While it’s always great to visit London, sometimes you just want to stay at home, watch a film, and eat some chips. But which ones are the best to watch at home?
This is the question that plagues every movie buff. You love British cinema and have a large collection of films – what do you watch at home? The obvious answer is that you watch all of them, but that’s impractical and boring. So instead you ask yourself: which ones are the best to watch at home?
Here’s my answer: the top five movies that deserve to be watched by anybody, no matter where they are.
5. Darling (2019)
The first film on our list is a romantic comedy about a woman who is infatuated with a man who doesn’t seem to feel the same way. She disguises herself as a man to get close to him, in the first place, and then disguises herself as a dog to become his best friend.
While it sounds like a ridiculous plot, it’s full of romantic twists and turns that will make you laugh. And it’s directed by women, so you know it’s going to be good. Annabel Karim Kassar’s directorial debut is a romantic comedy that will make you laugh and feel better about yourself. And it’s suitable for modern audiences because it doesn’t rely on outdated gender roles or stereotypes. In fact, it even includes a gay character.
4. The Favourite (2018)
A family film about a king, his wives, and the women who adore him, The Favourite is another winner from Olivia Coleman (known for her role in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows).
The story revolves around Queen Catherine, who wants to succeed her husband as king after his death. She sets a competition among her three daughters, one of whom she favors, to determine the true love of the crown. Along the way, we get to see the complex bond between mothers and daughters and the influence of women on each other’s lives.
The movie is set in 18th-century London and features a large ensemble cast, including Elizabeth Debicki, Rachel Weisz, and Emma Stone. While there are some funny moments in the film, which is loosely based on William Shakespeare’s The Three Wives of Henry VIII, the story is really heavy-duty and isn’t suitable for kids. Not that you have to be 21 to enjoy it – you just need to be able to watch an R-rated film.
3. Mary Queen of Scots (2018)
Set in the 16th century, Mary Queen of Scots is the true story of Queen Mary, whose life was turned upside down when Mary’s nephew, James Stuart, became King James I of England. One of the main reasons for his ascension to the throne was his claim to the Scottish throne, which made Mary, the queen of Scots, the enemy number one. She was forced to flee her homeland and went into exile in France, where she befriended King Louis XII. But it was all a ruse to get back to England and reclaim her throne. In the process, we get to see glimpses of the brutal conflict that was common in those times – especially between women, who were considered a lesser race due to their biological differences (i.e. their menstrual cycles).
It’s an epic film that will entertain you, even if you’re not a fan of history. The drama is directed by Colin Teevan and features an excellent cast, including Peter Mullan, Olivia Coleman, Lili Taylor, and Janet McTeer. The movie also boasts a memorable score by James Newton-Howard.
While the story is fictional, the incidents that unfold are based on historical events, which places it firmly in the realm of fact. Fortunately, the costumes and sets are incredible, so the setting feels authentic even if the timeline isn’t perfectly matched. Plus, you’ll feel a sense of pride every time a Scottish accent is heard because it’s something that not many people can master these days. (Unless, of course, they’ve been living in a cave since before Christ was born.)
2. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
If you thought that Thanos got all the glory in Avengers: Infinity War, think again. Following his defeat, the Mad Titan is merely the first of many bad guys that stand in the way of our favorite superheroes as they try to keep their universe together. In fact, the movie is a culmination of several massive projects that were all carried out independently by different teams of filmmakers. Therefore, it’s not really a movie, but more of a super-epic-slash-cinematic-feeling-good-movie-marathon. And it’s all thanks to a diabolical plan by the Mad Titan to wipe out half the universe’s population. (It’s a bit like the Alien franchise, but without the Xenomorphs.)
While it’s impossible to encapsulate everything that’s happened in this film in one description, the following will give you a gist of what went down:
- The Avengers sent their allies (and probably a few of their own members) to stop the Mad Titan and his army of death traps.
- They overcame all of his henchmen and army members by any means necessary (including using the Time Stone to undo damage and bring back characters who had died).
- Finally, they turned to the Infinity Gauntlet for the ultimate weapon. Instead of using it to annihilate the Mad Titan, they used it to send all the villains (including the Mad Titan) to another dimension.
- As a result of their efforts, the human race is now at peace.
With a running time of 14 hours and 50 minutes, it’s pretty clear that this was no average film. But is it worth your time? The short answer is yes. (And to be honest, it’s a bit like the Dark Knight Rises in that regard, which isn’t a bad thing. One movie can’t really hold a candle to multiple viewings, nor should it try to. The added advantage of watching a film multiple times is that you get to see all the little details that you might have missed the first time around.)
1. Das Boot (1981)
And finally, our number one pick. Made in 1981, Das Boot is a horror film directed by Wolfgang Petersen and based on Joseph Conrad’s novella, “Anchorite.” (Fun fact: Petersen also directed the first two Rocky films and several Superman films.)
The story follows a German Navy sailor, Hans Landa, who decides to desert his post and shipwrecked on an island that is supposedly uninhabited. He is the only survivor of the sinking vessel, which was carrying a large sum of money. He quickly learns that the island is inhabited by a tribe of cannibalistic humans who are attracted to his flashlight. Naturally, Hans seeks to escape this dreadful place and return to his beloved family, who are anxiously awaiting his return. (As an aside, the German language is heavily featured in this film, which is a treat for any fan of German cinema.)
The movie was a major financial and critical success, proving that audiences still gravitated towards cinematic adaptations of literary classics. (Ironically, one of the key differences between this film and its literary source is that Hans doesn’t speak any English.) Also, the film marked the cinematic debut of Michael Jackson, who played one of the main antagonists, Michael, who is the father of the cannibalistic tribe. It was also Michael’s first major role in a feature film. (If you thought his appearances in the Disney TV series, The Simpsons, and Captain Jack’s Island Adventure were uncredited, then you’d be right.)
The movie is an excellent example of an underdog story taken to the extreme. The protagonist, Hans, starts out as an ordinary German sailor, but the struggle he goes through to survive is something to behold. Even the tribal leaders seem to acknowledge that he is a superior creature.
Hans Landa is often considered to be one of the greatest anti-heroes in cinematic history. While the circumstances of his life might lead one to sympathize with his actions, his very existence challenges our notions of morality. This is a man who survives against all odds and is ultimately responsible for the genocide of an entire race. As a result of his actions, he is plagued by nightmares, which lead him to seek professional help. (While it’s not specified, one can assume that the nightmares are a result of his war experiences during World War II.)
Even if you’ve never heard of any of these films, you should still consider watching them. They are all classics that will entertain you and fill your heart with nostalgic joy.