Get to Know Me with My Four Favourite Films

By Chelsea Rodriguez

All movie lovers can unite under the fear of answering the age-old question: What’s Your Favourite Movie? When faced with this inquiry, almost every time, my brain is wiped clean of every movie I’ve ever watched. Once titles begin coming to mind, it still feels virtually impossible to narrow down my favourites to an end-all be-all top spot. 

As you can see from the torment this question brings me, it is one of the hardest questions for me to answer, yet it is one of my favourites to ask. The films we hold in high regard speak volumes about our characters and personalities. The art we enjoy and connect to reflect the way we see the world and the way we see ourselves. Simply put, whenever I want to know someone better, I ask them about their favourite movie and why they love it. 

For this reason, I decided the best way to introduce myself to the readers of SpiritLive is through my four favourite films. In Letterboxd fashion, I thought long and hard to put together a line up of films that I not only love, but feel create a fairly conclusive representation of who I am. 

La La Land (2016)

La La Land is pure magic put to screen. It’s hard to put into words how much I adore this film. Everything about it just feels like a dream. It combines the charm of golden-age Hollywood films with the painful realities of Hollywood in the modern day. The film is full of gorgeous colours, whimsically fun musical numbers, and captivating visuals. Damien Chazelle is one of my favourite directors, so much so that he almost made two appearances on this top four list, but Whiplash (2014) just barely missed the cut. His style is snappy, nostalgic, and tailor-made for musical storytelling, as the way he utilizes the camera brings the music to life. Chazelle tells a wonderful story of love, passion, and ambition that takes me along the highs and lows of Mia and Sebastian’s tumultuous romance. The film follows the two dreamers as they grapple between maintaining their relationship and pursuing their aspirations. Mia and Sebastian’s story speaks to me in so many ways. It affects me so deeply that just hearing the simple notes of their theme would send me into an instant state of depression. The film is inspiring, blissful, romantic, and heart wrenching. It’s everything I love about movies rolled into one. 

Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

You know that feeling when you’re watching a movie and you can just feel it slowly become one of your favourite films? That’s exactly how I felt the first time I watched Little Miss Sunshine (2006).  The film follows the Hoovers, a family that is equal parts dysfunction and heart. The highlight of the movie is the screenplay. It’s a well-constructed masterwork of character building, as it brings to life some of the most lovable, relatable, and flawed characters I’ve seen. It’s well paced and hits all the right beats, jumping from comedic, awkward, to emotional moments while maintaining a consistent tone. The script is only elevated by the incredible cast of actors. Little Miss Sunshine is a film I put on when I need to feel better about the occasional suckiness of life. The film is all about perseverance through failure and being okay with being a loser sometimes. This movie is honest, human, and full of heart and my love for it only grows with time. 

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is hands down the greatest action adventure film of all time. It would be pointless to try and convince both me at the age of twelve and me today otherwise. As soon as I start watching this movie I am instantly transported into its world and I feel like a kid again. It’s a well-told story that keeps you entertained the entire time. You’re whisked away on this pirate adventure that keeps you engaged at every turn. The characters are iconic, the narrative is incredibly entertaining, and it’s impossible not to have fun when you’re watching it. Much of my love for this film is most definitely coming from a place of nostalgia. But I truly think this film is a uniquely entertaining experience that has since been unmatched, by the following films in the franchise and other action adventures.

Little Women (2019)

Louisa May Alcott’s timeless story has held a special place in my heart ever since I was around nine years old. Although I grew up watching the 1994 version, it was not until I watched Greta Gerwig’s 2019 adaptation that I fully understood the story for everything that it is. Among multiple takes and adaptations of the story, this to me is the most accurate portrayal of what it feels like to read the book. Gerwig’s portrayal of the classic story takes creative liberties that only elevate the characters and themes that have touched the lives of women for centuries. It’s a reminder of how relevant this text continues to be, even in a modern context. The film is full of beautiful uses of light and colour, and every shot feels like it was made with love. It’s a beautiful representation of both girlhood and womanhood, illustrating the feminine experiences of growing up. Watching it brings me a sense of warmth that no other film can replicate, like a big, comforting hug. It’s a film I never get tired of and will continue to watch over and over again.

I hold these films close to my heart, however, their places at the top are not set in stone. Just as I am evolving, so is my taste. There’s a world full of movies out there, and some of them may bring out parts of myself I haven’t even discovered yet. That’s one of my favourite things about movies themselves: they shape us into who we are. What’s your favourite movie and what does it say about you

Posted in Blog and tagged .