When our parents think of classic movies, images from The Wizard of Oz and Citizen Kane and Casablanca probably come to mind, but those movies are all at least 75 years old. When I think about what movies I consider to be “classic” movies, these films come to my mind as well, but they’re also joined by other great artistic forays into film like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Big, and Goodfellas. I’m also not ruling out Debbie Does Dallas. So really, classics can range from “talkies” our grandparents paid a nickel to see at the movie theater, or movies our pegged-jeans parents watched in the back of a Trans Am at the drive-in.
This got me thinking… some of my favorite “coming of age” movies (i.e. movies that defined my formative years) have been out for 10 or 15 years already. Which means I’m approaching the big 3-0. Which means my children are going to look at Aladdin and The Lion King the same way I looked at Cinderella and Mary Poppins. OH MY GOD. So, let’s get real here. What movies do you think will be considered “classics” for future generations? Here are my picks, but please feel free to sound off in all caps and let me know what I missed!
Kevin Spacey‘s Lester Burnham will live on as a sympathetic-yet-creepy figure in the annals of film history for generations, of that I have no doubt. Annette Bening‘s romp with the Mattress King deserves its proper place as well. #Respect.
2. The Sixth Sense
The late ’90s brought about some good movies, y’all. The “twist” ending was talked about at many a watercooler for months and months, and I remember pretending I was too cool to have nightmares over this movie but totally slept on my parents’ bedroom floor after watching it. I can see this movie featured on Intro to Film syllabi much like Hitchcock is now.
I mean, do I really need to go into depth here? Please! Of course this movie will become a classic. It kind of is already, in fact. Kate and Leo are basically like our generation’s version of Bogie and Bacall.
4. Moulin Rouge
I’m sorry, but Singin’ in the Rain better watch out, because this is pretty much the movie musical to end all musicals. I could watch Gene Kelly tap dance all the live long day, but gimme an old Parisian prostitute with tuberculosis and Ewan MacGregor instead.
5. Brokeback Mountain
Okay, maybe this is wishful thinking. But only because I yearn to see the day wherepeople don’t even bat an eye at homosexuality portrayed in film! Also Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger are just really talented. And hot.
Bear with me. Juno was kind of a pioneer film, was it not? The fact that a movie like this was nominated for actual Oscars is a sign that the Academy is progressing a little, or at least becoming more open-minded (and younger). The writing, while pretentious and not exactly realistic, is superb.