It’s been an amazing career! On one hand, we have Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, The Lost Experience, and What Now? – all phenomenal stories that will live on for many generations to come. On the other, we have the multiple award-winning documentary The King of Comedy which was chosen retrospectively in 2019 for the BAFTA Film Award for Best British Film; the critically acclaimed Rainfall; the beautiful and poetic My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy; and the touching Pattinson Family Album which is a celebration of Bob’s life and work.
In light of this glorious body of work, where would you place Robert Pattinson’s filmography? Below is a list of Robert’s top nine films (ranked in order of preference) along with some additional thoughts about each one.
Coming off the back of his critically acclaimed performance in the Coen Brothers’ Hail, Caesar! (2016), it’s no surprise that Robert would continue to collaborate with the prolific filmmaking duo. Their first feature film together, Shame, premiered at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival to much acclaim – and deservedly so!
Shame is set in 1973 and follows events that play out around a group of friends who are coming of age during the early days of the feminist movement. The film features an incredible array of A-list stars including Carey Mulligan, Michael Smiley, Léa Seydoux, and BAFTA-winning actor Stephen Fry.
It’s a coming-of-age story about a group of friends who are grappling with their sexuality as the feminist movement surges forward. What’s more, Coen brothers regular Joel Coen has called Shame “an even-handed look at how our society wrestled with these issues in the ’70s”.
If there were ever a performance that earned Robert a spot on this list, it’s certainly Shame. The actor absolutely nails his portrayal of feminist lawyer Albert Finney and delivers a career-defining performance.
2. The Lost Experience
While some people may be surprised that the second Coen Brothers film on this list is not their first, it’s worth remembering that they have four other movies under their belt already. Their latest film, The Lost Experience, premiered at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival and follows a young couple, Alice and William, who are travelling through Italy after getting married. Along the way, they pick up another passenger, Jack, whose story we follow as well.
The Lost Experience marks the English-speaking world debut of writer-director Stephen Merchant and also stars Felicity Jones, Tom Hollander, and Alessandro Nivola. Based on Merchant’s play of the same name, the script was co-written by Jones’ sister Emily, who also portrays a minor character in the film.
The story focuses on a marriage that has hit the skids. After suffering an accident that rendered her paraplegic, Alice decides to leave her job in publishing and her husband, William, who is now having an affair with a neighbor, sets about trying to repair their relationship and build a new life with his wife. Their attempt at a happily ever after does not go smoothly and the resulting complications lead to entertaining comic turns as the foursome attempt to work their way out of the maze they have spun.
There are many funny moments in The Lost Experience but also some poignant ones. One of the most touching scenes in the film shows Alice talking to her sister over the phone. The conversation is an attempt to set the record straight about her accident and how it has affected their lives. She wants Emily to know that she is not her sister and that she cannot be replaced despite what is happening in the phone line. These few minutes of conversation are enough to make you cry.
3. What Now?
One of the most interesting things about the Coen brothers’ filmography is how diverse it is. While the majority of their work is set in the United States, they have also made movies about Danish revolutionaries, a Polish Jew who escapes from Auschwitz, and an English eccentric who is convinced that Sherlock Holmes is still alive. Their newest film, What Now?, marks their return to form after the critical and commercial success of their previous film, The Shape of Water, which earned them an unprecedented fourth Academy Award!
Based on the novel One-Way Ticket to Midnight by Jee Jae Lee, What Now? features an ensemble cast including Richard Gere, John Malkovich, Gary Oldman, and Thandie Newton.
The story follows an English professor, Richard Elwood, who gets a job in New York where he is assigned to teach a class on British novelists. Unbeknownst to him, the class is actually a front for a secret society that is committing a series of robberies across the city. Richard, who is a highly intelligent and observant man, begins to piece together these seemingly disparate crimes and realize that they are connected. He soon uncovers a plot to implicate high-profile figures in an international terrorist act and determines to stop it. He makes a one-way ticket to a far-flung destination his new residence.
What Now? is the Coen brothers’ first venture into directing a musical, and it’s an inspired choice! The film scores heavily for atmosphere, and the music adds a magical touch to each scene. Even though the movie is set in New York City, one of the most unique aspects of this film is how completely unaware we are of the existence of global terrorism. This is a darkly comic take on a familiar theme and the films’ setting certainly enhances the satirical aspects of this coming-of-age story. The finale is extremely exciting and features an astonishing performance from Gary Oldman who plays the film’s Big Bad. What’s more, the entire film is structured like a theater play, and the interplay between the actors is superb!
4. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Another Harry Potter movie on this list! While we wait for J.K. Rowling’s next full-length novel (she’s already written one play for the stage and there’s no word yet on when the next book will be released), Hollywood has been graciously giving us something to tide us over. The first of these is the highly-anticipated Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which was released in 2018. The eighth installment in the Harry Potter series continues the story of Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and his family as they navigate the magical world of parenthood. Directed by Chris Columbus and co-written by Jack Thorne, the script is an abridged version of the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child staged by playwright and producer J.K. Rowling herself.
The opening night of the play was a triumph. The theater was packed to the rafters and the audience gave the first act a standing ovation. The curtain call was equally as impressive, and Radcliffe received a torrent of praise for his portrayal of the titular Harry Potter. It seems that audiences everywhere can get behind a successful young actor playing a beloved fictional character!
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child features an original score by Grammy-winning composer Harry Potter & the Cursed Child, which was released in advance of the film’s premiere. The soundtracks album, co-produced by Walsh and Walsh (who also composed the music for The King of Comedy), are essential listening for any Harry Potter fan. It’s hard to believe that a major motion picture is celebrating a decade of existence, and what a decade it has been! With every new installment, the world of Harry Potter has gotten bigger, and the series has proven itself to be more popular than ever.
5. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Speaking of popular culture in film, it’s hard to imagine a list of the best Robert Pattinson movies without including at least one J.K. Rowling movie. As we’ve established, the actor is a bit of a cultural icon thanks to his portrayal of the bespectacled boy Harry Potter, and he’s now cemented his place in Hollywood history with his portrayal of the legendary Sherlock Holmes in the upcoming Netflix series, A Game Change. But even before Sherlock, Robert was the lead in the 2014 dystopian fantasy movie, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which was also directed by Catherine Hardwicke (who also helmed the Twilight franchise).