Gwyneth Paltrow's Favorite Movies (Plus Spielberg's, Wes Anderson's & More)

This week Gwyneth Paltrow's GOOP newsletter contained the actress's favorite movies, as well as the top picks from five of her favorite directors

Paltrow writes by way of introduction:

I can do the whole rap at the end of The Revenge of the Nerds and all of Jeff Spicoli's dialogue, but sadly, my expertise ends there. I do, however, love film and whether it is an exceptional documentary, a classic or a Seth Rogan [sic] vehicle, I am always excited about seeing something that my friends love. The films I love best usually contain a breathtaking female performance (The Reader, Sophie's Choice, Klute), as the genius of a creative woman inspires me in all areas of my life.

In addition to Paltrow's Top 5 DVD choices, she included the recommendations of Steven Spielberg, Wes Anderson, Sofia Coppola, Jon Favreau, and James Gray. She has worked with all but Coppola and has known Spielberg since her childhood.

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The recommendations (only some directors included commentary as to why):

Steven's Favorites:

Steven says: These are not necessarily my all-time favorite films....but good choices to rent and enjoy!

The Best Years of Our Lives

Captain's Courageous

The Godfather

The Searchers


Wes' Picks:

Terror's Advocate

Barbet Schroeder's great documentary, Terror's Advocate, also relates to another one I would highly recommend, which is Marcel Ophüls' documentary Hôtel Terminus (except I think you can only get it on VHS). There is kind of a miniature version of Terror's Advocate in the middle of it.

Neon Genesis Evangelion
This is a Japanese cartoon that is very difficult to describe and might not sound that great if I tried anyway. It is 24 episodes, and we watched them all in less than a week because you start to want to believe it's real. This could spawn something like Scientology.

From the Life of Marionettes
I'd never heard of this until last month. It's an Ingmar Bergman movie he made in Germany where I think he was a tax exile.

Life Lessons
The Martin Scorsese part of New York Stories. It's about a painter.

More or less anything that says The Criterion Collection across the top it. The most recent one I had never seen before and loved was Costa-Gavras' Missing.

Jon's Picks:

Seven Samurai

Kurosawa's masterpiece. A real study in storytelling and cinematography. Remade into The Magnificent Seven and later Roger Corman's The Last Starfighter. Three hours and you never check your watch.

Kung Fu Panda

My seven-year-old son said Iron Man was his second favorite film last year. This one was his first.

Top Chef Boxed Set

I downloaded the whole series, and the L.A.-to-Europe flight was over before I knew it.

Visions of Light

A wonderful overview of the history of cinematography with a who's who of interviews and great clips in context. Perhaps my favorite documentary. I watch it every few years.

Directed by Michael Crichton. Great concept. Great violence. Yul Brenner created the paradigm for Jason and the Terminator.

James' Picks:

Rocco and His Brothers
This is a beautiful movie that takes its time but comes to a full boil and devastates. Luchino Visconti's 1960 epic details the tragedies of an Italian family that migrates from Italy's agrarian south to its industrialized north.

The 400 Blows

Francois Truffaut's classic about the struggles and joys of youth. Tender and unforgettable.

Singin' In The Rain
Pure joy. Film's transition from the silents to sound with an acrobatic Gene Kelly leading the way.

The Godfather/The Godfather Part Two
Yes, two movies, not one - I'm not cheating. These two classics are impossible to separate, bound together by story, cast, theme, look and greatness.

Tokyo Story

Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu's magnificent picture about how we disrespect our elders. So moving it becomes almost unbearable; a transcendent experience.

Sophia's [sic] Picks:

The Last Picture Show


Chris Rock - Never Scared

Heartbreak Kid

Let the Right One In