Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thursday Thirteen

Yesterday marked Sean Penn's 51st birthday, so in celebration of such a talented man, I'm picking my thirteen favorites of his movies.

1. I Am SamThis is my cry movie. You know, the movie you can pop in and know 200% that you're going to cry to. I pretty much cry throughout this entire film. The relationship between Sam and Lucy makes my heart ache.

2. Dead Man WalkingLike a lot of Penn films, it's a hard movie to watch, but both Penn and Sarandon give amazing performances in this.

3. The Falcon and the SnowmanThis drama/thriller marked the first serious Sean Penn movie I ever saw, and while it's flawed, there are glimmers of the talent he displays in later works. I actually watched this the first time because I was so in love with Timothy Hutton (who I still adore and finally get to see on my TV in Leverage lol).

4. Fast Times at Ridgemont HighNo list would be complete without his breakout role, but it's funny seeing the new posters of this movie. He was nobody in a throwaway comic role, and yet, he is the one everybody remembers. Can you remember the other actors in this movie?

5. Milk.As far as I'm concerned, he owns this movie.

6. Mystic RiverThere's much I love about this movie - the cinematography, Clint Eastwood's direction, the ensemble. But again, Penn is brilliant.

7. The GameI like this for the movie's twists rather than specifically for Penn's performance. It's not aged well, but I still enjoy it.

8. 21 GramsThis is not an easy to watch. It's not told linearly, the performances are raw, and the emotions more so. But it's worth it anyway, for Benicio del Toro as much as for Sean Penn.

9. Carlito's WayThis movie is all about what a chameleon Penn really is. It's a fantastic gangster movie on its own, but Penn's performance is just as strong as Pacino's in my opinion.

10. State of GraceI'll be honest. While Penn is good in this, my fond feelings for this film arise from his costar. Gary Oldman is one of those actors I've been obsessed with since his Sid and Nancy days. I've even sat through Coppola's Dracula too many times to count just because of him.

11. Racing with the MoonI know. It's not really a great movie. But it was one of those gentler movies I fell in love with when I discovered it in college. Elizabeth McGovern was stunning, Nicolas Cage hasn't gone overboard yet on some of his acting shtick, and Penn is solid.

12. The Thin Red LineI'll admit I've only watched it once, but that's not the movie's fault. It's a mesmerizing war movie, but war movies and I don't always get along. I find them difficult to live with, to be honest, and can't deal well with the emotions they churn. That being said, this is one of the better films in Penn's catalog.

13. HurlyburlyOkay, this one's cheating. I don't really care for the movie, but I love the play so I have to include it.

What's your favorite Sean Penn movie?