Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Movies that Make Me Cry

I'm having a bad night, so it's nicely coincidental that at work I read an article about movies that made people cry. It's been blogged about before all over the web, but what the heck, I'm feeling dispirited anyway. Might as well throw in my two cents. They had a top ten list that included The Green Mile, Old Yeller, Terms of Endearment, Ghost and so forth. They mentioned Schindler's List, but it didn't make the top ten and that's when I thought Huh? Not that I can do better, but here are mine, not ten exactly but my list of sob-inducing movies that didn't make the top ten list in the article.

1. Schindler's List--Let's start with the honorable mention from the article and put it on top. This movie is so hard to watch people often watch it just once, even though they report that it was one of the best movies they've ever seen.
2. Forrest Gump--This movie got so much hype it turned people off from watching it. Too bad, because I'm right there with Forrest leaking and snurffling when he's talking to his beloved, buried Jenny. And his little boy--goodness. And there's happy tears at the end, and on and on. I even cry during the credits, dang it!
3. Big Fish--The hardest part for me is when his son carries his father to the water, with all the people his father has loved there to bid him farewell, and his father swims away. But they don't let us off the hook that easy, nope. We go back to the hospital. Brutal. Pass the kleenex, please!
4. Bridge to Terabithia--The ending was terrible, as in some Hollywood jerk couldn't be satisfied with the boy and his sister crossing the bridge together but had to turn it into a bad facsimile of a Hallmark moment. Nonetheless, when I want to feel deeply and let the darkness take me away I grab this movie, some chocolate, a cup of tea and a handkerchief and brace for impact after the museum trip.
5. Braveheart--William Wallace, no matter how many times you're hurt and betrayed, you keep trying. When Wallace sees his beloved as a kind of ghost among the crowd of spectators while he's being disemboweled, I can't take it. Waaaaaaaaah! There are just so many difficult moments in this movie I want to curl up in a ball and rock.
6. What Dreams May Come--Has its moments, good and bad, but when push comes to shove this has to make the list of movies that wring tears from my eyes and forces me to stifle sobs. Robin Williams has a spotty track record but he does well in this. In many places the setting alone makes my throat ache. And then they meet again. Sniff!
7. Cyrano de Bergerac (French remake)--No one can take his panache. Emotional agony by death of a thousand paper cuts, and then it goes in for the kill. Gerard Depardieu is the one and only Cyrano for me. Roxanne, you are unworthy. I miss the semi-yearly tradition of Cyrano, brie cheese, red wine and croissants I used to have. I really need to have a Cyrano night again sometime soon.
8. Fellowship of the Ring--Kudos to Sean Bean for the horrifically beautiful death of Boromir. I felt every arrow, and wanted to soothe his regrets right along with Aragorn. It's not your fault, Boromir. Stupid ring, stupid stupid ring ...
9. Return of the King--While we're at it, when the ships sail, I lose it. I'm filled with joy, and pain, and longing. To the white shore, and a swift sunrise. Geez, it makes me tear up even now.
10. City of Angels--This movie got a lot of flack because apparently most people liked an earlier version rather than the remake. Well I didn't see the original, so this one makes my list. If I ever plan to see the original I'll let you guys know so that you can buy stock in tissue paper first.
11. Charlotte's Web--This movie has become threadbare over the years for me, but Charlotte's song about Mother Earth and Father Time will always get to me so long as I have a soul.
12. Watership Down--I'm not ashamed to say that animations can affect me just as deeply as a drama filmed with the world's finest actors. Bright Eyes, ah yes, I know he survives but dang. It still hurts like a sonuvagun. The movie hits hard with that feeling of loss.
13. Don Juan de Marco (with Johnny Depp)--Happy, happy tears. Chokes me up every time. Why not? And the music swells. Can't ... see ... I need a hug!
14. Toy Story 2--There's something about abandoning a cowgirl doll that kills me. Argh! It's just one point in the movie that makes me cry, but man is it ever reliable.
15. Grumpier Old Men--"I think God forgot about me." If you gotta go, I guess at a venerable age, in the midst of a beautiful love affair, is not a bad time. Here's a rose for the old man. Normally I'd pass on this sort of movie, but I have to admit I'm a long time fan of Sophia Loren, who still has my vote as one of the most beautiful women in the world. Ann-Margret is also in this film. Boy, if I hold up as well against time as these two women, I'll be a happy (if tearful) Kami. I'm glad I caved and watched this. I wasn't disappointed.
16. Somewhere in Time--I almost left this off the list because it's been so long since I've seen it, I don't know how well it holds up. But I still feel the pain after all these years, so here it is, warts, tears and all.

Additions, subtractions, disagreements, rotten vegetables and thumbs up welcome, as always.

Snufflingly yours, Kami


Kami said...

Doh! I'm being bad and commenting on my own blog. I forgot Windwalker! Recorded in Cheyenne and Crow and subtitled in English, in addition to being a real tear jerker this treasure helps maintain the integrity of rare Native American languages. Don't know if you've heard, but many years ago now some jerks broke into an archive and apparently for fun destroyed a unique collection of language databases while in the process of destroying the offices. If you can imagine your family's geneology being kept in your sewing room and some thief breaking in and destroying one-of-a-kind letters, memoirs, heirlooms, scrapbooks because apparently stealing your credit cards wasn't sufficient--yeah, it's all irreplaceable just like that would be. There were no backup copies. (And here I insert another plea to all of you to back up your computers while you're thinking about it! Preferably emailing copies of stories, poems, etc. to yourself on Gmail or some other such place so you have off-site backup.) So Windwalker is even more precious. I can't believe I left it off my cry list. Wah!

The Moody Minstrel said...

"City of Angels" was a remake of a German movie called "Die Himmel ueber Berlin" (Heaven over Berlin). It's a much "artsier" movie with much more subdued acting. It's more cerebral and doesn't have nearly as much emotional impact as the American remake. Moreover, whereas the American movie is largely based on the angel becoming flesh and being with the woman he loves, that only accounts for about the last ten or fifteen minutes of the German original, which ends when he finally meets the woman in the flesh...and she recognizes him! Yes, the two movies are quite different...

Ris said...

City of Angels vs Wings of Desire:

I liked the German version much better than the English one, primarily because it is based the "Duino Elegies" series of poems by Maria Rilke and I watched it with a bunch of other English Lit nuts. The English title of the German movie is "Wings of Desire" (movie titles are rarely translated word for word, which is actually kinda funny). It is indeed far more artsy and subtle than the smack in the face that is City of Angels (sorry, I really couldn't stand that movie--it was an emotion jerker to me, very heavy-handed).

I think you either like the German version or the American version. They are just so very different. But the German version made me cry, so it's on my cry list!

The Moody Minstrel said...

Thanks, Ris.

I guess I should have added this tidbit before. One movie which I have found horribly, eternally, and inexorably tear-jerking is the Japanese anime movie of the story "A Hound of Flanders". The Japanese media has officially ranked it the most tear-jerking movie in Japanese history for a very good reason. Just thinking about it can make my eyes tear up, and that TUNE... The wall-smashing scene uses Schumann's "Ave Maria" as it's background. Unforgettable!

No, don't! Don't!!

Kami said...

I remembered another one. "Knightriders" pushes all my Living the Dream buttons, big time.