Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Quiet Movies

A guest post by Elizabeth at Mystery Writing is Murder earlier this week discussed "Quiet Books," and she mentioned her daughter enjoying The Secret Garden. (I haven't read the book, but I have seen the movie - of course!)

Her post got me to thinking about quiet movies. Yes, I do enjoy big action flicks, but now and then, I like a movie with a slower pace. My definition of a 'quiet movie' is one where the characters emote well and it's more about what's going on under the surface. So, I have selected a few 'quiet movies' that I really enjoyed.
Nobody's Fool

This movie is well acted and contains some sharp writing. Paul Newman gives a stellar performance.

No Country For Old Men

Literally a quiet movie - almost no soundtrack at all! Tons of tension contained in just expressions and glances with minimal words.

The Illusionist

Incredible performance by Edward Norton - he steals every scene. The movie is understated and yet ripe with tension, and it's a great love story.

The Outlaw Josey Wales
There are moments of violence, but far more scenes of quiet introspection and portrayal of real life. An honest film about the South, Indians, and the end of the Civil War.
* * *
What are some of YOUR favorite 'quiet movies?'


Ellie Garratt said...

Gosh. Where to start! A few I can think of now are:

Shawshank Redemption
For the Love of the Game
Once Upon A Time in the West

There are more, but I've got to go to work :(

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I am working on getting coffee to my brain and can only think of two:

Hope Floats
Max Dugan Returns

both older movies.

PS- As well as loving sci fi movies, I love westerns. You need to do a post on western movies, cause I think you have watched every movie known to man and know about westerns too.

Ted Cross said...

On Golden Pond
the Colors trilogy (Blue, Red, White)


L enjoy a good muder thriller. I loved your reviews....can see where you spend your spare time.


Mason Canyon said...

I'm like Teresa and still trying to get my brain to work with my coffee this morning. When I think of 'quiet' movies, I think of classic old movies with Hepburn, Grant and even a few of John Wayne's westerns.

Thoughts in Progress

DEZMOND said...

must admit I didn't like any of these you've stated, but some of my favourite "quiet movies" would probably be CRASH, THE EVENING, THE FALL, LITTLE CHILDREN, THE READER, movies in which the story is slow, and the thing that shocks you aren't special effects or action scenes, but the deep dramatic catharses which creeps into you quietly while you're watching those films and leaves a profound impact on the viewers.

Unknown said...

That's funny. I actually watched The Illusionist last night. It's a great mystery/love story with engaging characters.


Nighfala said...

'The Quiet Man,' of course!

'Sense and Sensibility,' starring Emma Thompson. (Although I think Hugh Grant is a wimpy twit, he is perfect for the role of Edward.)

'Persuasian,' starring Ciaran Hinds.

'Murphy's Law' starring Sally Field and James Garner.

Two that I haven't seen in a very, very long time but I remember them making a big impression on me were "The Trip to Bountiful" and "The Whales of August."

Nighfala said...

Alex, you must read the book "The Secret Garden." It is an absolute jewel. Then read "A Little Princess" which is very different from the movie version and was my absolutely favorite childhood book. I read it over and over and over. And it has nothing to do with real princesses, so don't be put off by that.

Old Kitty said...

Quiet films???

The Savages
A Man for All Seasons
All About Eve
Far from Heaven
All that Heaven Allows
The Magnificent Ambersons
A Letter to three wives

Erm.. does the Hurt Locker count?

Thank you - you've made me scour my dim memory for some of my favourite films! Mostly oldies and pre 3D! LOL!

Take care

JournoMich said...

I love The Illusionist (I should, I'm practically obsessed with Norton) and I really enjoyed No Country. Another one that jumps to mind is another Norton: The Painted Veil. Quietly strikes.

Writers Jailed today on SouthernCityMysteries

Anonymous said...

I like quiet movies. Clint Eastwood had quite a few. I like The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly. Conan the Barbarian was one.

Stephen Tremp

Anne Gallagher said...

Of course for me it's all the Jane Austen classics, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, Northanger Abbey, Emma. I also love anything with Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.

The Man-Cave said...

Good topic. Alex. One of my favorite quiet films is Drugstore Cowboy and a couple others have already been mentioned but love them all the same: Moon and Shawshank.

Bossy Betty said...

OH! OH! Alex! My hand is up! Pick Me! Pick Me!

"Trip to Bountiful"

Love that movie and yes, I'll be quiet now.

Liza said...

I have only seen The Outlaw Josie thanks for the other recommendations. I'm more of a "quiet movie" officionado than anything else.

Charles Gramlich said...

Hum I never really thought about it in this way. I'm not sure how to define 'quiet" movies since I definitely would not have put The Outlaw Josey Wales in there. I guess I think of quiet movies as those that express subtler emotions than anger and vengeance. I wouldn't have thought of "no country for old men" as a quiet movie. I guess I would consider "On Golden Pond" one such movie. Probably "the Bicentennial man."

Matthew MacNish said...

For some reason I'm thinking of Eyes Wide Shut, and David Lynch. Good post though Alex, thanks for making me think!

Unknown said...

Ooh I like your selection of quiet movies! Like Mason, I tend to favor the old film noir flicks...

Jules said...

I too loved the old Clint Eastwood movies, brings back memories of the "Drive-In." Quite movies, Hum?

Sherlock Holmes with Basil Rathbone
Charlie Chan
Katherina Hepburn, movies

That was fun. :D
Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Carol Kilgore said...

