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Bridget Jones’s Diary
This romantic comedy is quite frankly one of the best in the genre. Renee Zellweger’s signature role as Bridget Jones, a plump British woman looking for love, is one of the most adorable films ever.
Zellweger takes the book character and absolutely brings her to life, as she keeps a year-long diary focused on self-improvement as she looks for love.
She absolutely shines here, and with suitors in dashing Brits Colin Firth and Hugh Grant, the cast is truly remarkable.
Zellweger earned an Oscar nomination for her work here, and it was well-deserved. This is a film to cherish.
My Sister’s Keeper
This is one of those flicks that creates waterworks through every viewing, and it’s got some incredible performances.
It follows a young girl who tries to become medically emancipated from her parents, who has consistently asked her help in caring for their daughter Kate, who has leukemia.
Abigail Breslin, of My Little Sunshine fame, is incredible in this family drama. She’s joined by Cameron Diaz, in a hugely strong and surprising role as an ailing, struggling mother.
With Alec Baldwin, Jason Patric and Sofia Vassilieva, this is an incredible cast. From Nick Cassavetes, the director behind the Notebook, this is an incredible drama.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
This classic film from the fantastic children’s novel by Roald Dahl is one of a kind.
The late, great Gene Wilder is on full display here, and his charm, wit and unending charisma make for a fantastic, unforgettable character.
He plays Willy Wonka, a chocolate factory owner who gives out five random, magical golden tickets which allows kids to go on a tour of the factory.
But as ungrateful, spoiled children enter, they all fall victim in one way or another to strange circumstance due to their failure to abide by basic human behaviour, while a young, poor boy Charlie is happy just for the opportunity.
This is one of my favourite movies, and I saw it about 1,000 times as a kid. It still holds up around 40 years later.
This exploration of the life and times of legendary R&B musician Ray Charles is one of the most heartfelt biopics in history.
Charles was born in the southern U.S., went blind at age seven, and yet became one of the best pianists and recording artists of the 1950s and 1960s.
Played perfectly by Jamie Foxx in an Oscar-winning role, he lights up the screen and disappears into the role. Joined by Kerry Washington and Regina King, this is a fantastic showcase.
With beautiful music, and great direction from Taylor Hackford, this is one of the underrated gems of the mid-2000s.
The Hurt Locker
This film set during the Iraq War follows a bomb squad Sergeant who becomes a loose cannon with his fellow officers due to his unique – and dangerous – way of handling the high-stress situations.
Directed fiercely by powerhouse Kathryn Bigelow, this is a taut and entrancing picture with a breathtaking, truly effective hold over the audience.
The six-Oscar winning film, with a screenplay by Mark Boal that jumps off the page, was named the best motion picture of 2010, earned Boal a win, and Bigelow became the first female director to win an Academy Award.
Lead actor Jeremy Renner, also nominated, does an impressive job here in a pre-Avengers role, and showcases just how great an actor he truly is.
This is a can’t-miss film, and one that should be seen by everyone. It’s bravura filmmaking at its finest.
New Releases To August 20:
- Tiffany Haddish: They Ready
- Diagnosis: Netflix Original
- Mindhunter: Season 2
- Sextuplets: Netflix Original
- Here Comes The Boom
- Sinner: Julian
Jordan Parker's weekly film reviews can be found on his blog, Parker & The Picture Shows