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4. Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)

“You’re right, I’ve got a lot of problems… but they belong to me.”

If I had been alive when Sex, Lies, and Videotape initially came out, I would have made it my entire personality. For me, it was one of those movies that I understood immediately, that explored all of the things I’m interested in.

I love how simply told it is – there aren’t many bells and whistles. It’s a great example of the fact that you don’t have to have a huge budget in order to tell an affecting story. It relies entirely on the strength of its characters’ dynamics and Steven Soderbergh’s sharp dialog.

I love Sex, Lies, and Videotape because it explores sex and relationships in a way that I feel is missing from a lot of newer movies. It’s raw and honest and erotic in a way that a lot of mainstream Hollywood films shy away from now.

3. Dirty Dancing (1987)

“I’m scared of what I saw, I’m scared of what I did, of who I am, and most of all I’m scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I’m with you.”

Dirty Dancing is not only one of the best films of all time, it’s also one of the best musicals of all time.

Baby’s arc, played with such sincerity and strength by Jennifer Grey, is such a triumph to witness. You can really feel Baby learning to dance, to gain confidence, in real-time. When she and Johnny (Patrick Swayze) finally nail that lift at the end of the film, it feels like flying. It’s so breathtaking to witness, so powerful. You could watch it a million times and never stop feeling it.

It’s one of the best musicals of all time because of how it uses music and dancing as an expression of self – a way for Johnny and Baby to communicate. They fall in love through dance. Their love scene is probably one of the most erotic and sensual scenes I’ve ever seen.

It’s such a great coming-of-age story. As a woman, it really hit home, but I’m sure anyone can relate to Baby’s journey. It’s hard to be a person and to grow up, especially when figuring out that who you are and what you stand for is different than what your parents expect of you. But it’s also thrilling. Dirty Dancing captures that beautifully.

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