At a time when cinemas and movie theatres around the globe are forced to close their doors due to the financial constraints inflicted by the stringent social distances measures in place against the current health crisis, film fans are forced to change their routine in order to land a cinematic fix. Here, we turn to actor Lily James for five suggestions to dive into. The actress, best known for her role in Ol Parker’s box office triumph Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, has selected a collection of her favourite films of all time.
James, whose career began in television with impressive performances in Just William and Downton Abbey, made her international breakthrough with a role in 2015 film Cinderella and didn’t look back. Roles in high profile projects such as War & Peace, Baby Driver and Darkest Hour soon followed culminating in her most recent project Yesterday directed by Danny Boyle. “I don’t have an exact moment when I decided I wanted to be an actress,” she once said of her progression into an acclaimed artist: “It kind of was just really a part of my growing up,” she added.
Now, as part of a feature with Rotten Tomatoes, James has picked out five films she considers an inspiration. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given her links to Parker’s musical, James kicked things off with 1970s classic Grease, stating: “I love musicals. I could just do my five favourite musicals, actually. Grease I had on cassette tape and I used to pause and rewind and write down the lyrics of the songs,” as part of the interview with Rotten Tomatoes. “John Travolta is just — oh my God, doesn’t get any better,” she added.
While classic films such as Titanic and Pretty Woman make the cut, James does offer a somewhat surprise directional turn with the inclusion of Michael Cimino’s Vietnam war epic The Deer Hunter. “Those movies at that time, I think, are some of the best movies in the world,” she said of the selection.
“I think it was the calibre of actors that existed then. Those actors, I think, are some of the greatest, and the type of filmmaking that happened then was something so special. It’s so character-based and story-led.”
With James Cameron, Terrence Malick, Michael Cimino and more, see the full list, below.
Lily James’ 5 favourite films of all time:
- Grease – Randal Kleiser, 1978.
- Badlands – Terrence Malick, 1973.
- Titanic – James Cameron, 1997.
- Pretty Woman – Garry Marshall, 1990.
- The Deer Hunter – Michael Cimino, 1978.
When detailing her decision to include Badlands, James said: “Terrence Malick, Sissy Spacek — she’s out of this world and I just think that film’s so beautiful. I like the relationship and the whole visual world of it. I love that film. I can watch it again and again and again.”