As Covid raged last year, I erected a Mt. Rushmore using four great movies having single word titles. Though I received no online response asking readers which films they would enshrine on that iteration of my long-running series, several people did write me offline. And because some of those ideas were worth saving, I then did what any self-respecting film buff would do. I made a list.
After stumbling across that list the other day, I realized a second Mt. Rushmore with a related theme was now needed. Which four movies with just a single name would you nominate for Mt. Rushmore #64? My monument is alphabetical; construct yours however you wish.
1.) Brubaker - I'm unashamed admitting films about idealism have a lot of appeal to me. Years after first seeing it, what has remained with me about this movie - aside from Robert Redford's earnest portrayal of the eponymous prison reformer - is its downbeat ending. The message: Lasting change in a corrupt system occurs glacially.
2.) Bulworth - I don't understand how this brilliant, cynical, coruscating Warren Beatty movie didn't get more attention at the time of its release or in the years since. Make it your business to uncover this hidden treasure. Be sure and check out Halle Berry early in her career to see what all the later fuss was about.
3.) Emma - I'm not real fond of period pieces, Jane Austen is not a favorite author, and Gwyneth Paltrow can annoy me as much as any modern-day celebrity. But this film - including Paltrow's luminous performance - works in every way. Perfect casting, flawless script, a score I wish I'd written.
4.) Philomena - I make it my business to see every film Stephen Frears directs. In this real-life drama - based on a Martin Sixsmith book called The Lost Child of Philomena Lee - Frears will lift your spirit as he breaks your heart. Judi Dench is predictably exceptional and Steve Coogan is nearly as good.