Swapan's Picks: The Finest Of Films

01/08/2015 8:23 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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I am a devotee of fine films.

And I see them in all languages.

There are some movies I will never see: ones with women wearing bonnets, ones with cowboys and sci-fi films. Yes, I haven't seen Star Trek. And I never will.

Many films have stayed forever with me and here are five of my all time favourites:


Jeremy Irons and Juliette Binoche are amongst my favourite actors. Plus Damage is based on a fine book by Josephine Hart. This fantastic film is directed by Louis Malle. It is about Irons, a politician who falls dangerously in love with his son's fiancée, Binoche. It is a gripping drama, which will have you at the edge of your cushion.

In The Mood For Love

I got inducted into Chinese films during my days in Hong Kong. My love for them remains. Wong Kar Wai, the director, is a magician. And when you have both Maggie Cheung and Tony Liung Chiu Wai acting, you absolutely cannot go wrong. The film is about love and infidelity. Cinematically, it is the most wonderful film I have seen. It is sheer poetry in its composition. And the music is hauntingly beautiful. In particular, look out for a track called Yumeji's Theme. Dainty and divine. Petite yet powerful.

When Did You Last See Your Father?

I have a bromance with Colin Firth. Like Jeremy Irons, Firth never does a crap film. So for me he is a filter for fine cinema. And while I absolutely loved A Single Man and The King's Speech, my favourite Firth film will always be When Did You Last See Your Father? It is about a troubled relationship between a son and his father and how it takes an absolute turn when the son learns of his father's impending death. Sparkling with joy in parts, it simmers in sniffs in others. But it is buoyant and beautiful and reeks of love. Heroic.

The Intouchables

A glorious, glorious French film that lifts you with its sheer optimism. Francois Cluzet is an aristocratic, wealthy quadriplegic who is looking for a male nurse. That's where the uncouth Omar Sy comes in. The film is about a powerful friendship that forms between these two very different individuals. Ludovico Einaudi's music is spellbinding.

A Good Year

Based on a 2004 novel by Peter Mayle, this is a delightful film directed by Ridley Scott. Max Skinner (Russell Crowe), an investment banker in London, spent his growing years with his uncle in his mansion at Provence. When the uncle passes away, he is told that the mansion is his. He goes to Provence to sell off the property but ends up finding memories, love (Marion Cottilard) and himself. This is a beautiful film with lovely music and fine performances by the entire cast. Indeed, it is like any good read: earthy and exciting.

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