I started something this year. Whenever I saw a new movie I liked, I would jump onto Twitter, identify the movie, then simply tweet this: “More movies like this, please.”
Then I thought, Why don’t I do an annual More Movies Like This, Please list?
What do I mean by “more movies like this, please”? Not big popcorn flicks. Hey, I love huge spectacle movies as much as the next guy, but we know Hollywood is going to make them, studios don’t need encouragement to produce prequels, sequels, remakes, tentpoles, and so forth.
Rather I’m talking about movies Hollywood seems to have a hard time committing to nowadays for a variety of reasons, most of them related to economics and conventional wisdom about what supposedly will work / won’t work.
Here are some of elements I’m looking for in my More Movies Like This, Please list:
* More adult dramas.
* More mid-budget movies [$25-50M], smaller stories that need larger budgets to be told well.
* More original movies [based on an original screenplay].
* More movies targeting people who love movies and appreciate the history of movies.
* More movies that represent the vision of one writer / writer-director or team of writers / writer-directors.
* More movies that explore interesting, unique and unusual subcultures.
* More movies that take risks.
* More movies that approach narrative in different ways.
* More cinematic movies.
* More quirky, whimsical, oddball movies reflecting a distinctive take on the world.
* More movies where the focus is on characters, not special effects.
* More movies that make me think.
* More movies that have no reason to exist other than the fact they have a great story to tell.
So here is my 2012 More Movies Like This, Please list:
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The
Cabin in the Woods, The
End of Watch
Hyde Park on Hudson
Life of Pi
Perks of Being a Wallflower, The
Safety Not Guaranteed
Silver Linings Playbook
Sleepwalk With Me
Zero Dark Thirty
I’m sure I missed some, but these are the titles that sprang to mind.
As far as I’m concerned, the two most important movies on the list this year: Argo and Looper. The former feels like the kind of movie Hollywood used to make all the time — an entertaining, engaging adult drama. The latter is a genre piece that makes a bold assumption audiences have the intellectual wherewithal to connect to a story with interesting ideas. Both are terrific films and I hope they spawn more movies like them.
However my absolute favorite movie of the year is Moonrise Kingdom. I loved everything about it: characters, concept, tone, pace, atmosphere, every frame of the film. And the dance scene on the beach is my favorite one from all of this year’s movies:
If there is a movie this year that represents the essence of More Movies Like This, Please, it is Moonrise Kingdom.
How about you? If you could tell Hollywood what movies you’d like to see more of — not movies you know the studios are going to make, but ones that deserve to be made — which ones from 2012 would you pick for your own More Movies Like This, Please?