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The Essentials 2061

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Not many.


One hopes that in 50 years the vapid craze for cartoons, comic books, fantasy, horror, and endless remakes and sequels will be over. These are all right in their places but they've taken over and driven adults out of theaters.

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I'm hoping that *The King's Speech* (2010) would be mentioned. It not only illustrates important events in England's history, but it brings to light a very real and crippling affliction (speech impediment), and it's treated by the filmmakers in a sensitive way. It has incredible acting by Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter. I haven't seen it more than once but I imagine I would appreciate it even more with multiple viewings.

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I went back 20 years, to 1991. Year by year, I thin you can make an argument for any of these to be essentials in 50 years:





Social Network (perfectly captures a huge moment in recent history)


Black Swan (brilliant and disturbing)


Inception (the weakest of these three from 2010, but I think it'll hold up)





Wall*E (I'd just pick one Pixar movie as an Essential, between this, "Nemo" and "Toy Story")





Juno (captures the times, and a breakout star performance from Ellen Page)





Grizzly Man (very troubling, but maybe all the more essential for that)


Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (yes. seriously)





Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind





Finding Nemo







Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (great performances from Clooner and Sam Rockwell)





The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (you can[t argue it's not Essential)


Moulin Rouge! (something by Baz Luhrmann will have to be on an Essentials list)


Spirited Away (a beautiful, touching, haunting film)


Ocean's Eleven


The Royal Tenenbaums


Monsters, Inc.(another possible choice for a Pixar film)





Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (beautiful film, and Ang Lee should be represented on the list)


Almost Famous (amazing film, career-making performance for Kate Hudson)







Being John Malkovich


Fight Club


The Sixth Sense




The Iron Giant (incredibly touching and surprisingly serious film)


Eyes Wide Shut (Kubrick's last complete film; it'll have to be included for that if nothing else)


eXistenZ (David Cronenberg's best film)





The Thin Red Line


The Big Lebowski


Out of Sight





L.A. Confidential


Boogie Nights


Grosse Pointe Blank










Toy Story


The Usual Suspects


Leaving Las Vegas


Apollo 13







Pulp Fiction


The Madness of King George


The Lion King


Il Postino


The Last Seduction


The Hudsucker Proxy





Groundhog Day


Schindler's List


The Remains of the Day


The Age of Innocence


The Nightmare Before Christmas







Resevoir Dogs


Glengarry Glen Ross


Scent of a Woman





The Silence of the Lambs


The Fisher King


Thelma and Louise

L.A. Story

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