10. Head in the Clouds (2004): Penelope Cruz & Charlize Theron
Head in the Clouds is a 2004 drama film written and directed by John Duigan. The original screenplay focuses on the choices young lovers must make as they find themselves surrounded by increasing political unrest in late-1930s Europe.
In his review in the New York Times, Stephen Holden said, “The strength of [Charlize Theron’s] go-for-broke performance only underlines the weaknesses of the film . . . [which]plays like an entertaining compilation of Hollywood’s favorite World War II clichés” and added, “Could it be that Hollywood’s six decades of replaying the Good War has left us with nobility fatigue? At least Head in the Clouds is not the debacle of Charlotte Gray and other epic-manqués. But if World War II is to continue to mean anything anymore, it has to be reimagined as a real event, not a deluxe, romantically spiced-up newsreel.” -Wikipedia.org
9. Chasing Amy (1997): Joey Lauren Adams
Chasing Amy is a 1997 American romantic comedy film written and directed by Kevin Smith. It is the third film in the View Askewniverse series. The film focuses on the relationship between a heterosexual man and a lesbian. The movie contains frank sexual dialogue, and was originally inspired by a brief scene from an early movie by a friend of Smith’s, Guinevere Turner’s Go Fish, wherein one of the lesbian characters imagines her friends passing judgment on her for “selling out” by sleeping with a man.
In real life, Kevin Smith was dating star Joey Lauren Adams at the time he was writing the script, which was also partly inspired by her. The film won two awards at the 1998 Independent Spirit Awards (Best Screenplay for Smith and Best Supporting Actor for Jason Lee) and Joey Lauren Adams was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical. Some people consider the film the first bromance. -Wikipedia.org
8. Bitter Moon (1992): Emmanuelle Seigner & Kristin Scott Thomas
Bitter Moon is a 1992 film starring Hugh Grant, Kristin Scott Thomas, Emmanuelle Seigner and Peter Coyote and directed by Roman Polanski. The film is known as Lunes de fiel (a pun on “Lune de Miel”, which is ‘Honeymoon’) in France. The script is inspired by a book with the same name, written by the French author Pascal Bruckner. The score was composed by Vangelis. A prim and proper British couple, Fiona (Thomas) and Nigel (Grant), are on a Mediterranean cruise ship to Istanbul, en route to India.
They encounter another couple on the ship, the seductive Frenchwoman Mimi (Seigner) and her paraplegic American husband Oscar (Coyote), a failed and self-centered writer. The story unfolds as Oscar invites Nigel to his cabin, where he recalls, in a series of episodes, how he and the much younger Mimi met on a bus in Paris and fell in love; and then how their relationship went horribly wrong. -Wikipedia.org
7. Higher Learning (1995): Jennifer Connelly & Kristy Swanson
Higher Learning is a 1995 drama film, starring an ensemble cast. It also featured Tyra Banks’ first performance in a theatrical film. Laurence Fishburne won an Image Award for “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture” for his performance; Ice Cube was also nominated for the award. The film follows the changing lives of three incoming freshmen at the fictional Columbus University: Malik Williams (Omar Epps), a black track star who struggles with academics; Kristen Connor (Kristy Swanson), a shy and naive girl; and Remy (Michael Rapaport), a lonely and confused man seemingly out of place in his new environment. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) filled in for the college, Columbus University. The exterior shots and outdoor scenes were shot on the campus. Interiors were shot at Sony Pictures Studios. -Wikipedia.org
6. Cruel Intentions (1999): Selma Blair & Sarah Michelle Gellar
Cruel Intentions is a 1999 American drama film starring Ryan Phillippe, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Reese Witherspoon, and Selma Blair. The movie is a comedic and dramatic appropriation of the 18th-century French epistolary novel Les Liaisons dangereuses by Laclos, but unlike other modern film versions of the novel set in the France of that time (such as Dangerous Liaisons and Valmont) Cruel Intentions is set among the wealthy teenagers living in modern New York City.
The plot is mainly driven by a bet held between the two main characters, and it heavily involves manipulation, seduction, and love in a rich and sophisticated socially elite youth atmosphere. The film started as an independent film with a much smaller budget, and was later picked up by Columbia Pictures. The film was released on March 5, 1999. It was later followed by two direct-to-video films: a prequel, Cruel Intentions 2, and a sequel, Cruel Intentions 3. -WIkipedia.org
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5. Gia (1998): Angelina Jolie & Elizabeth Mitchell
Gia is a 1998 American television film about the life of model Gia Marie Carangi starring Angelina Jolie, Mercedes Ruehl, Faye Dunaway, and Elizabeth Mitchell. It was directed by Michael Cristofer and written by Cristofer and Jay McInerney. The original music score was composed by Terence Blanchard.The film has a rating of 92% by Rotten Tomatoes.
Gia Carangi is a Philadelphia native who moves to New York City to become a fashion model and immediately catches the attention of powerful agent Wilhelmina Cooper. Gia’s attitude and beauty help her rise quickly to the forefront of the modelling industry, but her persistent loneliness drives her to experiment with mood-altering drugs like cocaine. She becomes entangled in a passionate affair with Linda, a make-up artist. Their love affair first starts when both pose nude and make love to each other after a photoshoot.
