It only took four and a half years, but /Film has finally, graciously given me the opportunity to introduce myself. Hi, I’m Angie Han. I like movies, and I have for a while. Which movies I like the most changes from year to year, if not day to day (though it’s admittedly been a while since my #1 changed), but these are some of my favorites at this very moment in time.
Before we delve into my current favorite movies, I thought I’d also look back at a few that were among my favorites at various point in my life. Such as…
1994: Angels in the Outfield
While there were plenty of films I enjoyed before 1994, Angels in the Outfield is the first film I remember singling out as my favorite. And that’s only partly due to my childhood crush on Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Mostly, it was just the first movie that seemed to hit me in the exact right place at the exact right time, in a way that felt personal. It felt sad enough to feel real, sweet enough to feel safe, with a light spirituality that dovetailed nicely with my own newfound (and since abandoned) religiosity.
1998: Forrest Gump
I know, I know. But damn it, I loved it when I first saw it in 1998 (three years after it beat out Pulp Fiction for Best Picture, permanently earning the white-hot hatred of cinephiles everywhere). I knew plenty about American history at that point, having learned all about it in school, but Forrest Gump was a whirlwind tour of half a century of American pop culture, which I knew less about. Plus, I still stand by Tom Hanks‘ performance as the simple-minded hero, even if Hanks is never completely able to conceal his own intelligence.
2000: Almost Famous
No, it’s not a rule that every writer at /Film is required to love Almost Famous. Yes, I’m one of the majority of writers at /Film who do. Like many people, I had spent most of my adolescence wanting and failing to be cool. Then here, finally, came a movie that preached the virtues of being uncool — of being too earnest, of caring too deeply, of trying too hard. I don’t love it quite as much as I used to, maybe because I associate it so strongly with my teen years, but it’ll always have a special place in my heart.
2001: Pulp Fiction
As with Forrest Gump, it took me a few years to get around to seeing Pulp Fiction. But when I did, I fell hard. I’d led a pretty sheltered life up to this point, pop culture-wise, in case you couldn’t tell by my picks above), and Pulp Fiction felt like nothing I’d ever seen before, with its larger-than-life characters, crazy-cool dialogue, and mixed-up storylines. I can’t credit any single picture with sparking my serious interest in cinema, but let’s just say Pulp Fiction fell right around the turning point.
I didn’t grow up watching Star Wars, or reading Spider-Man, or playing Dungeons & Dragons. The kind of pop culture obsession that so many of my colleagues (and so many of you) have lived and breathed their whole lives wasn’t even on my radar until early college, when I was hit by the one-two punch of the X-Men movies and the Harry Potter books. X-Men I liked, but X2 I loved, and it sent me down a rabbit hole of geeky fandom from which I have never quite returned.
On the next page, without further ado, my 10 favorite movies.