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This is a question Best Films Ever

We love watching films and we're always looking for interesting things to watch - so tell us the best movie you've seen and why you enjoyed it.

(, Thu 17 Jul 2008, 14:30)
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"Mediocrities everywhere: I absolve you"
That is the closing line from 'Amadeus'. I've not had a chance to read all of the posts this week so I don't know whether anyone else has this masterpiece in their top ten. If you like drama, good acting, costumes, music, timeless classics and wigs, then this film is a must.

[Was that OK for an opening? I'm new here so please be gentle with me, even if it takes a while]

The first time I saw Amadeus was in 1985, soon after it came out. I was still on the rebound from my first real love, a charming love-rat called Sean who had robbed me of my virginity on the floor of the stockroom in WHSmith and then kept me available for him despite being engaged, then married and the store manager to boot. After 18 months of this, I had told him not to bother me anymore and moved jobs and to a bedsit in Brentford without giving him my new number. So, I was still bruised and hurting when Ben turned up.

We were both temping at the DHSS at the time and, despite me feeling pretty blue I could tell he fancied me: I kept catching him looking at me whenever I turned round, whereupon he would blush and look busy. When we were working together, I'd chat to him and listen to his traveller's tales, laugh at his jokes, flirt in a gentle way and enjoy the attentions of boy my own age (21) who seemed carefree and vulnerable as well as sort of self-assured. He was also pretty good looking.

Eventually, I had to ask him to lunch as he seemed too shy to ask me. We did the old eye-gazing thing at a pub near the office in Ealing. Things gradually warmed up and he asked me out one evening to a film. He lived with his parents in Chiswick as he hadn't sorted out anywhere else since returning from his wandering, and as the film was in Hammersmith, I went to his place first. His Mum answered the door and invited me in; not wishing to appear rude, I accepted. His Mum sounded much posher than Ben did and I became very conscious of my East London accent, so I mumbled a bit and let them do most of the talking. Ben's Dad was away on business in Japan I gathered.

"So, what are you two going see?" she asked.
"Amadeus", I said, "it's about Mozart." As soon as I said it, I knew I'd sounded like an idiot. As if she didn't know. But I wasn't ready for:
"Oh, I really want to see that film, I've heard some very favourable reviews, but I know Daddy won't want to go." she said.
'Daddy?!' I thought!!
"Well," I said out loud, "why don't you come along?" knowing she'd not want to be a gooseberry.
"Oh, I'd love to, if you really don't mind". This is where I was hoping Ben would say something like: 'Tell you what, if it's any good, I'll take you at the weekend'. What he actually said was:
"You don't mind do you?" to me! Now what could I do?
"Of course not."

The film was magical, I was sat next to Ben with his Mum the other side of him. When the lights went down, I reached for his hand, which was on his lap, and throughout the film, I played gently with his hand, feeling the effect this was having in his 'lap'. After the film we got the bus home, his Mum getting off at Chiswick while Ben 'saw me home'. Once she'd got off the bus, I turned to him and planted a long, slow, gentle kiss on his fevered lips. More of the same plus a little light stroking went on as the bus thundered past Kew Bridge and we nearly missed my stop.

I asked him in for a-coffee-in-inverted-commas: my favourite blend as it happens. What then transpired I will not describe in detail, but he was only the second man I'd slept with, and the first for some months. He'd had a few girlfriends, but none like me. I didn't want him to leave and he didn't; we went to work together the next morning and were a couple from then on.

Skip forward four years or so, we're married with a baby and Amadeus was on the telly. As well as making sure we had a new tape in the video machine, we also made sure that the baby was staying at Gran & Grandad's for the night. That evening involved showers, candles, Italian food, plenty of wine, soft music and plenty of lovin'.

Now we had the film on tape, we tried to watch it at least once a year, and each time we'd pack the kids off to Gran & Grandad's for the night, or wait until they went off on school trips and sleep-overs. In 1991, I finally made it to university, having messed up my 'A' levels first time around. Ben was still at the DSS (as it now was), in a fairly senior position and being a student allowed me to look after the kids almost full time. As I got more and more into my History studies and made some good new friends amongst the mature students, I found it harder to really talk with Ben. I thought it was just me, but gradually I noticed he was distracted. I decided an Amadeus night was called for, so made all the arrangements and even bought some new, if highly impractical, underwear; well, sometimes you have to make the effort.

It was a Friday night and the onions and garlic were browning in the pan, the wine was open and I'd had an early glass when Ben got in. I was solicitousness itself, poured him a glass, made sure he was comfy etc, then got out the video. I knew something was wrong when he said he didn't fancy watching it tonight.

To cut a long story short, that was the night he told me he'd fallen in love with a girl at work. There was quite a scene and I gave him his marching orders; he slept elsewhere that night. I'd pretty much kept myself together until the moment he walked out of the door (though his recolection might be different) but did a pretty dramatic breakdown as soon as the door shut. I watched that damned video that night anyway and drank two bottles of wine, though I didn't bother finish cooking the meal I'd started. I was cried out by morning.

Now, I'm over the worst and the second worst, but if I ever feel really down, I still get in the wine, cook myself my favourite comfort food - a big dish of pasta with onions, garlic, mushrooms, bacon, cheese, olive oil - and sit down when the house is empty to watch Amadeus with the volume up really loud. I don't bother with a mammoth sex session these days, well, not usually anyway.

I'm still on good terms with Ben's Mum, and one time I invited her over and we watched it together. She's a good stick and felt really bad when Ben left. My only wish now is that he doesn't watch the film with his new woman; that would really feel like a betrayal somehow.
(, Tue 22 Jul 2008, 13:53, 4 replies)
Odd so few have mentioned this
Tom Hulce is superb. It's a shame he's effectively disappeared. Also, if you like this film by Milos Forman, you'll probabaly dig Goya's Ghosts.

Nice yarn.
(, Tue 22 Jul 2008, 14:17, closed)
Fantastic film
and a poignant tale to boot.

(, Tue 22 Jul 2008, 14:25, closed)
great film
and a touching story


edit: damn you k2k6 for writing the same thing as me but more fancy!
(, Tue 22 Jul 2008, 14:27, closed)
I love this film
Welcome 'K'. Hope you'll drop in on the Off Topic board too perhaps.
(, Tue 22 Jul 2008, 14:36, closed)

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