The Illusionist is one of my favorite movies.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Journaling Woman, I should! Yes, I've seen a lot of westerns.

Dezz, and those are some of the best kind of movie.

Christine, a John Wayne movie of course!

Kitty, I'd think the Hurt Locker would count.

Charles, while both of those I listed have moments of action and violence, the emphasis is on the moments of character interaction.

Glad to see so many enjoyed The Illusionist! I can watch that film anytime.

RaShelle Workman said...

This is nice Alex. It's true. A "quiet" movie is such a treat once in a while. I've had Moon, but haven't watched it. I think I will.

Sarah Ahiers said...

oooh i LOVE the illusionist

Helen Ginger said...

Shawshank Redemption and...can't think of the name of the Sandra Bullock one about the football player. Yeah, I know, plenty of people didn't like it, but I did.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The Blind Side, Helen? Yeah, I liked that one, too.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Silent Running
Sabrina (Audry Hepburn)

Arlee Bird said...

I like your picks.

Two that immediately came to my mind:

Death In Venice --Based on the book by Thomas Mann, this has a gorgeous soundtrack with the music of Mahler, but is a quiet and introspective movie that has beautiful cinematography.

Roman Polanski's Repulsion -- This film has no soundtrack and is nervewracking quiet as it documents a woman's mental breakdown as she withdraws alone in her apartment.

Then there were some great silent films. Without music soundtracks added they are really quiet.

Tossing It Out

Lydia Kang said...

I love Nobody's Fool! It's brilliant.

Babette's Feast is pretty "quiet" an it's probably one of my absolute favorites.

Chuck said...

I agree 100% with your list...I really liked the Illusionist. One of my favorites is Broken Flowers with Bill Murray.

Amity said...

Me, I like quiet movies, not the violent, noisy ones which hurt my eardrum...:)

I must try to watch the ones you posted here...:)

Thanks for sharing Alex!

vic caswell said...

Dead Poets
Amazing Grace
((are those quiet enough?))

Unknown said...

I love Chocolat and Girl, Interrupted. Neither fit into my usual sci/fi, action, fantasy favourites but I love these movies. The characters and performances are just brilliant.

Cruella Collett said...

I think my "quiet movies" are quieter than yours ;)

From the top of my head I'm going to list


Billy Elliot (though I suppose with all the dancing energy it might not be as quiet after all),

Pride & Prejudice.

This was actually a lot harder than I expected! What makes a movie "quiet" anyway?

Will Burke said...

I always liked A Perfect World with Clint Eastwood & Kevin Costner. It's weorth the rental to see CE in all his gritty, brooding cool, say "I like Tater Tots."

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad to see I got everyone thinking with this post!

Powdered Toast Man said...

I need to see The Outlaw Josey Wales. Edward Norton is great in whatever he does.

Are you going to make an actor dirty dozen?

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Anything with an Oscar for best costume, probably!

And, for some reason, "All the President's Men" comes to mind. Exciting, but not actually fast paced.

Talli Roland said...

I'm not sure I'd call 'No Country for Old Men' quiet?

I recently saw 'A Single Man' which is very quiet. 'The Sea Inside' and 'The Diving Bell and the Butterfly' are two of my favourite movies - very quiet.

Glynis Peters said...

You've got mail
On Golden Pond
Tess of the D'urberville

are films/movies always makes me feel calm.

Unknown said...

I highly recommend Second Hand Lions with Robert Duvall and Michael Caine. Brilliant storytelling!

Unknown said...

i love paul newman.. met him in ct at lime rock... and clint eastwood is one of my favorites... There are so many westerns I have never seen....

Beth Zimmerman said...

The only one of those I had seen was The Illusionist and I thought it was weird!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Powdered, I may just give credit to yours, as you selected most of the same actors I would pick.

Nicole, that was a good movie too.

Karen Lange said...

Hmm, well, I really like Miracle (your pic in the last post reminded me of it:) but I don't think that's a quiet movie?? Yes, I am a hockey fan...

I also like Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice. Had to go with some chick movies too, to balance out the hockey one.

Have a great weekend,


Alex in appreciation of the help you have given me there is a little something for you on my last post.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Oh God, I hated "No Country For Old Men". One of the most overrated movies ever, IMO.

My favorite quiet films are:

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

Raise the Red Lantern (1991)

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Amores Perros (2000)

Talk to Her (2002)

notesfromnadir said...

I enjoyed your list here as I agree w/ you about all of them. Edward Norton is a fine actor & I thought he was great in The Illusionist but I really thought he was so personable in KEEPING THE FAITH.

OUTLAW JOSEY WALES is classic. Then again, I'm a huge Clint Eastwood fan whether he does quiet THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, his Sergio Leone movies, or he's cleaning the streets of riff raff as Dirty Harry. A little known work is THE HONKY TONK MAN which I recommend.

NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN is stellar. That's all I need to say about that.

I'm pleased to see that your other fans have included SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION. I love that film.

Louis Malle's ATLANTIC CITY lives up to your definition as it only utilizes background noises in the soundtrack. Susan Sarandon & Burt Lancaster star in this 1980 flick.

Belbin9 said...

The Illusionist was a fabulous movie. Some of my favourite quiet movies would have to be Pride and Prejudice, For Love or Money, Phantom of the Opera and the Count of Monte Cristo