However, after a while Linda begins to worry about Gia’s drug use and gives her an ultimatum. Gia chooses the drugs. Failed attempts at reconciliation with Linda and with her mother Kathleen Carangi drive Gia to begin abusing heroin. Although she is eventually able to break her drug habit after much effort, she has already contracted HIV from a needle containing infected blood and dies of complications from AIDS in 1986 at the age of 26. -Wikipedia.org
4. The Hunger (1983): Susan Sarandon & Catherine Deneuve
The Hunger is a 1983 English language horror film. It is the story of an alternative love triangle between a doctor (Susan Sarandon) who specializes in sleep and aging research and a counter-culture vampire couple (Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie). The film is a loose adaptation of the 1981 novel of the same name by Whitley Strieber, with a screenplay by Ivan Davis and Michael Thomas. The Hunger was director Tony Scott’s first feature film. The cinematography was by Stephen Goldblatt.
The Hunger was not particularly well-received upon its initial release, and was attacked by many critics for being heavy on atmosphere and visuals but slow on pace and plot. For example, Roger Ebert, of the Chicago Sun-Times, described the film as “an agonizingly bad vampire movie”. However, the film soon found a cult following that responded to its dark, glamorous atmosphere. The Bauhaus song “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” plays over the introductory credits and beginning. The film is popular with some segments of the goth subculture and spawned the short-lived TV anthology series of the same name. -Wikipedia.org
3. Bound (1996): Jennifer Tilly & Gina Gershon
Bound is a 1996 neo-noir crime thriller film directed by the Wachowski brothers. It is about a woman (Jennifer Tilly) who longs to escape her relationship with her mafioso boyfriend (Joe Pantoliano). When she meets the alluring ex-con (Gina Gershon) hired to renovate the next-door apartment, the two women begin an affair and hatch a scheme to steal $2 million of Mafia money.
Bound was the first film directed by the Wachowskis, and they took inspiration from Billy Wilder to tell a noir story filled with sex and violence. Financed by Dino De Laurentiis, the film was made on a tight budget with the help of frugal crewmembers including cinematographer Bill Pope. The directors initially struggled to cast the lesbian characters of Violet and Corky before securing Tilly and Gershon. To choreograph the sex scenes, the directors employed sex educator Susie Bright, who has a bit part in the film.
Bound received positive reviews from film critics who praised the humor and style of the directors as well as the realistic portrayal of a lesbian relationship in a mainstream film. Detractors of the film criticized the excessive violence and superficiality of the plot. The film won several festival awards, mostly at gay and lesbian festivals. -Wikipedia.org
2. Wild Things (1998): Denise Richards & Neve Campbell
Wild Things is a 1998 erotic thriller film starring Matt Dillon, Kevin Bacon, Denise Richards, Neve Campbell and Bill Murray. It was directed by John McNaughton. In some countries the film was released as Sex Crimes. An uncut version of the movie, adding seven minutes to its runtime, was released on DVD in 2004.
Sam Lombardo (Dillon) is a happy, sexually promiscuous high school guidance counselor in Blue Bay, Florida. That is, until wealthy, popular Kelly Van Ryan (Richards) accuses him of raping her one day after she had washed his truck. Due to the Van Ryans’ high social status and connections, Lombardo’s career and life take a heavy toll.
Lombardo hires unorthodox lawyer Kenneth Bowden (Murray), but is later incarcerated when a second student, unpopular, trailer-dwelling Suzie Toller (Campbell), also accuses him of rape, with several factors matching Kelly’s description of Lombardo’s assault. -Wikipedia.org
1. Mulholland Dr. (2001): Naomi Watts & Laura Harring
Mulholland Drive is a 2001 neo-noir psychological thriller written and directed by David Lynch, and starring Naomi Watts, Laura Elena Harring and Justin Theroux. The surrealist film was highly acclaimed by many critics and earned Lynch the Prix de la mise en scène (Best Director Award) at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival as well as an Oscar nomination for Best Director. Mulholland Drive launched the careers of Watts and Harring and was the last feature film to star veteran Hollywood actress Ann Miller. The film is widely regarded as one of Lynch’s finest works, alongside Eraserhead (1977) and Blue Velvet (1986), and has been chosen by many critics as representing a significant perspective of the 2000s.
Originally conceived as a television pilot, a large portion of the film was shot with Lynch’s plan to keep it open-ended for a potential series. After viewing Lynch’s version, however, television executives decided to reject it; Lynch then provided an ending to the project, making it a feature film. The half-pilot, half-feature result, along with Lynch’s characteristic style, has left the general meaning of the movie’s events open to interpretation. Lynch has declined to offer an explanation of his intentions for the narrative, leaving audiences, critics, and cast members to speculate on what transpires.
The film tells the story of an aspiring actress named Betty Elms, newly arrived in Los Angeles, California, who meets and befriends an amnesiac hiding in her aunt’s apartment. The story includes several other seemingly unrelated vignettes that eventually connect in various ways, as well as some surreal scenes and images that relate to the cryptic narrative. The New York Times writes that while some might consider the plot an “offense against narrative order … the film is an intoxicating liberation from sense, with moments of feeling all the more powerful for seeming to emerge from the murky night world of the unconscious.” -Wikipedia.org
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