My greatest cinematic weakness is the movie conversation. A great action scene or shocker can pull me in like anyone else, but it's the words that mesmerize. A good movie conversation tugs at those appealing strings of voyeurism. You watch the intimacy of words, but they, and the scene, are not directed at you. It's amazing how much can really be done with words. With the right dialogue, you don't need a gimmick for the audience. You can vicariously have fun with another's conversation, or you can watch a story play out within the span of hello to goodbye.

The following list is by no means comprehensive, but it hits on many of the big conversational accomplishments of the last 30 years. Each has its own way of relating information through words. Some are backed by the urgency of eyes, some are fueled by unnaturally delightful wordplay and some just allow the conversation to happen, wherever it travels to and whatever it says. These seven films have words that roll off the tongues of the actors, creating a cinematic verbal candy that ties into everything from the artsy fartsy to the fart jokes.

My Dinner with Andre

Long before Wallace Shawn was thinking of what was inconceivable, he headed this conversational 80's zeitgeist with Andre Gregory. It's an intellectual niche film, and not for every audience. That being said, there are innumerable subtleties that make it worthy of a first, second and third viewing. What I find most intriguing are the secondary bits that are tacked onto the words, and more importantly, the silence. Shawn is reluctant to go to dinner with Andre, which keeps him silent for a good chunk of the movie. Yet for every word and crazily interesting story that Andre relays, Shawn reacts. He says everything with minute reactions – an eye twitch here, a raised brow and chuckle there.

categories Cinematical