My Top 10 Movies for Social Isolation

by John Merzetti

With the COVID19 pandemic wreaking havoc with our work, social, and home lives, a lot of people are spending a great deal of time in front of the T.V. (or on their devices, as it were) soaking up a lot of content.
Personally, I’ve binged the entire HBO series, “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” I love the show, but am not sure if watching roughly 100 episodes of a narcissistic misanthrope does one any good in terms of one’s mental health. Besides, with the real-life version sitting in the White House, why bother?
I’m currently re-watching “Tiger King” on Netflix, looking for nuances I might have missed. It’s compelling, just like a can’t-look-away car wreck, but it is not for everyone.
So, I thought I’d give you a list of some of my favourite movies to watch, should you have the means to do so. I hope this list helps you enjoy your isolation. Please stay safe and healthy.

In no particular order, I recommend:

“Notes On A Scandal” – a delicious U.K.drama of a very manipulative conniving school teacher who’s looking for a special someone to bring under her control.

“Idiocracy” – a movie released in 2006 predicting that the gradual dumbing down of America would lead to its demise 500 years in the future. How could Mike Judge (creator of “Office Space” and “King of the Hill”) have the prescience to so accurately predict such a state in our neighbours to the south? Only thing he got wrong, was that it only took ten years for the U.S. to reach bottom.

“Treasure of the Sierra Madre” – a classic Humphrey Bogart movie wherein we see man’s basic instinct – to look after oneself first and foremost – rear its ugly head. Watching this, you might ask yourself, what would you do in such a situation. I like to think I know, but I honestly do not know what my answer would be.

“Bombón El Perro” – simply put, one of the most beautiful movies you will ever watch. A seemingly down-and-out man’s fortunes are turned around when he is given a dog by someone grateful for his act of kindness. You’ll smile with great joy after watching this.

“Amadeus” – a lush movie depicting the jealousy one composer, Salieri, holds for perhaps the greatest composer to ever live…Mozart. With such sets, costumes, and music, while a purely fictionalised account of what might have been, this is sure to please anyone who watches it (even with its dark undertones).

“Dead Man Walking” – the acting in this movie, (based on real-life events) is second-to-none. Sean Penn plays Matthew Poncelet, a convict, set to be put to death for a rape (of which he is definitely guilty). In his corner is Susan Sarandon, playing Sister Helen Prejean, a fierce opponent of the death penalty. Penn’s portrayal is so very compelling that, if you’ve any compassion at all, you’ll shed a tear for this despicable person.

“The Godfather” (1 and 2) – what can I say? Perhaps two of the best movies ever made. I’ll leave it at that.

“March of the Penguins” – escape your current reality as Morgan Freeman narrates the lives of a colony of penguins at the South Pole. As ice packs recede, this movie might make you think a bit about the impact we are having on our animal friends.

“The Royal Tenenbaums” – a stellar cast portrays a dysfunctional family brought together by an absent father (Gene Hackman) who wants to make it right with those he abandoned. One of the funniest lines ever uttered on film is in this movie: “Anybody interested in grabbing a couple of burgers and hitting the cemetery?”

“Moulin Rouge” – with a great score and colourful cast of characters, this ultimately tragic story of a courtesan being pursued by two would-be lovers is certain to stick with you.