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Film

Sarah Silverman's three favourite movies of all time

@Russellisation

An American comedian well known for her remarkably high vocal cords, Sarah Silverman started her stand-up career in 1992 before she became a part of the 1993-94 season of Saturday Night Live. Fired after just one season, only one of Silverman’s sketches made it to the dress rehearsal, whilst none of the sketches made it to air, even if she often appeared on the show itself, in supporting roles. 

Speaking about how she failed to break through on the iconic American comedy show, Bob Odenkirk, the star of Nobody and Better Call Saul, spoke to The New Yorker back in 2005. “I could see how it wouldn’t work at SNL because she’s got her own voice,” the actor stated, adding, “she’s very much Sarah Silverman all the time. She can play a character but she doesn’t disappear into the character—she makes the character her”. 

Proving her critics wrong, Sarah Silverman went on to achieve great success both in film and television, appearing in Mr. Show with Bob and David, comedy There’s Something About Mary as well as the science-fiction cult classic, Evolution. With her own idiosyncratic form of frenetic comedy, Silverman has brought her vibrant energy to every role she takes on, even earning her very own show, The Sarah Silverman Program in 2007. 

In conversation with Borders Media, the film lover and bookworm spoke to the company about her very favourite novels and movies, picking out three classic DVDs from some of cinema’s most recognised names. Her first film pick is The Squid and the Whale, from director Noah Baumbach, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney and William Baldwin, a film that explores the intricacies of family life whilst the parents are going through a divorce. Speaking briefly about the film, Silverman notes, “I love this movie, this is a great movie”, pointing to Baumbach’s direction as a key reason for the film’s popularity. 

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Her second choice is the “hilarious” Defending Your Life, directed by the great Albert Brooks and starring Meryl Streep, Rip Torn and Shirley MacLaine, a fantastical story following the lives of the recently-deceased defending themselves in a strange afterlife court. Speaking about the film, Silverman comments, “Every single time I’ve seen it, which is about six times, I cry at the end, it’s so beautiful it’s also funny as hell”.

Her final choice is the iconic Stanley Kubrick horror film The Shining starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall, an adaptation of Stephen King’s classic novel that sees a man descend into madness in the middle of a remote hotel. Calling the film an undisputed “classic”, Sarah Silverman also has a particular fondness for the DVD itself, explaining that the film has “Weird, funny, cool, background extras”. 

Most recently, Sarah Silverman appeared in Space Jam: A New Legacy by Warner Bros, appearing alongside the animated titans including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tasmanian Devil and Road Runner. 

Sarah Silverman’s favourite films:

  • The Squid and The Whale – Noam Baumbach
  • Defending Your Life – Albert Brooks
  • The Shining – Stanley Kubrick