Acting nominations for the Golden Globes (Evan Rachel Wood and Holly Hunter) and Oscars (Holly Hunter) on a script written in 6 days by a thirteen year old girl and a family friend as a way to get out of a tough time she was having. The film also received my favorite movie review quote of all time, "The director, Catherine Hardwicke, works with such flair and fury that it’s as if the camera were jutting right out of her heart" (Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly).
Shattered Glass (2003)
Although well-reviewed at the time (91% Rotten Tomatoes), I've barely ever heard this movie mentioned. I think a large part of this has to do with people not liking Hayden Christiansen after seeing him as Anakin Skywalker. The rest of the cast includes Peter Sarsgaard, Chloë Sevigny, Hank Azaria, Rosario Dawson, and Steve Zahn.
You're Next (2011)
This movie struggled severely due to the fact that it was marketed as a generic Horror movie, which is exactly what it is not. This movie is hilarious, something I did not expect going into it at reading that it was a "horror-comedy" and a description of one of the scenes that sounded like it was out of a gross-out film. There are major reveals in the movie that are jokes, over-the-top slow motion scenes that are jokes, and casting decisions that are jokes (directors Ti West and Joe Swanberg) - and every one of these things can be taken as a serious horror movie that just isn't that good. The tone is just not for some, but everyone I've shown it to has loved it.
Like Crazy (2011)
A beautiful film shot on a 7D starring Antony Yelchin, Felicity Jones, and Jennifer Lawrence that was improvised based on a 50-page outline. This was the film that reignited my love for making movies a few years ago. Within a few weeks I had purchased a Canon t2i and started writing a script.
Spring Breakers (2012)
A strange, excellent movie. I saw this in the theater directly in front of a group of high school kids who thought the movie starred Riff Raff and that they had purchased tickets to a sweet, sexy movie about spring break.
The Dirties (2013)
A film shot independently in Canada (as in completely outside of the the country's grant framework, etc.) by a group of people in their twenties. They got permission to do some of what they did (go into schools to film scenes), but mostly just did whatever they wanted and asked permission afterward. The people that made this movie also made Operation Avalanche, which played at Sundance and SXSW this year and will be coming out this September (the trailer just came out this week).
Under The Skin (2013)
I had no idea what I was getting into when I went to see this in the theater. It's off-putting, gross (without really showing anything gross), scary, slow (without being boring), and I love it. One of the best soundtracks in years and features my favorite/least favorite sound effect ("pop") in a long time. This is a movie that deserved a Criterion release instead of just being dropped on a barebones DVD (the kind of release where "Widescreen Presentation" is listed as a special feature).
Lost River (2014)
This is a slow movie, with beautiful purples and blues directed by Ryan Gosling. It gets a lot of hate for having colored lights because Ryan Gosling has worked with Nicolas Winding Refn, who also uses colored lights. That sounds dumb, but it's referenced in almost every review. The script is strange, everyone has indicative names (the bully is named Bully, the girl that has a pet rat is named Rat), but I like something about how out there everything is. I suggest checking out the trailer at the very least.
I scrolled down the responses with the express purpose of writing "Shattered Glass." I'm glad I'm not the only one who sees a lot in this film!