Looking for ways to bolster your Netflix queue? You Gotta See This: More Than 100 of Hollywood's Best Reveal and Discuss Their Favorite Films is the answer to your prayers.
Author Cindy Pearlman has rounded up a variety of actors, actresses, writers, directors, producers
and others involved in the making of films and collected their answers (in the form of short essays) to the eternally ponderable question: “What is your favorite movie of all time?” For some, it was the easiest question ever – no dallying or dithering; their answers were easily accessed and readily explained. Others, such as Jodie Foster, refused to choose at all, citing the task as impossible. (“It might have been easier to ask him to explain Creation.” Pearlman writes, on asking Christopher Walken to choose his favorite movie.) And still others couldn’t constrain themselves to just one, picking four or five (or six)
and begging to add more.
The movie-makers pick movies that stir them or say something about human nature,
movies that scared them or taught them something about their craft (“Lines like that make you just go, Ah, God. Let me say a line like that someday. That so touches people on a real level.” Jim Carrey on
Network, p. 26)
They talk about honesty and truth, about comedy and fear. They talk about movies as real, tangible things that
have influenced their lives, just like they influence ours (“I didn’t have many friends and thought if only I could meet a Tin Man or a Scarecrow that maybe I wouldn’t feel alone.” Johnny Depp on
The Wizard of Oz, p. 55).
There were surprises to be found – an actress who broke out into song; an action star unexpectedly rhapsodizing about
Gone With the Wind – but what Pearlman so crisply makes clear is that celebrities are movie lovers, just like the rest of us. There’s none of that “we know better than you” attitude so many critics have these days. It’s about people who love movies and want to share that enjoyment with everybody else.
The book includes blurbs on the celebrities as well as the movies they’ve chosen, both written with a slightly comic bent. You’ll be reminded of your old favorites (All that Jazz,
Finding Neverland, Tombstone) and introduced to some new-to-you classics. All in all, a short, entertaining read for anyone who likes films.