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Movies That Made an Impact on Me
Thea Sharrock

Thea Sharrock

Director

Thea Sharrock, who began her career in theater, directed the Me Before You and the new Disney+ movie The One and Only Ivan. Read about her transition from stage to screen here.

Watching a lot of movies with my family has been a silver lining of lockdown. The choices have been pretty wide-ranging, but the tendency has been to turn to the classics. There is a lot of Coppola on my list, and not enough female directors, but I don’t mind that—women are definitely changing how history will look soon enough. And every movie list should include Jack Nicholson and Harrison Ford. Now mine does too. Phew.

1

Thelma and Louise

1991

WHERE TO WATCH

My favorite Ridley Scott movie. Hard to believe it’s nearly 30 years old. Exceptional screenplay by Callie Khouri. Remarkable ensemble cast led by two of the most inspirational performances ever: from Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon. The music is outstanding, the cinematography breathtakingly simple and accessible—clinched by that final shot. All of this and welcome, Brad Pitt, please come in.

WHERE TO WATCH
Thelma and Louise
1991
129 Mins | R
Arkansas gals (Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis) shoot rapist, flee in '66 T-Bird.


2

The Godfather (and The Godfather II)

1972

WHERE TO WATCH

(They both won the Oscar for Best Picture so I’m hoping I can sneak them in together as a 2-for-1.) Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Talia Shire, Diane Keaton, James Caan all at the top of their game. The young Pacino in particular is a breath of fresh air, although Robert Duvall as Tom is probably my favorite. Narratively so powerful, this is filmmaking at its very best. The complexities of human nature and the tensions of family and how society works are brutally beautiful. Inescapably brilliant.

WHERE TO WATCH
The Godfather (and The Godfather II)
1972
177 Mins | R
Mafia boss Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) and his sons (Al Pacino, James Caan).


3

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

1982

WHERE TO WATCH

Probably the best family movie ever made, and one that I carried with me during the making of The One and Only Ivan. A profoundly moving story of friendship and loyalty and courage.

WHERE TO WATCH
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
1982
115 Mins | PG
A suburban California boy (Henry Thomas) befriends a harmless, homesick alien stranded on Earth.


4

Lost in Translation

2003

WHERE TO WATCH

Unexpected love story of two fish out of water who allow each other to find themselves again. Like all great movies, the whole thing slowly builds to the final moment that leaves the viewer to make up their own mind: What does he whisper to her?

WHERE TO WATCH
Lost in Translation
2003
102 Mins | R
A middle-aged actor (Bill Murray) falls for a young woman (Scarlett Johansson) in Tokyo.


5

The Deer Hunter

1978

WHERE TO WATCH

Timely, and uncompromisingly brave. A simply brilliant window into a generation that in many ways lost its voice. This movie gave it back. Exceptional performances all around. The Russian roulette scene is magnificent. And the fact that John Cazale was dying of cancer, so director Michael Cimino shot all of his scenes first and protected him in every way he could, is somehow symbolic of the love, dedication, and strength at the heart of this movie.

WHERE TO WATCH
The Deer Hunter
1978
183 Mins | R
Steelworker friends (Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Savage) face horrors in Vietnam.


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