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Willem Dafoe’s Top 4 Picks For His Favorite Movies Of All Time

From a Swedish classic to a new black comedy, Willem Dafoe’s favorite movies show his wide interest in films. His top four picks include movies from the 1950s to 2023.

Willem Dafoe has recently revealed his top four favorite movies during the premiere of his new film. Ranging from historical dramas to modern fantasies, here are four of Dafoe’s handpicked classics:

4. The Magician (1958) – IMDb: 7.6

Starting the list is Ingmar Bergman’s ‘The Magician‘ (1958), a Swedish film also known as ‘Ansiktet’ (The Face). This film, starring Max von Sydow and Ingrid Thulin, explores the life of a traveling magician, Albert Vogler, who faces skepticism from a village’s inhabitants. ‘The Magician’ combines psychological drama with elements of horror, drawing distant inspiration from G. K. Chesterton’s play ‘Magic.’ Recognized for its impactful storytelling, the film was Sweden’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 31st Academy Awards. Besides, it enjoys a 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

3. Onibaba – IMDb: 7.9

Next is the 1964 Japanese historical drama and horror film ‘Onibaba,‘ directed by Kaneto Shindō. Set amidst a civil war in medieval Japan, it follows two women, played by Nobuko Otowa and Jitsuko Yoshimura, who survive by killing soldiers and taking their belongings. The film is noted for its atmospheric tension and striking visual style. ‘Onibaba’ has an approval rating of 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 18 modern reviews. Critics like Peter Bradshaw and Jonathan Rosenbaum have praised the film for its chilling narrative and cinematography.

2. Barry Lyndon – IMDb: 8.1

Stanley Kubrick’s 1975 film ‘Barry Lyndon‘ holds the second spot. This historical drama is an adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray’s 1844 novel and stars Ryan O’Neal in the lead role. The film is renowned for its cinematography, especially its use of natural lighting and long double shots. ‘Barry Lyndon’ is also among Akira Kurosawa’s 100 favorite films. Its critical reception has improved over time, with a current Rotten Tomatoes approval rating of 87%. The film also holds a Metacritic score of 89/100.

1. Poor Things – IMDb: 8.5

Topping Dafoe’s list is ‘Poor Things,‘ the 2023 black comedy fantasy film directed by Yorgos Lanthimos. Based on Alasdair Gray’s 1992 novel, it stars Emma Stone, Mark Ruffalo, and Dafoe himself. The plot revolves around Bella Baxter, a young woman who embarks on a journey of self-discovery after being resurrected. Premiering at the 80th Venice International Film Festival, where it won the Golden Lion, ‘Poor Things’ has been praised for its imaginative storytelling and Emma Stone’s performance. It holds a 93% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 88/100 score on Metacritic.

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